Extreme adventure

Travel jargon demystified

Sustainable travel can seem serious, but travel is meant to be fun!

We have all read the jargon. ‘Take a trip to this exclusive eco-resort, where the discerning traveller will be pampered and experience authentic,  local travel in Africa’. But what does it all mean?

I’ve done some word crunching to bring you the TravelCrunch guide to blogging travel jargon. You probably won’t agree, but that is what the comment boxes are for. They are not for ‘Nice post. Thanks for sharing!’ or even, ‘I came across this blog while searching on Google. It is the most helpful blog I have come across in my quest to become the best promoter of casinos and medications on the internet. I will be back!’.

This is an alternative view of travel jargon. Many of the true explanations of slow travel, sustainable travel, staycations and the like have either been covered on this blog or will be in the future.

Extreme adventure-travel jargon
Adventure skiing

Other variants: adventure and occasionally extreme.
Means: The writer is up for anything, but would become a crumbling wreck if they had to organise and pay for it themselves.

Authentic Travel
Other variants: Real
Means: The travel was not provided via a memory implant. See the Rekall Corporation.

Budget travel
Other variants, phrases and keywords: Cheap, no frills, cattle class.
Means: Travel where many of the basic necessities are payable extras. Don’t expect champagne, but WiFi is usually included.

Digital Nomad
Other variants: Nomad, Nomadic, Roamancing, wanderer.
Means: Staying in one place too long is like an admission of failure to these people. They must have been born under a ‘Wandering Star‘.

Polar bears
Polar bears at Grand Place, Brussels

Other variants: Green, responsible, sustainable.
Photo opportunities: Polar bears, pandas and parakeets. This is all about the 3 P’s.
Other key words and phrases: Travel lightly, ‘protect people, planet, profit’.
Means: Fly 4000 miles First Class to a resort where they have two solar panels and where they don’t change your bath linen unless you request it. They employ at least one local inhabitant as a Night Porter.

Other similar variants: Glamping.
Means: Budget travel sold at a premium rate, now there’s a contradiction in terms, but I kid you not. The emphasis is on the included internet connectivity which is usually a given in budget accommodation.

Hidden gem
Other variants: Gem, jewel.
Means: I don’t know the answer to this one. I’ve visited many of the places where these gems are supposedly to be found, but I’ve never located even the tiniest chip of diamond or rubies. Shame if I found one perhaps I wouldn’t have to blog anymore.

Other variants: ?
Means: This one baffles me as it apparently refers to a group that reject labelling. So why do they call themselves hipsters?

Other variants and related words: Jet Set, turn left, upgrade, Flyer Miles.
Means: Someone who’s proud of their large carbon footprint or the transport mode of choice for high profile Climate Change Film makers. They feel fine as long as they plant a few trees each year which will take 30 years to grow enough to absorb the carbon dioxide. Then the trees either die or burn down and release the carbon once more.

Local travel
Variants and phrases: ‘Travel like a local’.
Means: Getting up at 7 am and taking public transport or a slow queue infested drive to the business quarter of a city. When there, the day is spent updating Social Media accounts on a computer. Then at 5 pm returning for a meal then either sitting in front of the TV or going to the nearest bar.

Luxury travel
Variants and keywords: Exclusive, discerning, pampering, champagne, suite, infinity pool, massage, spa, 7 stars.
Means: Making the statement: ‘Money comes so easy to me. I can afford to squander it on overpriced travel’. Nearly always served with champagne, but WiFi us usually a chargeable extra.

Off the beaten track
Off the beaten track

Off the beaten track
Other variants: ‘Off the beaten trail’, ‘The road less travelled’.
Means: The SatNav is malfunctioning.

Slow Travel
Other variants: Slow Food, Slow Movement, Slow Gardening, Slow Science, Slow Art, Slow Fashion, Slow Money
Means: Travelling by air when a volcano erupts in Iceland, or by rail in France when the Rail Unions have been told to work for longer, before taking retirement, or bus at any time.

Variants: Holistay.
Means: Originally meant using your own home as a base for your vacation. Now means staying anywhere in your own country. Lucky Russians. They have a choice of anywhere between the Baltic and Black Seas and the Bering Sea.

Other keywords: Touristy, touristic, tour guide, tourist trap.
Means: The term the travel industry professionals use to describe consumers of travel products and services.

Variants: traveler. Often preceded by budget, luxury, eco, green, responsible, adventure.
Means: Just like in the Sound of Music, ‘Me’ is a name I call myself. This is the term consumers of travel products and services like to call themselves.

Variants: Exclusive.
Means: Only you will feel exactly this way about the trip you are about to take, or just took.

I guess everyone will have their own definitions of a travel jargon. What are your favourites?


About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.

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