10 Things Travellers Do That Tourists Don’t

The two terms may seem synonymous, but that itself sets a traveller apart from a tourist. When you’re in the nomad community, you know that a tourist sees the world, but a traveller lives it. Hmm, still in doubt? See which category you fit into:

Read also: Why it’s Okay to be a Tourist and Not a Traveller

#1 Spend Little Time on TripAdvisor

things travellers do
Instagram recommendations count for something too

A tourists trusts TripAdvisor too much, while travellers know that some of the best recommendations come straight from the locals. How else would you have found that tiny little hut with the best Poke in Honolulu? Having said that, you do trust your reviews when it’s time to get fancy with Michelin-starred eats.

#2 Exchange Hostel Horror Stories

A time before the Maldives

A tourist wants only mints by their pillow and daily maid service, but a traveller that’s been almost everywhere knows what it’s like to pay your dues — whether or not staying at a hostel was merely out of curiosity. You’ve got the bed bug bites and horror stories to prove it, but now you’re ready for luxury.

#3 Know All The Tricks of the Trade 

Who’s to say no to a free upgrade?

Everyone wants a great deal when making travel plans, but a traveller knows how to get the most bang for your buck (you’d be surprised how at how they manage to book the cheapest flight tickets). That’s not to say a traveller roughs it in coach. You need comfortable leg room, meals at appropriate times and air conditioning — and you’ve definitely retired that bus pass.

#4 Plan Out Their Leave Days in Advance

Travel makes you a better employee, says science

Save them for weddings? They’ll send you a postcard from Peru. Travellers know that the  best way to make the most out of your work and days off is to stretch the long weekends a little longer. Sure, tourists vacation… but everyone knows that one person that seems to always be posting on Instagram from a land far, far away.

#5 Venture Off the Beaten Path

You didn’t come all this way for crowds and cameras

Tourists flock to The Great Wall of China, but travellers know that famous attractions don’t always live up to the hype. The cliff-top Tiger’s Nest monastery in Bhutan — now that’s remarkable. Stray from the tour groups, and you might just stumble on something off the beaten path to find a hidden slice of paradise.

#6 Travel Alone When They Want to

Wanderlust for one

A tourist doesn’t really step out of their comfort zone, but a traveller isn’t afraid to go at it alone. Life’s a party, so they say, but some of the best trips you’ll take in your lifetime are the one’s you take alone and here are eight reasons why.

#7 Curate Long Distance Relationships

Expensive date nights

A tourist might not make very many new friends, but the traveller is sure to collect numbers everywhere they go — both platonic and romantic. You may meet someone thousand of miles from home from vastly different backgrounds, but travel is always a great ice-breaker.

#8 Blend in With the Crowd

How to get that ‘luxe nomad’ look

Tourists stand out like a Coachella queen far from the dessert. They might be caught dead in harem pants in the city, but on vacation they’ve got a whole new wardrobe… and a couple of Singha singlets. Travellers on the other hand opt for their most comfortable day wear when they travel.

#9 Spend a Few Nights Sober

Plus, hotel beds are just too darn comfy

You’d rather sleep at 10pm than begin your day at 10pm. A traveller would rather create memories than forget them, but a tourist wants to make the most out of every second.

#10 Admit They Are Happy to Come Home

“When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.” – Clint Borgen

Tourists are deep in post-vacation blues, but a traveller isn’t really all that upset to touchdown. Sure you can’t wait to get ready for your next adventure, but you know there really isn’t a place like home (for now, anyway).

Less talking, more travelling

Photo credits: Main, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10


Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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