Have you ever wondered what the difference between a tourist and a traveler is? According to the common perception, a tourist goes on a trip with a plan and mostly seeks fun and entertainment. A traveler, by contrast, has no itinerary and explores the world as it is regardless of how fun this process could be.
In reality, the already fragile line between them fades. The list of available opportunities expands, and many people get tired with boilerplate summer vacations spent on the beach, winter ski trips, and rushed coach tours, aka “see Europe in 7 days”. Yesterday’s tourists look for new experiences, and, even though most of them are not ready to take a reckless night walk across Caracas or build a raft to circumnavigate the globe, they are open to new ideas.
This post goes out to all curious people who would like to reveal these ideas and maybe, one day, bring them to life. Number five, by the way, is something that we’ve all had done without knowing we’re touring. Check it out now:
1. Expedition Cruising
Short-term river cruises and 1-hour yacht trips are often included in those above “see Europe in 7 days” tours. But expedition sailing is not that. Both involve sailing but are as different as singing at your school assembly hall and singing in front of a 20-thousand audience at the Madison Square Garden.
Expedition cruising is the one where you almost become a part of the yachting crew and go off to an adventurous journey to the most inaccessible places of our planet. People keen on this type of tourism are often lured by cold aesthetics and travel to Greenland, North Pole, and even Antarctica. Others enjoy warmer sceneries and explore the wilds of French Polynesia and Galapagos islands.
Despite the chosen location, any expedition is a thrilling and off-the-beaten-track experience. It’s not a good fit for those who’d like to sip Sex on the Beach while sitting in a deck chair near a pool and listening to the afternoon jazz. The trip’s schedule is filled up with lectures from scientists and naturalists, along with on-foot exploration of the wilderness. The rest is not a priority here.
But if you want to have a lifelong memory of the journey worth of being published in National Geographic magazine, give it a try. And by the way, National Geographic organizes lots of expeditions, although most of them cost a great deal.
2. Three-Dimensional Virtual Tourism
We associate tourism with relocation, but in the modern world, it doesn’t always imply physical travel. Three-dimensional virtual tourism breaks the pattern and welcomes you to explore new environments without leaving your spot.
Did you know that when you use Google Earth, you are 3D virtually traveling? If you ever engaged in an hour-long walk through the streets of Paris, New York, or Buenos Aires, you were involved in 3DVT. Most of the virtual tourism apps were created to “test-drive” the location before going there, so people can choose their next destination with better precision.
However, this technology has the potential to evolve further. Imagine if you could see the world through somebody else’s eyes using a VR headset.
A similar idea has been fulfilled in Dave Eggers’s book, The Circle. There were cameras placed around the world along with cameras worn by people, so anyone connected to “The Circle” could access those cameras and discover the most beautiful places on Earth.
The concept of the Circle, which was a global network that connects all and everything, is creepy. And the novel itself is dystopian. We already have Google, that should be enough.
Though, this idea to make some experiences visible to the broad audience in real-time could work fine in the case of National Geographic expeditions.
3. Casino Tourism
Many people wonder: “Why in the era of online gambling, when we have a variety of slots, table games, and even live casinos streaming from a real studio available online, does somebody still need to travel to Vegas?” You may wonder too, especially after we discussed a 3D virtual tourism, which can perfectly suit gaming-like activities like gambling and beyond.
The answer is the atmosphere. Even though the number of online casinos on the market keeps growing and many of them are trying to get closer to the real-world casino experience, they will never conceive the emotions we experience being surrounded by dressed-up people, elite beverages, and luxurious decorations. Ambiance seekers are ready to flee there on the weekend to feel that thrill.
Where to go? Vegas is somewhat too mainstream, although it’s worth visiting if you have never been there. Besides this city, American Atlantic City in New Jersey, Reno in Nevada, and Biloxi in Mississippi are known for their grand casinos and luxury resorts with gaming lobbies. Outside the USA, the best cities for casino tourism are Macau in China, Niagara Falls in Canada, Monte Carlo in Monaco, and Nassau in the Bahamas.
Did you ever catch yourself watching a movie and feeling the urge to visit the place depicted in it? You may be surprised, but there are many people that turn this dream into reality.
Dubrovnik, the medieval coastal city in Croatia, is facing a spike in tourism thanks to the Game of Thrones series. The show was released in 2011 when the number of overnight tourists comprised only 606,000 people per year. In 2018, the number of overnight arrivals peaked at 1,265,000 people, which is more than a 100% increase.
For sure, Game of Thrones was the primary reason for that happening. 27% of Britons say they have chosen holiday destinations as a result of reading about them in a novel or seeing them in a movie or TV series, says this old Guardian article. Travel companies arrange specific tours for fans, while entertainment companies create movie maps, featuring all the spots from the film in there.
Set jetting is the name of the phenomenon. If you travel to New Zealand to imagine yourself a brave hobbit from the Shire, congratulations! You’re a set jetter.
A classic beach vacation is considered the most popular. For example, around 40% of German citizens go on summer holiday each year. But it’s still not quite true. The most widespread type of vacation most people get involved in is a staycation.
As you may have guessed, a staycation is when you stay home or nearby. This doesn’t mean, however, that you stay in bed and watch Netflix all day. The goal of a staycation is to recreate the feeling of a holiday without moving far away. Thus, it can be a party at the backyard pool, a visit to a local amusement park or an improvised tour of the unexplored spots of your city.
Inspired by these ideas? Maybe this article will encourage you to organize a little staycation this weekend or plan an expedition cruise for the next year. Never let routine devour you — that’s not what makes our lives memorable. Good travel does.