Travel Terms Glossary

Index shortcuts to industry terms;


Advance Purchase Fare

Advance Purchase Fare is a discounted airfare requiring tickets to be bought a minimum number days before departure, offering savings for early planning.

Advance Purchase Requirement

Advance Purchase Requirement (APR) mandates buying a ticket a specified number of days before flight departure, often tied to fare discounts.

Air Mile

An air mile, approximately 6076 feet, is a unit of distance used in aviation, equivalent to one nautical mile.

Airline Alliance

An airline alliance is a collaborative agreement between multiple airlines, enhancing their networks and flexibility through shared resources and expanded route options.

Blackout Dates

Blackout Dates are periods when special fares or promotions are unavailable, commonly during holidays or major events, limiting discount availability.

Booking Class

Each service class (economy, premium economy, business and first) are divided into booking classes. Each class represents tickets purchased at a particular price point—the higher the booking class, the greater the premium.

When purchasing tickets, travellers are advised of the ticket booking class and its terms and conditions. Due to limited availability in each booking class, changes to travel dates after ticket issue will likely require a booking class upgrade, directly impacting fare price.

Additional agency fees for cancellations and changes may also apply. Click here for more information on booking classes.

Bulkhead Seat

Bulkhead seats, positioned behind the cabin’s partitioning wall, offer extra legroom as they lack a seat directly in front of them.


Bulkhead refers to a dividing wall within an aircraft’s cabin or other transportation modes, segmenting spaces for privacy and organization.


Bumping occurs when airlines deny boarding to ticketed passengers on oversold flights, offering volunteers compensation, like vouchers, for later travel. Each carrier follows distinct compensation guidelines, which can be requested from the ticket agent.


Carry-on luggage restrictions vary by airline, with no universal standard, requiring passengers to check with individual carriers for specific guidelines.

Fly-Drive Package

A Fly/Drive Tour is a flexible, independent travel (F.I.T.) package combining airfare and car rental, often with additional travel elements. Usually less expensive than booking each separately.

Frequent Flyer Program

A Frequent Flyer Program rewards travellers with benefits like free flights for their loyalty to a specific airline, accumulated through regular travel.

Frequent Independent Travel (F.I.T.)

Frequent Independent Travel (F.I.T.) involves individuals or small groups self-organising trips, emphasising flexibility in scheduling, destinations, and personal interests. It typically includes bespoke arrangements for transport, accommodation, and activities, catering to unique, personalised travel experiences.


A hub is an airport or city where an airline operates numerous flights to various destinations, exemplified by Delta’s hub in Atlanta. Airlines often use a hub-and-spoke system to maximise efficiency and profits, ensuring frequent flights to these central locations and onward connections.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a global trade group for the airline industry, headquartered in Montreal, Canada, and having executive offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jump Seat

A jump seat in aviation refers to an extra seat, typically used by cabin crew, trainees, or non-operating personnel, not engaged in flying the aircraft.


A layover is the interval spent at an intermediate stop between connecting flights, often used for transferring to another aircraft.

Passenger Name Record (PNR)

The Passenger Name Record (PNR) is a unique code in a computer reservation system (CRS) that represents an individual’s travel itinerary.


Point-to-Point describes direct travel and fares between two cities, without additional stops or extended segments.


Prop refers to aircraft powered by propellers, distinguishing them from jet-engine counterparts.

Published Fare

A Published Fare is an airfare officially listed in an airline’s tariff schedule.


The purser is the senior flight attendant on a flight, tasked with supervising cabin crew and ensuring passengers’ needs are fulfilled.

Record Locator (Reloc)

A Record Locator, or Reloc, is the unique code assigned to a reservation in an airline’s computer system, used for tracking and identification.

Red-Eye Flight

A Red-Eye Flight departs late at night and arrives early the next morning, typically used for overnight travel.


Reissue involves generating a new ticket in exchange for an existing one, due to changes in plans, dates, or flights, often with added fares, penalties, and fees.

Scheduled Flights

Scheduled Flights are publicly advertised air services with fixed timetables, routinely operated by major airlines.

Unrestricted Fare

An Unrestricted Fare is a flexible airfare without advance purchase, stay duration, or specific travel day requirements. Common in full coach and first-class, it’s often refundable and free from blackout dates.



Aft refers to the direction towards the back or stern of a ship.


Berth denotes either a sleeping space in a ship’s cabin or the docking location for a vessel.

Cashless Cruising

Cashless Cruising refers to an onboard payment system where expenses, like drinks and shore tours, are charged to an account linked to a credit card or cash deposit, with a detailed statement provided at the end.

