Are you Holiday Ready?
Going on holiday is one of the most fun highlights of the year. Whether you sunbathe on the beach, walk in the mountains, or go sightseeing in a city of art – it’s a moment of freedom and relaxation.
Would you like to travel abroad this year but don’t know the local language? Do you need to know some useful vocabulary and phrases in English to help you communicate? If so, read on!
Ways of travelling
When you want to travel a long distance you probably need to move by plane. When you fly you go the airport and check in. Here you can drop off your luggage and receive your boarding card. After going through security, you go to the gate and wait to board your flight. When the plane is ready to leave, it takes off and lands at its destination.
plane – vehicle that moves in the sky
(to) fly – to move using wings, e.g. planes
airport – the place where planes arrive and leave
(to) check in – give your ticket to the airline staff
(to) drop off – leave
luggage – bags/suitcases
boarding card – a piece of paper you need to enter a plane
security – the area where airport staff check your documents and hand luggage
gate – the place where you can enter your plane
(to) board – to enter a plane
flight – a journey a plane makes
(to) take off – to leave the ground
(to) land – to arrive on the ground
Another way to travel is by train. When you get a train you need to go to a station. First you buy your tickets. These can be a single (one-way) or return (round-trip), and you can choose to travel first class or second class. Then you look at the departure board and find the right platform. When you train arrives you get on, and when you reach your destination you get off.
train – a type of transport that moves along a railway (two lines)
station – the place where trains arrive and leave
single – a ticket that is valid for one journey, from A – B
return – a ticket that is valid for two journeys, from A – B – A
first class – a type of service on transport that offers extra comforts and services
second class – a type of service on transport that offers normal services
departure board – a board with all the times and destinations of trains
platform – the area next to a railway line where passengers wait for a train
get on – to enter a train, plane, bus or boat
get off – to exit a train, plane, bus or boat
After reaching your destination, you might want to rent a car. This gives you the freedom to go where you want when you want. To rent a car you normally need your driving license, some form of ID and a credit card. You normally receive the car with a full tank and need to fill it up before returning it.
(to) rent – to pay to use a car temporarily
driving licence – a document that proves you have legal permission to drive
ID – a document that proves your identity
credit card – a bank card that lets you pay for something the following month
full tank – with the maximum quantity of (fuel) petrol or diesel
(to) fill up – to add liquid to the maximum amount
Other means of transport
There are other ways of travelling including by boat, by coach, and by bicycle. If you want to visit several places on the same trip you can take a cruise. One of the least expensive ways to travel is by coach, but this method can be slower than other means of transport. If you’re fit and want to spend no money at all, you can travel by bicycle!
boat – a vehicle that moves on water
coach – a comfortable bus for long journeys
bicycle – a type of transport with two wheels and no engine that a person rides
cruise – a holiday where you sleep on a big boat (ship) that takes you to several places, usually moving at night
Types of accommodation
Nowadays there are many different types of accommodation – places where you can stay when you travel. The most common type is a hotel. Hotels can vary a lot in price and level of service and comfort. These differences are indicated by stars, usually from one to five. When you stay in a hotel you can have a single room, a double room or a family room. You can also choose to have just breakfast (bed and breakfast), half board or full board.
If you don’t mind sharing a room with several other people, you can stay at a hostel. Students often choose this option because it’s a fun way to meet people.
Another type of accommodation is self-catering, where you rent a flat/house. This gives you the freedom to eat whenever you want.
You can also choose to go camping. This can be fun and is usually cheap. You go to a campsite with your tent or caravan.
hotel – a place where you pay for a bedroom
single room – a room with one small to medium sized bed
double room – a room with a bigger bed for two people
family room – a room with more than one bed for a family
bed & breakfast – a hotel room that includes breakfast
half board – a hotel room with breakfast and dinner included
full board – a hotel room with breakfast, lunch and dinner included
hostel – a simple type of hotel where bedrooms have several beds for a number of guests
self-catering – you cook for yourself
camping – the activity of sleeping in tents
campsite – the place where you can put up a tent and where there are washing facilities and often play areas and restaurants
tent – a shelter made of fabric that you can sleep in
caravan – a vehicle pulled by a car that you can sleep in
When you reserve (or book) accommodation, you can ask:
Can I book a double room for three nights?
Could we reserve a family room from 20th to 23rd May?
Do you have any rooms available? (= free)
I’d like to make a reservation.
How much does it cost per night?
Is there an elevator? (= a cabin that takes people from one floor to another)
Is breakfast included? (= in the price)
What time is breakfast served? (=given to guests)
They might say:
Can I see your passport please?
We are fully booked at the moment. (= all rooms are in use)
We have a room available on the first floor.
The elevator is over there.
The cost per night is $120.
Check out is by 10 a.m. (= leave your room)
There are lots of fun things you can do on holiday. Many people like to sunbathe on the beach. You can lie on the sand or rent a sun umbrella and lounger. Others like sightseeing in a city of art. This can include visiting museums or galleries, or seeing monuments and other tourist attractions. If you want to learn more about a city, you can pay a guide to take you around and tell you the history and details of everything there is to see.
sunbathe – to sit or lie under the sun
sun umbrella – a big canopy that protects you from the sun
lounger – a special chair for the beach that you can lie down on
sightseeing – visiting the important places of a town/city
museum – a place where you can find historical or scientific objects
gallery – a place where there are many paintings or other works of art
monument – a special structure or statue to remember a person or event
guide – an expert about the history of a city who shows tourists around
Now you have seen lots of useful holiday words and phrases, you’re ready to book a holiday abroad and speak English! Practice now by doing this quiz.