Essential English travel vocabulary | Part 1

During the holidays, many people have a long break from school and an opportunity to relax, take a break and try something new. It’s time to put away your coursebooks and enjoy some free time. You might use the break to travel and experience new places, whilst learning and using English travel vocabulary. But what kind of holiday will you choose, and what will you do when you get there? 

Planning to travel

  • You might choose to have a staycation. This means you choose to stay at home rather than travel somewhere. This can be a cheap, relaxed, and enjoyable way to enjoy your break.

Instead of going abroad, Joana is having a staycation and exploring local parks.

  • If you like exploring busy cities, you might decide to take a city break, which is a short holiday in a city, usually for a few days. City breaks are a great way to experience the culture of somewhere by visiting museums, art galleries and local parks. 

Mazciek took a city break to London and saw Big Ben.

  • Glamping/camping is when you stay outdoors, usually in tents. Glamping (glamorous camping) offers more luxurious facilities, such as a bed in your tent, electricity, and sometimes a bathroom. 

Our family went glamping at the music festival – I can’t believe I slept in a proper bed in a tent! 

  • You might decide to take an eco-holiday. This is a trip focused on environmentally-friendly activities and sustainable tourism.

On their eco-holiday, JiaYi and Thibault learned about coral reef conservation.

  • A fun and action-packed holiday that gets your heart racing is an adventure holiday. This is where you participate in exciting and often physically challenging activities.

Liesel’s adventure holiday included rock climbing and white-water rafting.

  • If you like all your food, drink, and activities included in the price of your trip, you might enjoy an all-Inclusive holiday.

At the all-inclusive resort, Csilla didn’t have to worry about any extra costs.

Activities to do on your travels

Here are some ideas for some activities you can do whilst on your break. 

  • Maybe you want to take some rest and relaxation, also known as R&R. This means you want to take time to relax and take it easy. You could do this at the beach, at home, or in a park – wherever you like to chill out. 

After a hectic school year, all I want is some R&R by the beach.

  • The opposite of R&R is sightseeing. This is where you visit and view attractions or places of interest in a particular location. Often, you can take sightseeing buses around a town or city, or simply walk and explore. Part of the fun of being somewhere new is getting lost, right!?

During our trip to Mexico, we went sightseeing and saw the Frida Kahlo museum. 

  • Maybe you prefer to get some information about the place you are visiting from an expert, or the history of a specific attraction. In that case, you might like to book a guided tour. 

The guided tour of Edinburgh castle was both educational and fun.

  • If you’ve always wanted to give your time for free to help others or to benefit a community, you might like to volunteer

Radha spent her holiday volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania.

  • Cultural activities are when you engage in activities that reflect the culture of a place, like visiting museums, art shows, and galleries.

Tokyo offers a lot of different cultural activities; we loved the art galleries and traditional tea ceremonies.

Now, it’s time for your holiday! Whether you’re chilling at home, exploring a busy city, or diving into a unique cultural experience, there’s a world of opportunities waiting for you on your summer break. But before you pack your bags, don’t forget to come back for part 2 of this blog post on travel words in English. We’ll dive deeper into useful vocabulary for discussing your travel experiences, sharing the highlights and even the not-so-great moments of your adventures. After all, every trip has a story, and we’ll help you tell yours! 

Do you know any other types of holidays we’ve missed? Comment below! For more vocabulary on travel and transport, check out this blog post!


Match the English travel vocabulary to their definitions. 

  1. R&R
  2. Staycation
  3. Sightseeing
  4. Guided tour 
  5. Eco-holiday 
  6. All-inclusive
  7. Volunteer
  8. Glamping
    1. When all your food, drink, and facilities are included in the cost
    2. Rest and relaxation
    3. When you give your time for free
    4. Where you have a holiday at home or in your home country
    5. Sleeping in a luxury tent
    6. When you visit and look at attractions or places of interest
    7. A holiday with environmentally-friendly activities and sustainable tourism
    8. When an expert gives you information about a place on an organised tour


  1. B
  2. D
  3. F
  4. H
  5. G
  6. A
  7. C
  8. E

Billie Jago is an ELT writer and teacher trainer, specialising in digital & assessments. She is the founder of the professional development podcast ELTcpd and co-founder of the digital ELT content agency, otterelt.

Author: Oxford University Press ELT

Every year we help millions of people around the world to learn English. As a department of the University of Oxford, we further the University’s objective of excellence in education by publishing proven and tested language learning books, eBooks, learning materials, and educational technologies.

2 thoughts

  1. Thank you very much for the travel vocabulary review and the activity. I always do these tasks before I ask my students to do them. I made six correct guesses.
    But as for travel vocabulary additions, here are some: to travel solo, to go off the beaten track; to visit a museum (this item may be problematic to some learners: years ago, some authors commented that foreigners should be forewarned not to say “to make an excursion to a museum’, which some of them do,; it must be ‘a visit to a museum’ instead). Thank you.

  2. I can think of holidays where you volunteer to work for free with children from unfavourable backgrounds or help with renaturalisation projects, etc. Mostly, accommodation and food are free but you have to fork out your own travel expenses. Did this kind of thing a few time in my youth.

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