Understanding Deceptive Travel Terms

Don’t Let Dubious Travel Terms Catch You Out

Booking a holiday or making travel plans should be fun, but with so many slightly dubious travel terms flying around it can be tricky to try and makes sense of what you’ll actually be getting for your hard-earned cash.

Read on to discover the most common deceptive travel terms so you don’t fall foul of any of these slightly confusing terms!

Access To Public Transport

Do not get caught out by this cheeky one as this term could mean a long walk or access to a bus nearby in order to get to the main lines of transport. Don’t take anything for granted and check the location of transport links before you book.

All Inclusive

In theory, all-inclusive should mean every aspect of your trip is covered, including your hotel room, meals, activities, alcohol etc. In reality, it comes with hidden fees and misleading advertisements. The best way to catch them out is to look for asterisks e.g. all-inclusive meals & drinks*, unlimited* golf etc. These asterisks always refer you to the terms & conditions, which you must scrutinise, asterisk or not.

Many all-inclusives do not include premium or imported spirits in the package, so if you like a branded tipple you might end up having to pay for it. There might also be a time and place limit to your tipple encounters e.g. free until midnight, pay for in-room drinks. Many hotels also make you pay an upgrade or charge a cover fee for dining from the menu or at some of their restaurants.

A more blatant miss-lead is the word unlimited. Unlimited dives, unlimited baby sitting, unlimited access to. Yes, they are all unlimitedly available as long as you pay for it! Always read the fine print!

City Airports

Check your arrival and departure airports carefully as you could be landing further from your destination than you’d expect. For example, Tokyo Narita is 60km away from the city centre but many tourists believe that this is near the heart of the action due to the slightly misleading airport name.

Most of the these airports are not the main airport of the respective city but London Stansted, 40 miles (64km) from central London, sounds better than Uttlesford Essex Airport or Stockholm Skavsta, 62 miles (99km) from central Stockholm, sound more familiar than Skavsta Nyköping.

So, when considering a short weekend break where you think you can catch a late flight that lands at 19.00hrs and be at the bar by 20.00hrs for a drink before dinner, think again! Frankfurt Hahn is 68 miles (110km) from central Frankfurt.

Direct Flights

This is one of the most “misused” terms in modern travelling to a layman as the immediate thought is that it would be get you directly, non-stop from A to B. But no. This actually means a flight with a single flight number. So, it can actually involve stops to change aircraft, airline (partners), crew or to refuel. Dependent on reasons, passengers may remain (usually when refuelling) or have to disembark.

A direct flight does notmean non-stop flights to your destination, so make sure you double check so as not to book flights that may take twice as long.

No Booking Fees

This may mean you won’t be charged for making a booking by the booking agent, but look out for other charges, not yet added to the bill. These are typically local taxes and the hotels own charges, which can end up doubling the displayed cost. Dependent on where you are in the world and which hotels you are booking, these local taxes and charges can range from per day, per visit, per entry for, for e.g. environmental taxes, tourism tax, resort fees, service fees, housekeeping fees etc.

Things you can do to mitigate this issue:

  • Choose to use booking sites that provides a total final sum including extra fees, even fees that have to be paid at the hotel
  • If they do not provide a full final amount, make sure all fees are stated upfront so you can tally up the final charges yourself
  • Always make sure you double check even when using either of the above, as these site have been known on occasions to be inconsistent and not included taxes or resort fees for the cheapest listing on their initial search results
Use Of Stars & Ratings

Some companies stick to the standard one to five-star accommodation rating, but you’ll also see ticks, circles and lots of other symbols creeping in on activities and hotels. The purpose of these symbols has grown frominforming travellers of the physical facilities that can be expected to the quality of the hotel experience as a whole. The greater number of symbols supposedly depicts the level of luxury you can “expect”.

Bear in mind that different hotels sign up to different systems and many have their own rating systems, so tread very carefully when booking accommodation or you could get far less than you expected. For example, a 4-star (own rating) beach resort can sometimes “feel” like a 3-star big city AA rated hotel, or a small hotel in the outskirts of a big city can have a 3-star rating as it doesn’t have as many facilities as a big hotel, but have the “feel” of a 4-star hotel in the city centre.

In order not to be disappointed, do your homework and check them out first!