Long Term Traveling vs. Vacations: Which Suits You Best?

Hey there, adventure-seeker! Are you tempted by the endless horizons of long term traveling or is the allure of a leisurely vacation calling your name? I’ve talked before about how to figure out whether long-term travel is right for you, but even if you have what it takes to tackle a months-long odyssey, sometimes you might still really want the vacay. If you’re torn between quitting your job to travel or savoring the sweet simplicity of a week-long retreat, read on and explore some of the differences between long term traveling vs. vacations.

solo female traveler with a glass of rose wine

Table of Contents

What Vibe Are You Looking For?

Long Term Traveling: You picture immersing yourself in other cultures, making connections, and thoroughly exploring destination after destination. It’s about gathering stories, not souvenirs, and letting each day expand your horizons. It can be challenging or lonely at times, but you think the payoff is worth it.

Vacations: You’re craving a blissful respite from the daily grind, where your hardest decision is choosing between the pool and the beach. Vacations are your personal pause button, offering a chance to unwind and indulge.

solo female traveler camping at sunset

What’s Your Budget Vision?

Long Term Traveling: Every dollar, euro, or yen is going to stretch as far as you can make it go. Long term traveling turns you into a savvy steward of your budget. You will totally camp out on the airport floor so you can catch that cheap early morning flight or cook your own meals at the hostel. It’s worth it if it keeps you on the road longer.

Vacations: Vacations often come with a license to splurge. If you only have a week or two to enjoy your travels, you’re gonna make the most of it. That sense of escape from real life comes with a little moment in time when you don’t have to worry about how much every little thing costs.

solo female traveler relaxing on a couch

What Kind of Change Are You Seeking?

Long Term Traveling: As Barbie so wisely told Ken, “You are not your girlfriend. You’re not your house, you’re not your mink… You’re not even beach.” Long term traveling strips away all the trappings of your regular life at home and you get to discover the YOU that normally takes a backseat to your job or your relationships or your things. You’re not just changing locations when you travel long term; you change yourself. You’re constantly navigating new cultures, languages, and daily routines. You become more adaptable and resilient. You might become more confident or decisive or compassionate. You’re checking things off your bucket list, yes, but you’re also gathering experiences that shape who you become.

Vacations: While vacations might not offer the same depth of transformation as long term traveling, they play a crucial role in self-care and mental health. You get a much-needed break from the hustle of daily life, offering moments of relaxation and joy that recharge your spirit. A week spent lounging on a tropical beach or exploring a new city can inspire fresh perspectives and ideas, reminding you of the beauty and diversity of the world outside your routine.

solo female traveler digital nomad working on a laptop in a tropical paradise

How Much Work Do You Want to Put Into Your Travel Plans?

Long Term Traveling: While it’s always helpful to get support from experienced travelers, long term traveling isn’t the kind of adventure you can plan with a travel agent or even book entirely in advance. You’re prepared to manage your own travel plans from A to Z and you’re willing to continue working on your travel plans even while you’re on the road.

Vacations: If you’re looking for an escape or a break, “working” on your plans probably doesn’t sound super appealing. Even if you like to DIY your itinerary instead of working with a travel agent, you do want to be able to lean on people and resources who can make your travels as easy as possible. You’d rather stay at a hotel with amenities and helpful staff than hole up in a cheap rental, and treat yourself to nice meals instead of buying groceries in a different town. And you definitely want whatever plans you make to be the “set it and forget it” variety. This is a no laptops allowed zone!

So… What’ll It Be?

Whether you long for the transformative experience of long term traveling or the refresh button of a vacation, there’s no wrong way to travel. Each path offers its own set of trials and joys. But if you’ve landed on long term traveling being your next step, I want to help! Click here to chat with me in a free 30-minute call and together we’ll plot your course to an epic worldwide adventure!

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