The ever-evolving language of travel

new travel terms and wordsWhile it is clear that travel itself has evolved in many ways in the past decade or so, it appears that travel language has, too. It is something that seems to happen overnight, without anyone really noticing that new vocabulary words are being invented but using them anyway. Check out this list of some relatively new lingo that has stuck in the language of travel.

Couch Surfing

While at one time we would have just said that we were “staying with friends”, there is now a global resource for travelers that has really made an impact on the niche. Couch Surfing allows backpackers and budget travelers to stay with local people in the regions they are visiting, as well as host travelers who come to visit their native land, for free.

Voluntourism

This is a specific type of trip that allows travelers to not only visit another region, but also help out a cause or organization while they are there. Some of my favorite resources for voluntourism include International Volunteer Headquarters and SE7EN.Agritourism

This type of travel involves staying with locals in a rural area. Basically, it is a farm stay or rural retreat.

WWOOFING

Related to agritourism is World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOFING). It is a global network that connects travelers with organic farms. The gist of the program is that in exchange for room, board, and the chance to learn about organic farming and local lifestyle, travelers help out with the daily work.

Digital Nomad

This term is used to refer to someone who is location independent and can work from anywhere in the world using technology such as smartphones, laptops, iPads, WiFi and other gadgets. Actually, an entire separate article could be written on the new technological terms for travelers that have come about in the past decade or so (hmmmm…).

Flashpacker

Staying on the topic of technology and travel, this term refers to the more affluent type of backpacker. While most backpackers are thought to be on a tight-budget, flashpackers tend to have a large disposable income and also carry lots of tech gadgets with them, such as laptops and smartphones.

Staycation

This type of travel became popular during the financial crisis of 2007-2010 and refers to relaxing at home or taking trips to nearby attractions.

Glamping

This is a type of trip for those who want to experience the great outdoors while not roughing it too much. For example, instead of staying in a basic tent, someone who is glamping will use more high-end camping gear, such as a tent with electricity and an air mattress.

Slow Travel

Slow travel is the idea of traveling more slowly to enjoy each place and experience it in more depth by, for example, spending a week in one city or opting for a vacation rental home.

Mancation

This term refers to a “men only” vacation (think girl’s weekend or all-girl’s getaway for guys). With the trend catching on, travel packages are now catering to this type of travel. Interested in a mancation of your own? Urban Navigator can help you book packages that include things like golf, camping, and hiking.

DayZipping launches Android app, brings fresh trips to fresh places

day trip

It wasn’t quite a year ago that an Atlanta-based startup dubbed DayZipping set out to change the way people interacted with new places. But having a growing pool of day trips — journeys that can be completed within one to eight hours by foot, bike, car or train — only does a user so much good on the big screen. At last week’s Google I/O conference, the company launched their first foray into the mobile realm: the DayZipping Android app. All of the daytripping goodness found on the web, packaged into a free, intuitive mobile app. Simply load up the program on your Android phone or tablet, search for a location that you’re heading to, and see a whole host of possible day trip options added by fellow travelers who have already done the hard work for you.

We’re told that an iOS version should bring the same functionality to iPhone users in mid-to-late summer, but given the haste at which an Android build can be injected into the Market, the company’s using Google’s mobile OS as a proving ground. As for planned upgrades? They’re looking to integrate the mobile app with your web account so that you can save trips for offline viewing and get customized suggestions on the go. In other words, you could have rated trips in Atlanta, and the app will generate suggestions in San Francisco even if it’s your first visit to the area. Long-term, the outfit wants to provide in-app reviews, a direct way to receive a deal or purchase agreement (think local deals based on where you’re tripping), and group messaging functions if the code can be hammered out. Hit the Market here to give it a go — who knows what trips you may discover in your backyard?

Get an upgrade if it’s a special event – Hotel tip

To get the most out of what you pay a hotel, you may need to work your way into getting a better room. This particular trick really only works for couples. When checking into a hotel make sure to cling to together, be very physical, energetic, and happy. A clerk may ask “Are you here for any special occasion?” You must then say something like —

  • “Yes we are on our honeymoon!”
  • “It’s our wedding anniversary!”
  • “It’s my birthday!”

Any one of these must be said by the woman for it to be more touching and convincing, because the clerk knows that those are very special occasions for her.

Claiming a honeymoon or anniversary may score you a room upgrade. Claiming a birthday may just get something special sent up to the room.

Get to know your co-passengers – Road trip tip

Make the road trip as memorable as the destination itself.

Although car rides with the family can be a great experience, the road trip was designed for great friends to get away and escape everyday life. While traveling with friends, keep the radio off. Try playing a game like, “Top Five Celebrities I Want to Date.” Not only will games like this make the miles pass quicker, you can learn an awful lot about your friends. (Sometimes too much!)

Bonus Tip: Make frequent stops along the way for sightseeing, dinner, etc. This will provide the opportunity for new experiences and encounters.

Global Issues Tourism: Traveling to make a difference

The idea of traveling for a purpose or to make a difference has been in my mind for a while now. Unfortunately, I haven’t acted upon it yet, but my research and interest continues.

Today I came across a company called Global Exchange Reality Tours. It is based on the foundation that travel is educational and can positively influence international affairs; the trips are aimed at demonstrating how you can contribute to solving global problems. The tours operate in over 30 countries and are given under the wing of Global Exchange.

For instance, you can go on a Gandhi legacy tour in India that is conducted by his Grandson, Dr. Arun Gandhi; you can go to Afghanistan to help Afghans rebuild their lives, or take a trip to Israel/Palestine and spend your time working with non-governmental peace organizations.

The tours look like they give you a flavor of the Peace Corps, but you don’t need to be a US citizen to qualify. They are normally only 2-weeks long and cost anything from $850-3000, depending on the type of trip. If you have the right skill set, you may be eligible for some sort of financial aid.

Have any of you been on a trip like this?