Cruise Tour

A Cruise Tour is a combined vacation package featuring a sea voyage and a multi-night land excursion to destinations beyond the ship’s reach.

Deck Plan

A Deck Plan is a detailed layout showing the arrangement of decks, public areas, cabins, and other facilities on a cruise ship.

Guaranteed Share

Guaranteed Share in cruising offers single passengers a companion at a special rate, ensuring the double-occupancy rate even if a cabin mate isn’t found, significantly lower than typical single occupancy rates.

Inside Cabin

An Inside Cabin is a stateroom on a ship without a window, varying in size but occasionally similar to an outside cabin.


A Knot is a nautical speed unit, equivalent to approximately 1.15 miles per hour, used to measure a ship’s velocity.


Lead-in Price is the minimum price for a travel service, like a cruise ship cabin. Limited in availability, these budget-friendly options often sell quickly, though slightly higher-priced, better accommodations are usually available.


Leeward refers to the side of a ship or island sheltered from the prevailing wind, opposite the windward side, as seen in the ‘Leeward Islands’ in the Caribbean.

Lido Deck

The Lido Deck is typically the deck on a cruise ship encompassing the pool area and related leisure facilities.


Midships, or amidships, refers to the central part of a vessel or aircraft, both lengthwise and widthwise.

Nautical Mile

A Nautical Mile is a unit of distance used in maritime and air navigation, approximately 1.15 statute miles, based on one minute of Earth’s latitude.

Outside Cabin

An Outside Cabin is a stateroom on a cruise ship featuring a window or porthole, offering views of the ocean.

Port of Debarkation

The Port of Debarkation is the specific location where passengers disembark from a cruise ship at the end of their voyage.

Port of Embarkation

The Port of Embarkation is the designated location where passengers board a cruise ship to commence their journey.

Port of Entry

Port of Entry refers to an authorised location where travellers and goods can legally enter a country, typically airports or harbours.


A Porthole is a small, circular window on a ship’s hull, allowing light and air into the interior spaces.

Pre-Cruise Vacation

A Pre-Cruise Vacation is a holiday taken in the town or region near the cruise’s embarkation port before starting the cruise.


On a ship, the Purser is responsible for various services like information, currency exchange, and stamp sales, available at the purser’s desk.


Repositioning refers to relocating a cruise ship to a different home port for part or all of a season, like moving ships to Alaska in summer. These cruises often offer great deals, but require one-way airfare from the debarkation port.


Run-of-Ship allows for last-minute cabin assignment, granting cruise lines flexibility in room allocation. Passengers are guaranteed a minimum cabin category, with potential for complimentary upgrades, often within the same cabin type, but sometimes from inside to ocean view. However, this option can be a gamble.

Sea Bands

Sea Bands are wrist-worn acupressure bracelets claimed to prevent seasickness without the need for medication like Dramamine

Sea Legs

Sea Legs refer to the skill of maintaining balance and avoiding seasickness while moving about on a ship.

Sectioning System (GPS)

The Sectioning System (GPS) is a satellite network enabling precise location tracking on Earth, widely used by cruise ships for navigation.

Shore Excursion

Shore Excursions are optional tours available at cruise ports of call, often purchasable in advance or during the cruise.


Stabilisers on cruise ships reduce pitch and roll at sea, minimizing motion that can cause seasickness. They are often retracted at night for increased speed between ports.


Starboard refers to the right side of a ship when facing forward, opposite to port, which is the left side.


A Stateroom is a private, comfortable cabin on a ship or train, equipped for sleeping.


The Stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship, located opposite the bow or front.

Theme Cruise

A Theme Cruise centers around a specific interest, like music, pop culture, wellness, or cuisine, offering related activities and experiences for enthusiasts.


Trans-canal, in the context of the Panama Canal, refers to the process or journey of a ship passing through the canal from one ocean to another.


A Stateroom Veranda is a roofed, private outdoor porch attached to a cruise ship cabin, offering outside views and relaxation space.

Hotels & Accommodation

Adjoining Rooms

Adjoining Rooms are two separate hotel rooms connected by an internal door, enabling guests to merge them into a larger, unified space.


A Bed and Breakfast (B&B) is a lodging establishment, often a privately-owned home, offering overnight accommodation and breakfast, with each room available for rent with breakfast and/or other meals served as part of the price.


A Bellboy, or Bellman, is a hotel employee tasked with assisting guests, notably by carrying luggage to rooms and performing various errands.

Boutique Hotel

A Boutique Hotel is a small, stylish hotel offering personalised service and unique character, distinct from larger chain hotels.


