Travelling is a year round activity as people now go on holidays more than once a year. The following are common English phrasal verbs related to travel or, as you may name them, TRAVEL phrasal verbs. I have set out some key phrasal verbs that we use in a typical holiday trip.
Travel Phrasal Verbs
SET OFF – When we begin a journey anywhere of a short or long duration we have to start from some place either our home or our office perhaps. So we normally advise our friends or family that our holiday is about to start or we will set off shortly.
ex. John was going to Italy for a week. He told his family that he was due to set off at 4 pm for the airport and asked if someone could give him a lift.
SET OUT – Similar to set off we can also use this to describe the beginning of a journey. It sometimes refers to a shorter journey than a holiday, perhaps a trek or a walk.
ex. Michael is gone for a trek. He set out about an hour ago. I doubt he will be back any time soon.
CHECK IN/CHECK OUT – When we arrive at our destination, a hotel or apartment on Airbnb (perhaps) we usually have a time when we can check in. And when we leave our hotel or apartment at the end of our vacation we are given a time to leave or check out.
ex. When I arrived in Moscow I made my way (travelled to) to my hotel and checked in at about 2.30 pm. On my day of departure I had to check out before 12 noon. It suited me fine as my flight was due to leave at 3 pm.
Travel Phrasal Verbs
HOP ON/HOP OFF – I’m sure you are familiar with these 2 travel phrasal verbs. Nowadays most of the cities offer visitors “the red bus” option to get a tour of the city. This red bus is sometime a replica of (a copy of) the old London buses. These buses offer the option to hop on or off as you please at different locations around or across the city. You buy the ticket and you can get on (hop on) or get off (hop off) the bus at any location.
GET AROUND – Travelling is very enjoyable at any time. However, it is made easier due to the advances in transport options. We can travel by car, train, plane or even ship! When setting out our plans for our holidays it is important to know how we will travel from one destination to another. Our friends may ask us what type of transport will we use.
How are you getting around? = How will you travel?
ex. David was travelling to 5 cities in 10 days. His friend wanted to know how he intended getting around. He had arranged to hire a car for that purpose.
SEE SOMEBODY OFF – When somebody is leaving for an extended time it is normal for family members to travel with that person to the point of departure (airport or train station) to wish them well and to wave goodbye. This we refer to as seeing somebody off.
ex. Mary was leaving for an extended working holiday in Australia. Her parents were anxious to go to the airport to see her off. She was going to be away for approximately 6 months.
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Travel Phrasal Verbs
GET BACK – When we go on a holiday or a business trip we usually have to come back at sometime. It is also normal for our colleagues family and friends to ask us when are we due to “get back” when talking about our holiday.
ex. Declan was going on holiday to the USA and his boss wanted to know when he was due to get back to work.
So we can ask When are you getting back? or When do you get back to the office/home? or When are you due back?
GET GOING – When it is time to depart or to leave we often use the phrase “get going”. We often use it together with the words “it’s about time…” because usually we are in a hurry or in a rush.
ex. Igor was late packing his bag and needed to get to the airport as quickly as possible. He told his wife it was “about time he got going”. He had to leave immediately otherwise he might have missed his flight.
BREAK DOWN – to stop working (a machine, a vehicle)
ex. Our car broke down on the way to Nice, so we phoned breakdown recovery service.
START OFF – to begin a journey at a particular place
ex. We started off in Heidelberg, which is this old-fashioned, nice town in Western Germany.
PUT SOMEONE UP – to give (someone) temporary accommodation
ex. My friends put me up for three nights.
Do you like travelling? What was the last trip you took? Try to write a short story about your last trip and use as many travel phrasal verbs as you can. This simple exercise will help you remember them.
If you would like to continue learning English phrasal verbs (I’m sure you would!), continue reading my other posts. I also have a post about Intermediate English Travel Vocabulary where you can find English words and expressiong related to travelling.
And if you would like to improve your English faster and in an easy way, consider taking our English Lessons on Skype. Remember, we do offer a FREE English lesson to try it!
And, of course, you can always find exercises to check on you understanding of English Phrasal Verbs with British Council.