October 11, 2017

Travel Words That Don’t Exist (But Should!)

When you need to communicate in a foreign locale, you probably want to lean on a language app. But that requires knowing what a word is before you can look it up.

Knowing (or not knowing) a phrase isn’t exclusive to international jet setting. You’ve undoubtedly come across all kinds of concepts in your travels—or even your day-to-day commutes—that conjure elation, frustration, or just plain bemusement…yet you just can’t put your finger on what to call them.

We rounded up some of our most relatable travel words that don’t exist—but should—to highlight the unique experiences of getting around. From driving to packing, flying to sightseeing, these phrases cover some of our faves.


Ready Unleady Go: That jubilant feeling when you get into a Zipcar and the member before you filled up the tank—not just ¼, but all. the. way!

No-Pain, All-Gain Lane: When your side of the road is clear, but the other one is gridlocked, so you can just cruuuuise.

Cone Pilot: The driving companion who holds your ice cream cone while you drive. 


Slide and Ride: The triumphant achievement of just making it through the closing doors of a subway car and securing your spot on the train, not stuck on the platform waiting for the next one to arrive.

Substructionist: A commuter who stands directly in the doorway of a subway car, infuriatingly preventing passengers from entering or exiting at their stops. The #1 barrier to a Slide and Ride.

Escatraitor: That one person who stands on the left side of the escalator (aka the passing lane), causing a major holdup when everyone is trying to ascend from the subway underground to their lives above.


Slayover: When your layover is scheduled exactly right, so you have time to get a snack, freshen up, and charge your devices, but not wait around for too long and get super bored.

Sweet Assignment: When you’re lucky enough to nab an empty seat next to you on flight. (Score!)

Temporary Binsanity: The anxious dance of jostling with overhead bin luggage when you board—and then trying to get it down as fast as possible when you land—so you can mobilize quickly as everyone else is trying to do the same. 

Stow Poke: Someone who stows or unstows baggage in the overhead bin sooooo slowly that they hold everyone up who wants to sit or get off the plane. (The fear of becoming one such person can trigger Temporary Binsanity.) 


Fretaway: The paradoxical sensation of stress while coordinating logistics on a relaxing getaway.

Tootcase: A piece of luggage that embarrassingly squeaks or squeals.

Packjack: When you just fit everything into your bag or car trunk.


Person Of Inquirest: Upon scanning a crowd, you identify this individual as the friendly and trustworthy-looking choice to ask for help and/or directions in an unfamiliar place.

Maphead: A tourist with their face always buried in a map, to the detriment of passersby also attempting to use the sidewalk. 

Apphole: A pedestrian who can’t stop looking at their phone, causing aggravating walkway obstacles.

What travel words do you think should exist? Tell us in the comments below!