It takes a long time to plan a good trip! There are so many things to think about and so many decisions to make. This travel English lesson includes all the basic travel English vocabulary you need to know to plan your next trip to an English-speaking country!
1. Research places to go and things to see.
Research can be used as a noun or a verb in English. As a verb it means study or find information. There are many ways to research places to go and things to see.
NOTE: As a noun, research is a non-count noun! You cannot do some
researches. You can only do some research.
You can read travel guides like Lonely Planet. You can ask friends and family members for advice. You can talk to a travel agent or read travel blogs. You can look for information on social media. (I have learned about a lot of new places in the world on Instagram and Pinterest!)
a travel guide – a book with information on cities or countries, including things to see, places to stay, and how to get there
ask (someone) for advice – ask someone for her opinion or ask someone for suggestions
advices. Advice is a noncount noun. It doesn’t have a plural form.
a travel agent – a person whose job it is to help you plan a trip and make travel arrangements for you, like buy your plane tickets
a travel blog – a website on which someone writes about her personal travel experiences and recommendations
2. Decide when to go and who to travel with.
Should you travel during peak season or off-season?
Peak season is the most popular and the busiest time of year to travel. In Canada and the U.S., peak travel season is July and August. This is the time of year when most people go on vacation because children are out of school for the summer. Flights and hotel rooms are expensive during this time.
a flight – a trip on an airplane
Off-season is the quietest time of year. Flights and hotel rooms are cheaper during this time because no one is traveling. In Canada and the U.S., the off-season is from November to April. It is not a popular time to travel because it is cold during these months.
Do you want to travel with family members, friends, or by yourself?
by yourself – on your own, with no other people
This is an important decision! You are going to spend a lot of time with your travel companions, so make sure you choose the right people to travel with!
3. Plan an itinerary.
An itinerary is your detailed travel plan. It includes what you will see each day, where you will stay, and how you will get there.
An itinerary can be a piece of paper with all the information, or it can be a file on your computer or mobile device.
4. Book your flights and accommodation
Book is a verb that means make a reservation. You need to make the necessary arrangements so that you can use something at a later time.
accommodation – a place to sleep when you are on a trip, for example at a hotel, a bed & breakfast (in someone’s house), or on a boat
book a flight – buy your tickets to travel on an airplane at a specific time
book a hotel room – tell a hotel that you want to stay there at a specific time
It is important to book your flights and accommodation as far in advance as possible! You have more options, and flights and hotel rooms are cheaper.
in advance – before a specific time or event in the future
Learn more: Travel English Phrasal Verb: Check in
5. Check all your travel information
Is your passport still valid? Or has is expired? Do you need to get a new one?
A passport is an official document issued by the government of your country. It says that you are a citizen of that country. It is a small book. It contains your photo, your name, your birthdate, and other important personal information. You need this booklet when you travel to another country.
A valid passport is one that is officially acceptable and can be used to travel. It has not expired. Each passport has a time limit. When that time period ends, your passport expires and you cannot use your passport anymore. You need to get a new one.
Do you need a visa?
A visa is a document or an official stamp in your passport that allows you to visit a country.
Do you need any vaccinations?
A vaccination is an injection of a substance into your body that will protect you from a specific disease. The vaccine is injected, or put, into your body with a needle.
What is the exchange rate?
Every country uses its own money. This money is also called a currency. The exchange rate is a number that is used to determine the value of the money used in your country compared to the value of the money used in another country. For example, right now the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and the American dollar is 0.77359. One dollar ($1) Canadian is equal to $0.77 American.
What is the weather like where you are going?
What should you wear? Does it rain a lot where you are going, or it is sunny all the time?
6. Get ready to travel.
Get any vaccinations you need.
Buy some money in the currency of the country you are visiting. When you arrive, you can also use your credit card or your bank card to take out money at an ATM.
a bank card – a small card that you can use to access your bank account
an ATM – a machine where you can use your bank card to take out money from your bank account (also called a bank machine)
Buy travel insurance. This is important! Insurance is a way to protect yourself if something bad happens unexpectedly during your trip. You pay an amount of money to an insurance company. If something bad happens unexpectedly, like your flight is canceled, you get sick, or the airline loses your luggage, the insurance company will pay you money.
Learn more: “My Passport!” | Episode 28
7. Pack your bags.
Put your clothing, toiletries and anything else you will need on your trip into your bags. Start packing a few days before your trip.
toiletries – your shampoo, soap, deodorant, and anything else you use to wash yourself or keep yourself clean, neat, and smelling nice
Suitcase, luggage, bag – what’s the difference?
a suitcase – a case that you use to carry your clothes and toiletries when you are traveling; a suitcase has flat sides and a handle, and wheels on the bottom
a backpack – a bag that can be carried on your back
a garment bag – a bag used by business travelers who need to carry suits and formal clothes; garment is a formal word for clothing
Luggage is a noncount noun and doesn’t have plural form. It means all the suitcases and/or bags you take on a trip.
At the airport, all of your luggage is called bags or baggage.
Do you want to take a carry-on bag or check your bag?
Many airlines charge extra (require you to pay a fee) to check your bags. You give your bags to the airline so that someone can put them on the plane in a special section on a plane. This luggage is called a checked bag.
an airline – a company that owns airplanes and uses them to fly passengers to different places.
If you are going on a short trip, it is easier to carry your suitcase, backpack, or small bag on the plane with you. This is called a carry-on.