Dictionary, Slang, of Travel

Travel Dictionary Portal - Definitions of "Travel Words" you will will hear in conversation with travelers, tourist and people that wander..



Dictionary of Traveler Terms

This is a dictionary of terms use by "World Citizens," because we use special words and phrases to non-standard ways to describe travel. These words are meshed together, sometimes it is slang, other times  jargon, maybe just a non-standard usage of normal English words. Words like "Expat" are so commonly used by traveler, we forget that not everyone understands, maybe correctly and / or incorrectly I am collecting this growing list for clarification and help, an evolving list of common terms used by travelers I meet. Please submit terms, or ideas that are needed for world travel.

A life less normal:

After Army: Referring to the Israeli Travelers, who after serving a mandatory conscription as a solder in the Israel Army, will often if not customarily travel overseas.

Anglicize: make or become more English: to become or make somebody or something more English.

American Dream: The American Dream, sometimes in the phrase "Chasing the American Dream," is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of prosperity and success. The American Dream instills the belief citizens of every rank feel that they can achieve a "better, richer, and happier life.

American Nightmare: The realization by immigrants and USA Citizens the dream means working extremely long hours and never feeling secure financially, socially or by social rank.

Apartelle: A combination of Hotel and Apartment, often a cheaper value for long-term visits.

Beatnik: 1950s dropout: a member of the Beat Generation of the 1950s

Blog: Originally meaning was to be a log of a persons thoughts, it has evolved to become a rotating set of new articles written that appear on a main index page. Blogs generally allow readers to comment below, and readers can subscribe e-mail or RSS feeds, the new articles are posted at the top, whereby readers who have bookmarked the page can return to find the newest articles written.

Budget Contentment: A person is content living in their budget when there is no need to count the money.

Bundle of Benefits:

Business Week: The first week in a new destination, this is when we buy a mosquito net, the shampoo, find the internet café, set up our traveler nest, after this this first wee is when we stop the confusion and enter clarity.

Cartography: the science or art of making maps.

CNIA - Cellular Network Internet Access - Acronym coined by Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com to properly explain the system used by him to have Internet access in all the countries of the planet. A person can have Internet in their hotel that is not dependent upon the Hotel, traveler can now purchase in most countries some form of Internet connection that uses the cell towers or cellular networks. If you have a cell phone connection, you probably have the ability to use the Internet.

Citizens of World: See World Citizens

City Map: Generally considered one of the primary reasons to carry a guidebook, they also can be found at Tourist Information Offices, airports, inside free tourist magazines, or at reception desk of Hotels. Often a person can search for Hotels on Internet and find city maps explaining how to find the hotel.

Civilized or Civilization:

Class System:. Class System, a social organization in which the rights and duties of individuals are largely determined by birth.

Corruption, wrongdoing by those in a special position of trust. The term is commonly applied to self-benefiting conduct by public officials and others dedicated to public service.

Culture, the beliefs, behavior, language, and entire way of life of a particular time or group of people. Culture includes customs, ceremonies, works of art, inventions, technology, and traditions. The term also may have a more specific aesthetic definition and can describe the intellectual and artistic achievements of a society.

Cultural social norms purgatory:

Customs: How people marry, how families celebrate holidays and other occasions, what people eat, and how they socialize and have fun.

Destinations Guidebooks: A book written to explain a travel destination, normally explaining the benefits of going to a specific destination. These books are best read after you have chosen a destination. They assume you love the country and are going there, a destination guidebook is not comparing and contracting two countries or more, it is not going to help you choose between going to Paris or to Egypt to see the Pyramids. Maybe best to buy five destinations guidebooks, the one you love to read the most, the one you pick up and read, is maybe your the best destination for your trip.

Developed World Citizens: The term developed country is used to describe countries that have a high level of development according to some criteria.

Direct Searches: When people search on the Internet for exactly what they want is a direct search, the problem with this is the advertisers purchase and prey on these areas and seldom is a good result for the travel industry. Direct searches for Facts is different than for Tourist Information, for facts a direct search is best.

Easy Life: No debt and no commitments, no appointments.

End of the road Location:


imaginary circle around Earth: the imaginary great circle around the Earth that is the same distance from the North and South Poles and divides the Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres 

Expatriate or Expat:

Expat Colony:

Expat Website: Expat is short for Expatriate, there are many Internet Sites specifically created to help people living overseas. The prevailing goal of the sites are to sell real estate or vacations rentals to foreigners at above local market rates. This advertising is sometimes surrounded by living overseas advice, or how to find love or women, and how investing is a good idea. Many carter to offshore investing or hiding of money from being taxed within the home country.

