#3 – Holiday vs Travelling

“I love going travelling, I went to Ibiza last year and got drunk every night it was epic!”.

“You went on holiday but stayed in hostels? That’s awful why not pay a bit extra and stay somewhere nice?”

There is a bit of confusion when it comes to holidays/travelling. The two terms are often used interchangeably and there is a bit of a stigma attached to the latter. Having done both I know there is a big difference between them, and there are pros and cons for each column. This isn’t to knock either as each have their place, but here are five key differences to think about and my overall score comparing the two:


1. People – Enjoyment of travelling and holidays can be enhanced by the people you’re with, but in very different ways.znnwv3udos-kHolidays are typically with friends and/or family, people you’re comfortable with, and there is no need to look elsewhere. You get to enjoy experiences with people you know intimately and get to tell the stories for years later. This is a great way to catch up, get away from stresses of life and enjoy a few days away. Often this means being in a bubble and not really having the desire or need to interactive with other groups because you already have that comfort around you.

Travelling often means travelling solo or with a partner, which can sound isolated but believe it or not you will actually share experiences with far more people. Typical travelers will stay in hostels; which if you’re unfamiliar with, are low budget accommodation where you share rooms with other travelers. I know what you’re thinking, sounds weird and in the movies it looks awful, unclean and something to do only if you have little to no money… Couldn’t be further from the truth! Staying in hostels is a great way to meet people; as you’re in the same boat, you’ll find that people are a lot more open and making friends is just as easy as being six years old. Of course you will have to do your homework as some hostels are better than others, but in major cities it is easy enough to find hostels that are clean, friendly and organize events for you so even if you’re a little shy at the beginning, you won’t be by the end of it!

This is a close one, but I’ll give the first point to travelling. Travelling 1, Holidays 0.


2. Budget – Tying in closely with several factors such as the duration of your trip, which cities you’ll be visiting etc, budget is a big differentiator!


On holidays you often stay in 5 star resorts with all-inclusive food and drinks for a week or two. You have signed up to every excursion available, you’ve booked tables at the best restaurants in town, spend hours in the on-site spa and will come back feeling incredibly relaxed and well rested. An amazing way to spend time after working so hard for months and reconnecting with the people you go with.

When travelling things are a little different. Many things are taken into consideration, such as duration of stay, wanting to meet as many people as possible, having no income… For these reasons you would typically stay in a hostel, try to do more local things and live modestly. You’ll have to try and stretch your money as far as possible, so living in 5-star resorts for a full year would be out of the question for most people.

You get used to the modest living, but this point will have to go to holidays. Travelling 1, Holidays 1.


3. Activities – It’s fair to say that when you go on holiday, you have a limited time in each city but more of a budget when compared to travelling.skydiving-in-belize

Holidays are often doing and seeing things you simply wouldn’t do back home. You bring a weeks’ worth of clothing so you can forget about laundry, you eat out every night and forget about cooking, and you try to do every single excursion available. The “big” budget (and possibly inconsistency of trips) prompts you to not second guess many things and you end up sky diving, snorkeling, having dinner on a yacht and simply enjoying everything you can think of.

Travelling is a little different. You can absolutely take part in fun activities, but would probably have to ration these throughout the trip. Along with the cool things, you’ll have to do the “not so cool” things, like the laundry, cooking dinner and spending the odd night staying in watching old movies.

Another close one, but given the ratio of days-to-activities, it’s another win for holidays. Travelling 1, Holidays 2.


4. Duration – Ever heard of a yearlong holiday?


Holidays range from a few days to a couple of weeks. This is typically dictated by amount of leave permitted from work, amount of money being budgeted, and amount of time you can leave certain commitments behind. Holidays are an escape and if done correctly, can leave you wanting more when they come to an end.

Travelling is a different beast. Travelling can last as long as you plan/budget for. It can be a few months, 1 year, 2 years etc. This is where you would be hopping from country to country, continent to continent and not knowing where you’ll end up next as you’re booking flights as you go along. Personally, that is an incredible way to live!

Influenced by the fact I have nothing tying my down back home, travelling for long periods of time is very appealing, point goes to travelling. Travelling 2, Holidays 2.


5. Decisions – This is the reason I believe most people like to go travelling and is the reason I do.toddlers-in-preschool_0Ever raise an idea to your friends where every single one of them says “Yes let’s do it” but at the time of booking there is excuse after excuse? Or in an attempt to please everyone in the group there is a bunch of things that you didn’t get to do? This is often the issue with holidays. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re not fussed and happy to go with the flow then it isn’t a big deal. You’re with your people and whatever you end up doing will most likely be fun and you’ll have a great time. However, it can be like children arguing when deciding which destination, which hotel, which restaurant and even which nightclub to go to.

On the other hand, when travelling alone, every decision is your own. When, where, what, how long, how often, where next… these are all decisions you make. It can be a little daunting, you’re in the unknown and don’t have anyone to lean on for advice, but for some this is great, me being one of them.

For me, this was not a close one. I love being in control and will give this point to travelling all day. Travelling 3, Holidays 2. 



All in all, both have their place and both can be enjoyable for different reasons. I’m in a place right now where I want to travel as much as possible so the winner is travelling! Keen to hear your thoughts so leave a comment 🙂

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