Touraveller – let’s ditch the tourist versus traveller

In the 15 months that I”ve been researching and writing for my travel blog I’ve become increasingly bemused by the tourist versus traveller debate and the ensuing guidance of how to avoid the horror of being classified as a tourist. Or even, in hilarious perversity, From Traveler to Tourist in 5 Easy Steps.

Of course the worst traits of the stereotypical tourist dashing around the must-see list in five countries in one week appear to make travelling pretty pointless. However the rather pompous, self important, self professed traveller can be just as irritating.

Did You Get It? by timchambers

So how about being a touraveller? I think the term describes many of us. I do go on some package holidays to touristy destinations but will often hire a car so I can explore the surrounding area. I stay at budget chain hotels on some trips. for example Travelodge, on their £19 non refundable Saver rate. Yet I also stay in small family run hotels or Bed and Breakfasts in less well known destinations, for example I”ll go to Lake Iseo rather than Lake Como of Garda in northern Italy. I advocate seeing more of the real Europe by venturing, even slightly, off the beaten track so you can get a more authentic travel experience during your visit to Europe on my website, Europe a la Carte.

The island of Monteisola from the banks of Lake Iseo

I am all too aware that it is more of a scratching of the surface of authenticity during a one or two week holiday but I still advocate that it’s more enjoyable than spending all your time in a resort with other tourists, or doing a whirlwind bus tour of Europe.

So in the time honoured tradition a couple of hints on how to become a touraveller and avoid the ignominy of being mistaken for either a tacky tourist or a pretentious traveller.

1 Get, even a little, of the beaten track. It’ll be less crowded and cheaper too.

2 Have a draft itinerary, which allows time for spontaneity. Ditch the guidebook, you can discover a lot wandering around . Take time to soak up local atmosphere.

3 Remember that it’s you holiday/leisure trip, so relax and enjoy and don’t feel that you have to do anything because you feel under pressure to conform to any labels.  You can pick and mix. For example Edinburgh is pretty touristy but it’s a beautiful city with lots to do and see apart from the Castle and the Festival.

Almond Falls, Cramond, Edinburgh

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About Karen Bryan

Hello, I'm Karen Bryan, I created Europe a la Carte in 2002 to highlight the best places to visit in Europe with travel tips, photos and no fluff reviews. I’m also an artist; my artworks are often inspired by my travels