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Word Power: How Well Do You Know Your Travel Lingo?

How many of these 15 travel-related words do you know? Because it pays to increase your word power.

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1. What does “docent” mean?

A: tour guide
B: side trip
C: frequent flier

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1. “Docent” means:

[A] tour guide. I followed a docent through the museum, pretending to be with a school group.

Next: soujourn

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2. What does “sojourn” mean?

A: travel nonstop
B: take a guided tour
C: stay temporarily

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2. “Sojourn” means:

[C] stay temporarily. “Will you sojourn with us long?” asked the receptionist as I reclined on a bench.

Next: cosmopolitan

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3. What does “cosmopolitan” mean?

A: between stops

B: worldly-wise
C: of space travel

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3. “Cosmopolitan” means:

[B] worldly-wise. Apparently, Sara wasn’t cosmopolitan enough for the maître d’ to seat her at any of the best tables.

Next: prix fixe

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4. What does “prix fixe” mean?

A: confirmed reservation
B: meal with a set price
C: race car

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4. “Prix fixe” means:

[B] meal with a set price. Alison knew it was a prix fixe, but naturally she tried to haggle with the waiter anyway.

Next: couchette

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5. What does “couchette” mean?

A: round-trip ticket
B: French pastry
C: train’s sleeping compartment

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5. “Couchette” means:

[C] train’s sleeping compartment. My couchette mates snored peacefully in their bunks.

Next: funicular

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6. What does “funicular” mean?

A: pleasure cruise
B: cable railway
C: stretch limousine

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6. “Funicular” means:

[B] cable railway. 
The funicular disappeared into the mist halfway up the mountain.

Next: jitney

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7. What does “jitney” mean?

A: day trip

B: duty-free shop
C: small bus

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7. “Jitney” means:

[C] small bus. We chartered 
a jitney for our trip to the cape.

Next: valise

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8. What does “valise” mean?

A: car parker
B: small suitcase
C: country cottage

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8. “Valise” means:

[B] small suitcase. 
Eric grew suspicious after finding someone else’s 
credentials in his valise.

Next: sabbatical

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9. What does “sabbatical” mean?

A: break from work
B: lodging 
C: seating upgrade

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9. “Sabbatical” means:

[A] break from work. “I’m here on a six-month sabbatical,” I tried to explain to the customs agent.

Next: ramada

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10. What does “ramada” mean?

A: shelter with open sides

B: dude ranch
C: in-house 
maid service

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10. “Ramada” means:

[A] shelter with open sides. My ideal vacation: sipping some colorful cocktail seaside under a ramada.

Next: incidental

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11. What does “incidental” mean?

A: waiting in a long line
B: minor
C: causing a scandal

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11. “Incidental” means:

[B] minor. 
“Incidental items can add weight quickly, so pack wisely,” my wife 

Next: transient

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12. What does “transient” mean?

A: going by rail
B: passing through
C: on foot

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12. “Transient” means:

[B] passing through. Thankfully, the brute was a transient customer, not a permanent guest.

Next: manifest

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13. What does “manifest” mean?

A: red-eye flight
B: reservation
C: passenger list

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13. “Manifest” means:

[C] passenger list. 
I came from such a big family, we had to keep an official manifest for every trip.

Next: rack rate

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14. What does “rack rate” mean?

A: overhead-luggage charge

B: takeoff speed
C: full price 
for lodging

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14. “Rack rate” means:

[C] full price for lodging. Savvy travelers never settle for a hotel’s rack rate.

Next: peripatetic

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15. What does “peripatetic” mean?

A: speaking many 
B: traveling from place 
to place
C: crossing a border 

30 / 31

15. “Peripatetic” means:

[B] traveling 
from place to place. After two 
peripatetic years 
in Asia, Jason 
settled down.

31 / 31
Travis Rathbone for Reader's Digest

How did you do?

Scored 13 to 15? You’re first class. If you got 10 to 12, you’re business class; 9 and below spells economy for you. More word power: These days, vacations come in myriad forms. A staycation is when you don’t go anywhere and just enjoy free time at or near home. A paycation is when you moonlight as you travel. A daycation is a 24-hour getaway. We’ve also heard of a praycation (a religious trip) and even a bakeation (a foodie’s holiday dedicated to sampling pastries).

Originally Published in Reader's Digest