Farang: Foreigner in the Thai language. Pronounced as FawLang. The R is pronounced like an L.

Flophouse Hostel: A hostel where the only place to enter when leaving the dormitory is the bar, the patrons of the Hostel drink all day.

Foreigner is a Dollar Bill with Legs.


G-8 - The group of 8 industrial nations, travelers tend to go to places like this to protest as a trendy anti-globalization effort. See More

Gamed: the ability to successfully seduce someone into a relationship, usually achieved by pre-meditated strategy. i.e. a Hotel creates reviews on Hotel Book sites, fabricates false information by pretending to be reviewing the Hotel, in reality the review was created by the Hotel and they gamed the reader into believing it was a recommendation.

Gauntlet of Misinformation

Government Facts: There are facts put forth by Governments, the USA, Canada and Australian facts are conservative, they are trying to be safe. If you see a site that has .gov on the end, it may be a government site. They can be trusted more than private sites, more or less never trust private site.

Globalization or Globalisation:

Global Travel

Going Native:


Gringo Trail


Guesstimate: an informal English portmanteau of guess and estimate, defined as an estimate made without using adequate or complete information, or, more strongly, as an estimate arrived at by guesswork or conjecture. Like the word estimate, guesstimate may be used as a verb or a noun (with the same change in pronunciation). A guesstimate may be a first rough approximation pending a more accurate estimate, or it may be an educated guess at something for which no better information will become available. It is possible that 90 percent of decisions made by travelers are guesstimates, because when a person leaves their home or immediate neighborhood they is neither the time or information available whereby a traveler could analyze the situation and make proper decisions.

Happiness Budget: Just at a sustainable level, above poverty, but not sufficient enough to give you so much extra cash you spend all day shopping.


Hippie Dippies

Hobo A homeless person, traveler, itinerant, vagrant, drifter, tramp

Honeymoon Time: The time from 30-90 days in a country, a time after you have adjusted, however, have not had time to become bored or frustrated. This is the time of Social Purgatory.

Hostel  normally the cheapest form of traveler rooms, people can sleep in dormitories.  A good  Hostels a kitchen, if there is not kitchen, then a "FlopHouse Hostel" used mainly for drinking and making money, a Tourist Trap Hostel

Hotel Apartments

Hotel Critics: There are no hotel critics, there are travel writers who for pay write about the Hotels or Resorts, to be safe, never trust them.

Hotel Reviews

How to Travel Guidebooks: (See Destinations Guidebook) A guidebook outlines what is needed to travel, this is a book you read before you travel. It is to assist you in preparing, planning, organizing, and managing living outside your home or country in a foreign environment. The goal is to alleviate, preclude and circumnavigate by explaining the problems you will encounter and possible solutions, while allowing you the freedom to be you. These books will often list gear to buy, books to read, Internet sources and reputable experts. Warning, many how to guidebook are self-serving book meant to sell either specific gear, or to steer you toward something being sold, if you feel the author is trying to sell you something, please toss the book or it can cost you thousands of dollars in frustrations.

Industry 1. Commercial production and sale of goods. 2. A specific branch of manufacture and trade. 3. The sector of an economy made up of manufacturing enterprises. 4. Hard work; diligence.

Industrialized Nation


International Living:

Internet Pages

Life is Good: This is a motto or phrase that has been repeated continually by Andy Graham from the first newsletter written over 10 years ago, to the present day use in the header of HoboTraveler.com. This phrase "Life is Good," is stated with the intention of being a command, a request, and an order for the reader to know and accept that life is good.

Living Anywhere


Location Independent

Lost the plot, or Losing the plot: to become crazy. A traveler leaves their trusted friends, family, and colleges and must depend on their own opinions. Opinions are filtered and tested by friends in our lives, they will say, that idea is crazy, or that idea is good, when traveling these filters are removed. In the absence of friends to help us make good decisions, some travelers "lose the plot," and start making irrational and sometimes socially unacceptable decisions, we call this losing the plot. Sometimes they go native, becoming the same as the people they are visiting. 

MagicJack.com: System where you can plug a normal telephone into a jack on the side of a computer that has a high-speed Internet access and make telephone calls.

