Whether you're a frequent traveler or not, there's no denying that the world of travel can at times be a confusing place. Thats certainly true when it comes to the many terms and phrases used every day regarding travel. From booking flights to hotels and getting through immigration, here are a few key travel terms every traveler should know to help them on their next trip.
- Code share: This is an agreement among airlines in which each carrier shares its flight codes, and can sell seats on the other carrier. The traveler may buy a ticket from one airline and fly on another plane.
- Couch Surfing: Although the term has been used for many years as a description of staying with friends, its entrance into the travel world is a relatively new phenomenon. Today student travelers, backpackers and budget travelers use couch surfing as a free way to stay in cities around the world while at the same time getting closer to the people who live there.
- Flashpacker: This is a backpacker with a larger budget than a normal backpacker who, in addition to having more disposable income, also usually travels with a lot of tech gear.
- Interline connection: A trip with a connection flight from a different airline.
- Land-only: A type of tour package that usually includes hotels and tours led by a guide but do not include flights to or from the destination.
- Long haul: These flights are longer than six hours in length. A related term is ultra long haul which refers to flights that are longer than 10 hours in duration.
- Loss damage waiver: A type of optional damage coverage available for purchase when renting a car.
- Open Jaw: A term for an itinerary in which a traveler flies into one city and departs from another one.
- Red-eye flight: A flight that takes place between the hours of 9pm and 7am.
- Resort fee: Many hotels and resorts add an additional nightly charge to the room rate to cover amenities ranging from parking to Wi-Fi to bottled water in room.
- Shoulder season: The period of time between busy and quiet seasons in which prices are typically at a midpoint.
- Staycation: Mirriam Webster adopted this term and is simply a vacation spent at home or nearby.
- Stopover: This is when a traveler leaves the airport during a longer trip. Passengers are required to complete arrival procedures and must check in again when returning to the airport. A stopover is different from a layover - where you don't leave the airport or check in a second time. Many airlines have taken advantage of the stopover to promote in-country sightseeing.
- UNESCO: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been around for a while, but it wasn't until the near destruction of priceless Egyptian temples and artifacts that it truly came into its own. Rallying nations from around the world, they successfully moved temples out of the way of the New Aswan Dam, preserving priceless cultural treasures. Their goal is to protect important sites around the world that they consider vital in order to maintain the cultural and natural heritage we have all inherited. Adding to the list every year, there are now more than 1,000 sites around the world from the famous (Colosseum, Budapest, Great Wall of China) to the obscure (Rhaetian Railway, Brimstone and Albi).
- Value-added tax (VAT): This is a type of tax common in other countries that adds a percentage on products and services at final sale. In many places, tourists are able to get refunds on the sales tax before departing the country. Research before you go and keep your receipts, especially for large purchases.
- Voluntourism: This is a combination of both volunteering and tourism. If you are looking to visit a foreign country and use your time effectively, a voluntourism trip may be the perfect opportunity.
- WWoofing: Otherwise known as Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, this is still an up-and-coming travel trend. Volunteers find unique opportunities around the world to spend their vacation time working on farms.
Are there any other terms you'd like us to add to the list?
Fun is part of any travel experience, but so is staying protected. Learn more about our policies here!