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My Top 10 Urban Dictionary Travel Terms

Travel Slang Defined photo from

Traveller or tourist? Are you travelling or are you travelling? Is there a difference? It would appear so. Depending on who you meet the definition by opinion changes; and as we work collectively closer toward finding that perfect answer, people have come up with some interesting  ideas.

I heard a funny story once from some friends who were travelling through Japan. They had met a girl in a bar in Tokyo and got to talking about travel. “What brings you to Tokyo?” the girl asked. “We’re travelling Asia” responded guy number one. “We’re travellers” added guy number two. Throwing her head back in a whip of laughter and gathering her self from hysterics the girl said “You guys aren’t travellers. You have gel in your hair.”

I couldn’t help but check Urban Dictionary for others’ takes on the traveller definition debate. In doing so I stumbled upon some other interesting travel terms. Here are 10 of my favorite travel terms defined by the people:

10 – traveller  noun

A term used by people who are travelling away from home, but have distaste for the terms “tourist” and “holidaymaker”. Travellers are often said to be distinct from tourists/holidaymakers due to the fact that they travel for longer periods of time, seeing a variety of places in one trip, and make an effort to experience the real spirit of the places they visit, rather than just tourist resorts.

Example: The great thing about staying in hostels is the opportunity to meet and hang out with other travellers from all over the world.

Traveller at Syrian Border photo by

9 – Backpackistan noun

The country that exists in the minds of twenty-something-year-old travellers throughout the entire world. It’s citizens are identifiable by their dreadlocks, faux-tribal tattoos and strict, tiresome adherence to a Bob Marley tunes. They eat falafel and juggle fire torches. Their economy is based around mooching, and the sale of Tibetan prayer flags and Che Guevarra marijuana pipes. Backpackistanis are united by a common language: broken English.

Example: Even though I spent a year travelling through Paris, Madrid, Morocco, Bangkok, Bali, Sidney, Sao Paulo, Machu Picchu, Guatemala, and Southern Utah, I feel like the only country I really visited was Backpackistan.

Backpackistan crowd photo by

8- packrastinate verb

A compound verb formed by the words pack and procrastinate. When you have to move, or go on a trip, and have plenty of advance warning, but you still only pack your belongings at the last minute.

Example:  I’m flying to Hawaii in three days, but I haven’t even started to figure out what to bring. You know me – I always packrastinate.

Packing Procrastination photo by

7 – Hostel  noun

The place in Europe where your girlfriend stayed while on that college backpacking trip and slept with a bunch of European men who promised to call her and told her they’d come to America to visit her so they could get in her panties.

Example: “I don’t think you really wanna touch her. She stayed at a hostel this summer.”

Xi’An hostel in China photo by

6 – Travel Nazi noun.

A person who transforms into a completely different person in times of travel. They always appear to be in haste as they are always 10 to 15 feet in front of the family. They must arrive 2 hours early to an airport gate and you may not leave your seat no matter how much you need to urinate or else “you might miss the flight.”


James:”Where’d the Travel Nazi run to?”

Josh:”He’s like 50 feet ahead, scouting out the quickest path to the gate so we can arrive before the flight leaves tomorrow.”

5 – travelsty noun

A horrible traveling experience.

Example: Dude, we went to Cabo last week. The plane was late, they lost our luggage and the hotel had no record of our reservation – total travelsty.

A travel disaster moment. Photo from

4 – Travel Wanker noun

When someone has travelled overseas and, upon returning, can speak of nothing else. They are at their worst when in the company of fellow travel wankers. The conversation quickly deteriorates into an excruciating game of one-upmanship.


Karl: well, when I did that Thailand Contiki tour……
Mitch: Seriously Karl, travelling Contiki can’t even be considered real travelling. When I went to Laos….

Jimmy: Geez, Karl and Mitch have become the biggest travel wankers since they got back.

Don’t be a Travel Wanker photo from

3 – Travelanche  noun

When a considerable amount of bags and/or suitcases get packed into the back of a vehicle to the point that they are about to fall out.

 Example: “Suzzy, if you put any more bags in the car we’ll have a travelanche.”

Possible Travelanche situation photo by

2 – travel ‘stache noun

A moustache grown and maintained for the sole purpose of a special vacation. This particular mustache is a head-turner in airports, train and bus stations, and cruise ships in particular. May be more noticeable to women, especially women with children ages 5-12.


Player #1) Yo soul brotha did you see that cat’s travel ‘stache?
Player #2) FOOOOOSSSSSHHHHHHH! Them shits be right.

Travel ‘stache photo by

1 – tourist noun

Foreign visitors who come to see popular sites and attractions… but are often side-tracked by even simpler things… (a telephone pole, a school bus, a bird, a sandwich) signs of their attraction towards native features: excessive photographing, pointing of fingers.


Tourist: What’s that thing you’re holding in your hand?
Tourist guide: this? this is a sandwich, it would be my lunch
Group of Tourists: OoOoooh! Ahhhh…. (snapshots)….I’m guilty!

Tourist or Traveller? photo by

What are your favourite travel terms?

8 comments on “My Top 10 Urban Dictionary Travel Terms

  1. walterohotels
    April 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on Walter O Hotels.

  2. jaja
    April 17, 2012

    hahaha!! i wanna be #10, i’m definitely a packrastinor though. and i’m 100 percent #1, when it comes to excessive photographing. #noshame. haha. 🙂

    • Lindsay Anne Williams
      April 17, 2012

      I’m very much guilty of no.10. I’d love to hear what travel terms you catch wind of once you hit the road. Have you decorated your Trip Jar yet?

  3. Edna
    May 2, 2012

    Haha, I don’t even know which one’s my favorite! Probably travelsty, though hostel by far has the best definition.

    • Lindsay Anne Williams
      May 3, 2012

      Edna – Thank you for the comment. I can’t get over the tourist definition. I’m such a tourist, by this definition, although I detest being labelled as such.

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