Definitions of Common world travel terms
& of other types of accommodations:
All-inclusive: Usually means accommodations, all meals, snacks,
beverages and recreational activities are included in one resort price. There may be exceptions.
Check the brochure for exactly what is and is not included. By the way, cruising is always
all-inclusive, except for alcohol.
Amenity: Something conducive to comfort or convenience; includes
such things as saunas, beauty parlors, health spas, gourmet restaurants, and special soaps and
shampoos, for example.
Assured Reservations: Unique to rooms guaranteed with a Credit
Card. If a hotel does not have the room that was guaranteed, it is required to find alternate
lodging at its own expense.
Bed & Breakfast: Usually a country home or inn where room
and breakfast are provided at one price. The term is used in Great Britain, but not in the rest of
Europe. On the continent look for a pension, gasthof, or private family house with one or two rooms
for overnight visitors.
Check-In Time: In hotels, the earliest time at which a room will
be available. At airline terminals, the latest time at which a passenger may arrive for the flight
without the risk of loosing their seat.
Continental Breakfast: A breakfast of rolls, fruit and coffee or
tea. Often provided complimentary by hotels and motels.
Double Occupancy: Prices for hotels, resorts, cruises and tours
are often quoted "per person double occupancy" meaning the price is for each of two persons
occupying the same room.
Gasthaus/Gasthof: In German speaking countries, a gasthaus is
normally a restaurant without overnight accommodations, while a gasthof is a restaurant that offers
guests overnight rooms including breakfast. There may, however, be some overlap of the terms. A
sign with a picture of a bed will often be hanging outside, if beds are available.
Guaranteed Late Arrival: A hold placed on a room to provide for
the late arrival of a guest after 400 PM or 600 PM. If the guest fails to appear for the night's
stay, the hotel will charge the traveler for the room.
Hostel/Youth Hostel: Originally an inexpensive pension or
dormitory for students. Normally not available for all travelers, though now there are also hostels
for the elderly. Some hostels will open their doors to all comers at certain times of the year.
There are many hostels in Europe. Accommodations are usually adequate and clean. Common toilets and
bathing facilities are shared by all rooms on the floor.
Hotel Categories: Deluxe, first-class (superior or standard),
moderate, and tourist class are generally the designations used. Still, standards vary widely from
country to country. Tour operators may rate hotels by very different designations, though there is
an Official Hotel and Resort Guide classification. Many countries rate hotels using the star
system, where a deluxe hotel is rated five stars. In most countries, the typical American traveler
would probably not be comfortable in anything below three stars, though I've stayed in many lower
rated hotels without difficulty.
Limited Service Hotel: A hotel property without a
Motel: A type of hotel in which parking is provided at or near
the room and the room door gives out onto the parking lot.
No Show Billing: A penalty incurred if a hotel reservation is
not cancelled, generally by 400 PM to 600 PM the day of arrival. Generally, this penalty is equal
to the first night's stay and taxes.
Rack Rate: The standard price of a hotel room before any
discount has been taken, usually artificially high. Rooms rarely sell for the rack rate unless the
property is virtually full or a special event is taking place.
Service Charges and Taxes: Service charges are a fixed
percentage automatically added to room and meal charges. The city, state, or federal government
Pension: A small European style hotel where a room usually comes
with full breakfast. There may be a bar, but usually not a restaurant. Prices are generally less
expensive than a full service hotel.