My dear friend Pasquale was talking to me about my book, Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy, and my Glam Italia Tours while we were driving along the beautiful Amalfi Coast Road this past June. He said to me “You are a traveler, not a tourist. You teach your tour groups how to be travelers, not tourists, and the core message of your book is leading readers to be travelers, not tourists.” It was a fantastic compliment.

I keep thinking about that, and the importance of being a traveler rather than being a tourist.

Be A Traveler Not A Tourist

One of the best travel guides to Paris is a book called Don’t be a Tourist in Paris. The book guides you through hundreds of incredible places to see and things to do in the City of Light, things that tourists either don’t know or don’t care about.


There is a huge difference between a traveler and a tourist. Both like to travel, but they seek and find intensely different experiences while they are away. They have very different characteristics and are viewed and treated very differently by locals in the places they travel to.

In my experience being a tourist is exhausting and can leave you quite depleted at the end of a trip. The path of the tourist is lined with crowds of other tourists, and being stuck in crowds all the time can be unnerving as well as really tiring.

The path of the traveler sometimes intersects those crowds, but it veers off in other directions too. Travelers enjoy human interaction in the countries they visit, they seek out a new understanding of the place they are in. When their trip is finished the traveler typically feels filled up by all the new experiences they have had.

I really do work hard to make sure that my Glam Italia Tour ladies walk the path of the traveler. I want them to come away from their tour feeling filled up by the experience.


This is a big part of why I wrote my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy. I hope the book will convert tourists into travelers and have them find a deeper love for Italy.

Here is a breakdown of 8 core attributes to each. I hope you will consider this next time you travel, and make the effort to be a traveler, not a tourist.


1.Tourists Sightsee, Travelers Experience.

Tourists typically just want to see the main attractions, the “Must See” places. They take their photos, check the attraction off the list and move on to the next. They don’t want to immerse themselves in the culture, they don’t need an experience.

Travelers do the reverse. They may go see the famous sights but they also venture off the beaten path and explore other less well known things in the area. Travelers crave new, unique experiences, and want to immerse themselves in the local culture, meet and talk to local people.

Example. The Eiffel Tower. Most people going to Paris for the first time will go to the Eiffel Tower. A tourist will wait in line for hours, go up the tower, take some photos and then move on to the next tourist attraction.

Picnic Eiffel Tower

Sunset picnic at the Eiffel Tower

A traveler might wander down Rue Cler, buy items for a picnic, and take an uber to Champ de Mars, the park in front of the tower. Maybe they will time it so that they arrive in the late afternoon, get to see the tower in the sunlight, but are opening their bottle of wine when the sun goes down and the Eiffel Tower lights up. To the traveler creating a wonderful experience is paramount, and in this example they have taken part in local culture, interacted with locals, and created incredible memories of one of the most iconic sights in the world.


2.Tourists Stick Out, Travelers Blend In.

water fountain Taormina

Blending in in Taormina

One of the easiest ways to separate the two is in how they present themselves. Tourists tend to stick out both by their dress and their behavior. From athleisure-wear to fanny packs around their waists to I Love New York t-shirts (is that a challenge to the locals? Are you saying New York is better than here?) to any inappropriate form of dress, they tend to stand out visually. They dress for comfort (and some of them dress to advertise their patriotism.)

Behavior-wise everything from clogging up the sidewalk to take their selfies or look at their maps, oblivious or uncaring of the local people getting to and from their jobs, doing their errands, living life in their cities, to being loud, being rude, making a commotion. Behavior that falls into the category of disrespectful. Tourists typically don’t think about how they would feel being on the receiving end of this same behavior at home.

A traveler makes an effort to blend in and to connect with locals. They tend to have a When In Rome mentality. Travelers make the effort to plan a wardrobe that works with the culture of the place they are visiting, they feel like guests and behave respectfully. They don’t need to draw attention to themselves, don’t think they are better than anyone else. Although they want to be comfortable they will also factor in style and a sense of what is appropriate.

