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Travelspeak bingo - the cringing guide to travel writing clichés

Chocolate-box cottage, nestled in the countrysideAt Tranquil Woods Glamping, immerse yourself in a world of wonder away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This magical rural retreat is a hidden gem, offering a stunning glorious escape, nestled in rolling hills and featuring quality accommodation dotted throughout to offer you and your loved ones the perfect holiday to remember always. Memories are made here.

We're about pulling on coats and hauling on wellies to tramp around delightful countryside. About forging new friendships among the joys of cosy evenings around a crackling campfire. About little ones running free-range among our wonderful woodland. And about falling asleep deep in bliss... then waking up to the sounds of beautiful birdsong and our babbling brook, ready to do it all over again. If you're looking for a tranquil treat to freshen your spirits and rejuvenate your soul, look no further.


We at call upon the masses to immediately end the use of 'travelspeak.'

It is the above. It is nestled, hustle and bustle, babbling brook and rolling hills. It is tranquil, panoramic, majestic, glorious, delightful. It is fresh spirits and rejuvenated souls.

It is chocolate box (see pic).

We do not like.

As you lovely lot may have gathered, it is January – and thus, it is time to be patronised by peeps peddling jovial jubilees for the travel industry.

Now. Peddling jovial jubilees is of course fine. We do it, after all. Tis in our blood and we want folk to have a tiptop time visiting this lovely land and as many more as poss.

However. Peddling jovial jubilees in travelspeak is most certainly not. We do not do it. It offends our readerly, writerly and all our other senses to read it. And it's lazy and it makes our teeth itch. We are considering travelspeak bingo for the office wall. 

And so: the top ten of terrible travelspeak, with suggestions on how to eradicate it from our excellent industry forevermore.

In no particular order:


As in: 'We are nestled in the countryside/among fields/in a forest.'

Actually, we just lied. The first item on our travelspeak list is very much in particular order, as it's our most loathed travelspeak word and so, naturally, is the one we come up against the most. We loathe it because it means nowt. Its definition is to 'settle or lie comfortably within or against something'. This is not possible for a place of accommodation. 

(And it sounds off too, like That Person endlessly and enthusiastically massaging a crisp packet behind one at the cinema. Twitch.) anti-travelspeak suggestion: We are very fond of the word 'in'.

Hustle and bustle

As in 'escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.' See also: 'bustling'.

More chocolateJust, no. These are not words, and we don't care if the dictionary says bustle can mean 'a state of great activity'.

Here's our travelspeak rule of thumb: do you see the word/phrase used with regularity in any other genre? Do you collapse, wearily, on a pub stool of a Friday evening and say, 'Coo, thank the gods for that; I was getting well tired with the hustle and bustle of the city this week?' No. No you do not. anti-travelspeak suggestion: Avoid any site using.


As in: 'The site boasts a swimming pool.'

This travelspeakism (yes, we're aware of the irony of making up words in this blog) brings to mind a proudly puffing hotel, smugly informing its neighbours of its superior status in having a pool. Take that, B&B. As we hope we don't have to point out, inanimate objects cannot boast. Stop it. anti-travelspeak suggestion: We are also very fond of the word 'has'.


As in: 'The room features a double bed.'

See above. We do not care a whit that a definition of 'features' is a 'distinctive attribute or aspect of something'. A bed in a room is not a feature. It is a thing. anti-travelspeak suggestion: Again, we are also very fond of the word 'has'.

Rolling hills

As in: 'The landscape features glorious countryside and rolling hills.'

Now, this is a borderline one. (And yes, we have argued about this in the pub.) 'Rolling' hills can be taken to mean small hills, with a gentle slope – and 'rolling hills' to mean a landscape full of them as opposed to two or three in the distance. But. We are fairly certain that in 99% of travelly cases, the term is not used with the clear pedantry which we at would like. And, as with hustle and bustle, do peeps say rollling hills with any regularity outside travel writing? Thus, it goes into our travelspeak Room 101. anti-travelspeak suggestion: 'hills'.

Babbling brook

As in: 'Our site also features a babbling brook.'

The more eagle-eyed/pedantic among you (welcome) may have noticed that there are certain words which are almost always only ever used with certain other words. 'Brandishing' is one, paired with 'a shotgun' when describing bad men on the news. 'Brand' is another, paired of course with 'new'.

And 'babbling' is another, paired occasionally with something else, like 'the' and 'of a baby', but usually paired with the word 'brook'. Again, we must grimly point out that it means nowt. A brook does make some noise, but babble it does not. anti-travelspeak suggestion: 'We also have a stream.'


As in: '...with panoramic views over majestic countryside.'

Oh yesWe contend that a panoramic view is any one seen from your very own eyes. Unless your flat/caravan/hotel room window looks directly out onto a brick wall/bin yard/manky toilet block, all views are panoramic. Go outside and look around. That's a panoramic view. anti-travelspeak suggestion: 'We have very scenic countryside views.' (We will allow 'spectacular', 'splendid' and other superlatives here, as often views are rather spesh, but we draw the line at 'to die for'.)

Wake up to the sound of birdsong...

... cast your troubles to the wind/ make friends over the crackling campfire/ feel free among the sparkling stars

Oft it is all to easy to imagine accommodation providers, quill grasped in hand and ink all over their face, sitting back and proudly surveying their newly written website blurb. We'd bet our bottom tent peg it will include phrases like those above. They're all different in their tiny little ways, but can largely be categorised by the flavour 'purple'. anti-travelspeak suggestion: See 'hustle and bustle', above.


As in: 'The views are literally to die for.'

We're not even going to point out why this is wrong. 


As in: 'This charming site/Our charming restaurant...'

Oh, go away.


As in: 'Experience our magical accommodation, featuring a double bed and a kettle.'

Are you Harry Potter?

Dishonorable mentions

  • Picturesque (we get round this by reading it in our heads as 'picture-skew')
  • Quirky (just gah)
  • Tranquil (if you mean 'quiet', just say so)
  • Rural retreat (ditto re being 'in the countryside')
  • Retreat (not unless it includes religion or people going backwards into it)
  • Glorious
  • Majestic
  • Wonderful/wonder-filled
  • Kiddies
  • Little ones
  • Facilitates
  • Offers
  • Hidden (you're not. Within one click there will be a map. With your place on it.) (We also take issue with 'gem'.)
  • Perched
  • Glistening
  • Dazzling
  • Breathtaking
  • Enjoys ('the site enjoys breathtaking panoramic views...')
  • Reach out (you are not David Icke)

Any more? Please suggest below – as we know we'll be adding to this list...

And! We feel we must extend our travelspeak collection, if only to know our enemy. Pedants (again, welcome), please tweet us @pitchup with your spotted examples of the worst travelspeak you see. We'll be waiting, nestled, online.