IELTS and TOEFL: What Kind of Traveler Are You?


Now that it is summertime, we are all longing for a vacation and to travel. Are you going anywhere fun this summer?  Maybe we can start talking about travel plans and preferences again, even if we simply remember some of our best trips and discuss our top 5 destinations.

🇺🇸In American English, we spell “traveler” with one “l” and in British English, 🇬🇧it is spelled with two: “traveller”. In American English, “traveling” is the common spelling, whereas in British English “travelling” is the preferred spelling of the word.  This travel post is for B2 (upper-intermediate) or C1 (advanced) English speakers.  However, if you would like a lesson on travel that is designed for A1 to B1, I recommend downloading this fabulous worksheet. 

Take the Quiz to Find Out What Kind of Traveler You Are!

Welcome to your What Kind of Traveler Are You?

My ideal trip is…

More than anything, while on vacation, I love….

To find my way around when I travel, I…

When I travel, I feel most comfortable wearing…

For me, the most relaxing thing to do on vacation is….

In the evenings, I love…

I’m mostly like to travel…

When I travel I prefer…

On my journeys, I most love smelling…

When I travel, I pack…

I typically…

At night, I love…

5 types of travelers

Common Expressions about Travel:

  • To take a trip= To go on a vacation
    • Salma and Jim took a trip to Iceland last month, which was a dream come true.
  • Peak season= The high season when there are more tourists. 
    • We try to avoid traveling during peak season because the airplanes and the hotels are too crowded. 
  • To miss a flight=to not be able to catch a flight due to various circumstances
    • They missed their flight because the taxi driver was late picking them up.
  • To miss out on something=to not be able to experience or fail to take advantage of an opportunity or chance
    • We missed out on the picnic because we had to take Seth to the hospital.
  • To get away= To go on vacation and take a break from your daily routine
    • When I went to Brazil last summer, it was wonderful to get away for a while, relax and unplug.
  • To unplug= To disconnect and switch off.  This is often used when people go on vacation and want to turn off their phones, screens, and stop checking email.
    • When they traveled to Turkey last winter, they truly unplugged and took a nice break from work.
  • To have a special charm= When a place is attractive and appealing. 
    • The city where I grew up, Stone City, has a special charm because the houses were built out of limestone in the early 1900s.
  • An arduous journey= A difficult trip. 
    • The trip through the Peruvian mountains to Machu Pichhu proved to be an arduous journey because we faced severe weather conditions.
  • Unexplored territory= A place that is remote and isolated and where few humans have been. There is so much unexplored territory in the Andes mountains and we have to have a lot of specific gear to travel to those remote places.
  • pristine= perfect and in its original condition, We went to a pristine beach on a remote island. 
Grab this great lesson plan to use with your students!


Travel Reading Passage: 

A Half-Naked Trip to Iceland

Jim and Salma took a trip to Iceland last summer during the peak holiday season.  They had a few disastrous things happen to them on the journey.  First, they missed their flight because they arrived at the airport late and the security line was long and slow.  They had to wait three hours for the next flight, which, luckily had only a few seats available.  Then, when they finally arrived at their destination, they went to get their suitcases at the baggage claim and realized their bags hadn’t come with them on the plane.  They were furious.  However, they had a well-planned itinerary for their week-long vacation and they didn’t want to miss out on anything, so they decided to wear the same clothes until their bags arrived at the airport.  

The next day, they wore the same stinky clothes to visit Lake Myvatn and its charming surroundings.  For Jim and Salma, it was a euphoric experience because they saw steam coming off of the lake at sunrise while a great variety of duck species quacked in front of them.  However, they were astonished when one of the ducks approached them and actually attacked and ran off with Salma’s left flip flop.  They returned to the hotel with even fewer clothes after the duck assault. 