Example: When In Rome. A tourist sees no problem in walking into a church wearing shorts and a tank top and is more likely to argue with anyone trying to stop them. A traveler understands that even though it is a hot day shoulders and thighs must be covered, so has on a knee length skirt and has a scarf to throw over her shoulders as she walks into the church.

A tourist walks around snapping pictures and snapping chewing gum while the traveler heeds the no photos signs and understands that flagrant gum chewing is both frowned upon and leaves locals wondering if you will be leaving wadded up pieces of gum behind you.

A tourist marches off to the next attraction on the list, a traveler interacts with the locals, asks questions, wants to know about life here. A traveler will be polite and will make sure to say please and thank you.

3. A Tourist Complains, A Traveler is Curious

Tourists tend to compare everything to home, invariably with the attitude that everything is better at home. They criticize, demand and complain. Tourists are more likely to by myopic and to have a closed mind. Travelers are curious, ask questions, and go with the flow, knowing that they are here to have a new experience. They approach everything with an open mind.

Example: Eating Out. A tourist will demand fat free ranch on the side, swap the greens beans for asparagus, demand salad be brought out first and complain that they are being charged cover charge for bread baskets.

A traveler understands that fat free ranch dressing (as well as regular ranch dressing) are not part of the cuisine. He or she understands that it can be considered rude to ask for foods to be exchanged and know that the order the courses are served in is specific to that culture. And isn’t that why we are here anyway? To experience something different from home?

While we are on the subject of food…

4. Tourists Eat Comfort Foods, Travelers Explore The Local Cuisine.

Marzamemi lunch

Lunching on local cuisine in Marzamemi, Sicily

Tourists tend to stick to the foods they know. They are less likely to try something new. Tourists gravitate towards familiar food chains or eat at tourist restaurants, ordering foods they know from home. Tourists are comforted by seeing a bottle of ketchup on the table, whereas travelers are repelled by it.

Quiche in Paris

Local lunch on a quiet street in Paris

Travelers know that the key to understanding a country or a people is tied up in their cuisine. Travelers may keep a wide berth from foods that seem too extreme, but overall embrace the local culture and want to try the local foods. They will normally have researched it as part of their upcoming travel experience and will be aware of typical and traditional meals in the place they are visiting.


5. Tourists are Oblivious, Travelers are Sensitive.

Tourists don’t pay attention to their surroundings or to other people. They don’t care if they get in the way of locals going about their daily lives. They can be completely oblivious to local customs, offending the local people without realizing it.

Travelers are more sensitive to local customs and norms and make an effort to embrace and participate in them, or at least not to offend. Travelers are always cognizant of the fact that they are a guest here and as such don’t want to get in the way of local life, so are more apt to step to the side, not take up the sidewalk, not be a nuisance.

Travelers also make an effort to communicate with the locals.

While we are on the subject of communicating…

6.Tourists Stick To Their Own Tongue, Travelers Make An Attempt To Speak/Learn the Local Language.

Tourists will only speak their native language and make little if any effort to learn even a few things in the language of the country they are in. They expect everyone to speak their language, especially English. In fact you will often hear them complain to each other and to locals that this city runs on tourism, so the locals should speak English!

Travelers try to speak the local language. At very least they will learn greetings, please and thank you and a few useful phrases. They may have them written out so that at worst they can point to them when in need. For example being able to point to the phrase ‘Excuse me, I am lost. Which way is the train station?’ followed by a thank you in that language.

Travelers know that wherever you are in the world making the effort to learn even just a few things in that language is appreciated!

7. Tourists Love Souvenir Shops, Travelers Seek Out Artisans.

Canal St Martin, Paris

Off the beaten track exploring the artisan stores in Canal St Martin, Paris

Tourists love souvenir shops. They don’t care that the mini Eiffel Towers and London Bridge kitchen towels are mass produced in China and aren’t adding to the local economy. They see them as being authentic, settle for them, check it off the list and move on.

Travelers appreciate authenticity and try to support local artisans. They attach value to locally made soaps from little local stores, hand painted ceramic kitchen magnets rather than those factory produced in China, and they see value in keeping local economies and crafts thriving by supporting them.

