Travel Vocabulary in English with Travel Stories

Apr 27, 2016 | Advanced Vocabulary

I know you love to travel as much as do. So today I want to share some of my favorite advanced travel vocabulary in English so you can tell your own travel stories more easily. 

I have 3 different travel stories for you today. In each, I’ve highlighted useful vocabulary and groups of words that often go together or collocations.

Here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Read the stories.
  2. Note the highlighted vocabulary and groups of words – can you identify the meaning from the context? (If you need help, you can use the definitions I’ve provided to help you.)
  3. Write your own travel story using some of the new vocabulary and expressions. You can write about a past travel experience, a business trip, a future vacation or any other travel opportunity. Then share your story in the comments.

The goal is for you to use the same keywords in your own sentences.

This is the best way for you to truly learn and remember new vocabulary. And this means the next time you talk or write about travel, you’ll have all these words available to you in your mind!

Advanced Travel Vocabulary in English with Real-Life Stories

Sharon’s Travel Story: A Staycation on a Tight Budget

When I was younger, I had a real sense of adventure. I loved backpacking, camping in the woods, sleeping in tents and spending the evening next to the campfire. As a child, I remember trying to build a fire from scratch by rubbing two sticks together. I think my entire family laughed while I worked at it for an hour. Unfortunately, I never succeeded.

But I do have such good memories of camping and hiking with my family. Every summer my parents would pack up the kids and the dog into the car, pack all our outdoor gear on the roof of the car and fill coolers full of food.

My mom would pack all the usual stuff: trail mix, fruit, marshmallows to roast over the fire, stuff to make sandwiches, etc. We’d take a road trip to the mountains in Colorado, find our spot to set up camp and pitch our tents near the river. I loved listening to the sound of the river at night!

I haven’t camped for years! Neither David nor I can take that much time off of work. It makes me a little sad that Sophie, our daughter, won’t have those same memories.

But last year we did do something a little fun, a little different: we had a staycation. The two of us could only get 4 days off of work and we were on a tight budget. We hadn’t enjoyed everything the city has to offer for ages so we decided to just pretend to be on vacation here at home. We visited the museums, went to the theater, we even took a day trip to the coast a few hours away for a day of sun, sand, and surf.

We have some wonderful photos (and memories) of our picnic dinner watching the sunset on the beach.

sense of adventure

The desire to explore and to take advantage of adventurous opportunities.

outdoor gear

Generally used to describe items or equipment needed for outdoor recreation: tents, skis, bicycles, snowboards, etc.

set up camp

To prepare and position everything in a campsite.

from scratch

To make (or create) from the beginning with the basic ingredients.

trail mix

A snack mix with a combination with dried fruit, grains, and/or nuts.


The combination of stay-at-home and vacation. A vacation where you stay at home and enjoy local sites.

pack up (the kids/the car)

To prepare one’s belongings; to gather one’s things together and prepare to depart. With “the kids” this refers to prepare the kids and their belongings for departure.

roast over the fire

To cook over the fire.

on a (tight) budget

To be on a budget means to not have a lot of extra money. A “tight” budget means very little extra money.

Lara’s Travel Story: Anything All-Inclusive

Ugh! I hate planning vacations. I mean, I do love traveling but I don’t want to think about it. All those little details – I can’t be bothered!

I prefer those all-inclusive kinds of vacations for a little R&R. You know, those places where all you do is show up and that’s it.

You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Activities, the beach, the pools, dancing. Sure, they usually cost a little more but if I don’t have to plan everything then it’s worth it. The only thing is you have to be careful of those hidden extras! I’ve definitely been surprised by the final bill a few times.

My fiancé and I are talking about an all-inclusive cruise for our honeymoon. It sounds amazing but I’ve never been on a ship for that long.

I’m a little nervous about seasickness I do love the idea of island-hopping. Plus the ship has a ton of amenities with its multiple pools, fitness centers, and restaurants. What I need to figure out is what to pack for a cruise. I’m actually terrible about over packing.

can't be bothered

Don’t want to waste time doing something.

all you do is show up

Show up = to arrive for an appointment or gathering. “All you have to do is …” means that there is nothing else expected of you.

a ton of

An exaggerated way to say, “a lot of.”


(Almost) all activities and food are included in the total cost.

hidden extras

Expenses that are not included (or unexpected) in the final cost.


The services or perks that a hotel provides with the reserved room.

a little R&R

A little rest and relaxation.


To visit one island after another.

over pack

To pack too much.

Jean-Luc’s Travel Story: Exotic Adventure

I’m always dreaming of my next far-off, exotic destination. I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s adventurous.

Last year I chartered a boat with a friend to sail around the Greek Islands. In the afternoons, we’d pull into ports, dive into the water, enjoy dinner on the beach and then head back to the boat for the night. On really warm nights we actually sleep right on the deck under the stars.

What’s next? I don’t know. Maybe Colombia, Peru, or Chile? I’ve never been to South America and I love the idea of spending time in the Andes Mountains. Hiking in the middle of nowhere, you know what I mean?

Those kinds of places give you such a better perspective on life. It’s easy to forget we’re all just a tiny piece of this earth.

Or maybe Thailand? That’s another of my bucket list destinations.

far-off destination

A destination remote (in time or space).

head back

To return to a place.

perspective on life

A particular attitude toward or belief about something; a point of view.

charter a boat

The reservation of a plane, boat, or bus for private use.

under the stars

To be outside with no covering.

bucket list

The achievements or experiences a person hopes to have or accomplish in their life.

pull into port

The place where a vehicle or driver stops into. In this case, a boat stops in a port.

middle of nowhere

A remote place far from any city, town, or village.

Now I’d love to hear your travel story!

Practice and build your vocabulary by sharing your own travel story in the comments below!

Using the vocabulary from the stories above, describe your favorite travel experience or tell me about a trip you’d like to take in the future.

Don’t forget to read and comment on stories from other Confident English readers. You might learn something new or have an interesting question to ask.

Happy travels!

~ Annemarie

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