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While we vehemently believe there is no right or wrong way to travel, you can’t deny the distinction between traveller and tourist. Here are 21 lighthearted ways to test which category you fall into. 


lost china happy tourists
Credit: Adobe Photostock

1. Tourists make every attempt to avoid getting lost; travellers hope to lose themselves.

2. “Be my guest.” Three words tourists just won’t hear, because scoring an invite to a family dinner is an exclusive privilege. It’s travellers who will find themselves breaking bread on a secluded Lake Maggiore island with Signor Telli and his family. He might even let you in on some storied lore; tales of young princes and a lonely island that served as their playground.

3. Tourists consume attractions for the sake of striking an item from their bucket list. Travellers dig into the untold stories of a church’s architecture or a public square’s dark history.

4. Travellers know time is money – and more often than not, you get what you pay for.


vatican city girl woman aloneAdobe Photostock

5. Tourists queue in lines that wrap around the Vatican’s walls before standing elbow-to-elbow in the Sistine Chapel; savvy travellers enter privately via VIP access.

6. Tourists flock to familiarity; travellers try their best to repel it.

7. Where tourists see transportation as function, travellers see a journey. Moving between cities doesn’t have to be an exercise in the mundane, let alone one in frustration. In fact, it can be comfortable, glamorous even. Travellers appreciate the legacy of a dinner car or driving the road less taken. After all, that’s where you’re most likely to find hidden treasures

8. Tourists hover around tour guides who carry a flashy group marker; travellers avoid being labelled so obviously and look for more intimate attractions.

9. Tourists are loud! Travellers use their inside voices, just as they would back home. (Seriously, why are people barking and hollering?)


Trafalgar Local Specialist
Credit: Trafalgar Local Specialist

10. Tourists walk guidebook in hand, self-narrating historic monuments; travellers seek out local specialists to divulge intimate knowledge. These professional are the difference between seeing something and seeing history come to life.

11. Travellers know asking a local for a recommendation often times reveals the best entrée, viewpoint or hidden taproom.

12. Tourists over pack; travellers prefer items with multiple functions and garments that are easy to care for on the road.


Trafalgar Travel Director Javier GalvezTrafalgar Travel Director Javier Galvez

13. Tourists do the same thing as everyone else; travellers nab insider experiences with insight from your Travel Director.

14. Tourists demand comfort; travellers step out of their comfort zone.

15. Tourists fill time; travellers make – and enjoy - downtime.

16. Tourists get overwhelmed by travel: the logistics, the planning and transiting; travellers know the virtues of doing-it-yourself, but also when to leave something to the experts.

17. Tourists move too fast, crashing hard at bedtime; travellers allow themselves the time to savour sites, flavours and sunrises. Go ahead, enjoy a later start or stay a little longer for a more leisurely pace.

18. Tourists buy souvenirs as proof; travellers buy souvenirs as a way to bring a little bit of the world home with them.


Sightseeing Tourist
Credit: Dollar Photo Club

19. Tourists dress like foreigners; travellers prefer to blend in.

20. Tourists see accommodation as an expense: rooms with beds used to recharge the batteries. Travellers see lodgings as an interaction with history, heritage and novelty. They seek authentic accommodation, like landmark hotels built by dreamers, a cave hotel carved into stone, or a 13th century British castle.

21. Tourists flock to popular sites; travellers strive to get off the beaten track.



Good news! Tourists can graduate to traveller status at any time. Let Trafalgar teach you how to travel like an insider. How will they do it? With trips led by Travel Directors – who you can think of as your full-time, friendly, ask-me-anything travel buddy. You’ll dig deeper into ancient cities, remarkable ruins and more with knowledgeable from Local Specialists who are specialized professionals. Trafalgar guarantees hassle-free holidays, insider experiences, comfort, and interactions with amazing locals. Come find out how they earn their industry-leading 97% guest satisfaction rating.