Difference Between Tourist and Traveler


Primary Difference

Generally, people assume a tourist and traveler to be the same person but technically speaking these two words are worlds apart. These two words have major differences. A tourist is a person who will visit other country or city for his or her and his family’s relaxation and comfort away from the usual routine life. A traveler is an individual whose routine work is to travel, to visit different and unique localities and learn about their culture and living. A tourist will firstly pack tons of clothes and carry a lot of luggage and visit famous places and go for sightseeing of major spots, indulge in a variety of expensive foods, visit beaches and other recreation spots, take tons of pictures as memories, enjoy their stay in hotels, do a lot of shopping and enjoy their stay. On the other hand a traveler will pack his necessary clothing in a small backpack which he can easily carry and go to his destination to discover new cultures with his camera and a map for directions, he will firstly travel alone and search for adventures and climb mountains, do trekking on rough roads, capture beautiful and natural sceneries an landscapes, live in camps, eat meals which are local specialties, meet people of different cultures and learn their local language, gain information about their lifestyle and capture photos of it. A tourist will be on vacation for a specific period of time while a traveler will have no time limit, he will travel and explore for as many days he pleases. Tourists will buy lots of branded clothes and other things which are luxuries while a traveler will spend on small culture representing items such as postcards and key chains or landmarks as keepsake items.

Comparison Chart

A tourist travels in groupsA traveler travels alone
Tourists pack a lot of luggageA traveler carries his basic necessities.
Interested in sightseeing and different famous spotsA traveler in interested in areas never heard of and are less populated.
Tourists are on vacation to relax away from their workA traveler is doing his work when travelling.

Definition of Tourist

Tourists are people who travel other countries or cities for their vacation and enjoyment. Most of them are families or friends who travel together for some time off and relaxation from their usual work routine life. This vacation freshens up their mind. Tourists usually travel for a short period of time from seven days to fifteen days and have already purchased return tickets. Tourists pack a lot of clothes and other accessories for daily use and carry a lot of luggage. When arriving on their destination, they prefer to stay in expensive hotels, visit a lot of different sightseeing spots and other enjoyment places like amusement parks and water parks, museums, gardens, notable spots of that city and beaches and they prefer to travel by taxi mostly. Tourists live life to the fullest when they are on vacation and visit different famous restaurants and eat exotic meals. Also they go to a lot of malls and shopping centers to buy branded stuff for themselves and loved ones back at home. They prefer English as the only medium for communication and are not interested in local cultures or their language. Lastly they carry a camera to capture a lot of pictures and videos to save the beautiful moments of the vacation.


Definition of Traveler

A traveler is a person who will travel alone and considers travel as his job and routine work. He will only pack stuff that are necessary for travelling which are two to three comfortable clothes, a map for directions, walking shoes and socks, sunglasses, a digital camera and stand, a water bottle and some food. He will travel for as much time as he pleases and it will be an adventure for him. He will visit different localities and shady cities and learn about their history, talk to the locals about it, visit their historic sites, learn their local language and communicate with them, learn their lifestyle and try their local specialties. A traveler will capture beautiful scenery and natural landscapes and beauty of nature. He will trek in areas where there is no entry of vehicles, climb and explore mountains, visit lakes and jungles. A traveler is not interested in hotels but will love to camp in a jungle or in a mountain and spend the night. He will walk around for days and months carrying his backpack till is satisfied with the information and all the sites. A traveler never has enough because after some days he will again set to travel to a different destination and to explore new culture.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. A tourist travels in groups while a traveler travels alone.
  2. Tourists pack a lot of luggage while a traveler carries his basic necessities.
  3. Tourist are interested in sightseeing and different famous spots while a traveler in interested in areas never heard of and are less populated.
  4. Tourist stay in expensive hotels while a traveler would prefer to camp and stay.
  5. Tourists are on vacation to relax away from their work while a traveler is doing his work when travelling.
  6. Tourists stay for around seven to fifteen days while a traveler can travel for months.


All in all, the main points related to the differences between the two terms and the way they are similar to each other have been explained properly so that people are able to know more about them, tourist and traveler are such terms which can be confusing but hopefully after reading this article that won’t be the case.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson