Travelling is totally different from taking a vacation

Has anyone ever asked you - I need a vacation from my vacation?

Travelling is totally different from taking a vacation
Photo by Denise Jans / Unsplash

Has anyone ever asked you - I need a vacation from my vacation?

I know I have been saying that in my 3 months traveling around Europe and U.S. It's my friend Dennis that actually told me the difference! I want to share with everyone so that you can understand & set the right expectations with others if necessary.

Travelling is actually very different from taking a Vacation. While travelling and vacationing might involve going to a different location, they cannot be more different. Here are 3 reasons:

What are your goals in life?
Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

Difference number 1: Purpose

While you might travel to:

  1. See different sights or sounds / Going on an adventure
  2. To get a different perspective compared to the one back home
  3. The focus potentially is more outwards
  4. Or, in general, to feel uncomfortable and/ or push yourself and learn about yourself

On the other hand, Vacationing is really:

  1. to relax
  2. and be pampered.
  3. And in general the focus is inwards
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Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

Difference number 2: Etiquette

If you're travelling - you likely want to experience the local culture, and so you'd probably want to act locally.  

As the famous phrase goes - "in Rome, do like the Romans do. "

This is especially true if you're staying with friends or family - you have to be "on", awake, optimistic and excited. You should have a guest mindset - to be on your best behavior and leave no trace.

However, while Vacationing and feeling lazy? No worries - have a lazy day. Don't want to clean up? have someone else clean up for you! If you're on a cruise ship, resort, or hotel, you paid to do so! Lastly, instead of conforming to the locals, the locals will likely conform to you to make you the most comfortable.

Difference number 3: The Budget

Lastly, I find that Travel tends to be slightly lower budget compared to vacation. For travelling - you probably would spend more on transport and going more places. On the other hand, while vacationing, you'd probably spend more for creature comforts - perhaps paying more for food and accommodations instead.


It's lovely to Travel or have a Vacation; however, if you need a vacation from your vacation, you're probably travelling. Travelling isn't easy, and you can be burnt out from doing too much of it. Travelling is work while vacation is getting away from work.

So what? Have a hybrid trip!

If you're going on a travel trip, leave a day or week for vacation! You've seen so much and done so much, sometimes you just need to kickback.

However, if you're on a vacation, maybe consider going out to explore. You won't regret going on an adventure and creating some unforgettable memories!

Some other sources:
What is the Difference Between Vacation and Travel? (
Travel vs. Vacation: What's the Difference? - WanderWisdom
Dennis the man!