English for Travel: Essential Vocabulary and Phrases

English for Travel

Hello and welcome to the weekly blog post of American English Skills Development Center Inc. The topic for this week is “English for Travel: Essential Vocabulary and Phrases.”

Traveling can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it can also be difficult if you do not speak the local language. That is why, before embarking on your trip, it is critical to learn some basic English vocabulary and phrases.

In this post, we’ll go over the most important words and phrases to know for your trip, such as transportation, lodging, dining, shopping, emergencies, cultural etiquette, and pronunciation.


Knowing how to ask for directions and purchase tickets is essential whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or bus. Here are some essential transportation vocabulary and phrases:

      • Airport: The place where airplanes take off and land.
      • Terminal: The building where passengers check-in, board, and disembark from their flights.
      • Departure: The area where passengers leave from to board their flight.
      • Arrival: The area where passengers arrive after their flight.
      • Boarding Pass: The document that shows you have the right to board your flight.
      • Gate: The area where you wait to board your flight.
      • Train Station: The place where trains depart and arrive.
      • Platform: The area where you board and disembark from the train.
      • Ticket: The document that allows you to travel on a train or bus.
      • How do I get to the airport/train station? – This is a common question that you may need to ask locals to get to your destination.
      • Can you tell me how much the ticket is? – You’ll need to know the price of your ticket before purchasing it.
      • Where is the nearest bus stop? – This question is handy if you’re traveling in a city.
      • What time is the last train/bus? – This is important to know to avoid getting stranded.


The right place to stay can make or break your trip. Here are some key words and phrases for accommodation:

      • Hotel: A place that provides lodging, meals, and other services for travelers.
      • Hostel: A budget-friendly accommodation option that offers shared rooms or dorms.
      • Guesthouse: A small hotel that is often family-owned.
      • Reservation: The act of reserving a room in advance.
      • Check-in: The process of registering as a guest at a hotel.
      • Check-out: The process of leaving a hotel.
      • Room service: A service that delivers food and drinks to your hotel room.
      • Do you have any available rooms? – This is a common question when looking for a place to stay.
      • Can you recommend a good hotel/hostel/guesthouse? – This is helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the area.
      • How much does a room cost per night? – This is important to know when budgeting for your trip.
      • Can I make a reservation? – It’s always best to reserve your room in advance.


Trying new foods and experiencing local cuisine is one of the most exciting aspects of traveling. Here are some essential dining phrases and vocabulary:

    • Menu: The list of food and drinks offered at a restaurant.
    • Appetizer: A small dish served before the main course.

    • Entree/Main Course: The main dish served during a meal.

    • Dessert: A sweet dish served at the end of a meal.

    • Water: A clear liquid that is essential for life.

    • Coffee/Tea: Hot beverages that are often served with breakfast or after a meal.

    • Could I see the menu, please? – This is a common question when seated at a restaurant.

    • What would you recommend? – It’s always helpful to ask for recommendations from the server.

    • Could I have a glass of water, please 
        • Could I have a coffee/tea, please? – This is a common request in the morning or after a meal.
        • Could I have the bill/check, please? – This is what you say when you’re ready to pay.
English for Travel


English for Travel

Shopping is an important part of many people’s travel experiences, whether they’re looking for souvenirs or the perfect outfit for a special occasion. Here are some essential shopping vocabulary and phrases:

      • Store/Shop: A place where you can buy goods.
      • Cashier/Till: The place where you pay for your items.
      • Sale: A period when items are discounted.
      • Receipt: The proof of purchase that shows what you bought and how much you paid.
      • Can you tell me how much this costs? – This is a common question when shopping.
      • Do you have this in a different size/color? – This is a useful question when looking for a specific item.
      • Can I get a discount? – It never hurts to ask for a discount, especially during a sale.


Nobody wants to think about emergencies while traveling, but knowing how to handle them is essential. Here are some essential emergency vocabulary and phrases:

      • Help: A cry for assistance.
      • Emergency: A serious, unexpected, and potentially dangerous situation.
      • Police: The law enforcement officers responsible for maintaining order and safety.
      • Hospital: A medical facility that provides treatment for the sick or injured.
      • Accident: An unexpected event that causes damage, injury, or death.
      • Call the police/ambulance, please. – This is what you say when you need immediate assistance.
      • Where is the nearest hospital/police station? – This is important to know in case of an emergency.

Cultural Etiquette

Every culture has its own set of customs and etiquette rules, and it’s critical to be aware of them in order to avoid offending the locals. Here are some important cultural etiquette guidelines:

      • Learn a few phrases in the local language: Even if you only know a few basic phrases, it shows that you’re making an effort to respect the local culture.
      • Dress appropriately: In some cultures, it’s considered disrespectful to dress too casually or show too much skin.
      • Be aware of local customs: For example, in some countries, it’s considered rude to shake hands with your left hand or eat with your hands.
      • Be respectful: Always be respectful of the locals, their customs, and their traditions.


Finally, when speaking English, it is critical to pay attention to your pronunciation. Here are some tips to help you improve your pronunciation:

      • Practice: The more you practice, the better your pronunciation will become.
      • Listen: Pay attention to how native English speakers pronounce words and try to mimic them.
      • Focus on the sounds: English has many sounds that don’t exist in other languages, so it’s important to focus on these sounds when practicing.

In conclusion

Before you travel, learning some basic English vocabulary and phrases can make your trip much more enjoyable. We hope you found this post useful, and we hope to see you soon at American English Skills Development Center Inc. for our highly customized English training courses. Travel safely!


Peter Buijs

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I am a proud blogger and company owner. I am managing, together with a great team of marketing specialists from GON all marketing activities for American English Skills Development Center and I am mostly working from home. When I’m not working, you’ll find me enjoying time playing guitar, traveling, diving and drinking a delicious Pale Pilsen beer which I consider the best beer in the Philippines. My biggest wish is to ride a big bike and buy a boat and sail to all 7107 islands in the Philippines. 

Speak to you soon!

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