Travel is one of the most popular reasons for learning English. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, every year millions of people practise English to use on an overseas trip. If you already know the basics, by learning a few more useful expressions, you can really make the most of your holiday. Take a look at these useful phrases and use them to make your next vacation amazing.
Follow the tourist trail
If you go sightseeing and see all the famous places in a city, you are ‘following the tourist trail’. This is great if you want some spectacular holiday snaps (photos) to show your friends. What if you want to get a real feel for how people live in that country, though?
Get off the beaten track
When you visit places that tourists don’t usually see, you are ‘getting off the beaten track’. Travelling like this is a fun way to get a feel for what the place is really like. Try doing an internet search for your destination followed by the words ‘off the beaten track’ to research some interesting places to visit before you leave. If you are already an experienced traveller you might want to go solo (travel alone) but for most people, it’s safer to travel with a friend.
Ask a local
A ‘local’ is a person who lives in the area you are visiting. Sometimes the best places aren’t listed in guidebooks and asking a local will help you find those places. Sometimes, rather than just asking for recommendations, ask where local people eat or hang out with a question like “Where do you usually eat?” and you will see things ordinary tourists often don’t. Who knows, you might even make some new friends.
When you ‘travel light’ you don’t take too much luggage. Luggage weighs you down and very often you can rent or buy heavy or cumbersome (difficult to carry) items when you get there. Use the question “Where can I buy/rent a … ?” to find out where to buy or rent these things. Before you go shopping, try asking at the hotel reception “How much should I pay for …?” or “How much does (an item) typically cost?” to find out the local price before you get to the shop. That way you will know if people are just giving you an expensive price because you are a tourist.
When in Rome…
A common English expression is “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This just means that when you are in another country, it’s a good idea to act in a similar way to the local people. This isn’t always practical but it can be great fun. Try asking “What is the local delicacy?” to find out what the most famous local food is and don’t be afraid to ask “What is the best way to eat it?” if it looks unusual or tricky to eat.
Whatever you do when on vacation, use your common sense and stay safe but don’t be afraid to talk to local people. Use the expressions above and don’t be shy – you’ll have a vacation to remember for ever!