The way you're doing it is the only way it can be done.
Maybe that's why I did't find an answer when I searched through the help guide. So the way it works is that I can "Apply Default Transition to Selections" but not the other way around?
Is there a work around?
No, that's what "only way" means.
There is a workaround.
Set "Video Transition Default Duration" in Pr Pro Prefs. to 0. Select all of your transitions that you want to "disappear" and then select "Apply Video Transition" in the Sequence menu.
not elegant, but works