Have changes in the way we travel necessitated a raft of new terms, or are the travel industry’s marketeers just very adept at repackaging existing ideas as something new? Either way, a series of neologisms are finding their way from the travel world into wider usage; here are some recent favourites.
Anthropause: The worldwide slowdown of travel and industrial activity in 2020 and the welcome consequences, such as a decrease in carbon emissions and noise pollution.
Babymoon: A holiday taken by a couple who are expecting their first child.
Begpacker: Someone who goes on holiday and begs or busks for money from local people in order to continue their trip. The authorities in Bali recently announced a clampdown on western begpackers.
Bleisure: The act of combining business travel with leisure time, a trend accelerated by remote working during the pandemic.
Burglary tourism: The act of going to another country to commit burglary. Two Chilean “burglary tourists” were jailed in June for stealing valuables worth £170,000 in a string of thefts in England.
Daddymoon: A holiday taken by an expectant father, as a supposed last chance to relax with friends before the birth of his child; also known as a “babystag”.
Farecasting: The act of predicting of the best date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app.
Flashpacking: A style of travelling or camping, while carrying everything you need in a backpack, that is more comfortable and luxurious than traditional backpacking.
Flightseeing: The act of looking at interesting places from an aircraft. So-called “flights-to-nowhere” that take off and land in the same place became more popular in 2020 as borders were closed, but prompted criticism for their environmental impact.
Foodfie: A photograph of the food that you are eating, typically then to be posted on social media.
Genervacation: A holiday taken by parents and their grown-up children that is paid for by the parents. The trend has grown in recent years as young people struggle with fees for further education and soaring house prices.
Grey gapper: A person of retirement age who takes a year away from their normal life to go travelling.
Haycation: A holiday on a farm. Farm-stays and agritourism, often with the chance to help in some farmyard tasks, have become increasingly popular and an important diversification for many farmers.
Honeyteer: A honeymoon spent doing voluntary work, usually abroad.
Human safari: A trip in which tourists can spot indigenous peoples, a practice which has become increasingly criticised.
Lollipop flights: Air services at the start and end of school terms that have a larger than usual proportion of children on board.
Megamoon: A honeymoon on which friends of the married couple are also invited to come along.
Philantourism: Going on holiday to places where the tourist industry is in need of support. Unlike “voluntourism” there is no active charity work involved beyond spending money in the local economy.
Set-jetters: People who goes on a holiday to a place simply because they have seen it in a film or on television.
Subway salmons: Those people who insist on moving down stairways or along platforms and corridors at underground stations against the flow of the majority. Often occurs when people try to reach a train whose passengers are already in the process of disembarking.
Wall crawl: Visiting a series of walls in a city to look at graffiti or street art.
Adam Jacot de Boinod is a former researcher for Stephen Fry’s BBC television series QI and the author of “The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World” (Penguin)
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