Mañana Syndrome:
when nothing get done, and truly not important if it does, mañana means tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes, and when we talk about tomorrow we are not creating a commitment, we are just talking about tomorrow. Talking about tomorrow means nothing in underdeveloped countries, or the normal planet.

Maxim: Generally any simple and memorable rule or guide for living, a principle for action, in that sense a maxim is a thought that can motivate individuals.

Mobile Household or Mobile Householders: The nuclear family is the unit of parents with their children: a social unit. When this group lives in a house, it is called a household, or the group are householders. Mobile is something moving easily: able to move freely or easily, thus a mobile household is when a nuclear family can move their household freely or easily.

Nicknames for Foreigners:

New Rich - coined by Tim Ferris

Needs versus Wants: The traveler is fully aware they can only carry their needs, their wants they need to buy at the location, or ship them there or home.


Normal Planet: The underdeveloped list of countries are the normal planet, and the developed countries are abnormal, generally perception of the world by "Western People" is they are normal, however in reality they are abnormal. 80 percent of the planet lives in the underdeveloped countries on the planet, they are the majority and by definition of normal, the majority is the norm.

Non Governmental Organizations: (NGO) or (ONG) in Spanish or French

Out: How long are you out, this is Traveler Jargon that is asking the question, how long will you be "outside" your home country.

Outside: Outside the English Language, in a place that is outside your comfort or culture.

Overdeveloped Countries: There is a strong argument that would say, the modern countries or list of developed countries are truly overdeveloped, and not developed.

Paradise Residents

Paradigm Shift:  radical change: a radical change in somebody's basic assumptions about or approach to something.

Perpetual Traveler

Poetic Justice: just retribution: a situation in which somebody meets a fate that seems a fitting punishment or, less often, a fitting reward for his or her past actions

Post: -a travel Blog post, an article published using a content management system, you can say we posted the article or we logged the article, it was posted.

Poverty, economic condition in which people lack sufficient income to obtain certain minimal levels of food, housing, clothing, health services, and education generally recognized as necessary to ensure an adequate standard of living. What a society considers adequate, however, generally depends on its average standard of living. Generally, tourist and travelers consider anyone that does not live at Western standard poor, therefore poverty is for them 85 percent of the planet, in reality 15 percent of the planet is over-developed.

Prejudice, strictly defined, a preformed and unsubstantiated judgment or opinion about an individual or a group, either favorable or unfavorable in nature. In modern usage, however, the term most often denotes an unfavorable or hostile attitude toward other people based on their membership in another social or ethnic group. The distinguishing characteristic of a prejudice is that it relies on stereotypes (oversimplified generalizations) about the group against which the prejudice is directed.

Prime Directive of Travel: To enjoy the trip.

Primitive 1. Of or relating to an earliest or original stage or state; primeval. 2. Simple or crude; unsophisticated. See synonyms at rude. 3. Anthropology. Of a nonindustrial, often tribal culture. 4. Of or created by an artist without formal training. 5. Anthropology. A person belonging to a nonindustrial society. 6. a. A self-taught artist. b. A work of art by a primitive artist.

Propositional Style: A style of writing where a proposal is put forth, and conclusions are not drawn.

Rat Race

Real Estate Agents or Rental Agency

Resource Curse

Restaurant Critics

Retired: no longer working: having stopped working, typically after having worked many years.

Romanticizing Travel or Romanticized Travel: To make something appear glamorous: to make something seem or believe something to be more glamorous or ideal than it really is, an idealistic view of travel that is cliché and edits away any harsh reality. The Romantic traveler believes he or she is on a trip of a lifetime, they must endure and accept stress and discomfort, and after they are done, it will all be worth it, they will look back and appreciate they made the trip.

Romanticized View of Travel

Running a gauntlet

Skaters (those 'ex pats' on the lam from the law up north). (by TropicalGuide)

Skeeters (mosquitos) - (by TropicalGuide)

Skype.com: VOIP system that supplies and on-line telephone system, a person can connect and talk Skype to Skype for free, and for various amounts of money you can call any number on the planet. This works with both landlines and cell phones, and you pay using a debit or credit card that has a balance.

Society Hippie - (by TropicalGuide)

Souless: People who do not care, who cannot empathize, and are dangerous.

Statas-cism – To want to be high status which means there must be low status.

Stereotype 1. A conventional, oversimplified conception, opinion, or image. 2. One regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.

