Every year, new and old travel words and phrases come and go. Used by holiday companies and organisations to advertise their services. Changing annually depending on what tourists are demanding. Take a look out the best buzzwords and sayings to have emerged (or re-emerged) in 2019, so far, and what that tells us about this current generation of travellers.
A regular mainstay in these annual articles, 2019 could be the year “experiences” belongs on a list of top travel words and phrases more than ever.
The baby boomer generation was one of the first where huge numbers of the population had the wealth and means to holiday regularly. This lead to tourist booms and business in popular destinations.
The millennial generation is starting to define itself as one motivated by culture, independence, and trail-blazing. So, they are instead looking for unique adventures rather than more traditional getaways. From venturing off the beaten track to staying with locals in their own homes, expect travel companies, hotels, and airlines to advertise with this buzzword much more in 2019.
Let’s follow up a repeating buzzword with the return of an old one. A very old one, in fact!
Vagary is the Ancient Roman term meaning, “lost in the right direction.” Essentially, it is a paraphrase of “the joy is in the journey, not the destination”. So, encourages a more exploratory style of travel.
Considering the new generation of travellers are all about one-of-a-kind experiences, there is no better time for vagary to make a comeback.
“Transformational travel” or “travelling with purpose” are interchangeable terms denoting the same thing. People don’t just want a holiday; they want to achieve something lasting at the same time.
Sometimes this is about making a positive contribution to your travel destination. This can range from tidying up or friendly interactions with the locals, to volunteering to help an individual or organisation.
Yet, it can also be something personal. Perhaps one will see a natural wonder to make them appreciate the world better, or learn a new skill or hobby they can practice at home. Speaking of which…
Travelling has become synonymous with self-discovery. However, more than half of voyagers worldwide say they also learn practical and valuable skills, too. So, now this is the majority, more people expect their escape to unveil a new talent.
The drive for independent and unique experiences, combined with transformational travel, has resulted in a new type of holiday: Voluntourism. The clue is in the name, of course, and millennials are driving the demand for holiday adventures where they can offer their time and skills as part of the desire to achieve longer-lasting social and environmental good.
This expanding awareness of how our travel affects our chosen destinations and the locals who live there has created a culture shift of holidaying as environmentally and socially neutral as possible. This doesn’t mean holidaymakers don’t want to enjoy comfortable, luxurious getaways anymore, but the buzz phrase “low-impact travel” is something you can expect more and more companies to use to entice tourists.
Naturally, “low-impact travel” encompasses ecology. Ecotourism is the act of using your holiday to educate yourself about the environment and contributing to its protection. And it’s on the rise. Ecotourism can be passive by simply not engaging in harmful tourist activities, like riding elephants in Thailand. But it is mostly active. By staying in hotels which recycle, attending educational tours, or volunteering with local programmes.
“Participative conservation” is another one of the travel words and phrases which crosses over with some of the previous terms. But still makes this list for its growing popularity in 2019. Similar to “low-impact travel” and “ecotourism”, “participative conservation” is a type of holiday craved by tourists seeking to mix a life-changing, beneficial escape with and immersive, sustainable experience.
Unfortunately, there are some companies and advertisers around who are taking advantage of this movement for low-impact, participative holidays without delivering on their promise. Thus, there is one negative term on this travel words and phrases list: “green washing”. This is the act of a person or organisation claiming an activity or product is eco-friendly, when it really is not.
Fortunately, as this phrase grows in popularity, more people are becoming aware of the practice. So, more are doing their homework and checking before booking their experience to ensure they get what they pay for.
Another foreign travel word which is at home in 2019 is exploratrice. This French term refers specifically to female travellers, and the exploratrices of 2019 are different than those before them…because they are travelling solo!
All-women travel tours have grew by 68% in 2016. And 26% of millennial women say they have already taken a trip alone.
And the final phrase on this list of the best travel words and phrases of 2019 is “seamless travel”. This refers to how rapidly technology is making exploration easier.
With a few presses on your mobile phone, you can have a language app that translates text, voices, and printed images in real time. Augmented reality apps allow you to explore a new location with your own private tour guide in your ear. Artificial intelligence and GPS apps make finding and booking accommodation and travel easier than ever before. And websites offering coupons and vouchers make it easy to find a deal.
Technology is sometimes blamed for distracting us from discovering our true selves and separating us from the wider world. But, when used right, it can make this wonderful planet of ours more accessible than ever before.
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