Skip to content

Vocabulary: Travel and Holidays

Travel and holiday vocabulary

Vocabulary: Travel and Holidays

Travel and holidays are two themes that come up again and again in most exams, and that’s certainly true about the Aptis tests. In this post we’re going to look at some typical vocabulary that will be very useful for you.

So get a pen and paper, or open up a document on your computer, and do these short exercises (all the answers are at the bottom of the page). Then try the mini-test.


Travel and Holidays: Travel

Let’s start with three nouns that often cause confusion: journey, travel, and trip.

1. Try to match the words with their definitions:

a) the act of travelling in general

b) going from one place to another

c) going somewhere and returning, usually for business or pleasure

2. Now complete the sentences with journey, travel, or trip.

a) She went up to London on a shopping ___ last weekend.

b) The fast-speed train ___ from Seville to Madrid takes about two hours.

c) Most people prefer air ___ to going by train.


Remember that when we use ‘travel’ to refer to the act of travelling, it’s an uncountable noun – you CAN’T say ‘a travel’. A well-known set-phrase in English is ‘travel broadens the mind’. This means that travelling to different places opens us up to different experiences.

But it can be used as a plural noun to refer to several journeys, for example: My sister brought me back some wonderful souvenirs from her travels in South-East Asia. And, of course, ‘travel’ is also a verb: This winter I’m going to travel round Europe.


Now look at these three words about travelling by water: cruise (pronounced /kru:z/), crossing, and voyage.

3. Try to match the words with their definitions:

a) a long journey, especially by ship (on water or through space)

b) a journey across an area of water, from one side to the other

c) a journey or holiday on a large ship, during which you visit several places


4. Now complete the sentences with cruise, crossing, or voyage.

a) The shortest ___ between Spain and Morocco is from Tarifa to Tangier.

b) Columbus’s first ___ from Spain to the Bahamas in 1492 took 36 days.

c) My uncle went on a luxury ___ around the Indonesian islands.


Now let’s look at these three verbs about travelling by air: take off, fly and land. We can make these nouns from those verbs: take-off, flight and landing.

5. Complete this text with those nouns:

We flew with Ryanair. The (a) ___ was very smooth, but there was a lot of turbulence during the (b) ___. We had to wear our seatbelts all the time. What’s more, the (c) ___ was very rough. We were relieved to arrive at the airport!

By the way, what do these three words have in common: window, middle, aisle (pronounced /aɪl/)? Yes, they all refer to the position of your seat on a plane (or train): a window seat / a middle seat / an aisle seat.

Pronunciation note: aisle, I’ll and isle all sound the same! /aɪl/


Travel and Holidays: Holidays

Many people prefer sleeping under the stars to staying in a hotel. What about you – are you a happy camper? Here are three more nouns that often cause confusion: campsite, camping, and tent.

1. Match the words to these definitions:

a) the place where campers usually stay on holiday

b) the thing campers sleep in

c) the activity campers do


2. Complete this sentence with campsite, camping, or tent.

When you go (a) ___, you put up your (b) ___ on a (c) ___.

Of course, not everyone’s a fan of camping holidays! But have you ever heard of ‘glamping’? It’s quite a new word, as it was only added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016. It’s a combination of ‘glamorous’ (exciting and attractive) and ‘camping’. This means a much more comfortable form of camping, which usually includes real beds, electricity and TV!


Now look at these other forms of holiday accommodation. Which forms of accommodation would be most suitable for travellers on low (£), mid-range (££) and high (£££) budgets?

cabin, villa, youth hostel, hotel, castle, B&B (bed and breakfast), tent, penthouse suite, apartment

3. Complete the columns with words from the above list.

A limited budget         (£)

A mid-range budget (££)

An unlimited budget (£££)

Now let’s think about three different types of holidays. Read the list of words and expressions below. Which kind of holiday do you associate them with? A walking holiday, a beach holiday or a city break?

beautiful landscapes, flip-flops, culture, sunbathing, hiking, sightseeing, exercise, guided tour, diving, walking boots, building sandcastles, woods, comfortable shoes, surfing, seeing a show, trekking, window-shopping, snorkelling, climbing, exhibitions, boat trip

4. Complete the columns with words and expressions from the list.

A walking holiday 

    A beach holiday

A city break

Travel and Holiday Collocations

Here are some typical travel and holiday vocabulary collocations. How many of the words below collocate with words 1-10? More than one collocation is often possible. For example, we say last-minute flight, last-minute holiday, last-minute deal. (A ‘deal’ usually refers to getting a good price.) Do the same with the rest of words 1-10.

holiday            reclaim             brochure          transfer            excursion        

deal                   flight                  guide                 hotel                  bus

  1. last-minute
  2. low-cost
  3. five-star
  4. boutique
  5. tour
  6. airport
  7. self-catering
  8. baggage
  9. holiday
  10. all-inclusive


Now see what you can remember by doing this mini-test.


Vocabulary: Travel & Holidays

Test your travel and holiday voacbulary.

1 / 12

The hotel offers various …. to local markets.

2 / 12

I often have to go on business ….

3 / 12

The landing was much smoother than the ….

4 / 12

You need good walking boots if you're going to go ….

5 / 12

We stayed in a really original boutique ….

6 / 12

We went to the baggage …. area, but our suitcases weren't there.

7 / 12

I was so lucky to get that last-minute …. on the holiday.

8 / 12

We stayed at a wonderful …. on the coast.

9 / 12

I prefer …. seats, so I can get up easily and stretch my legs.

10 / 12

The longest …. I've ever done was to China.

11 / 12

I get sea-sick, so a …. holiday wouldn't be good for me!

12 / 12

I had a terrible …. to work this morning.

Your score is


Next steps

You’ll find all our vocabulary exercises in the Guide to the Posts.

Why not try Vocabulary: Make or Do? or Vocabulary: Adjective Endings ‘ed’ and ‘ing’?

You’ll also find all our Aptis exam-style vocabulary tests there. Or look at the compilation post Aptis Core Test: Vocabulary and Grammar.

And if you want to test your vocabulary further, we recommend the excellent ‘Use of English’ series.



  1. a) travel, b) journey, c) trip
  2. a) trip, b) journey, c) travel
  3. a) voyage, b) crossing, c) cruise
  4. a) crossing, b) voyage, c) cruise
  5. a) take-off, b) flight, c) landing



  1. a) campsite, b) tent, c) camping
  2. a) camping, b) tent, c) campsite

3. A limited budget         (£)


youth hostel


A mid-range budget (££)




An unlimited budget (£££)



penthouse suite

4. A walking holiday   




beautiful landscapes



walking boots

    A beach holiday



building sandcatles

boat trip




A city break

guided tour





seeing a show

comfortable shoes

Travel & Holiday Collocations

  1. last-minute flight, last-minute holiday, last-minute deal
  2. low-cost flight
  3. five-star hotel
  4. boutique hotel (not part of a chain; a designer hotel)
  5. tour guide, tour bus
  6. airport bus, airport transfer (shuttle service from airport to hotel and back)
  7. self-catering holiday (one where you cook your own food)
  8. baggage reclaim (where you collect your luggage)
  9. holiday excursion (organised trip), holiday brochure (leaflet or magazine advertising holidays)
  10. all-inclusive holiday, all-inclusive deal (flights, hotel, food, drink, etc all included)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.