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English Travel Phrases Guide

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If you plan on traveling to the United States (or another largely English-speaking country) soon, you’ll definitely want to know some English travel phrases. Even if you’re not fluent in English yet, it’s important to know how to effectively communicate with the people you’re going to encounter—bus drivers and train station managers, hotel staff, shop clerks, and the list goes on.

Increasing your English travel vocabulary is an essential step in your visit to the United States.

Knowing just a few basic English travel phrases will ultimately make your life easier as you navigate this new place. Instead of struggling to find words when ordering at a restaurant or asking for directions, you’ll have these most common English travel phrases at the back of your mind for safekeeping, to use whenever the need arises.

English travel phrases are the most important phrases to know, because they’ll help you get from point A to point B with ease. Whether that means getting from the airport to your hotel, from your main course to dessert, or from casual acquaintances to friends with someone you meet. These are English phrases for traveling you’ll use constantly during your visit to the U.S., and you’ll be glad to know them.

The ease factor aside, knowing English travel phrases can also help you out in a pinch—if you lose your luggage, get terribly lost yourself, or encounter an emergency, knowing these phrases can be a real lifesaver.

And let’s not forget that if you happen to be traveling for business purposes, knowing basic conversational English along with additional phrases will make you look good. It’ll greatly impress your U.S. associates and colleagues, and will grant you their favor more quickly than if you couldn’t communicate with them effectively.

With these things in mind, let’s move forward with EnglishClass101.com and learn about the most basic English travel phrases you should know. (Think of this as your very own online travel English booklet!) Let’s learn English travel phrases!

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Phrases: Greetings and Manners
  2. Phrases for Transportation
  3. Hotel Phrases
  4. Phrases to Use When Shopping
  5. Restaurant Phrases
  6. Directions
  7. Phrases to Use in an Emergency
  8. Flattery Phrases and Compliments
  9. Useful Phrases to Go Through Language Problems
  10. Conclusion

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1. Basic Phrases: Greetings and Manners

Preparing to Travel

The first English travel vocabulary we’ll go over are some basic greetings. You probably know some of these English language phrases for tourists, but if not you’ll find this section very helpful. (We also have an entire article dedicated to English greetings, in case you want a more in-depth look at these.)

1- Hello / Hi / Hey

These three words are the most common English greeting words. These words are basically interchangeable, meaning you can say any of these when first meeting someone. However, they do express different levels of formality.

“Hello,” is the most formal greeting word of the three, and is what you should probably use when meeting with a business colleague or when greeting someone for the very first time.

“Hi,” is a little bit less formal, and is probably the most versatile of the three; you can use this word to greet just about anyone in any situation (unless “Hello” seems more proper).

“Hey,” is the least formal, and is best used with people you’re very familiar with. If you make close friends while traveling in the U.S., this phrase is totally acceptable to use with them (and is even expected).

2- Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening

After you’ve said your initial greeting (or sometimes in place of one of the above phrases), you can tell the person “Good Morning,” “Good Afternoon,” or “Good Evening,” depending on what time of day it is.

You can say “Good Morning,” any time before noon. “Good Afternoon,” is best used from noon to about five o’clock PM, and “Good Evening,” can be used any time after that until the next morning.

Each of these phrases is basically doing one of two things (or both):

  1. Wishing the person has a good day.
  2. Telling the person that you hope their day has been good up until that point.

However, these phrases are often said out of habit and so their meaning is sometimes vague or not actually implied.

3- How are you? / How have you been?

After you’ve greeted someone it’s polite to ask, “How are you?” You can ask this to anyone you’ve met, though you shouldn’t expect an in-depth answer if this is someone you hardly know. They’ll probably reply with, “Good” or “Well,” and ask how you are.

If you’re talking with someone you’ve met before or someone you know pretty well, you can ask, “How have you been?” instead. This question implies that you want to know how they’ve been since the last time you met. Depending on how well you know this person, the answer can be vague ( “Good,” ) or more in-depth. The person you’re talking with is likely to ask how you’ve been as well.

