Common English idioms for travelling

Nowadays, and thanks to low-cost airlines, it’s very common for people to travel a few times throughout the year to many different places all around the world 🌍. Some of the most visited places lately are Thailand, Japan and the US…

For this reason, we might have heard new idioms in English 🇬🇧 that we didn’t quite understand and we’d like to learn; or perhaps we’re just looking for new vocabulary to use on our next trip and leave the people we’re going with amazed with our new-found knowledge.

Whatever the reason you have chosen, in today’s blog we’re going to take a look at a few common English idioms for travelling ✈.

1. To travel/ pack light

When someone says they need to pack or travel light, it means they can’t bring a lot of things with them 🧳 on their trip.

For example: “I’m only going to the south for the weekend, so I have to pack light”.

2. To hit the road

To hit the road means to start a journey or to leave. It can also be used in normal, daily life when you decide it’s time for you to go home 🏠.

For example: “We have to be there by 10 am, so we’re hitting the road early tomorrow” or “I’ve been here long enough, it’s time I hit the road”.

3. To catch the sun

This idiom can be used whenever you go to the beach and someone gets sunburnt ☀, so if you know anyone who gets burnt easily don’t miss the opportunity to use it with them!

For example: “Be careful you don’t catch too much sun at the beach, remember to put on some sunscreen!”

4. To live it up

Whenever you are having a really good time and enjoying your holiday 😎, without worrying about anything (not even about money) you can use this idiom.

For example: “We’re really going to live it up in Las Vegas next month!”

5. On a shoestring/ on the cheap

This idiom is the complete opposite of the previous one. To do something on a shoestring or on the cheap, it means that you are doing it without spending a lot of money 💸.

For example: “I’m going to travel around Europe on a shoestring. I’ll be staying at hostels and buying food in supermarkets”

6. At the crack of dawn

To do something at the crack of dawn means that you’re doing it just as the sun is rising 🌇. It means you’re doing it at the earliest possible time.

For example: “The plane leaves at 7.30 am, so we have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the airport on time”.

7. To call it a day/ night

When someone calls it a day or a night, it means that they stop doing anything else for the rest of the day, or that they finish what they’re doing and go to bed 😴.

For example: “We went sightseeing in Rome, but we ended up feeling so exhausted that we called it a day and went back to the hotel”.

8. Off the beaten track

If a place or something is off the beaten track, it means that it is far away from where many people live, or in a remote location 🏔.

For example: “I want to stay on this island all summer because it’s off the beaten track, so there’s not many people here and it’s quiet and peaceful.”

9. To catch the red-eye

When a person says they have to catch the red-eye it means they have to take a plane which is leaving very late at night 🌃.

For example: “I have to sleep during the day as I’m catching a red-eye tonight”.

10. Live out of a suitcase

To live out of a suitcase means that a person stays in many different places for only a short period of time, and with only enough things to put in a suitcase 🧳.

For example: “My cousin has been living out of a suitcase for years, her mother wishes she would settle down already”.

11. Break the journey

When someone breaks the journey, it means they decide to stop somewhere for a while during a long journey 🏝.

For example: “Our journey was so long that we decided to break the journey in a few places so we could rest for some days”.

Now it’s your turn to practice! Which common English idiom for travelling would you use in the following sentences?

  • The explorers have just found a village …………. There weren’t many people living there, and it was quite isolated.

a. To catch the red-eye

b. Off the beaten track

c. At the crack of dawn

  • It’s time you settled down, Eric. Don’t ………… any longer.

a. Break the journey

b. Call it a day

c. Live out of a suitcase

  • I need to ………… now. I have an appointment with the dentist this afternoon.

a. Hit the road

b. Live it up

c. Travel light

  • Do you need some help collecting your luggage, or are you …………?

a. Living out of a suitcase

b. On a shoestring

c. Travelling light

So, which of these idioms have you liked the most? Which one have you already decided to use on your next journey 🛫? If you know any other English idioms related to travelling, leave them in the comments section below!

common english idioms for

I would also like to let you know that this will be our last blog post for the summer ☀; we’ll be back with more interesting posts on September 2nd. See you soon and have a lovely summer!

Estefanía

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