Example: Venetian Masks. Walk along the Grand Canal in Venice near St Mark’s Square and you will see tourists flocking to the vendor stalls that line the waterfront. Tourists will happily pay for imitation Venetian masks, imitation Murano glass and Burano lace, all of which are of inferior quality and mass produced in China. This doesn’t support the local economy and actually puts local venetians out of work.

Travelers by contrast want the real thing and will seek out the little owner operated artisan shops, will take pleasure in conversing with the owners, learning about how many generations of their family have worked at this craft, and create an experience out of buying a piece of the local culture to take home and treasure.

8.Tourists Stick To Their Maps, Travelers Like To Explore

Tourists tend to have a list of famous sights and use maps to get them from sight number one to sight number two in as straight a line as possible. They have a fear of getting off the beaten track and as such will stand in the middle of a busy sidewalk consulting their map rather than stepping down a side street and getting out of the way.

Tourists are more likely to take transport from sight to sight rather than just wander and find something new.

Venice San Polo

Seeking out the side streets in Venice – not a tourist in sight.

Travelers might be visiting the same sights but will seek out the side streets and look for the lovely things they would otherwise miss if taking the most direct route or sticking to the main roads. They enjoying walking and exploring and finding their way, seeing local life happening, and feeling if only for a moment that they are a part of it all.

Ortygia Sicily

Exploring the side streets in Ortygia, Sicily

Tourists are excited to get back home to their own bed and to everything that is familiar and normal to them. Travelers leave a little bit sad, not quite ready to let go of the new experiences they have been having and the new world they have discovered.

Did you get your copy of my new book yet? Learn more fabulous tips for travelers, both to Italy and to anywhere else in my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy.

If you have more tips for tourists vs travelers, please tell me in the comment section below!

I am super excited to tell you that in conjunction with the release of my new book, Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy, and the new film The Spy Who Dumped Me, Lionsgate Films is giving me 5 pairs of passes and goodie packs to giveaway here on the blog!


The Spy Who Dumped me Giveaway

The Spy Who Dumped Me starring Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis tells the story of Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), two best friends who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers that the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy.

The Spy Who Dumped me Giveaway

The Spy Who Dumped me Giveaway

The two embark on an hilarious romp through Europe, which is where this giveaway and my book come in!  Although they don’t go to Italy it was pointed out that the information in my book is fabulous for anyone planning a trip to anywhere in Europe, and like the movie my book is fun and chic!

The Spy Who Dumped me Giveaway

This giveaway is open to anyone living in or visiting Arizona and/or Las Vegas. Winners will receive Harkins run of engagement passes – this means during the time the movie is in Harkins theaters. They will also win swag bag movie goodie bags with T-shirts, hats, luggage tags and if the paperback Gods line everything up in time they will also receive a paperback copy of my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy! (As of now the paperbacks are in production but haven’t arrived).

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy



I’m going to keep it simple for you. Rafflecopter is running the giveaway to keep it all legit (and make it easier on me!). Just click into the Rafflecopter widget below and make sure it registers your entry, then enter as many times as you want! Winners will be notified by email and also on my Corinna Cooke Author Facebook Page. 

The Giveaway starts Saturday July 28 and ends at midnight on Wednesday August 1st. The Spy Who Dumped Me opens nationwide on Friday August 3rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have to watch the movie trailer (below) – it’s hilarious!! And make sure you check out my incredibly chic, madly fabulous book. Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy Here and Here. And tell all your friends about it!


Good luck!!


The Spy Who Dumped me Giveaway



Do you read books digitally or in hardcopy? Have you heard about the Kindle/eBook/Digital book thing but aren’t quite sure how it works?

I just launched my new book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy in eBook/Kindle format. I have had so many blog followers, friends, social media followers reach out to me with questions about this type of format, so I wanted to answer all your questions and give you the heads up on digital books and on subscription services to digital libraries.

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy

I am normally the last person in the world to catch on to any new digital craze, but with all the traveling I do carrying heavy books around with me just wasn’t realistic, so I converted to digital books.

