A Holiday versus Travelling | Another Travel List

luggage lined upWithin the travel community, there are certain hang ups (as there are in any niche group), one of them regarding the distinctions between ‘travelling’ and taking a ‘holiday’. For anyone outside of this group, the distinction may seem abstract…and in many cases it is (especially when self-proclaimed ‘travellers’ get carried away). Still, one can’t deny that taking public transport through Africa for 4 months isn’t quite the same as spending a week at a resort in the Maldives.

So, playing on the human love for quick ‘n easy distractions, we’ve compiled a silly travel list of the most commonly perceived points of departure between so called travels and holidays.

Motivating Factors

People leave home for different reasons. So called holiday-makers go away to relax, to do nothing for a bit, to have fun. Travellers go away to learn about the world, foster personal growth and challenge themselves.

Length of Time

If you profess to be going travelling, you will need to be gone for longer than your annual leave allows, generally, over a month. A holiday on the other hand can be squeezed into 5 days but rarely surpasses 3 weeks.

beach resort

The holiday: lazing around in a beach resort…


Travelling involves doing a lot of nothing-in-particular. Barring the odd visit to a famous monument or ancient burial site, the general motto is ‘It’s about the journey, not the destination.’ A travelling person lets life unfold as they are living it, avoiding organised tours. A holiday on the other hand is about relaxing. Lying on a sun lounger all day is great, taking the organised game drive option is fantastic – anything which brings you joy and lessens stress is what it’s all about.


Highly influenced by the length of time, it is logical that a holiday might involve things which are more costly such as a couple of nice meals out or a few nights at a great accommodation place. Travelling requires more prudence however and thus involves cheaper options like self-catering using local ingredients and camping wherever possible.

2 backpackers

Travelling: supplies on your back, socialising with locals…

Cultural Exposure

Given the motivations for travelling, a traveller will throw themselves into cultural exchanges with gusto, eating where the locals do, reading about the customs and spend time milling about absorbing the vibe of a new place. A holiday doesn’t necessarily provide as much cultural interaction as the goal to relax means people are protected from raw local culture for much of their time away.


To put it simply, travelling takes one to developing countries and off-the-beaten-path destinations while holidaying involves laying back in beautiful locations with good infrastructure.

Having created a travel list of their differences, it is pertinent to note that despite what some might say, travelling and taking a holiday are not mutually exclusive endeavours. In fact, depending on who you ask, they are indeed the exact same thing. 😉

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