Pop Culture dictionary

revenge travel

[ ri-venj trav-uhl ]

What is revenge travel?

Revenge travel is a slang term for leisure travel that follows a period of being unable to travel. Specifically, the term originated as a way to refer to vacationing following the lessening of COVID-19 restrictions (which had greatly reduced travel).

As such restrictions lessened in 2021 and 2022, leisure travel and particularly air travel increased significantly.

This trend has been explained, particularly by travel marketers and in media reports, as being the result of revenge travel—people taking “revenge” on COVID-19 by taking the trips that the pandemic prevented them from taking earlier.

Example: Many travelers seem to be unbothered by high ticket prices in their pursuit of revenge travel.

Related words

zero-waste travel, coronaversary, twindemic, 🌴 Palm Tree emoji

Where does revenge travel come from?

rear view of man reclining on a beach chair in front of ocean, blue filter.

In revenge travel, the word revenge is used somewhat jokingly in reference to the idea of people “taking revenge” on COVID-19 by taking the vacations that the pandemic had prevented them from taking—or the luxurious and indulgent trips they had dreamed up during periods of isolation and relative confinement.

The term is thought to have been promoted by members of the travel industry and popularized by media reports covering the steep increase in trips that followed the availability of vaccines and the lessening of restrictions. Another factor often cited in the discussion of the trend is people’s eagerness to spend the money they saved from having to skip vacations during the pandemic.

Examples of revenge travel

NAIA Terminal 3 is packed. Revenge travel is real.
@kevinyapjoco, March 19, 2022
Call it "revenge travel." Thirty-nine million people are projected to travel, up more than 8% compared with 2021, according to AAA.
Megan Cerullo, CBS News, May 2022

Who uses revenge travel?

Revenge travel originated to refer to travel following the lessening of COVID-19 restrictions. It is often used by travel marketers and in media reports about the trend.


Just Added

Earth Day, yassification, ♈ Aries Emoji, Autism Acceptance Month, Autism Awareness Month


This is not meant to be a formal definition of revenge travel like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of revenge travel that will help our users expand their word mastery.