Remember when all of our music was on compact disc and we would have to carry sleeves of CD’s in our cars, into work, anywhere we wanted to go with music? And then Apple came along with iPods (or was Napster first?) and everyone started downloading their music. No one walks around with a Sony Discman anymore – we don’t even have iPods now! Now everyone has their music digitally on a service like iTunes. My son uses Spotify, I use Pandora. We don’t even have a stereo at home anymore!

The same thing is happening with books.

Have you noticed how many of the big book chains are going out of business? I love walking around bookshops, I love the smell of books and I love the tactile experience of holding and reading a physical book. The first thing I do when I arrive in Paris is go to the Shakespeare Book Company and buy books.


In Venice I go to Aqua Alta and in Santorini I beeline to Atlantis Books. They are all quirky, fabulous, old style book shops that you can lose yourself in for hours. I love them.

But here at home I find that even when I go to the big book chains they don’t always have the books I’m looking for, and if they do the books are much more expensive than on Amazon. So in the name of the single mom budget I buy my books on Amazon.

Then I ran into the problem of having more books than my bookcases could handle. Most of them I read once and don’t feel the need to re-read. I give them away on PaperbackSwap and I give cases of books to Goodwill, who don’t really want them. It all seems like such a waste!


Digital Books And Kindle

And that’s where digital books come in. They are perfect to travel with and don’t need to be given away. There is zero waste.

Amazon sells digital books via Kindle. If you already have a Kindle then you don’t need to read this post – you already know all of this. If you don’t own a Kindle, no worries! Neither do I.

Here is an affiliate link to Kindles on Amazon so that you can see what they are about.



kindle app logo

The Kindle App

As I said, I don’t own a Kindle. Amazon has an app called the Kindle App which you can download to your smartphone, tablet, computer etc and read your books there. Rather than taking up all of your space on your phone or device, the book is held in the app.

It is really cool!

kindle app and devices

I can be reading a book at home on my iPad and then be sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office and pick up where I left off, reading it on my phone! The transfer is seamless, it always syncs and I don’t have to carry anything extra around with me.

At first I was quite resistant, saying I needed that tactile experience of holding a physical book, but now I am so used to the convenience of reading on my iPad – I just love it! My best friend has a super thin Kindle device that she reads on. She can take it to the beach, it has some kind of glare protection so she can read it in sunlight, and is waterproof.


Library Books Via The Kindle App!

My local library uses a digital service called Overdrive. I can go online and borrow library books digitally, then Overdrive sends the books to my Kindle App, and I can read them wherever I am. Once the library loan time expires the book disappears off the app (they email you plenty of warning that the book is going to expire). So I don’t have to get in my car and return physical book. This saves me lots of time, but is also super efficient, especially if I am going to be travelling. I can order library books, read them on the Kindle App, and have no late fees or charges for not returning them on time – the Overdrive service takes care of that!


What Is Kindle Unlimited?

When Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy came out I had a ton of messages from people saying they could see the book was free on Kindle Unlimited, but not knowing what Kindle Unlimited was.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service with Amazon where you can get unlimited digital books at no charge. You pay around $9.95 per month for the subscription, and then just download all the books you want each month. Books that are in the Kindle Unlimited program will have a tag or banner attached to them, telling you they are part of the program and eligible for free download. They offer different plans and options, which you can check out here:   Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans

It’s so cool!

Amazon pools the money from the subscriptions each month and then pays authors their share based on pages read. I have had lots of people get my book for free on Kindle Unlimited. I go online and see how many have downloaded it and how many pages have been read. Authors get just under half a cent per page read, so a book that sells for $9.95 will pay out about $1.50 to the author, give or take. Everybody wins!

I hope this explains digital books and the Kindle services well enough? Leave me a message or email me if you still have questions. If you download the Kindle app you can also look at free books on Kindle and try the digital reading experience for yourself. It’s pretty fantastic.

I also hope you will get my book! Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is available on all Kindle services (the app, Kindle Unlimited, etc). If you like my book and can spare an extra 2 minutes to write me a review, I would be super grateful!!