Vacationing is something that most people do. Western society promotes vacations — the majority of workplaces give you one or two weeks a year to take off, relax, and rejuvenate the mind in preparation for the fifty weeks of work that remain before the next allowable vacation. For some, (especially those who really love their work), this set up works just fine, while for others, a two-week vacation only leaves them wanting more. In any case, a whole “vacation world” has been set up with an overwhelming amount of websites and businesses that now exist to help you find your perfect tour package, paradisaical resort, theme park, cruise, and more.
Vacationing vs. Traveling
Vacations are short-term (1-3 weeks) trips that are usually planned out and paid for in advance. In general, vacations put more of an emphasis on you rather than where you are going. Vacation promoters usually highlight relaxation, rejuvenation, and enjoyment. Because of this emphasis, you might spend the same amount of money or more on a vacation than you would while traveling, even for a much longer period of time.
Traveling, on the other hand, usually means a longer trip on which you have to be frugal with your money and live like the locals in order to make your cash last and draw it out for as long as possible. That might mean staying in smaller hotels that may range anywhere from unexciting to downright scary, renting rooms or apartments in places you want to stay for longer, and/or camping/sleeping in hammocks/crashing on the couches of people you meet.
Traveling is Often Harder, But More Rewarding
Traveling is often more difficult than vacationing as you have to put more personal effort in, which can result in less time being able to relax. Traveling may entail: having to try learning a new language, gaining cultural awareness and sensitivity, having to be more careful about your surroundings, and/or not having everything be arranged for you. However, as many have found, traveling can also be a lot more rewarding.
Forget Vacationing, Go Travel
The traditional vacation model doesn’t work for everyone. For example: those who feel anything between apathy and outright hatred for their jobs, for people who are seeking more than just simple rest and relaxation, and for those who reject the vacation model which often promotes gluttony and even stifles the culture of the surrounding area. The truth is that vacationing, especially in its most common manifestation (resorts), doesn’t really allow you to learn too much about the town/city/region/country that you are visiting. Most resorts provide everything and don’t require you to leave the grounds for anything. And for many, that is not enough.
It’s not to say that you are an irresponsible traveler if you take vacations instead of trips (some people simply do not have the time for it), or that you can’t get to know the culture of a place in a shorter amount of time. Most of all, it’s the attitude that you have when you embark on your voyage that will make your experience either a “vacation” or a “trip”.