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Tourist VS Traveler: Discover What You Are

If you want to offend a traveler, call her a tourist.

It's time for you to find out what the differences between those two species are. And to start becoming a better traveler now.

1. Your Facebook profile pic or cover photo was taken during your last trip.

Travelers change their profile picture regularly. Each trip is an opportunity for a new picture.

Tourists might update theirs with one of their most recent trip, but it's generally going to be a selfie in a cliché situation.

2. You know how to say “hello”, “goodbye” and “thank you” in 10 languages.

Travelers know the importance of learning the basics of a new language. They know it's an easy way to get the locals to like you. And they know how to order beer in just as many languages, if not more.

Tourists, on the other hand, stick to their own language, and assume that everyone abroad should speak the same one.

Hello in several languages

3. Your smartphone tells you the weather and time at your favourite destinations.

Travelers might even have a double clock on their phone: one for the time zone of the country where they travel to and another for home.

Tourists don't plan ahead, they don't even check the weather.

Phone showing weather in several cities

4. You’re broke: everything you have is immediately spent on the next trip.

Travelers know that the only way that money can buy happiness is if it is spent on travel. As soon as they've got some, they start planing their next trip.

Tourists might be broke as well, but only because they splurge on expensive hotels and get scammed everywhere they go.

empty wallet

5. You can recognize most major airports by their code (and you like LHR better than LTN).

Travelers spend a lot of time at the airport - one of their ways to pass the time is to learn the code names of airports and airlines.

Tourists arrive way too early at the airport and still manage to get lost. They don't check-in online and waste their time by doing it at the airport.

Pillows with airport codes

6. You have a map hanging on the wall at your place.

Travelers keep track of their trips with a map and pins on their destinations. Even better, some of them use a scratch map.

Tourists don't have a map, travel isn't that important for them.


7. On that picture, you’re Steve.

Travelers are well organized and know the tricks to save time at the security check.

Tourists waste theirs and that of the other travelers. They travel with bottles of liquids, wait until the last moment to take out their electronics, and empty half of their bags because there is still something unauthorized at the bottom.

types of people at the airport security check

8. Your only religion: packing

Travelers have tested many ways of packing and know the right one to make sure that their bag is light but still contains all the essentials. They organize it so as to make it easy to access all necessary items and go through security quickly.

Tourists have no clue about how to pack efficiently. Worse, they overpack and bring items that they won't use during their trip. They don't realize that they luggage is overweight and will have to find a way to make it lighter at the airport or pay an extra fee.


9. This is how your home screen looks like:

The memory of traveler's phone is saturated with the best travel apps. From applications to find a place to sleep to knowing what to do in town or having all their journey's information centralized, the phone of a traveler is his a great resource to save money and improve the quality of their trip.

Tourists don't even have a digital copy of their travel documents, so you think they'd think about travel apps?

travel apps

10. You collect fridge magnets...

image caption

11. … and postcards.

image caption

12. You have a bucket list of places you want to visit.

Travelers keep dreaming of places they want to visit. They always have a question at the back of their head: where to go next?

Tourists only go to the most mainstream places because Lonely Planet said they have to. When they have reached their destination, they follow the guidebook, blind to the possibilities of an off-the-beaten path.

13. You daydream about your next destination.

In the transportations or just while they are walking, travelers keep dreaming of forever more places to visit.

Tourists keep their nose on the map, complain when they don't understand the locals or when something unexpected happens.

14. Your camera is your best friend.

Travelers capture the best moments of their trips on camera. They live in the moment and enjoy what's happening, only taking the time for a few pictures that will remind them of the beauty of their trip once they are back home.

Tourists take pictures with their phone, most of them being selfies. The worst of them barely look at the view with their own eyes, only through their screen. And teh very worst have a selfie stick as an extension of their arm.

woman taking a picture of a red bike

15. You just love trying out traditional dishes.

Travelers enjoy trying out new types of food. It doesn't matter if it's good or not: the point is to try it. They welcome the novelty. Even if it's bad, they know it will make a good story.

Tourists only eat restaurant that serve dishes from their own country. Worse: they go to McDonald's and KFC.

local food

16. Your friends don’t buy guides when they go on a trip, they ask for your recommendations.

Travelers become a reference for their friends when it comes to travel tips and what to do in a certain destination.

Tourists buy the latest Lonely Planet and only go to the attractions it recommends.

guide book

17. You’re Team Backpack. Screw suitcases.

Travelers understand the advantages of a packback over a suitcase. They can go anywhere with all their stuff.

Tourist travel with a suitcase. They need to pay for a hotel where they can live it or sacrifice the best parts of a trip because they can't access them with a suitcase.

man looking at the mountain with his backpack

18. You love your home…

Travelers enjoy their home...

Tourist run away from their home...

tourists run away from their home

19. … but hate to stay there for too long.

... because they don't stay there too long: it's only their base before the next trip.

... and they are sad to come back to it after their trip.

home is where your passport is

20. Now that you’ve read this you’re already packing.

Travelers reading this post are going to share this post and start packing for their next trip.

Tourist are going to go back to their daily life and hopefully, travel better next time.

putting clothes in a suitcase

Stay tuned for more cool posts about travel!

And don't forget to subscribe to the ClaimCompass newsletter: in addition to travel tips that you won't find on the blog, you'll get a free checklist to know if you're entitled to compensation from your airline!

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Thomas Busson

Thomas Busson

Thomas is the SEO and Content Strategist at ClaimCompass. Frequent traveller, he loves sharing tips and news about the industry in a simple way.

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Tourist VS Traveler: Discover What You Are
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