Stuff: There are non-essential wants, the stuff of life that clutters up our world.

Television News or Media

Three Month Rule


TMI – Too Much Information

Tomorrow: A day that never comes, and day that is not important, see "Mañana Syndrome."

Tourist Attractions:

Tourist Destination: Tourist plan to see tourist

Tourist Information: Office: A place that sells tourist or does hotel booking, generally has little to do with information, however if government ran sometimes a good place to find a city map.

Tourist Map:

Tourist Trap

Tourist Trap Hostel

Travel Blogger or Travel Blog

Travelers Nest

Travel Myths: There are ideas and belief about the benefits of travel that have no basis in reality. i.e. you Will become a better person, you will learn tolerance, etc.

Travel Information: There are three types of travel information, government, semi-government and public offered. The semi and public often misrepresent their companies as being official recommended by the city free information. 98 percent of the information offered is biased sales information, more or less they are selling services for specific companies disguised as free or government sanctioned.

Travel Writers:

Third World - Normal a group of nations that earn below 10 dollars per day, this is 85 percent of the planet and is the normal world. Common use: General designation of economically developing nations. The term originates, or derives from ("tiers monde" in French) as an analogy of the "third estate," First estate being the "Priest" Second estate being the "Nobles" Third estate being the "Common people" "Third Estate, class of membership in the Estates-General, a national representative body in France before 1789. The third estate represented the commoners, those in neither the clergy (first estate) nor nobility (second estate)" The phrase has the implied meaning of a "Class System". "Class System, social organization in which the rights and duties of individuals are largely determined by birth." Some are born either to be a Priest, or Noble, and inherently superior to the lessor.

I have trouble using the term, because it implies at times, that the third world is lessor, and is in turn not able to rise above, or reach the same status. The term developing nation, Civilized, and UN-Civilized are closer to being correct. But at the same time are difficulty and possibly imperialistic in nature. By imperialistic meaning to want to say my culture is superior to you culture, and you should change.


Tourism, travel for recreation or instruction, often in organized groups.


Tourist Friends

Tourist in Paradise

Tourist Information

Tourist Infrastructure

Tourist Map

Tourist Menu: A menu serving Western Style food, that normally is in English, the prices are maybe 25 cheaper than a developed country and normally a bad deal both in quality and price.

Tourist Trap: A place with many tourist, generally these tourist are paying the same cost and fees as in the USA or Europe. The place is really a developed country colony within a another country. There will be an over-abundance of "Tourist Menus" and you will always be able to see another tourist.

Translate: turn words into different language: to give an equivalent in another language for a particular word or phrase, or reproduce a written or spoken text in a different language while retaining the original meaning.

Transliteration:  transcribe something into another alphabet: to represent a letter or word written in one alphabet using the corresponding letter or letters of another, so that the sound of the letter or word remains approximately the same (2)

Travel Insider: Owners of Travel Sites for over three years, travel agents for over 3 years, and travelers for over three years.

Traveler: Generally means anybody that left home for longer than one day.

Traveler versus Traveller

Traveler - (Real Traveler): If a person has traveled continuously for over three years, and doe not stay in one place longer than three months maybe they are real traveler. I think they need to have visited Asia, South or Central America, Europe and India to be called a real traveler.

Tropics: a line of latitude on the Earth’s globe either 23º 26′ north of the equator tropic of Cancer or 23º 26′ south tropic of Capricorn


Underdeveloped World:

Up Country:

You are the light

VOIP: "Voice Over IP" This is using systems like Skype.com, this means you can make telephone calls that are routed through high-speed Internet connections. A person uses a computer and an interface such as Skype.com- Magic Jack is another system that is very popular.

Western Standards: 15 percent of the world has standards that are higher than the other 85 percent of the planet.

Western People:

Western world, also known as the West and the Occident (Latin: occidens -sunset, -west, as distinct from the Orient), is a term that can have multiple meanings depending on its context (e.g., the time period, the region or social situation). Accordingly, the basic definition of what constitutes "the West" varies, expanding and contracting over time, in relation to various historical circumstances.In the contemporary political and cultural context, the Western World generally refers to the nations of the European Union, The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Central Europe, Latin America, Israel, and South Africa.

World Citizen

World Travel

World Traveler


Special Thanks - Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Compact Disc ROM (CD ROM)

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 18:58:05

Travel Dictionary

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