Deciphering Travel Jargon

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You’re planning a spring break getaway and poring over all the options for destinations, transportation and accommodations, but some of the phrases baffle you.

While your travel agent can help you decipher the language, here are some of the more common terms.

All-inclusive: Whether you’re at a resort or on a cruise, all-inclusive usually means lodging, three meals a day and some beverages. After that, policies vary. Some resorts may charge extra for premium alcoholic beverages and use of the golf course and spa. While cruise lines may include some beverages and most entertainment, travelers can expect to pay for specialty restaurants, a drinks package for alcoholic beverages and shore excursions. 

Adjoining and connecting rooms: If you’re traveling with the family and want a separate room for the kids, be aware that these mean two different things. Adjoining rooms are next to each other but aren’t connected by a door. If you want to be able to check on the kids easily, make sure you tell your travel agent that you want connecting rooms. 

Baggage allowance: Individual airlines set requirements for the number, size and weight of checked luggage and carry-on bags. Carry-ons are typically limited by size, while most airlines charge extra for any checked bag weighing more than 50 pounds. But the requirements vary per airline as well as whether you’re seated in Economy Class or Business or First Class.

Beachfront and beach view: When choosing a hotel, it’s important to find out where you’ll be in relation to the water. A beachfront room usually means that you’re directly facing the water. With beach view, you may be able to see some water from your room, but you’ll have a walk to the beach once you head outside. 

Continental vs complimentary breakfast: When you see that your hotel offers a continental breakfast, it will likely be something light, like bread, rolls, pastry, tea, coffee and milk or fruit juice. Don’t expect a hot meal with all the trimmings. Most of the time a continental breakfast is included with your stay, but not always, whereas a complimentary breakfast is always included and may offer “full breakfast” options, such as scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, hot oatmeal and meat. 

Direct and nonstop flights: A direct flight goes between two airports, but may stop along the way to pick up additional passengers, although you won’t have to get off the plane. A nonstop flight will go directly to your destination.

Economy class: Nowadays, some airlines have basic and premium economy. The lowest-priced economy fare can mean having to wait until check-in to get your seat assignment and no access to overhead bin space. Premium economy usually offers more legroom and an advance seat assignment.

Ecotourism: This is an opportunity to become immersed in the natural environment of the destination, by staying at resorts that support conservation efforts and offer guests a chance to get up close to wildlife, while having low-impact on the natural areas.

Shoulder season: This is the time period between peak and off-peak seasons and can be a great time to get discounts on travel. Depending on your destination, there are shoulder seasons for spring and fall travel, generally mid-April through mid-June and September through October. 

Wellness travel: A growing trend among travelers, wellness retreats promote healthy living through physical and spiritual activities. Those activities can include spa treatments, meditation and yoga, walking tours, hiking and biking, healthy eating and culinary events, outings and adventures in nature and volunteer opportunities.

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