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English for tourism: essential holiday vocabulary

There are thousands of great places to go on holiday in the world but the locals there will often lack fluency in your native language.

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As commercial tourism has developed, English has become the international language of holidaymakers everywhere. Travelling abroad is a great way to practise your English, make new friends and expand your horizons. Spending a little time to brush up on your English for tourism will help you get the most out of your holiday.

It is possible to predict the majority of situations you will find yourself in while on holiday and learn appropriate vocabulary in advance. In the A-Z word lists below, we will cover the following 4 essential holiday situations: airport, hotel, restaurant, and beach.


Aisle seatМесто у проходаLandingПосадка, приземление
Baggage reclaimВыдача багажаLast callПоследний звонок
BlanketШерстяное одеялоLuggage trolleyБагажная тележка
BoardingПосадкаOverhead compartmentБагажная полка
Boarding passПосадочный талонRowРяд
Check-inРегистрацияSeat beltРемень безопасности
Departure loungeЗал ожиданияSecurity checkПроверка безопасности
Emergency exitАварийный выходмSick(ness) bagМешок при воздушной болезни
GateВыход (на самолет)TakeoffВзлёт
Hand luggageРучная кладьWindow seatМесто у окна

Possible questions:

May I see your ticket/passport, please?
How many bags are you checking in?
Did you pack your bags yourself?
Do you have any hand luggage with you today?
Would you like a window or an aisle seat?
I’m afraid your baggage is overweight (too heavy).
Your hand luggage is too large.
Your flight is delayed/cancelled.
When should I be at the gate?
Where is the boarding gate?
Is my connecting flight on time?
Where do I collect my baggage?
Where is the check-in desk for ___ airlines?


Accommodation (hotel)Номер в гостиницеReservationБронирование
Check-in/outЗаезд / выездResortКурорт
Currency exchangeОбмен валютыRoom number 6Шестой номер
Double roomНомер на двоихRoom price/rateСтоимость номера
En-suite bathroomСмежная ваннаяRoom serviceОбслуживание номеров
Extra chargeДополнительная оплатаSelf-cateringСамообслуживание (только еда)
Family roomСемейный номерSingle roomодноместный номер
Fill in a formЗаполнить бланкTwin bedsдве односпальные кровати
Full boardПолный пансионVacancyCвободный номер
ReceptionРецепцияWake-up callЗвонок-напоминание

Possible questions:

Which floor is my room on?
What time do we need to check out?
When should we pay the bill?
What time is breakfast served?
Can I make international calls from my room?
Where can I buy a SIM card for my mobile phone?
Can you order me a taxi to ___, please?
Can you recommend any good restaurants near here?
Can we move to a room with a sea view?
The towels/sheets in our room are dirty. Can you change them, please?
Our air-conditioning isn’t working. Can you fix it, please?


Bread basketКорзина с хлебомPlateТарелка
Chef’s specialsФирменные блюда от шеф-повараService chargeДоплата за обслуживание
CutleryСтоловые приборыStarterПервое блюдо
DeliciousОчень вкусныйTable clothСкатерть
DessertДесертTable for twoСтолик на двоих
Fully bookedПолностью забронированныйTipЧаевые
Glass of wineБокал винаTo be overcharged (for)Слишком много заплатить за что-л.
Main courseОсновное блюдоWaiter/waitressОфициант (-ка)

Possible questions:

Can I book a table for three, please? (…tomorrow evening at 7pm under the name of Ivanov.)
Are you ready to order?
Would you like to hear the chef’s specials?
Can we have this dish as a starter (instead of as a main course)?
Can you bring us an extra plate/glass/fork/etc., please?
Can we have a look at your menu, please?
This dish is cold. Can you heat it up for me, please?
This isn’t what I ordered! Can you bring me the ___?
Can we have the bill, please?
Can you check the bill again? I think we’ve been overcharged.


Beach matКоврик для пляжаSnorkelТрубка (для подводного плавания)
Beach towelПолотенце для пляжаSun loungerЛежак
Danger!Опасно!SunburnСолнечный ожог
Flip flopsСланцыSunglassesСолнцезащитные очки
FlippersЛастыSuntan lotionЛосьон для загара
MaskМаскаSwimming costumeКупальный костюм
ParasolЗонтик (от солнца)Swimming trunksПлавки
Sand castleЗамок из пескаTideПрилив и отлив
SeagullЧайкаTo sunbatheЗагорать

Possible questions:

Excuse me. Is anyone sitting here?
Do we have to pay to use these sun loungers?
Where is the best beach near here? How do I get there?
Excuse me. Could you watch my things while I go swimming, please?
Where can I buy an ice cream (cold drink/beer/etc.)?
Is there a shower on this beach?
Where is it safe to swim?
Can you recommend a good place for fishing?
Where can we take a boat ride and how much does it cost?

OTUK offers a special online English for tourism course to prepare students for speaking English on holiday. This intensive course runs over several weeks and is designed to build vocabulary and fluency in key situations for tourists abroad. We also offer more advanced courses for those working in the tourism and hospitality business. Contact us today to request a trial lesson!

Click here to download this post via our mobile website!
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Written by Alex Jude —
ESL Specialist & CEO at Online Teachers UK

Alex Jude is the Founder & CEO of Online Teachers UK. He holds a BA hons degree in Linguistics from The University of Manchester and is a life-long English teacher. Following graduation, he spent 2002-2012 living and teaching in Russia, where he lectured in General Linguistics and Translation Studies. Alex is a fluent Russian speaker and worked with the BBC at the World Cup in 2018. In his spare time, he enjoys camping/bushcraft, playing guitar and watching rugby league.

Written by Alex Jude —
ESL Specialist & CEO at Online Teachers UK