The A-Z of trendy travel speak

Sushmita Choudhury spells out the emerging trends and modern jargon that are well on their way to becoming common speak.

Sushmita Choudhury | Print Edition: April, 2010

Arm Restle

The battle waged with your seatmate over the middle armrest while flying economy class. This fight has inspired manoeuvres like elbowgarting (inching the elbow ahead to gain ground) and recline-andconquer, where you take control of the armrest during a feigned sleep.

A break that expecting parents take to prepare for the harried days and sleepless nights that are sure to follow after the baby stages an entry. Hotels are now luring parents-to-be with prenatal massages, stressrelief treatments, nutrition classes and more.


The down-market backpackers. This new breed of travellers belongs to the 18-30 age group and hails from a workingclass background. It is capitalising on the low-cost carrier phenomenon to breach domains and destinations once targeted by the idle rich or the upper middle class.


An abnormal impulse to travel; a travel buff on steroids, if you like. Those afflicted are willing to spend beyond their means, sacrifice jobs, homes et al in their lust for new experiences.

Think vocational training while exploring a new destination. At the UK's Diggerland parks, for instance, tourists can operate a backhoe and other construction equipment. Or if you get tired of gambling and pub-hopping in Las Vegas, you can take a casino education vacation at the dealingschool.com institute.

Flying Squirrel Suit

A special jumpsuit, so named for its shape, allows you to fly. It's a high-tech avatar of 'birdmen' of the early 20th century, who built wings from wood and canvas. This extreme sport is for those who think parachute jumps and windsurfing are passe.

Grief Tourism

Visiting places marked by tragedy and disaster or the home towns of dead celebs, in order to pay homage, get a daily dose of the heebie-jeebies or just for ghoulish voyeurism. Consider the Titanic Memorial Cruise, which will recreate the fateful journey as a centenary 'celebration' in April 2012, or the newly opened Tsunami museum in Aceh, Indonesia.


Any and all holidays celebrated by getting high, completely trashed, wasted, stoned... For those who don't believe in substance abuse, the word also stands for the feeling of utter exhaustion that hits you immediately after a major festival, which is preceded by a period of frenetic preparation and shopping.


The quest for travelrelated information. Such travellers desperately seek the ultimate search tool/engine, one that either makes life easier or renders it impossible to forget or miss out important events. If not controlled, this has been known to cause infomania— think posting pictures on Facebook via satellite-equipped BlackBerries while hiking up the Inca trail.


An increasingly popular extreme sports holiday. It involves harnessing yourself to a kite and surfing across the water at high speeds. Kitesurfers use a combination of kite and small surfboard, and once they've mastered the basics, they can tackle big waves and winds. Be warned though: kitesurfing can be quite dangerous if you lose control or the winds grow too strong, leading to a so-called 'kitemare'.


A brief romance while travelling or on a vacation. It typically resembles a conventional relationship but without the underlying commitment. It differs from a holiday fling in that a locationship need not be as temporary. There is a possibility of rekindling it at future opportunities.


Or mature materialism is the need to sample high-end experiences simply because you can afford it. As India is becoming more risqué and opinionated, this is translating into 'anything goes but the sexier the better'. Take gay holidays. The first mover in this space is Indjapink, a travel outfit specialising in exclusive vacations for single men, gay couples and all-male group tours.


An extension of the maturialism trend, this is a holiday where 'clothing optional' gives way to strictly 'clothing free'. If you like back-to-nature travel, try the following for size: an apartment at Vera Playa Club in Spain or a birthday suit safari (complete with nude eco-hunting expeditions and games) at the Kudumanzi Nudist EcoPark, near Johannesburg, South Africa.


A vacation where you have to go to a place you don't want to visit or do something unappealing. It could be visiting the inlaws or an obligatory attendance at a family wedding. It could also be a holiday where you end up spending more time on the Excel sheets than the bedsheets, and on your return to office, are still asked, "How was your vacation?"