4- Please / Thank you

In the United States, it’s very much expected to say “Please,” when asking for something or making a request. For example, “Can you please give me directions to the hotel?” or “Please let me borrow your phone.” This word shows that you know the weight of the favor you asked, and that the other person is totally capable of refusing; it’s a sign of respect and humility, and is considered good manners in general.

You say, “Thank you,” after you receive what you asked for or a request you made is completed. This phrase shows that you appreciate the other person (or people) for their help.

5- Excuse me

“Excuse me,” can be used in a variety of situations and for multiple reasons, making it one of the most useful English travel phrases. For instance, you can say this to someone if you’re trying to get around them or if you accidentally run into someone while walking. You can also use this phrase to get someone’s attention.

For example, imagine you’re trying to get a store clerk’s attention to ask them where something is in the store:

“Excuse me, where can I find ____?”

This is one of the most important English phrases for travel due to its versatility and general usefulness.

6- I’m sorry

It’s always good to know how to say sorry, even if it’s only for small inconveniences or mistakes. Especially in the United States, it’s considered polite and common practice to apologize often. This may also be one of the most appreciated English language travel phrases to natives.

For instance, imagine you accidentally stepped on someone’s foot while walking in a crowded store or street. You can quickly say, “I’m sorry,” or simply, “Sorry,” and then keep walking.

2. Phrases for Transportation

Airplane Phrases

Finding a good mode (or modes) of transportation is very important when traveling in the United States. Luckily, there’s a variety of options available depending on where you are and where you’re going. But to get the most out of your transportation experience, you’ll want to know a few basic English travel phrases related to transportation.

1- Taxi Phrases

  • Getting the Taxi’s Attention. If you plan on traveling by taxi (or using a similar service, such as Uber or Lyft), the first thing you need to do is “hail a cab” or use a phone to call for one to pick you up.
    • When hailing a cab (or taxi), first make sure that it’s actually available. You can find lots of good information on how to effectively hail a taxi online. If it’s available, one common way to signal for the driver’s attention is to extend your arm in the cab’s direction.
    • If you’re going to call a cab instead, it’ll be good to have taxi company phone numbers for the area you’re in written down or saved on your cell phone. You can also use the increasingly popular services of either Uber or Lyft instead, as it may be easier to find availability this way.
  • “I need to get to ___.” Once you’ve gotten the attention of a taxi driver or your Uber/Lyft driver has arrived, you’ll need to tell them where you need to go. You can do this by saying, “I need to get to ___” and say the name of the place where the blank is. For example, if you’re visiting Oregon, USA, you could tell your driver, “I need to get to the Oregon Zoo.”
  • “Could you please take me to ___.” This is a more polite way of telling your driver where you need to go, and is basically interchangeable with the above phrase.
  • “What’s the fastest (or easiest, or best) route?” or “Please take the fastest (or easiest, or best) route.” You should ask your driver which route is the fastest if you’re in a hurry; asking this indicates that you would like them to take that route, or discuss it with you. Or, if you’re less concerned with discussing the route, you can simply tell them, “Please take the fastest route.”
  • “How much will this cost?” It can be hard to keep an eye on your spending when traveling, especially out of the country. To ensure that you don’t spend more than you need to (or to get a better idea of what you can expect to spend on taxis for the rest of the trip), you can ask your driver how much the route you discussed will cost.

An example conversation when getting a taxi ride could go something like this:

You: [Hails a cab] “Could you please take me to the Oregon Zoo?”
Cab driver: “Sure. Is there a route you want me to take?”
You: “What’s the fastest route?”
Cab driver: [Tells you the fastest route] “Is that okay with you?”
You: “Yes. How much will this cost?”
Cab driver: “About $30.00 if traffic is good.”

