You can jump to any section of this article:
- Booking a Holiday
- Travelling to Your Destination
- Arriving at Your Destination
- Places to Visit
- Describing Places
- Asking for Help
Whether you are going on a short holiday for a few days or planning to travel around various countries for a few months, having a basic understanding of the vocabulary and phrases you might need to use for communication is quite important.
English is a widely spoken language in the majority of countries that welcome tourism, so it would be beneficial to familiarise yourself with some useful phrases before departing.
In addition, if you could find out how to say some basic phrases in the country’s native language, I’m sure the local people there would appreciate your efforts!
Basic phrases in English that you should translate and try to use in the native language of your destination:
- Thank you
- Excuse me
Booking a Holiday
Book: as opposed to the noun (reading material), this verb means to arrange and confirm a place on a flight, a room in a hotel or a ticket for an event in the future.
Depart: to go away or leave, especially on a journey.
Arrive: to reach a place, especially at the end of a journey.
Reservation: an arrangement in which something like a seat on a plane or a table in a restaurant is kept for you.
Destination: the place where someone is going, or something is being sent or taken.
Complimentary: if tickets books or any other items are complimentary, it means they are given free, especially by a business.
All-Inclusive: Including everyone or everything. In holiday terms, this would refer to a hotel deal where the price usually includes accommodation, meals and drinks (any extra activities or facilities would be charged separately).
Travel Agency: a company or shop that makes travel arrangements for people.
Ticket: a small piece of paper or card given to someone, usually to show that they have paid for an event, journey or activity.
Brochure: a type of small magazine that contains pictures and information about a product or a company.
Leaflet: a small piece of paper that gives you information or advertises something.
Last Minute Deals: these are promotions that are advertised at the latest possible time for those who are more spontaneous!
Promotion: publicising a product to increase sales or public awareness.
Package Deal: an offer or agreement involving a number of related items or the acceptance of one being dependent on acceptance of another.
Half-Board: if you request ‘half-board’ at a hotel, breakfast and dinner would be included in the hotel price (as part of the package).
Full-Board: if you request ‘full-board’ at a hotel, that would include all three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in the price of your accommodation.
Self-Catering: if you stay in self-catering accommodation, you would be in a place where you are provided with the facilities to prepare and cook your own meals.
Accommodation: a room or building in which someone may live or stay. Different types of accommodation include apartments, hotels, guesthouses and backpacking hostels.
Vacation: the American term for ‘holiday’.
Camping: the activity of spending a holiday (vacation) living in a tent or campervan.
Backpacking: to travel or hike carrying one’s belongings in a backpack.
Transfer: the act of moving someone or something from one place to another.
Budget Holiday: (adjective) meaning inexpensive. Planning a trip using a minimal amount of money. (Budget – noun) Having a limited amount of money for expenditure:
- ‘We have to keep within the household budget).
Travel Documents: all the necessary documents you would need to take with you on a holiday i.e. passport or ID card, driving license, flight/bus/ train tickets, visa confirmation etc.
Outbound: travelling away from a particular place, usually the first half of a journey.
Inbound: travelling towards a particular place, especially when returning to the original point of departure.
Two-way, Return Ticket (UK), Round Trip (US): a ticket that allows someone to travel to a place and back again.
One-way, Single Ticket: a ticket that allows a passenger to travel only to his/her destination, without returning.
Transport: (verb trans-PORT) to take or carry goods or people from one place to another. (noun TRANS-port) A system or means of conveying people or goods from place to place by means of a vehicle, aircraft or ship.
Splash out: a phrasal verb (mainly used in British English) meaning to spend money freely
Sample Conversation about Booking a Holiday:
Travel Agent = TA, Customer = C
TA: Good afternoon madam, how can I help you today?
C: Good afternoon, I would like to book a trip to Italy for 2 people and a 6 year old child please.
TA: Is there anywhere in particular you would like to go?
C: I can’t decide between Venice or Rome, whichever is cheaper as we’re on a budget this year!
TA: Okay, and when would you like to go?
C: We have two weeks of holiday between 18th June and 2nd July, and we’d like to go for at least 10 days during that period.
TA: No problem, I’ll just check to see which destination would be cheaper…. We have a special promotion on at the moment, if you book a package deal to Venice, you get freetransfer to and from your hotel to the airport, plus one free meal each day. Would you be interested in that?
C: Yes, that sounds great!
TA: And would you like full-board or half-board?
C: Well, seeing as we will get one free meal each anyway, I think self-catering would be better. I’ll have a little bit of extra money to splash out in a nice restaurant somewhere!
TA: Okay, that’s fine. We have a hotel that offers self-catering facilities and is right in the centre of Rome. They also have special facilities for children such as meal deals, extra beds, a play area in the lobby and a crèche.
C: Perfect! I won’t need to spend too much money on transport and our son will surely have fun too!
TA: Exactly. Your outbound flight will be on the 19th June, departing from London Gatwick Airport at 11:30am, and your return flight will be on the 30th June at 10:30pm. That gives you 11 and a half days in Rome, does that suit you?
C: Yes, that’s excellent, and we’ll still have a couple of days to recover before going back to work! How much will that be?
TA: Well, the promotion is £200 per adult, and your child can go for free because he is under 8 years old. That includes the return flights, accommodation for 11 nights, airport transfer and a complimentary meal each per day. Shall we go ahead and book it?
C: Wow, that is a fabulous deal! Yes please.
TA: Okay. How would you like to pay?
C: Credit card please. Here you go.
TA: Thank you. Could I also see your passports please?
C: Sure, here you go.
TA: Thank you. Here are your tickets and everything else you’ll need to know about your package holiday. Remember to keep all your travel documents safe throughout the whole trip.
C: Thank you so much for your help!
TA: You’re welcome. Enjoy the rest of your day and please contact us if you have any queries before you set off on your holiday!