Holiday or Travel?

When setting off anywhere there will be a million things going through your mind. Even if it’s just how excited you are, how many different kinds of food or alcohol you plan to try, or how many good looking locals you plan to introduce yourself to. Bearing this in mind it may be of some use to you to think about how you would label your trip. This can help you form accurate expectations and reduce the amount of pressure stemming from what you plan to achieve.

Holiday has been defined by as ‘a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation’

Travel on the other hand has been defined (also by as ‘to go from one place to another as by car, train, plane, or ship; journey; to travel for pleasure’  

Some specific questions to begin with may be;

  • How long am I going for?
  • Do I plan to find work on this trip?
  • How may I be financially limited?
  • Will I mostly be visiting places popular with short-term visitors?
  • What kind of things do I feel I need with me? (Swimmers, towel, sunnies, latest Danielle Steel/John Grisham novel or laptop, course material, tent, sleeping bag, you get the picture)
  • What kind of things am I interested to see/do on this trip?
  • Where have I been sourcing information for this trip (travel agencies, hotel websites etc , or word of mouth, guide books, recommendations from other travellers)
  • What is the make up of the local population i.e. who will I be surrounded by? (Locals or tourists)
  • Will I have to do extended preparation for this trip e.g; take language classes, organise vaccinations, obtain visas of any kind, or establish a local connection before departure?
  • What level of comfort am I aiming for? (maximum would probably suggest holiday)


So it seems the difference is the focus shift from a break in duty, to the experience of the journey itself. Ultimately many trips are a combination of both, in fact, I would argue that many people (including myself)  find it necessary to take holiday breaks amongst longer-term travel journeys. In the end a spectrum may seem apparent ranging from a trip based purely on holidaying to a trip based purely on heavily- involved travel. This is of course not to say that travel can’t be relaxing.

Overall, asking yourself these questions may indeed prove useful as a preparation tool for any trip however a ‘departure checklist’ will feature in a future entry. Also present in the nature of these questions are a number of indirect suggestions for anyone looking to shift their trip further toward the travel end of the spectrum and potentially enrich their experience.