2- Bus Phrases

  • “May I have the bus schedule?” or “What is the bus schedule?” You can use the first phrase if you would like to receive a copy of the bus schedule for future reference (if there’s one available). The second phrase may be more helpful if you just want to know the day’s schedule, because you plan on going somewhere later.
  • “How much will this ticket cost?” When purchasing a bus ticket, it’s very important to know how much you’re spending on a single trip. This is especially true since certain buses and certain bus-to-bus routes will cost much more than others. You can simply ask the driver or the ticket salesperson, “How much will this ticket cost?” once you’ve decided on the route you need.
  • “Is this seat available?” This phrase is to be used once you’re actually on the bus. Depending on where you are and what time of day it is, finding a seat on a bus can be very difficult. Before taking a seat next to someone (or deciding there’s no room to sit), it never hurts to ask someone if an empty seat next to them is available. Here’s how an example conversation could go:
    • You: “Hello, is this seat available?”
      Person: “Yes, it is.”
      You: “Thank you.” (Sit down beside them)

      If they answer with “No,” or “I’m saving this seat for someone,” you can either ask around for other available seats, or simply stand up and hold onto the bus’s poles during the ride.

3- Train Phrases

While trains are not the most popular mode of transportation in the United States, you may decide you’d like to travel by train anyway. (Depending on where you are, the scenery can be gorgeous and the service wonderful!) There are also the infamous “subway” trains of New York City that you may find convenient to take if you’re staying there for a while. Here are a few phrases you should know:

  • What’s the schedule for this train?” To inquire about a train’s schedule while you’re at the train station, you can ask someone who works there, “What’s the schedule for this train?”
  • “What route does this train take?” Once you know what the train’s schedule is, you may want to ask about the actual route of the train. You can simply ask, “What route does this train take?”
  • “I would like to buy a ticket to ___ for ___ train.” When buying a ticket for a train, you need to state two things: 1.) Where you’re going, and 2.) Which train you want to take you there. You can use this phrase to do just that.
  • “How much will this cost?” If you can’t find train ticket prices listed anywhere, you should ask the ticket salesperson how much a particular ticket will cost before you make a firm decision.

3. Hotel Phrases

Basic Questions

Chances are you’ll be staying in a hotel for at least part of your trip to the United States. Here are a few common travel phrases in English that you should know during your hotel stay:

  • “What rooms are available?” or “Do you have available rooms for [date] to [date]?” If you didn’t book a room prior to your trip, these are the first questions you may want to ask at the reception desk. The person at the front desk should answer by telling you about a couple of available rooms. If you plan on staying from one specific date to another date, you can use the second phrase to ask about rooms available for this specific time frame.
  • “How much will my stay cost?” When telling you about available rooms, the person at the front desk should also tell you the approximate cost per night; once you’ve indicated how long you’ll stay, they should also tell you the total cost and give you payment options. However, don’t shy away from asking about this if they didn’t give you enough info.
  • “When is check-out time?” In case it wasn’t made clear what time you need to check-out of your room on the last day, you’ll need to ask the person at the front desk.
  • “Is there free breakfast?” If free breakfast is important to you, feel free to ask the front desk about this with this phrase.
  • “Is there free WiFi?” The vast majority of hotels in the U.S. should have free WiFi, and most will offer you the WiFi password upon check-in. However, if they didn’t make it clear that they have WiFi, you can ask the front desk.
  • “I need new towels/bed sheets.” There’s a good chance that you’ll want clean towels and bed sheets before your stay is over. Room service should take care of this while you’re out and about, but some hotels prefer that you ask for fresh towels or bed sheets before they’re given. You can either ask room service for these directly if you happen to be in your room when they arrive, or you can go to the front desk and request them. (Some hotels allow you to request multiple items free of charge, such as soap and razors; you can ask about these as well.)

4. Phrases to Use When Shopping

Shopping! Whether for groceries, clothing, or a swanky souvenir, shopping is just about inevitable when visiting another country. Here are some common travel phrases in English to use during your shopping experience:

  • “Excuse me.” You can use this phrase to get a store clerk’s attention.
  • “Do you have ___?” or “Where can I find ___?” If you’re having a hard time finding a particular item or section of the store, you can get a clerk’s attention and ask one of these two questions. Here are a couple of examples:

    You: “Excuse me, do you have canned tomatillos?”
    Clerk: “I’m not sure what a tomatillo is. Can you describe it?”
    You: “It’s like green tomatoes, in a can.”
    Clerk: “I’m not sure we have those… Let me check.”
    You: “Okay, thank you.”

