Tony Rodgers/The Daily

The A-Z of travel speak

THERE are some travel terms which may send confusion fluttering around in your head but the list compiled below was created to sort all the confusion out.

Add-on: Some additional travel arrangement that will complement your overall holiday, usually at extra cost. It may be a private car transfer from the airport to the hotel, added to travel arrangements.


Blackout dates: If you book a holiday or flights that have been discounted, often the promotion will not apply to dates that fall on a major public holiday or coincide with a busy season.


Companion fare: Some airlines, train lines and cruise lines offer promotions for two passengers, travelling on the same trip and on the same dates, to purchase a second ticket for less than the price of the original fare.


Double dip: This is a term used for flights that dip into two destinations for the price of one airfare. The flight will bypass a second city enroute to the final destination, much like a stopover, so the advantage is that you can enjoy two different holidays. For example, a beach holiday in Hawaii and a shopping holiday in LA.


E-ticket: Gone are the days of traditional paper tickets, now it is sent to you as an electronic version. The e-ticket basically looks like a receipt, which passengers can view and print at any point of the day or night.


FIT: This popular acronym stands for Free Independent Traveller. In essence, this is someone who travels with a self-booked itinerary, not part of a guided tour or packaged holiday.


Gap year: A period of time set aside to travel or volunteer abroad. Typically, it is a stage in a person's life when they are transitioning between life stages, such after a student finishes high school and before they begin a degree.


Holding pattern: Often there is no space on the runway for an aircraft to land, so the control tower requests that the captain fly in a holding pattern. This pattern is essentially like a car circling the parking lot.


Inside cabin: A room aboard a cruise ship that is inside, without a balcony and sometimes without a window. This is usually the cheapest room type to purchase.


Jetlag: Jetlag will usually set in when you fly across more than three time zones or when you fly east. Your internal body clock becomes confused, as day becomes night and night becomes day. Symptoms can include fatigue, irritability, upset stomach, disturbed sleep patterns, grogginess, swollen limbs, lack of concentration and dehydration.


Knot: A knot is a unit of speed used. One knot equals one nautical mile per hour. Knots and nautical miles originated in the navy, but are now commonly used terms in air navigation, meteorology and maritime.


Layover: Also known as a stopover, a layover is usually in relation to long-distance travel on a plane, train or bus. In a nutshell, it's the time you spend waiting at a terminal between transits. If you are spending more than five hours in transit or travelling overnight, it might be worth booking a hotel room to get some sleep.


Mileage: This is the total length of distance travelled, usually in miles, by a car or plane in a given time. For example the number of miles a plane flies from Brisbane to London.


Net fare: The price of an airfare without any commission or tax added to it. The net fare price is also known as the wholesale fare price.


Open-jaw: An open-jaw airfare allows you to fly from your home city to another city and then return home from a different city. For instance, you might want to fly from Sydney to New York City and back from London to Sydney. This saves purchasing two separate one-way airfares.


PNR: This acronym stands for Passenger Name Record. This includes all the information on a traveller's reservation of an airfare or hotel booking. From this record, a travel agent or industry professional can access your itinerary.


Quad-share: A room or cabin that can accommodate four people. Cheap quad-share options, such as hostels or motels, are popular for backpackers and youth travellers. Families tend to go for a two-bedroom apartment or two adjoining twin rooms.


Rack rate: The standard price of a hotel room before a discount has been taken. When a property is full, the rack rate will usually apply.


Shoulder season: Not peak and not off-peak, this is the season that falls between these two. Generally, the crowds are thinner and rates are cheaper because there is less demand.


Transfer: If you are travelling for a longer period or with a group, you can hire a car or minivan at most international airports. Otherwise, pre-book a private car transfer with a travel consultant. This is a cheaper option than getting a taxi from the airport to your hotel.


Upgrade: Room upgrades, flight upgrades, cabin upgrades. Some airlines allow you to use frequent flyer points to upgrade domestic or international flights. Hotels may get you into a bigger room or room with a view if you are celebrating a special occasion or if you ask politely.


VAT: This abbreviation stands for Value Added Tax, which is a consumer tax that is applied to goods and services in Europe.


Waiver: A waiver can be issued by an airline or a tour operator to allow travellers to alter their flight or travel booking, without incurring any fees.


X-change rate: A favourable exchange rate, against the Australian dollar, will offer golden opportunities to stretch holiday budgets further, particularly when you are travelling in the US, UK and Europe.


Yield: This is the average ticket price across all airfares, across a specific period of travel.


Z-class: If you're lucky enough to have an airfare ticket with this letter on it, then you're travelling in business class. The letter system is used by the airlines to differentiate fare types, according to pricing and seating allocation.