Travel and Transport

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Using English for Travel

There are many useful words and phrases we use when travelling and dealing with transport. For non-native speakers this is an topic of study so that you can enjoy organising your travels without worrying about language.

Explore vocabulary related to travel and transport here and learn useful travel vocabulary for trains, buses, cars, taxis, planes and boats.  


General English Travel and Transport Vocabulary:

to arrive, to depart, to leave, to stay,

to cancel, cancellation, cancelled, delay, delayed

to book, to reserve, reservation, to cancel a reservation

holiday, business trip,

trip, journey, to travel, map

travel agent, brochure


ticket office, fare, price, single/return ticket

by foot, on foot

by plane, by train, by taxi, by car

roundabout, road, traffic lights, speed limit, junction, cross roads, road signs

transport words in English

Vocabulary and phrases for different modes of transport:


Wheels, steering wheel, dash board, indicators, headlights, roof, bonnet, boot, engine, battery, windscreen wipers, garage, car mechanic, petrol station, service (a ‘check up’ for a car)


Double decker, single decker, passengers, bus driver, bus stop, bus station, bus conductor, coach, luggage hold, bus lane

Bus travel phrases: the next stop, the last stop, to get on/off the bus

transport and travel vocabulary - bus travel


Train station, platform, track, level crossing, locomotive, underground, cross-country, local, return, single, ticket, carriage, first/second class, train driver, ticket inspector, waiting room, seat, timetable, guard, season ticket, fare, travel card, buffet car

Train travel phrases: to catch a train, to check the timetable, on the platform, to travel cross-country, to get on/off the train


Cab, black cab (official English taxi), fare, taxi rank, taxi driver, tip (noun and verb)

Taxi travel phrases: to hail a taxi, to pay the fare, to tip the driver (verb)


Aeroplane, airport, airline, wing, runway, pilot, gate, passport, excess baggage charge, cabin crew, flight attendant, air steward/stewardess, security, turbulence, seatbelt

take off, landing, hand luggage, hold luggage, over-head locker, boarding card, customs, departures, arrivals, lounge, aisle seat, window seat, check-in, in-flight entertainment

Plane travel phrases: to put luggage in the hold, taking off, to fasten your seatbelt, to experience some turbulence



Ferry, cruise ship, harbour, deck, port, sea, ocean, cabin, captain, sail, sea sickness, crossing, on board, life belt/jacket, foot passenger, buffet, port side, starboard

Boat travel phrases: to embark, to disembark, ‘choppy’ seas, to sail, to have a good crossing, to go out on deck, welcome aboard/on board, the captain’s table

English at the railway station

English at the Train Station

Phrases you may want to say
Please can I have two first class tickets to London When does the train arrive in Birmingham?
Could I buy a return ticket to London, please Do you know how long the journey should take?
Which platform does the train leave from? Do I need to change trains?
Phrases you may hear
How many people are travelling? Do you want single or return tickets?
The train will be delayed You will need to change at Oxford
Your train leaves from platform 3. Tickets, please!
The next train will arrive at platform 5 Mind the gap! (to remind travellers to be careful when stepping off the train)
  • Train times on timetables are always given in the twenty-four hour clock format. So, 5.15 pm would be 17.15 and 9.05 am would be 09.05.

Using English at the Airport - signs

English at the Airport

Phrases you may want to say
I have a reservation. I am travelling/flying to Paris
I booked my ticket online. Can I take this on board as hand luggage?
I have my boarding pass here. Could I check this into the hold please?
Here is my passport. Where is the departure lounge?
Which departure gate does my flight leave from? Can you tell me where ‘arrivals’ is?
Phrases you may hear
Can I see your boarding card please? There will be an excess baggage charge.
Do you have your booking reference? Make your way to departure gate 12
Are you carrying any liquids? The flight has been delayed/cancelled.
Did you pack your bags yourself? Last call for passenger Smith
You will need to check that into the hold Please place your case on the scales

Click here to explore more vocabulary and phrases for when you are out and about.

What do you find most difficult about using English when travelling?


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