When someone decides to learn English as a second language, one of the most common reasons for pursuing study is for travel. Whether it is travelling to an English-speaking country for work, school, or vacation, it is important to have knowledge of the English language to find your way around. If you are a beginner, knowing the basics of English travel vocabulary can go a long way. Putting the basics into practice can also create opportunities to expand your vocabulary and learn new phrases.

At Oxford English Academy, we offer online English courses that can help you to prepare for travel abroad to an English-speaking country. This article highlights some of the basic words and phrases that you might hear or say on a journey to an English-speaking territory.

Using Vocabulary Lists

Learning vocabulary lists which are commonly associated with travel is a helpful tool to get you started on your travel vocabulary. These lists help you to learn and identify the words used in different stages of your journey such as at the airport.

It is also important to remember using the appropriate greetings to address others such as:

  • Good morning
  • Good afternoon
  • Good evening
  • Good night
  • Hello
  • Thank you
  • Goodbye

Some important words you need to know while travelling include:

  • Airport – the place where you board airplanes
  • Airplane – the vehicle that transports you by air to your destination
  • Flight – the specific travel route to reach your destination
  • Passport – a document that allows you to travel
  • Visa – a document that lets you enter certain countries

Common Travel Vocabulary

  • Boarding pass
  • Ticket
  • Travel agent
  • Luggage/Baggage/Carry-on/Suitcase
  • Terminal
  • Flight Attendant
  • Airline
  • Customs
  • Immigration
  • Seat
  • Departure
  • Reservation
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
  • Train
  • Bed and breakfast
  • Ferry
  • Train
  • Bus
  • Taxi
  • Address

Travel Phrases

You can learn the vocabulary word lists but how do you use them? If you an absolute beginner and are not sure about how to string sentences together you can learn key phrases. Here are some phrases that can help you get around English speaking areas. Since a lot of movement is involved in travelling, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with vocabulary related to giving and asking for directions.

Phrases for the Airport

  • What time is my flight?
  • Where do I check-in?
  • Can you tell me where is the departure gate?
  • Where is the rest room?
  • I am visiting family.
  • I am travelling for work.
  • I have a connecting flight.

Phrases for when you arrive at your destination

  • Where is the currency exchange?
  • Can you tell me where to find a taxi?
  • I am looking for the bus stop.
  • I am staying at this address.
  • How do I reach the hotel?
  • We booked the honeymoon suite.
  • Where is my room?

Many other useful phrases and word lists can be found online. Learning what to expect at a hotel, restaurant or tourist attraction can help you prepare yourself for situations that you may encounter. Even if you do not fully understand, you are able to pick out some words you can have an idea of what is going on around you or how to communicate.

Phrases you might hear

  • Please show me your passport.
  • What is your reason for travel?
  • Do you have anything to declare?
  • How long do you plan to stay on your trip?
  • Your flight was delayed.
  • Do you have a reservation?
  • May I see some identification?
  • Would you like to call a taxi?

If you get lost or need help you may ask:

Excuse me, I am looking for the police station.

Can you help me? I am lost.

Where is the ____  embassy? (embassy of your country)

Hello, can you show me where the bus stop is?

Role Play

For even more thorough preparation for your English travel journey, you can also practice your vocabulary and phrases by role playing. Ask a friend or relative to help you re-enact a scenario such as the process at the airport, what to do at a hotel or asking for assistance.

A typical scene at the airport may turn out like the following:

At check in you may be asked:

“May I see your ticket and passport please?”

Answer:  Sure, here they are.

“How many bags would you like to check?”

Answer: I have one suitcase to check and one carry-on.

“Would you like a window seat or an aisle seat?”

Answer: I would like a window seat, please. Thanks.

At immigration:

“What is your reason for travelling?”

Answer: I’m travelling for vacation.

“Who else is travelling with you?”

Answer: I am travelling alone.

“How long do you plan to stay in the country?”

Answer: I’m staying for three weeks. (or give a date “I’m staying until August 11th.”)

Travel tips:

  • Always plan your trip in advance and get a map.
  • Keep your documents and spending money safe and secure.
  • Download a translation app on your smart phone or device.
  • If you feel uncomfortable in a certain place or around people, leave and go back to your hotel.
  • Do research about your destination before going.
  • Always let someone know where you are going, what activity you are up to and the times you will be out and about.
  • Do not give out too much personal information about yourself to strangers.

Online Tutoring Can Help

If you are going to stay for an extended period in an English-speaking country, you should invest in learning English. Immersing yourself in English language study and being in an English-speaking environment can broaden your knowledge and help you to develop fluency, faster. It is always good to plan your trip in advance and learn as much English as possible before leaving to go on your journey.

Oxford English Academy offers classes that cover the basics of English language which can be used as a stepping-stone to advance your proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing English. Sign up today for affordable classes with expert tutors!

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