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By Moe Thet War     16 Sep 2016

The face with tears of joy just ain’t gonna cut it. If you’re off on your travels you’ll be needing a lot more than that. Benefit from our fertile emojination and get some of these down…

Official name: Airplane; Flag for -insert country name-


Frequently used to mean: Straightforward enough—you’re flying to a specific country (although please make sure you’re using the correct flag; the Costa Rican and Thai flags are two different things).


  • Been saving up for this for a long time. Brazil, here I come! -insert emojis with the Brazil flag-
  • Brb spending the next week in Poland. -insert emojis with the Indonesia flag- [30 minutes and very confused Facebook comments later] Whoops lol wrong flag. I meant -insert emojis with the Poland flag-

Official name: Sleepy Face

Frequently used to mean: You’re exhausted and wandering around the airport in zombie mode; you were cheap and booked the 6am flight; you’re realizing that backpacking is more fun in the movies; you got on your 6am flight and landed at 8am, but check-in at the hotel isn’t until noon.


  • Maybe going to a concert at Wembley a few hours before catching a red-eye flight wasn’t the best idea. -insert emoji-
  • Pretty sure I fell asleep and drooled on the man beside me on the plane, but I’m still too tired to even care. -insert emoji-

Official name: Money with Wings; Airplane


Frequently used to mean: You’re looking at possible flights abroad and wondering how sitting in a metal tube can possibly cost so much; you impulsively booked a trip to Australia; you can’t decide if you want to see a new country or be able to afford to eat more than just ramen packets for the next few months.


  • Two weeks of planning and my vacation still went over budget. -insert emojis-
  • Just booked flight tickets and I’m happy but my wallet is crying. -insert emojis-

Official name: Speak-No-Evil Monkey


Frequently used to mean: You’re in a new country and don’t speak/understand a single word of the native language; you were pompous enough to go to a new country without bothering to learn any keywords or phrases and you can’t believe nobody speaks English; you’re in a prison cell but no one understands you because you didn’t bother to learn any keywords or phrases in the native language. (Please pick up a cheap guidebook or do a quick Google search before traveling to a country that doesn’t speak your language. It’s not hard, and surprisingly, locals like it when you actually make an effort to understand and communicate with them.)


  • Who knew everyone in rural Indonesia would only speak Indonesian?? -insert emojis-
  • I thought I said ‘thank you’ to the waiter but judging by his blushing, I’m not so sure. -insert emojis-

Official name: Hear-No-Evil Monkey


Frequently used to mean: You’re part of a tour group and sure enough, there’s that one person who won’t stop complaining about everything; your hotel is right next to a construction site; your hostel roommate (whom you just met that evening) is having loud sex on the bottom bunk; your mom keeps calling every hour to make sure you’re still alive.


  • There’s a guy here that won’t shut up about wanting a cheeseburger. -insert emoji-
  • This woman on the train has noise-canceling headphones on and is completely oblivious to the fact that she just farted really loudly. -insert emoji-

Official name: Baby; Seat; Upside-Down Face


Frequently used to mean: You’ve won the coveted next-to-a-baby seat; you’ve won the even more coveted next-to-a-crying-baby-who-is-flying-for-the-first-time-and-apparently-can-scream-for-seven-hours-straight seat; you’ve just landed after a long flight next to a crying baby and are frantically texting your partner that you never ever want to have kids ever; you’re in any of the three previously mentioned situations and you’re trying to control yourself from screaming at this baby so all you can do is plaster on a smile.


  • The plane hasn’t even been fully loaded with passengers yet and already the baby next to me has thrown food on my white sweater. -insert emojis-
  • Wondering if I can sue the parents of the baby next to me for psychological torture. -insert emojis-

Official name: White Sun Behind Cloud with Rain; Thunder Cloud and Rain; White Sun with Small Cloud; Lightning Cloud


Frequently used to mean: You’re visiting a place where you’re constantly switching between sunglasses and an umbrella over the course of one day (ie the UK); it’s that wonderful time of year in Southeast Asia when summer isn’t quite yet over but monsoon season is already beginning.