A Concierge is a hotel employee specialising in providing guests with personalised services, such as making restaurant reservations and acting as a liaison for local attractions and services.

Connecting Room

Connecting Rooms are two adjacent hotel rooms linked by an internal door, allowing easy access between them.

Continental Breakfast

A Continental Breakfast offers a light morning meal, typically featuring coffee, tea, or milk, alongside bread items like rolls and toast, often with the option of fruit juice.

Corporate Rate

A Corporate Rate is a specialised hotel pricing tailored for business travellers, offering the best available room at a consistent price, often under a contract between the hotel and the company.

Day Rate

A Day Rate, or day room, is a discounted rate for using a hotel room during daytime hours, not for overnight stays, often utilised for late-night travel departures.

Double Occupancy

Double Occupancy refers to pricing for travel fares or hotel rooms based on two people sharing, a common standard in cruises and tour packages.

English Breakfast

An English Breakfast is a hearty meal typically including cereal, juice, eggs, meats, and beverages, commonly served in UK hotels.

Guest Houses

Guest Houses are private homes providing lodging to paying guests, often offering a cosy, personalised stay.

Half Pension

Half Pension is a hotel rate including breakfast and one other meal, typically dinner, also known as Modified American Plan (MAP) or demi-pension.


A Hostel offers budget-friendly, often dormitory-style accommodations, favoured by students and young travellers, hence the term ‘youth hostel’.


OCV refers to ‘Ocean View,’ typically describing a hotel room with a scenic view of the sea.


Posada is a small, often rural hotel in Spanish-speaking regions, offering quaint and local accommodations.


Quad refers to a room designed to accommodate four persons comfortably.


Rollaway is an extra cot or bed added to a hotel room for an additional guest, usually for a fee.

Room Night

In the hospitality industry, a ‘Room Night’ measures occupancy based on the number of nights each room is booked.

Run-of-house (ROH)

Run-of-House (ROH) denotes a hotel room type assigned at the hotel’s discretion upon arrival, often offered at lower rates.

Run-of-the-House Rate

Run-of-the-House Rate is a uniform rate for any available room in a lodging property, assigned at management’s discretion, typically for groups.

Single Supplement

Single Supplement is an extra fee for solo travelers when rates are initially based on double occupancy.


A Sleeper is a sleeping compartment on a train, designed for overnight travel comfort.

Transient Occupancy Tax

Transient Occupancy Tax, or Bed Tax, is a local government-imposed tax added to the cost of a hotel room.

Trundle Bed

A Trundle Bed is a space-saving bed tucked under another, typically on casters, used in compact hotel rooms or transport accommodations.

Holidays & Tours


A Babymoon is a serene, romantic trip taken by expectant parents to enjoy time together before their baby’s arrival.

Back to Back

Back to Back refers to tours operating continuously, where a vehicle concludes a tour and immediately starts a return journey with a new group.

Bespoke Tour

A Bespoke Tour is a customised, tailor-made travel experience, designed to meet the unique preferences and needs of the traveller.

Custom Tour

A Custom Tour is a specialised travel package designed to cater to the specific interests of a preformed group or niche market.

Driver Guide

A Driver Guide skillfully combines the roles of a tour guide and a vehicle operator, narrating while driving.

Escorted Group Tour

An Escorted Group Tour includes a dedicated tour director who accompanies the group, offering commentary and coordinating all activities and movements.


A Familymoon is a honeymoon variant where newlyweds travel with their children from previous relationships, blending a family vacation with honeymoon romance.


FIT, or Flexible Independent Travel, refers to a customised travel package assembled by a travel agent, including components like car rentals, hotels, airfare, city tours, and other individualised options, tailored precisely to the traveller’s preferences.

Inbound Tour

An Inbound Tour caters to groups traveling from another location, typically from a different country, to the tour’s host nation.

Incentive Tour

An Incentive Tour is a reward trip, often used to motivate and increase the productivity of employees or sales agents.

Incidental Charge

Incidental Charges are fees for items and services like movies or phone calls, billed to a hotel room after usage.


Incidentals are additional expenses borne by tour participants, not covered in the initial tour price.

Independent Tour

An Independent Tour is a travel package where a tour operator handles planning, marketing, and sales, but does not accompany travelers during the tour.

King Room

A King Room is a hotel accommodation featuring a spacious king-sized bed.


