What words do people use when they write about travel?

Lemi lets you create lists of places, and our users have created thousands of posts about places in over 100 countries.

In Lemi, each post you make can be one of three types:

  • Wishlist – You want to try this place
  • Recommendation – You recommend this place
  • Memory – You’ve been to this place

We were interested to see if people use different words when they’re writing about places they’ve been to and recommend, versus places they intend to visit in the future!

We exported the writeups from all public posts, stripping out some basic “stop words” like the, and, of.

For a quick preview, we displayed the most common 200 words in a word cloud:

Memories
Recommendations
Wishlists

It’s interesting to get a quick overview like this, although certain common words are frequent in all types: “place”, “food”, “good” and so on.

Instead we can compare how frequently certain words appear for one post type relative to the others. So for example, the word “inspired” is 2.19 times more likely to appear in a wishlist than a memory or recommendation.

Crunching the numbers, we find the top 10 words for each type are:

Memory

  • expensive
  • mall
  • train
  • lots
  • convenient
  • kids
  • chill
  • pricey
  • anything
  • friendly

Recommendation

  • you’ll
  • cooking
  • locals
  • dish
  • keep
  • eggs
  • quick
  • signature
  • hands
  • behind

Wishlist

  • total
  • looks
  • inspired
  • anyone
  • awesome
  • named
  • solid
  • running
  • hostel
  • seems

So apparently the most likely recommendation on Lemi would be something like:

Hands down the best experience was our quick cooking class with the locals, once you’re finished, you’ll be able to make their signature eggs dish with your hands behind your back – keep the recipe as a souvenir!