TravelByte #26:  Babymooners, Set-jetters, Romance Tourism- what do all these terms mean?

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The U.N. World Tourism Organization estimates that by 2030 there will be 1.8 billion travel journeys. Global travel to all corners of the world continues to expand each year. Certain destinations, such as Colombia and Bhutan, are gaining popularity. Reasons for travel are expanding as well. And so are common travel terms…

The next time you provide a pre-travel consultation, you may encounter some of the newest terminology:

  1. Babymooners– Increasingly, couples who are expecting a child will choose to travel in advance of the birth. This getaway is a sort of second honeymoon scheduled before delivery knowing that after a child is born the ability to travel and have time alone as a couple will change. Second trimester is a popular timeframe. Until recently, the Caribbean was the “go to” destination for these trips, but with the emergence of Zika, couples are choosing locations where that virus has not yet been identified. Some travel agents specialize in babymooner itineraries. The Bump, The NY Times and Vogue-among many other publications- have written extensively on this type of travel. Reading more on this topic (just Google “Babymoon”) can alert the travel health nurse to possible health and safety issues for these vacations. For example, remote locations may seem idyllic, but lack of adequate medical care could jeopardize a pregnancy in the event of an emergency. Also, some travel insurance carriers may limit or even refuse coverage. A useful Australian listing of more risks can be found online at http://www.travelweekly.com.au/article/just-how-safe-is-the-babymoon-travel-trend.

 

  1. Set –jetters– You read that right. Not Jet-Setters. Rather, these are travelers who make trips in search of favorite movie locations. The U.K. has seen this trend for a while now with tour buses racing to Downton Abbey castle and cameras flashing at all The Crown One destination getting way too many tourists this summer is the walled Croatian city of Dubrovnik. A popular location for many Game of Thrones episodes, this city has experienced an “explosion” of tourism that leads to our next new term:

 

  1. Over-tourism– Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit on our planet are now severely overcrowded with throngs of tourists. The situation is so bad that cities such as Barcelona, Venice, and Dubrovnik (see #2 above) are now passing laws to limit tourist numbers. In many cases the culprit is the large cruise ship industry with megaships capable of bringing (some would say “dumping”) 10,000 or more passengers into a destination any day of the week. The impact on congestion, garbage, safety and security services, and quality of life for local citizens has proven to be too much! CNN has started publishing a list of destinations “to avoid” and that list is getting longer every year. As you can read, it includes many “bucket list” destinations- https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/places-to-avoid-2018/index.html

 

  1. Romance tourism– Have you been communicating online with someone special? It turns out a lot of people have and now they book trips to meet these online lovers for the first time. Thanks to the Internet and social media, romance tourism is growing in popularity. This type of travel is one variant of so-called “niche tourism” where travelers journey for specific needs or interests (e.g. pilgrimages, sports tourism, foodie tours) but romance tourism is fraught with potential health and safety risks that can go above and beyond usual destination hazards. Added risks for these encounters of “nevermets” include unrealistic or unmet expectations, fraud, and issues of personal safety including STIs, assault, and human trafficking. Not necessarily so romantic after all… BravoTV has some pre-travel guidance so these tourists can avoid ”getting catfished and jet lagged in a single mistake” http://www.bravotv.com/blogs/7-must-do-steps-to-prequalify-a-long-distance-date-before-traveling-to-meet  Additional guidance is offered on another website https://lifehacker.com/how-to-stay-safe-when-meeting-someone-from-the-internet-1040400781

 

  1. Flexpats– is a newer category of corporate traveler who never relocates abroad, but rather travels to a distant work destination on a frequent basis. Think twice monthly trips to Mumbai, Tokyo, Singapore or Shanghai. Companies are now choosing to forego the high costs of relocating employees and their families for “overseas” assignments; instead, these companies utilize the growing number of long haul flights to shuttle employees to global worksites. Long distance commuting flights can require anywhere from 12 to 24 hours in the air. While some employees may see a flexpatriate assignment as an opportunity for “exciting” world travel, at the pre-travel visit, THNs need to address jet lag, family disruption, and the potential for burn-out- and maybe DVTs.

The Huffington Post has an interesting article on ten more modern travel terms including the growing concept of “glamping”. You can access it at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/shanti-burton/10-modern-travel-words_b_9001326.html

And we are sure many of our members have other novel travel terms to share. Write to us at info@athn.org and we will post your contributions on the ATHNA website in coming months.

Safe travel to you all-

Gail Rosselot

ATHNA President

August 2018