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In the same way that the word “moist” is pretty universally hated, there are some travel-specific words that are guaranteed to make most travel editors and writers cringe. We asked our staff and friends in publishing to share some phrases that we 100 percent admit are way annoying (and that, yes, we do all fall back on during desperate times):

  • Nestled“! Especially at the beginning of a sentence. “Wanderlust” is an evil word — may it sink back into the earth. Also, the word “cerulean” to describe the color of water is the only word that I’ve ever officially banned on our Deals team. — Laura Motta, Director of Publishing at ShermansTravel
  • I want to punch people when they put anything but “va” in front of “cation.” And the term “bleisure” (business + leisure) conjures up a gross, medical condition — no thanks! — Christine Wei, Editor at ShermansTravel
  • Starchitect,” “curated” (or, worse, “well-curated”), and when a hotel/room/restaurant “boasts” anything. — Stephanie Wu, Senior Editor at Travel+Leisure 
  • Fabulous,” “amazing,” “luxurious,” “stunning.” Really? Everything you write about can’t always be those things. I’m guilty of using these at times, but creativity in a description goes a long way. — David Duran, Contributor to Fodor’s, Jetsetter, HuffPo Travel, etc.
  • I hate the word “inventive” when it has no description on what makes it inventive. Especially when it comes to food. If you’ve traveled the world your palate will have a much stricter definition for this word than, say, someone who’s never left their hometown. I also hate the word “award-winning.” Nowadays, anyone can create and give an award — even to themselves! — Jessica Festa, Editor at Jessie on a Journey
  • Tucked away” I’m guilty of… – Ko Im, Contributor to Yahoo!, ShermansTravel, Forbes, Town & Country, etc.
  • This is funny because I do believe I use some of these words, if only because they resonate with readers: “foodie,” “mancation,” “staycation,” “veritable” (vague), “staggering number of” (just tell me the exact number!). — Kristine Hansen, Contributor to Travel+Leisure, ShermansTravel, Conde Nast Traveler, etc.
  • Sometimes I don’t mind the word “nestled,” like a thatched roof cottage in a garden in the Cotswolds, then that term works. But a high rise hotel cannot be “nestled” on the beach. Calling waters “azure blue” drives me nuts — who has ever uttered the word “azure” in any normal conversation, ever? — Kim Button, Editor at


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