From Brolliday to Pity Break: Travel Buzzwords Waiting To Happen

Oblication, misadventure holiday and pity break: travel buzzwords to know

We’ve had ‘babymoon’, ‘baecation’, ‘minimoon’, ‘spacation’ and ‘staycation’. We’ve cringed at ‘glamping’, ‘greycation’ and countless other portmanteau travel terms invented to target certain audiences.

Here are some equally terrible potential buzzwords, not yet in common usage, that you might want to prepare for…

Black and white rural landscape with sheep and postcard-style text
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain… though this was taken in Peru.


Holiday taken in the rainy season, because it’s cheaper. Pack your anorak and make sure that map is laminated, or live to regret it. Wonder why your glasses don’t have mini windscreen wipers. Drop your phone in a puddle and weep. Realise your shoes are nowhere near waterproof. Die a little inside.

Cramping Trip

Camping whilst on your period, which involves extra time spent in horrible camp toilets, then trying to find the nearest shop that sells hot water bottles and a shed load of painkillers. Listen to a man telling you it can’t be that bad. Try not to resort to violence.

Misadventure Holiday

The one where everything goes wrong from the moment you leave the house. Expect broken bones, lost passports and run-ins with the police, plus an awkward misunderstanding over a phrase lost in translation. Don’t pack anything you don’t wish to be parted from. Put your Embassy on speed-dial as a precaution. On returning home, immediately Google your nearest counselling service.

Vintage photo of American tourist in tropical climate under banana leaf sheltering from rain and smoking cigar
This super happy tourist was captured for Life Magazine in the 1950s. I’d like to think he’s on an ‘oblication’.


The holiday you really don’t want to go on, but can’t get out of (as mentioned by ABC News and Lifehacker, but yet to make it into popular vocabulary). Typically organised by your in-laws or your most deluded friend, with no alone time on the schedule. You’ll return more stressed than when you left, and yet you have to pretend it was the best holiday ever. Now it’s time to get de-tagging all those terrible photos of you they’ve uploaded.

Pity Break

Short trip to console a friend or relative, inspired by the ruined-honeymoon-turned-girls’-holiday in the first Sex and the City film. Do not talk about ex-partners, on pain of death. Neither should you mention rebound flings, dating apps or the transformative power of a haircut. Appropriate topics of conversation are restricted to the distraught party’s most awesome qualities and life skills, and any series of The Real Housewives.


Religious or spiritual retreat. Get ready to ‘find yourself’, and hopefully like what you find. Worry when your chosen deity doesn’t speak to you or reveal your true calling. Wonder if that random guy from school really did become a monk and, if so, what he does all day. As a last resort, think deep thoughts about the latest celebrity Scientology news.

Mini dappled piglet under umbrella sitting on blue picnic bench with ice cream
A quick pretreat session for this mini piglet. Credit: Richard Austin, via


The days of preparation before a retreat. May include last-minute wine chugging, having a social media frenzy and sourcing the perfect bikini to wear when embarking on a juice cleanse. In the final stages, the pretreat will involve all forms of self-flagellation minus the hair shirt. You’ll resolve never to book a retreat holiday again, then spend the month after the event telling everyone you’re a new person and can now be your ‘best self’.


Honeymoon with added food poisoning. Never enough Immodium. Your entire honeymoon wardrobe ruined, including that floaty kaftan worth more than a weekly train ticket. The only shareable photos from the trip are slightly wonky sunsets taken from the hotel balcony between trips to the bathroom.


Sabbatical to sail around the world, as a cruise ship passenger, a deck hand or a daredevil taking on a charity sailing challenge. Must have sea legs and look impeccable in a life jacket regardless of gale force winds and storms. Ability to cope without Wi-Fi and phone signal is a must.

Maltese harbour with boats and masts against cloudy sky
Sail away and get using this new buzzword as you go.

Skinny Break

Trip full of self-restraint at the buffet counter, and frequent poolside selfies showing off your hot dog legs. Avoid European cities with bakeries on every corner, which will only amplify the sounds of your rumbling stomach – ¬†instead, try to pick somewhere with national dishes you don’t actually like. Break willpower on the last day after hallucinating about dessert; declare life’s too short to crave a thigh gap… then Photoshop all the holiday photos anyway.


Naff hen weekend, with scheduled activities including cake pop making and crocheting. Key players: the hen’s mother and a freakishly organised bridesmaid ruling the entire thing with an iron fist and killer pottery throwing skills. You’ll bin those craft projects when you get home.


Lads’ holiday, either to Las Vegas/Malia (with matching football shirts and Nando’s withdrawal symptoms) or St. Moritz/Monaco (with matching Ralph Lauren shirts and horse-like braying). No joke or episode of ‘banter’ can ever be taken too far, even if it involves being escorted off the plane. It’s rumoured one of the lads, known only by his nickname (Spoony/Mad Dog/Northern Greg), is actually called Norman; your mission is to nick his passport and confirm this.

If you have a buzzword of your own, share it below. I guarantee it won’t be as bad as ‘baecation’ and ‘minimoon’.