Safaris today emphasise socially and environmentally responsible travel, focusing on wildlife viewing in natural habitats like game reserves and national parks. Beyond observing wildlife, modern safaris contribute to conservation efforts and support local communities, offering cultural interactions and economic benefits without exploitation. Safari companies often participate in or financially aid wildlife and conservation projects, making these journeys not only about experiencing wildlife but also aiding in its preservation and uplifting local economies.

Scheduled Tour

A Scheduled Tour is a regular fixture in a tour operator’s itinerary, open to the general public, also known as public or retail tours.

Soft Adventure

Soft Adventure refers to moderately active outdoor travel experiences, like horseback riding in canyons or hot-air balloon flights, without intense physical demands.

Theme Tour

A Theme Tour is crafted around a particular interest or concept, like history, sports, or culinary exploration, catering to enthusiasts.

Tour Conductor

A Tour Conductor is the individual responsible for overseeing and managing a tour, often found leading motor coach excursions. Similar to a tour director.

Tour Director

A Tour Director in incentive travel is the coordinator responsible for overseeing personnel and all activities on a specific incentive trip, often employed by larger companies.

Tour Guide

A Tour Guide is a qualified, often certified, professional who leads and educates visitors on tours of specific sites or attractions.

Tour Operator

A Tour Operator is a person or company specialising in creating, organising, and marketing tours, often subcontracting with suppliers for various services.


A villa is a luxurious and spacious country residence, often used as an upscale vacation home. Originating from ancient Rome as an elite country house, the term ‘villa’ in Italian signifies a rural house or farm. Villas typically feature expansive lands and auxiliary structures like barns or garages.

Cross Category


Amex, short for American Express, is a multinational financial services corporation known primarily for its credit card, charge card, and traveller’s cheque businesses.


Atlantic Standard Time (AST) is a time zone observed in parts of the eastern Caribbean, eastern Canada, and parts of South America. It is typically 4 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-4). AST does not observe daylight saving time, so areas using AST maintain the same time year-round.

Circle Trip or Circle Itinerary

A Circle Trip is a travel itinerary where each overnight stop is at a different location, eventually returning to the starting point without backtracking.

City Pair

City Pair refers to the origin and destination locations in an air or rail travel itinerary.


CLIA, or Cruise Lines International Association, is a prominent industry organisation based in New York City, representing global cruise lines.


Complimentary refers to items or services offered for free, including accommodations, meals, tickets, airfare, and various gifts or souvenirs.

Consumer Protection Plan

A Consumer Protection Plan safeguards customer deposits and payments against loss due to company bankruptcy, offered by companies or associations.

Culinary Tourism

Culinary tourism involves exploring unique and memorable culinary experiences, blending travel with authentic tastes of a culture or region.

Destination Management Company (DMC)

A Destination Management Company (DMC) is a professional firm offering extensive local expertise, resources, and services to design and implement events, activities, tours, transportation, and program logistics, particularly for conventions and meetings, akin to a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

Destination Wedding

A Destination Wedding is a wedding held in a chosen locale away from the couple’s hometown, combining the ceremony and travel.

Direct Access

Direct Access allows travel agents to tap directly into an airline’s database for accurate, real-time seat availability and pricing, unlike basic internet fare quotes, utilising a Computer Reservation System (CRS).


A Disclaimer is a legal statement clarifying that a travel agent serves as an intermediary in selling travel products, with liability resting on the suppliers like airlines, hotels, car rental companies, tour operators, and railways.


Embark refers to the act of boarding a plane, cruise ship, or other modes of transportation for a journey.


EST stands for Eastern Standard Time, a time zone in the Eastern United States and Canada, typically UTC-5 hours.


ETD stands for Estimated Time of Departure, indicating the expected time a flight or other mode of transport is scheduled to leave.

Eurail Pass

A Eurail Pass is a rail pass offering extensive train travel across multiple European countries, with options for unlimited travel or a set number of days/weeks. For travel in Britain, the Britrailpass provides a similar service in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Experiential Travel

Experiential Travel, or immersion travel, is a tourism style emphasizing deep engagement with a destination’s history, people, and culture.


A Galley is the kitchen area on a plane, train, or ship, equipped for food preparation and service, often compact on aircraft.

Global Distribution System (GDS)

The Global Distribution System (GDS) is a worldwide computerized reservation network used to access the databases of multiple travel service providers like airlines, facilitating broad-reaching travel bookings.


GST, or Goods and Services Tax, is a value-added tax applied to most goods and services, notably implemented in Canadian provinces.

Inbound Operator

An Inbound Operator, or receptive operator, specialises in providing services to groups arriving from abroad, handling their travel needs within the destination country.


Intercontinental refers to travel or activities involving two different continents, such as flights connecting destinations across continental borders.

