Traveler Resources

Photo Credit: VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

Travel Glossary

Published Feb 22, 2019 12:00AM

Your Guide to the Most Common Travel Terminology

Most tour operators try to make their brochures as attractive, informative and understandable as possible; however, in reading these brochures you will undoubtedly encounter some terminology that is unfamiliar to you. 

To assist you, here’s a glossary covering some of the terminology most frequently used in travel brochures. Your travel advisor can give you further details on these and any other unfamiliar terms.


Single Room: A room with one bed for one person.

Twin Room: A room with two beds for two people.

Double Room: A room for two persons with a double bed.

Triple Room: A room for three persons, usually consisting of twin beds (or double bed) plus a roll-away cot.

Service Charges and Taxes: Service charges are a fixed per­centage automatically added to room and meal charges. Taxes are set by the city, state or federal government.

Ocean Front: A room directly facing the ocean.

Ocean View: A room from which it is possible to secure a view of the ocean (usually lo­cated on the side of the hotel).


Air Transportation

Connecting Flight: A segment of an ongoing trip which requires a change of aircraft, but not necessarily a change of airline.

Direct Flight: A flight on which passengers do not have to change planes, but may involve one or more stops en route.

Non-stop Flight: Service be­tween two points with no scheduled stop en route.

Add-on Fare: The cost of air travel from a domestic city to another domestic city from which the tour/vacation pack­age originates and vice versa.

Baggage Allowance: The weight or volume of bag­gage that may be carried by a passenger without additional charge.


Car Rental

Drop-off Charge: Fee charged by a car rental company to defray the cost of returning the vehicle to its original location.

Value Added Tax (VAT): Tax imposed by governmental authority.  



Force Majeure: An event or ef­fect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled (such as storms or war).



Passport: An official govern­ment document certifying identity and citizenship and granting permission to travel abroad.

Visa: An official authorization appended to a passport per­mitting travel to and within a particular country.

Vouchers: Documents issued by tour operators to be ex­changed for accommodations, sightseeing and other services.



Continental Breakfast: Usually consists of bread, rolls, butter, jam and tea or coffee.

AP (American Plan): Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

MAP (Modified American Plan): Includes breakfast and dinner.

Full Board (Full Pension): Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Half Board (Demi-Pension): Includes breakfast, and either lunch or dinner.

Table d’hôte: Published res­taurant or hotel dining room menu, usually consisting of appetizer, two or three choices of main course and dessert. After-meal tea or coffee and other beverages are not usually included.

A la Carte: Unrestricted selec­tion from the menu.



Tour Escort/Director/Manager: Professional engaged to over­see the technical details of the tour operation and to accom­pany the group from one place to another.

Local Host: Generally a repre­sentative of the tour opera­tor who provides assistance, information and optional sightseeing and entertainment arrangements in a particular city.

Local Guide: Professional en­gaged to point out places of interest and conduct tours of specific locations and attrac­tions.

Driver-Guide: Professional en­gaged to drive a vehicle and to point out places of interest.

Transfers: Arrival and departure service consisting of providing transport between the airport, city air terminal, rail station, or pier and hotel.

Porterage: Baggage handling service.



All-Inclusive Price: Includes land arrangements and round trip airfare and/or other trans­portation.

Land Price: The cost for the land arrangements only.

Single Room Supplement: Dif­ference in price between half of  a twin room and the actual price of a single room.

High-Season Supplement: Ad­ditional charge imposed during the busiest time of the year.

Double Occupancy Rate: The price per person based on two persons sharing a room.

Double Room Rate: The price per room shared by two persons.



Trip Cancellation Insurance: Purchased separately from ei­ther the tour operator or your travel agent, this provides a re­fund if you have to cancel your trip after completing payment. Refunds often vary according to the time frame in which you cancel.

Travel Insurance: Purchased from a private company or the tour operator, this provides coverage for emergencies abroad such as illness, baggage loss, accidental death/dismem­berment. This policy often includes trip cancellation insurance.

Tour Protection (Consumer Protection Plan): A program designed to reimburse travel­ers if the tour operator goes bankrupt or becomes insolvent. A tour operator’s participation in these types of plans is vol­untary and can involve posting bonds, using escrow accounts or other types of financial security.


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