Procreation Vacations

A holiday with just one agenda: making a baby. Hitting the temples when you are desperate to get pregnant is oh so passe. Instead, take a holiday at some wildly romantic destination. For example, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Florida, has a Fertile Turtle package that treats wannabe parents to supposedly fertility-boosting massages, cigars for the dad-to-be and more.

Quirkyalone Camp

A get-together for quirkyaloners. This is a breed that 'enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and prefers being single to dating for the sake of being in a relationship'. It started off as a mindset after Sasha Cagen released her book Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics, but now that the quirkyalone cult is practically a global franchise, group holidays have followed.

Responsible Travel

Here the idea is not just to enrich your own life but also benefit the local people and the environment of the place you visit. Be it buying locally made products, using environment-friendly transportation or staying with the locals instead of at a cookie-cutter hotel, this kind of travel not only promises an authentic vacation but is sustainable to boot. Yes, it's just an extension of the 'leave nothing but your footprints behind' mantra.


A recession-spawned travel trend, where you save money on accommodation and flights by launching excursions from home and discovering your city. The planning and logistics are a cinch compared to navigating a foreign destination. Alternatively, you could stay at home and declare a 'choratorium'. This means no chores— don't make the bed, sweep, mop, etc. You're on vacation!


The state of affairs when a minor travel setback has a domino effect on your vacation planning. So a missed flight made worse by the lack of an alternative connecting flight due to a sudden storm means you miss the tour bus, are considered a no-show at your hotel and end up spending your holiday shacking up with your old roommate from hell.


The art of tempting customers with the lowest air fares and then piling on the extras—be it hidden baggage fees, paid upgrades for better seats or more expensive in-flight food. United Airlines has earned the infamous distinction of being the first to equip its flight attendants with portable credit card machines to sell upgraded seats even after take-off.

A volunteer vacation, where you spare a few hours from your sightseeing itinerary to lend a hand to a meaningful local cause. It could be a scuba diving trip that includes reef rescue efforts, teaching English in a foreign country or rebuilding homes after a natural disaster. This is for those who don't want to settle for being a 'touron', the average moronic tourist.

Women-only Hotels

What began as eve floors (an entire floor reserved for female guests checking into a hotel) has snowballed into a growing demand for allwoman hotels. With the conservative Saudi Arabia recently opening its first womenonly hotel, Luthan Hotel & Spa, this concept has gained new ground.

X-Factor Destinations

Coined by the Association of British Travel Agents in a recent report, this refers to places that offer something unique. The USP could be a sporting event —think South Africa during the World Cup— or you could be influenced by hit films. For instance, Forks, US, the setting of the Twilight saga, is planning to build on its 1,000 per cent rise in visitors in 2009 over the previous year.

Y Class

Flying economy class in comfort is possible, but it will soon come at a price. Some leading airlines like Air France, JetBlue and Cathay Pacific have started charging $10 to $100 for seats with more legroom, like those near the emergency exit. It's a matter of time before the choose-your-seat fee, which is already common in the Indian skies, morphs into this far more lucrative option.

Zeigarnik Effect

A psychological phenomenon, where people tend to forget associated requests after completing their primary task, say, fetching a glass of water after the bill has been paid. So, don't allow a transaction to be completed until all your requests are fulfilled.

Hot Deals
Interesting packages on offer at India's newest hotels

Courtyard by Marriott
Gurgaon, NCR
Cost: Rs 12,500 per night, per couple
Contact: 0124-4888444
It's the location that makes this property stand out, be it its proximity to Gurgaon's business hubs or the airport. The best available room rates hover around Rs 10,500, but by paying Rs 2,000 extra for the business package you can avail of services worth Rs 6,000. This includes buffet breakfast, unlimited Net usage in the room, airport transfers and a late check-out facility, 4 p.m. instead of the usual noon.

Corbett Gateway Resort
Cost: Rs 14,999 per couple
Contact: 011-40543620
Spring is a great time to catch Nat Geo live, and what can be a better option than the Corbett National Park? This two-night package includes accommodation in a deluxe room, all meals, a jeep safari, two adventure-based activities, say, rappelling, rafting or angling and a wildlife movie MT screening, during which you get a free foot massage.

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