Intermodal Tour

An Intermodal Tour combines various transportation modes, like planes, motorcoaches, cruise ships, and trains, within a single journey.

International Date Line

The International Date Line, at 180 degrees longitude, marks a change in calendar dates. It’s an imaginary line extending from the North to South Pole through the Pacific Ocean, where crossing it results in a day’s shift, enabling travel from one destination and arriving in another on the previous day.

Land Arrangements

Land Arrangements encompass all aspects of a trip’s terrestrial segment, including hotel accommodations, car rentals, tours, and sightseeing activities.

Land Destinations

Land Destinations are places travelers visit for their natural beauty, cultural significance, historical value, or opportunities for leisure, adventure, and entertainment.


Land-Only refers to a travel package rate that excludes airfare but typically covers accommodations, transfers, taxes, and optional items like theme park tickets or car rentals.


Latitude consists of imaginary lines encircling the Earth horizontally, measuring angular distance in degrees north or south from the equator.


A Leg in travel is the segment of a journey between two scheduled points, such as stops or destinations.

Leisure Travel

Leisure Travel refers to trips taken for relaxation, vacation, or visiting friends and family, focused on pleasure rather than business purposes.

Multigenerational Travel

Multigenerational Travel involves trips and vacations planned for family members from different generations, such as grandparents, parents, and children, to travel and experience destinations together.

Open Jaw

Open Jaw describes a travel itinerary where a traveller flies to one destination, continues overland to another, and returns by air from this second location.

Open Return

An Open Return is a type of air ticket without a specified return date, a practice that has become increasingly rare.


Outbound refers to the initial departure segment of a journey, typically the first leg from the point of origin.

Outbound Operator

An Outbound Operator is a travel company specialising in organising trips from a specific city or country to other destinations.

Outbound Tour

An Outbound Tour is a travel experience taking participants from their home region, typically from a domestic city, to a destination abroad.


A Porter, also known as a skycap or baggage handler, assists with luggage handling at airports, train stations, and similar transit hubs.


PPDO stands for ‘Per Person, Double Occupancy,’ indicating the average cost per person for tours and cruises when two people share accommodations.

Pre and Post-Trip Tour

A Pre and Post-Trip Tour is an additional travel package offered before and/or after a primary event, like a meeting or convention."


A Pseudo-Agent falsely claims to be a travel agent, often using fake identification, and may vanish when issues occur.


PST stands for Pacific Standard Time, a time zone observed on the west coast of the United States and Canada, typically UTC-8 hours.

Rack Rate

Rack Rate is the standard, full price of a hotel room or travel service as listed before any discounts are applied.

Receptive Operator

A Receptive Operator is a local tour company focusing on providing services and experiences for incoming visitors, particularly those in tour groups.


Res is shorthand for ‘reservation,’ referring to the booking of services like hotels, flights, or restaurants.

Retail Price

Retail Price is the final amount a customer pays for a travel service or tour package, inclusive of all fees.


A Retailer in the travel industry, like a travel agent, directly sells travel services and packages to customers.


Sabre® is a sophisticated computerised system used for booking and managing travel reservations, widely utilised in the travel industry.


A Segment in travel refers to a single portion of a journey, particularly in air travel, marked by one take-off and one landing.


Self-Drive refers to the practice of renting a car for personal driving, rather than relying on public or chauffeured transportation.

Service Non Comprise

Service Non Comprise is a French term indicating that service charges are not included in the listed price.

Shoulder Season

Shoulder Season is the transitional period between peak and off-peak travel times, characterised by moderate prices and fewer crowds.


A Sommelier is a trained wine expert, often employed by upscale restaurants, specialising in wine selection and advising on food pairings.


Surface travel refers to land-based transportation methods, excluding air travel, such as by car, train, or bus."


T&E stands for Travel and Entertainment expenses, encompassing costs incurred during business trips and corporate events.


TGV, or Train à Grande Vitesse, is the high-speed train system operating in France, known for its rapid transit.

Through Passenger

A Through Passenger remains on board a vehicle, such as a train or plane, until reaching their final destination, bypassing intermediate stops.


Transcon refers to travel that spans the length of a continent, from one end to the other, crossing various regions.


Transcontinental describes journeys that cross an entire continent, connecting one end to the other, often through various countries or regions.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax applied to the incremental increase in value of a product or service at each stage of its production or distribution.

Value Season

Value Season refers to a travel period similar to off or shoulder seasons, characterised by lower pricing and fewer crowds.

VIA Rail

VIA Rail is Canada’s national passenger rail service, providing intercity travel across the country.