Their main goal was to unplug and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. So, they went to the spa in their hotel and relaxed in the hot tub.  They turned on the high-powered jets and were finally able to let go of their worries and release all of the stress from work.  The spa even had showers that gave off the smells of lavender and mint.  Although it was blissful, one of the jets was so strong that it ripped off Jim’s bathing suit.  He threw a towel over himself and ran back to the hotel room half-naked. The hotel concierge saw him and gave him a strange look.

The next day, they planned to go off the beaten track and visit a waterfall that was located 3 hours north.  They had very few clothes to wear and had to go barefoot.  Fortunately, they had a tour guide who led them up a rugged mountain with jagged cliffs and despite the arduous journey, they appreciated the peace and quiet.  As they were trekking through the lush, unexplored territory, they felt a sense of adventure.  What could they expect to find at the peak of the mountain? They were blown away when they reached the top.  They could see a gorgeous waterfall flowing down the side of the mountain.  It was the most pristine place they had ever been. Despite their bleeding toes, the hike was well worth it.




Conversation Questions about Travel

  1. Do you prefer to travel by train, car, bus, plane, or on foot?
  2. What kind of shoes do you like to wear when you travel? Flip flops, mountain boots, sneakers, or high heels? 
  3. When you travel, do you prefer to use a guidebook to help you get places and understand the history of the landmarks, or do you like to play everything by ear? 
  4. Do you love to go off the beaten track or do you prefer to visit well-known places?
  5. What is your opinion about guided tours and travel guides? Do you deepen your understanding of a place when you go on guided tours? 
  6. When you travel, do you enjoy meandering and wandering around the city streets with no particular plan? 
  7. Are you a museum lover? What kind of museums do you enjoy exploring: history museums, science museums, art museums, or cultural museums? 
  8. Do you like to sleep in a tent or a caravan and experience more rustic conditions or would you rather get a spa treatment in a 5-star hotel? 
  9. Do you like to learn the local language before you travel to a place and practice some of the words you have studied in bars and restaurants?
  10.  Are you a fan of outdoor adventure sports like hiking, rock climbing, bungee jumping, skiing, surfing, and rappelling? 
  11. Are you the kind of person who could spend an entire vacation sunbathing on the beach with a cold drink in one hand and a book in the other?
  12. Do you usually take a travel journal with you and take note of your adventures?


Sample IELTS CUE CARD Answer About Travel:

I recently visited London with a group of High School students from Spain.  We traveled by plane and the flight lasted around 3 hours.  Next, we took a train into the city and stayed at a comfortable hotel downtown.  To be honest, we had a very well-planned itinerary and visited all of the well-known landmarks in the city.  I found the London Bridge to be spectacular and unforgettable.  We tried fish and chips in a local pub, but the meal didn’t blow me away and the beer was warm, which I wasn’t used to. 

I have to admit that the British people were very friendly to us and talkative. One notable cultural difference between Spain and England is the way people cross the roads.  In Spain, cars will stop for pedestrians because pedestrians have priority when crossing the road at zebra crossings.  In London, cars stop when the lights are red.  So, one of the students tried crossing the road when the light was green, and she got hit by a car.  Fortunately, it hit her hip and she fell safely on the sidewalk without being majorly injured, but we quickly learned to follow the traffic rules carefully in London.  Despite this unfortunate event, we had an incredible time and even saw the city from the London Eye.  Overall, I found London to be one of my favorite cities of all time.


Would you like to hear a British accent? Listen to this man with a British accent speak about the benefits of travel




To sum up, travel transforms us and deeply changes our way of life, perception, and worldview.  Certainly, when we are tired, the best thing we can do is travel to a new location.  Suddenly, our focus and attitude change when we are out of our comfort zone.  Also, we can learn about our own culture by traveling.  I remember what it felt like to return to supermarkets and malls in the USA after living in Brazil for many years. It was so different and I looked at everything with a changed perspective.  In the comments below, please tell me about your favorite trip of all time.  I will comment and respond to you!

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