  • So as it turns out, actual sunny summer in London lasts a grand total of two days and the rest of the ‘summer’ can be anything from a total downpour to an irritating constant drizzle. -insert emojis-
  • Of course it’s sunny when I have my raincoat on and pouring down as soon as I take it off. -insert emojis-

Official name: Beach with Umbrella; Spouting Whale; Bikini; Fish; Water Wave; Spiral Shell; Tropical Fish; Dolphin; Palm Tree; Smiling Face with Sunglasses


Frequently used to mean: You need to make it absolutely clear that you’re going to a beach; you’ve apparently developed a newfound yet strong interest in fish (although I don’t know where you’re going that has dolphins, whales, non-tropical fish and tropical fish); you’re rubbing it in people’s faces that they have to endure monsoon season while you get a nice tan; you’re too busy locating all the beach-related emojis to enjoy the actual beach


  • Goodbye rain, hello Hawaii! -insert emojis-
  • Two guesses where I’m heading right now. -insert emojis- Seriously, take a wild guess.

Official name: Face with Medical Mask; Pile of Poo; Toilet


Frequently used to mean: You’re finding out the hard way that your body does not like trying new cuisines; you didn’t pack any medicine and you can already hear your mom’s voice smugly saying ‘I told you so;’ you almost fainted from the smell of the airplane bathroom; you’re the reason the airplane bathroom smells that way.


  • So, ‘mild’ Asian dish = super hot in Western countries. Guess who ordered a super hot Asian dish at dinner and is now camped out in the bathroom? -insert emojis-
  • Maybe staying in a cheap hostel with one bathroom per floor wasn’t such a great idea. -insert emojis-

Official name: Extraterrestrial Alien


Frequently used to mean: Not even five Lonely Planet books have prepared you for the culture shock you’re encountering; you’re a Caucasian backpacking through Asia and you’ve never been more self-conscious of your blonde hair; you’re making your best effort to speak the language but not a single person has been able to understand you.


  • I feel NOTHING like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. -insert emoji-
  • I am the only -insert your ethnicity- person in this restaurant. THE ONLY ONE. -insert emoji-

Official name: Fork and Knife with Plate; Black Rightwards Arrow; Sleeping Face; Leftwards Arrow with Hook


Frequently used to mean: Your vacation motto has been ‘eat, sleep, repeat’ (good motto); you’re too jet lagged to do anything but eat and sleep; you’re constantly either too full to do anything but sleep or too hungry to do anything but eat.


  • My daily morning routine currently consists of getting up at 7 every morning to take full advantage of the free hotel breakfast buffet and then going back to sleep. -insert emojis-
  • I’d say I feel bad about not seeing more of the city, but the food is so good and cheap and the bed is amazing. -insert emojis-

Official name: Smiling Face with Heart-Shaped Eyes


Frequently used to mean: Your vacation is going great; you’re in Japan and have only just discovered sushi for the first time (what have you been doing with your life?); the hotel upgraded you to a fancy suite with an amazing view; you can’t help but notice that the locals are incredibly attractive.


  • Could the Maldives be any prettier? (The answer is a hard no.) -insert emoji-
  • I’m sunbathing by the pool, the sun is shining, I’m not touching my e-mail for a week, and I have a constant stream of mimosas. Is this heaven? -insert emoji-

Official name: T-Shirt; Neutral Face


Frequently used to mean: You forgot to buy souvenirs for people so you’re loading up on two-for-one tourist T-shirts on the last day; you ran out of money to buy any actually nice gifts, so you’ll be hanging your head in shame as you return home with a bunch of generic tourist T-shirts; your partner went on a weeklong holiday and all he bought you was a T-shirt.


  • At least you can use your key ring. James just got me an I <3 New York T-shirt that isn’t even in my size. -insert emojis-
  • My mom just texted me saying that she hopes I didn’t forget her authentic Japanese kimono, and here I am at the airport gift shop. -insert emojis-

How do you use your travel emojis? Tweet your most inventive ones using #momentumtravel

Photos: Alamy

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