Travel clichés we vow to avoid in 2013 (but probably won’t)

Travel clichés we vow to avoid in 2013 (but probably won’t)

Hotels will no longer be perched. We’ll eat, not dine. We’ll enjoy, not luxuriate. Or so we say
Travel cliches
The worst travel clichés have been around forever -- just like that writer's bio pic of you as a kid.

A recent Wall Street Journal article belittling clichés the Style & Substance blog staff hopes to avoid in 2013 -- throw under the bus, fiscal cliff and iconic were three terms called out for opprobrium -- got us thinking about our own overuse of travel jargon.

It’s tricky to avoid commonplace travel descriptors -- we’re fans of travel writing but even we have to admit that travel writers too often confuse cheerleading with reporting and fall back on formulaic, hackneyed, overblown wordsmithing.

We’re not innocent. Scan the pages of CNN Travel and you’ll find examples of regrettably superlative travel phraseology.

That’s why we’ve come up with a starter list of execrable terms, phrases and clichés we’ll do our best to avoid in 2013.

Among the most offensive offenders we resolve not to use (much):

Bling, blinged out, blingtastic or any derivative thereof (very played, homey)

Luxuriate, delight in, frolic

Libation, tipple, quaff, wash down with

Perched (acceptable for a birds of prey, not hotel locations), nestled, situated


Feast, dine, savor (thanks, we’ll just eat)

Sinful or decadent describing dessert or anything chocolate

Scrumptious, succulent, mouth-watering, delectable or any foodie term no one actually ever says out loud


Something for everyone, family friendly, perfect for individuals or groups (i.e., everyone)

Bucket list

Adrenaline junkie, thrill-seeker


Boasts (Why would a hotel boast that it has a swimming pool and two restaurants?)

Remote town, village or neighborhood (Always depends where you’re starting from, doesn’t it?)

To die for

Colorful locals in colorful markets doing colorful things like generally being colorful

Off the beaten path, undiscovered, hidden, hidden gem

Free Wi-Fi (Sorry, if you’re at a hotel, those “free” amenities are part of your bill.)

Hordes of tourists, masses of tourists, crowds of tourists or any pejorative description of tourists who are, after all, us and our readers.

What are your least favorite travel-writing clichés and overused words? Unload in the comments section below.