IT ALL started about ten years ago with a new term: ‘bleisure’. It’s a ‘bleurgh’-sounding word that manages to make both ‘business’ and ‘leisure’ seem unappealing (and who really wants to combine both, anyway?) I’ll give it this, though: it’s catchy and a marketer’s dream. Clearly, enough people take ‘bleisure’ trips (or its sister term, ‘bizcations’) that it’s still being used as travel jargon today.
But so many others have been invented since then that I find even more irritating. Like ‘glamping’, or glamorous camping. Having been subjected to various wet weekends in tents around the drizzly Highlands as a child, nothing short of a roof, four walls, an on-site flushing toilet, a hot shower, big-screen TV and access to Deliveroo is going to cut it for me.
And don’t get me started on ‘gramping’, where grandparents go away with their grandchildren. That’s basically extended babysitting.
More recently, the travel business has been trying to make the concept of the ‘microgap’ happen — when millennials can’t afford to take a whole gap year so just take a three- or four-day break. So that’s just a long weekend, then?
In a similar vein is the hippy-sounding ‘forest bathing’, which refers to the health benefits of spending time around trees — otherwise known as a walk in the woods.
I’m also fascinated by the endless permutations of ‘moon’. Once, you simply had a honeymoon, the exotic holiday a newly married couple took somewhere the day after the wedding.
Now we also have the ‘mini-moon’, where the happy pair have a few days in somewhere like Rome or Paris before the exciting main event — climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, white-water rafting in Costa Rica — a few months later. Greedy. Or the ‘baby-moon’ — a last-ditch attempt to get more than two hours’ sleep, wear nice clothes and talk to each other without screaming just before one’s first child is born.
Recently there’s been the ‘uni-moon’. No, not a holiday you take during university, but the incomprehensible concept of the bride and the groom going away separately. It sounds miserable, though having been to such honeymoon hotspots as the Maldives and Mauritius, and seeing stony-faced newly-weds sitting in silence at dinner, perhaps some might be better off alone.
My personal favourite? Whoever came up with the concept of the ‘jobby-moon’ — apparently a trip you go on after you’ve finished one job but before you start your new one elsewhere — is either a total genius or an utter idiot.
Either way, calling it after the colloquial Scots term for a poo is guaranteed to get people talking. Which, I guess, is the whole point.