Enough with the “Tourist vs Traveler” crap already!

“If you like to sleep in hostels and own a selfie stick, then you might be a tourist!”

“Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler”

“I don’t go sightseeing – I’m a REAL TRAVELER – not a tourist!”

Bleeeeegh! Stop! It’s so annoying!


So you guys,

today I want to talk to you about this Traveler vs Tourist nonsense, you see all around the internet, and why it annoys the hell out of me.

We’re gonna look into some stereotypes, and maybe break them down a little.  


You might have seen something like this:


Or possibly something like this:

Source: visual.ly

There are tons of quizzes online to let you know whether you are a traveler or a tourist,

and many blog posts and articles about the matter –

all almost exclusively preaching, that you definitely should be a “traveler” instead of a tourist.

They’re all saying that being a “tourist” is somehow something to be ashamed of.

I think this is, to the word, CRAP.


Well, firstly, let’s define the word “tourist”:

 Merriam-Webster dictionary says a tourist is :  “one that makes a tour for pleasure or culture”

The Oxford dictionary defines a tourist as: “A person who is travelling or visiting a place for pleasure”

So yeah, there you have it.

We ALL ARE TOURISTS when we travel, you unsophisticated assmunches.

But why the word tourist has such a bad stigma to it nowadays?  

Maybe it’s because tourists are only seen as a group of lobotomy patients.

A group that fills all the boxes on the “this is a stereotypical tourist”-sheet.

And who decided what these terrible stereotypical tourists are like?

That’s easy –  the stereotypical travelers, of course!

And by this I mean some travelers,

who for some reason, have lifted themselves higher from the average Joes,

and who for some reason think they’re “real” travelers.

           What are TRAVELERS (What I see when I read these comparisons)

They see themselves as demigods. Amazing superhumans. Someone that should be envied.

Travels alone. Loves being called a “nomad”.

They LOATHE tourists, because they’re not international world-citizens, like travelers are. They can’t stand people who follow guide books or plan their vacations ahead, because the ONLY WAY to see the world, in their opinion, is to “GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH” (Omg lol I hate that saying)

They often stay in hostels, or couchsurf – Hotels are for fools.

They despise people who travel with a carry on, because an old dirty backpack is the only way to go.

           TOURISTS – As seen by “travelers”

Tourists are seen as stupid ignorant people who don’t know where they are or where they have been.

They only want to eat hotel food and stay at their hotel.  They book group tours, they have fun, they take pictures of themselves next to important sights, use selfie stick (aka the worst invention EVER in traveler’s opinion – Real travelers use GoPro on a stick, which is like not the same thing AT ALL) and are just horrible HORRIBLE people.



So yeah, if you read these traveler/tourist comparisons, it’s easy to see that tourists are being pushed down for some reason.

But what if I told you there’s no right or wrong way to travel?

Just use common sense, be nice and polite, don’t hurt living things and don’t be an asshole. Simple.

It doesn’t matter if you like to sit by the pool drinking margaritas,

or if you like to explore the unknown.

We shouldn’t judge each other over our travel habits.

No one cares if you identify as traveler or a tourist.

Be whatever the hell you want to be!

Because of this distinction and comparison articles, I’ve started associating the words “arrogant”  and “judgmental” with travelers, not tourists.

It also made me wonder; do people see ME as an arrogant travel hipster?

Lol, that’s impossible.

I’ve met a few of these “real travelers” and dear GOD they can COMPLAIN – about everything;

about other tourists, about how traveling should be done, about my travel plans….

Like…I’m not going to think you’re amazing if you speak with an arrogant tone and think you should be envied just because you slept on a park bench and brag about it.

Some people actually have to LIVE like that, and I don’t think they think it’s “amazing”.


Traveling is supposed to broaden your mind – not close it.

If you think you’re superior to someone just because you travel in a certain way, then there’s something wrong with YOU, not the others.

If you consider yourself a traveler – then you should SHARE your knowledge and experiences with others and inspire them, not JUDGE them.

Why should we fight over something as wonderful as traveling?

Isn’t the most important thing here that people want to see the world and are enjoying it?

Let’s explore the world with open minds and happy hearts and encourage each other, yeah? There’s too much hate out there already.

I am a traveler-tourist-internet explorer-selfiestick owner-megasupercutie1990

and this is all I gotta say.

Until next time,




8 thoughts on “Enough with the “Tourist vs Traveler” crap already!

  1. If I had the money I’d always stay in hotels! But, I have enjoyed staying in hostels so far, so I’m not complaining 😀
    Local restaurants are the best – not only cos the food is cheaper and better but also because the staff always gives you awesome suggestions on what to see next!


  2. Well said. I can’t imagine being a traveler who hasn’t seen the major tourist destinations 🙂


  3. ADORE this post! Can’t bear a pretentious global nomad! Met a guy in a hostel in Romania, who was so determined he was a “solo” traveler, that he wouldn’t come out for drinks with us in the evening! Total bore.


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