ABC of travel
ABC of travel

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 cruises 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 include a second city en route to the final destination, so the advantage is that you can enjoy two different holidays. For example, a beach holiday in Hawaii and a shopping holiday in Los Angeles.

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 off.

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 time when a person is going through a transition between life stages, such as students finishing 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 flies in a holding pattern. This pattern is essentially like a car circling a 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 on a cruise.

Jet lag: Jet lag 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, a lack of concentration and dehydration.

Knot: A knot is a unit of speed. 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, metrology and the maritime industry.

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.

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 any discount has been taken. When a property is full, the rack-rate usually applies.

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

Transfer: If you are travelling for a longer period of time 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: This term applies to room upgrades, flight upgrades and cabin upgrades. Some airlines allow you to use frequent flyer points to upgrade domestic or international flights. Hotels may allow you into a bigger room or a 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: There's a big variation in airline ticket prices and "yield" is the industry term for the average ticket price across all those airfares.

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.

Glossary supplied by Flight Centre. See flightcentre.com.au for holiday deals and travel advice.

Other travel tips:
TRAVEL DISASTERS
MIND YOUR LUGGAGE
GOING SOLO

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