The biggest difference is that you are NOT on holidays! You may be retired or have a nest-egg, or have rental income, or be running your business while you travel to fund your lifestyle, but you are not on holidays.
This puts a totally different perspective on your trip, and I should add at this stage, that long-term travel is neither better nor worse than camping, just different!
I have done and enjoyed both during my life, each has its pros and cons.
Long-term travel can be slow and meandering, plans can change at a moment’s notice, or you can have no plans at all – just head whatever direction takes your whim. Often travel plans are dictated by your business – you may be a self-employed tradie, nurse, heavy equipment operator or driver working contract wherever there is work. You work for a while and explore that area then move on until you get short of money.
You usually need to budget long-term, however, your budget can be flexible; eg house-sit to see an area comprehensively, save money, catch up on business.
You need to think much more about a paperless existence, and, of course, with that comes the need to organise and secure your virtual paper life.
You will have pared down your belongings to fit in a bus, caravan, 4wd … be living the so-called minimalist lifestyle.
But you will also need clothes and gear for all sorts of weather unless you just follow the warm weather – north in winter and south in summer.
You need a means of communicating with your loved ones, as they will often be far away.
Often you will tend to free-camp more than use caravan parks or hotels and tend to cook your own meals rather than eat out most of the time.
But most of all it is a state of mind – holidays are usually (hopefully) exciting and exhilarating, often tiring, but more intense.
Long-term travel is much more relaxed and leisurely although can have their exciting and exhilarating, often tiring, but more intense moments.