I am probably soon to become a nomad. Not emigrating to any particular place, but not being exactly a tourist either. I plan to stay in one place long enough to learn the language, meet some people, and maybe even make a contribution to the community. So some of my questions will be an obvious fit for ex-pat, and some for travel. But some of them will be on the fence or perhaps suitable for both. What are the chances of developing more criteria for distinguishing?

  • We now have an "expat" site, so "expat" questions can be migrated there.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 21:41
  • 1
    I am aware that site exists. That fact does not answer the question on where the dividing line is between the two sites.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 22:33

3 Answers 3


I'm slightly hesitant to phrase it this way ("tourist" has such a derogatory ring to it), but I think as a rule of thumb "travel" is really for tourists, not in the nasty "you look like a tourist!" way, but according to the Wikipedia definition. Ask yourself if the enlightened tourist would benefit from your question, if not it probably doesn't belong here.

I suspect some of the confusion around this could be avoided if this site were simply called "tourists", but as I say it has a derogatory sound, not to mention that we wouldn't want to attract undue spam from the tourism industry.

  • I guess there isn't really a clear answer to this question, but this one is a hair closer—assuming it has somewhat of a consensus.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 3:20
  • 3
    Travel.SE caters to all kinds of travel. Business travel is probably the one that jumps out the most as refuting this answer. Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 0:26
  • Right, but not all kinds of travel. Just from the first sentence of the linked wikipedia article: "Tourism is the travel for recreational, leisure,family or business purposes, usually of a limited duration." I'd say it covers the scope of this SE pretty well.
    – Shep
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 13:12
  • I don't understand what point you're trying to make. We do cover all kinds of travel. That doesn't mean some questions are not off topic and it doesn't mean questions must involve tourism. Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 7:40
  • Sorry, I'm not trying to give an "official" definition of what's on-topic (that's always going to be more complicated), just a rough heuristic. My original point was that the policy here seems to fit the Wikipedia definition of tourism better than it fits any common definition of "travel". My second point was in response to your "Business is refuting of this answer" comment: if you read the Wikipedia article, you'll see that they define "tourism" to include business travel.
    – Shep
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 8:27
  • There is not "the Wikipedia definition". There is "a Wikipedia definition" or "the current Wikipedia definition". Wikipedia has been constantly changing its policies and its pages for well over a decade and will continue to do so. "Tourism is a word -- and an industry -- that came about when large numbers of middle-class people began to travel as well." 1 "A travel is a long journey." 2 Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 3:06

From your description, your questions will most likely fit into Travel.SE.

Expats.SE is more into questions about how to deal with different requirements in a country where you moved to for a long period of time while you are not a citizen of that country. That includes, bank accounts, work permits, education, tax, etc.

  • I'd still say they extend over the border, pun intended. Work permits, maybe not; taxes, probably; Bank accounts, who knows. I could end up staying A year or so in one place.
    – WGroleau
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 4:46
  • In fact, I did open a bank account and rent an apartment in Spain, even though I knew I could not legally stay more than three months.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 16:38

There's always going to be some overlap. If you're every unsure, hop into the chat rooms of either travel or expats, and someone can give you some advice :)

Much like The Great Outdoors has some overlap with travel, some questions are 'on topic' for both sites. There's still obviously some distinction and questions about relocating to a new country are still more for expats, but if you're passing through, rather than settling, it's a good chance it's for Travel.

  • While I am no longer nomadic (for an indefinite hiatus not due to pandemic), I did somewhat take this attitude—which drew some flak for being off-topic. If I recall correctly, at least one question got that complaint from both groups.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 16:41

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