Speaking Vocabulary – Holidays

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      Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.
      Part 1-style questions

      Examiner: What kind of holiday do you like?
      Miguel: I try to avoid tourist traps … I like to get away from it all and prefer going somewhere off the beaten track … last year I had the holiday of a lifetime … a two week wildlife safari in Kenya.

      Examiner: What do you like to do when you’re on holiday?
      Anna: I enjoy visiting the local places of interest … I like to go sightseeing and always sign up for guided tours as it’s a chance to be shown around and take photographs … one of my hobbies.

      Examiner: Do you have many tourists in your country?
      Amy: Yes … we have a lot of holiday resorts along the coast that are popular with tourists … most people come on package holidays and stay in one of the many hotels and self-catering apartments.

      Part 2-style task

      Describe a beautiful place you once visited. You should say:

      when you went to this place
      where it was
      who you went with

      and say why you liked it so much.

      Sally: A few years ago I went on a long weekend to the Lake District in the UK … it’s a very popular holiday destination in the north of England … I went on my own and had a wonderful time … I stayed in a youth hostel and met some really nice people … but the most memorable thing about the holiday were the breathtaking views … and lovely picturesque villages … it can get very busy with hordes of tourists so I decided to go out of season in the autumn … the weather was fantastic and the shops were full of local crafts … a really great holiday … it’s certainly not the kind of short break for someone looking for a busy nightlife but if you want to relax in the middle of stunning landscape I would certainly recommend a holiday to the Lake District.

      Part 3-style questions

      Examiner: What do you think has led to the growth in the tourist industry?
      Miguel: It’s much easier and affordable to travel now … nowadays you can get cheap charter-flights or all-in packages … to somewhere near or to a far-off destination.

      Examiner: How do people tend to choose a destination?
      Anna: The Internet is a great source of information and high street travel agents are still very popular … that’s where I like to go to get holiday brochures for the place I’m interested in.

      Examiner: People sometimes say flying is the most glamorous form of travel. Do you agree?
      Amy: I’m not so sure really … flying can be quite boring … queuing up at the check-in desk … going through passport control … sitting for ages in the departure lounge … then the flight itself can be quite uncomfortable … no … I’m not sure I agree.

      Definitions

      all-in package/package holiday: a holiday where you purchase the travel and accommodation together
      breathtaking view: an extremely beautiful view
      charter-flight: a cheaper form of flying than a scheduled flight
      check-in desk: the place at the airport where you register for your flight and deposit your luggage
      departure lounge: where you wait for your flight to be called
      far-off destination: somewhere a long way away
      to get away from it all: to take a holiday to escape a busy or stressful lifestyle
      guided tour: an organised group shown around a place of interest by an expert
      holiday brochure: a glossy publication with details of holiday packages
      holiday destination: where you go for a holiday
      holiday of a lifetime: a special holiday that you are unlikely to repeat
      holiday resort: a place where lots of people go for a holiday
      hordes of tourists: crowds of tourists
      local crafts: objects produced locally
      long weekend: an extended weekend holiday including Friday or Monday
      out of season: outside of the main holiday period
      picturesque village: very pretty village
      passport control: the place where your passport is checked
      places of interest: sites of interest to tourists
      wildlife safari: a holiday, often in Africa, to observe wild animals
      self-catering: a holiday where you supply your own food
      short break: a short holiday
      to go sightseeing: to look around the tourist sites
      stunning landscape: extremely beautiful countryside
      travel agent: a shop that specialises in booking holidays
      tourist trap: somewhere where too many tourists go
      youth hostel: a cheap form of accommodation

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