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World Tourism Day: Celebrating Travel Forever

On the occasion of World Tourism Day, let us look at some quirky travel jargons that make up the travellers’ eclectic lexicon.

Rashmi Gopal Rao

Saint Augustine famously said, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page".  There is no denying that this quote truly encapsulates the essence of travel. Travel is indeed an opportunity to see the world, meet new people, experience diverse cultures and foster friendships for life. However, the last two years have witnessed an unprecedented disaster descending on the tourism industry given the coronavirus pandemic. With cases dropping and vaccination coverage improving, it is heartening to note that globally, travel is now slowly picking up and the industry is all set to tread the long, winding road to recovery. While the pandemic has changed the way we travel forever and we stand at the threshold of a new era in travel, the love for travel remains eternal. Given that moving out and exploring is an inherent trait of human nature, travel is ingrained in our genes.  

As we celebrate the 42nd edition of World Tourism Day on 27th September, here is a look at some quintessential travel jargon. Some words have been evergreen favourites, while others are related to the Covid 19 pandemic and the rest have been coined recently as the world rethinks tourism as a tool to make the planet and communities more sustainable, inclusive and resilient. So, whether you are a Thalassophile (someone who loves the ocean or the sea) or a Nemophilist (someone who is fond of forests), you are sure to enjoy this one!

1. Baecations

Derived from the word ‘bae’ which is used to call a significant other or a close friend, this term is used to denote couples or lovers travelling together. Apart from just romantic getaways, it could also mean exploring a whole new culture or savouring immersive local experiences together.

2. Friendcations

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Given that 2022 is expected to be the year of reunion, it has given rise to the trend of friendcations which is essentially a group of friends travelling to explore a whole new place together. As per reports, Cancun in Mexico, Ibiza in Spain and Las Vegas in the US are some of the hot favourites this year for a friendcation. Goa, Ladakh and Puducherry in India perfectly suit the bill.

3. Gramping

Also called multigenerational or 3G travel, this one literally means camping with three generations of one’s family. A popular trend that is an extension of the conventional family travel, this one is gaining relevance considering the fact that families have had a period of extended separation during the last two years of the pandemic.Apart from cruise trips that forms for a perfect gramping idea, Maldives, Thailand, Rajasthan and Kashmir have been some of the popular destinations for inter-generational travel.

4. Bleisure or Bizcation

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A term used to denote combining a business trip with leisure, this one is seen to replace conventional business travel. It is all about travelling for not only the boardroom but also the beach with travellers extending their stay beyond meetings to explore the place. Also called blended travel, this trend is expected to grow with most people shifting focus from “just work” to work, wellness, personal growth and family.  

5. Flashpacking

Simply put this is backpacking with flash or style. While backpacking is associated with budget travel, flashpacking is indulging in a bit of luxury and fancy on your trip. With a high degree of disposable income, the typical flashpacker is one with the latest gadgets and gizmos roughing it out with dirty hiking boots!

6. Voluntourism

An offshoot of ecotourism, voluntourism is essentially signing up for voluntary work in a new location. While it involves full or part time work, it also means exploring a whole new culture and a new place.Usually popular with the youth and students, the lasting impacts of voluntourismon local communitieshave often been a subject of debate.

7. Revenge Travel

A direct consequence of the pandemic, this one refers to tourists flocking destinations in order to make up for the time lost. It is literally a case of travelling with a vengeance to make up for all the cancellations and disruptions that were commonplace during the Covid 19 pandemic.  

8. Trip Stacking

A trend and strategy that arose post the peak pandemic phase, this one refers to travellers booking multiple trips simultaneously in order to avoid last minute glitches and/or cancellations. With regions imposing sudden restrictions and changing rules atshort notice, trip stacking enables travellers to choose between potential destinations making travelling a more flexible experience.

9. Regenerative travel/Impact tourism

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The recent years has also seen the rise of the “sustainability conscious” traveller with more and more people being aware of the social and ecological impact of travelling. Venturing to explore new destinations to avoid the over saturation of existing locations, staying in local homestays and engaging the local community to make travel more responsible, empowering, eco-friendly and inclusive are just some of the aspects of impact and regenerative travel.

10. Shoulder season

Finding the right time between the peak and the off season to travel in order to take advantages of optimum air fares. Shoulder season is normally between March-May and September-October but varies with region and country.

11. Seat pitch

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The distances between a point on one seat in the aircraft to the same point in the seat just in front of you. It is also commonly called legroom.

12. Red eye flight

A term to denote a flight that flies during the night and reaches the destination the next day morning. It is a popular choice with travellers considering that the prices are sometimes cheaper, and airports are less crowded during the night. It also enables travellers to make the best use of the time as they reach their destination early the next day.

13. Open jaw flight

It is the practice of travelling from one city to another but travelling back to the original city via a different place. It is a common practice to make the most of a trip by visiting multiple places without having to travel back to the place of origin.

14. Resfeber

There is no doubt that impending travel always evokes feelings of happiness, restlessness and excitement. 1Resfeber is the Swedish term for this feeling where one experiences a bit of apprehension along with joy in anticipation of travel.

15. Fernweh

A German word that describes the feeling of craving or longing to visit a place you have never been.  Being homesick for a new place, this one indicates the insatiable love travellers have for new places.

Photo: Shutterstock
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