    You: “Excuse me, where can I find your men’s clothing?”
    Clerk: “If you see the restroom sign right there, it’s to the right.”
    You: “Thank you.”

  • “There’s a problem with my ___.” It happens all too often that you find an issue with a product after you’ve left the store. You discover a tear in your new (and expensive!) blouse, your souvenir falls apart for no reason, and the list goes on. To inform a store clerk about an issue like this, you can return to the store with the item and receipt, get the clerk’s attention, and say, “There’s a problem with my ___,” where the blank is the item you bought.
  • “Can I have a refund?” Once you’ve shown the clerk (or staff at a Customer Service desk) what the problem is and that you still have the receipt, you can ask them, “Can I have a refund?” Most stores have some sort of refund policy, which the clerk will then explain to you.
  • “Can I exchange this product?” If you would like to exchange your damaged product for another product, you can ask the clerk, “Can I exchange this product?” The rules and specifications for this vary by store, but some stores do allow exchanges.

By using these travel phrases in the English language, you can make your way around just about store or shop in the United States—and ensure that you get the best products from your visit to them.

5. Restaurant Phrases

Waiter Taking Order at Table

No matter where you are, good food and restaurants are an essential part of the trip. Here are some English travel phrases you should know when eating at a restaurant.

1- Seating and Ordering

  • “I would like a table for [number].” When you first enter a restaurant, the first thing you’ll be asked is, “How many?” To this, you can respond with the phrase, “I would like a table for [number],” or simply, “A table for [number],” where you replace [number] with the number of people in your group. You’ll then either be led to a table, or told how long you’ll need to wait for an available table.
  • “Excuse me.” Here’s yet another good use for the phrase “Excuse me.” You can say this in order to call your waiter or waitress’ attention if you’re in need of something (more water or the check, for example).
  • “Water, please.” Your server will ask you what you would like to drink, usually in the form of, “Can I get you started with something to drink?” though sometimes they’ll ask more specifically, “Would you like coffee, orange juice, milk?” You can reply with “Water, please,” if you would like water, though you can also say, “Coffee, please,” etc.
  • “I’ll have the ___.” After your server asks you what you would like to eat, or what you’ll have, you can respond with, “I’ll have the ___,” where the blank is the name of a dish (or food) on the menu. For example, if you’re eating at an Italian restaurant you might say, “I’ll have the Chicken Alfredo.”

2- Types of Courses

You may find it helpful to have a breakdown of the different types of courses available to you, and the types of foods you can expect to be served for each one.

1. Breakfast

In English, the first meal of the day is called “Breakfast.” In most restaurants, this is only served in the morning (if breakfast is served there at all), with the exception of certain places which specialize in breakfast dishes.

Some common drinks served during breakfast hours include:

  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Juice (orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, etc.)
  • Water

Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

Common food items include:

  • Cereal or oatmeal
  • Eggs (you can have these prepared in a variety of ways)
  • Bacon or sausage links
  • Potatoes or “hashbrowns”
  • Toast (plus butter and jam)
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Crepes
  • French toast
  • Fruit
  • Biscuits and gravy (yummy biscuits covered in thick, usually meaty gravy)

2. Lunch

“Lunch” is usually served and eaten around the middle of the day (usually from around eleven o’clock in the morning until about two o’clock in the afternoon). When it comes to lunch, there are a variety of things you can eat and drink, mainly depending on the type of restaurant you find yourself in.

When it comes to classic American food, however, you’re likely to find the following items on your menu for lunch:

  • Hamburger (or cheeseburger)
  • Sandwiches or wraps
  • Salads
  • Soups

Many classic American lunch dishes come with side items, the most common of which are:

  • Fries (basically just fried, long-cut potatoes)
  • Onion rings (ring-cut onion slices dipped in batter and fried)
  • Side salad (usually a small bowl of greens with tomato, cucumber, red onion, and croutons)
  • Coleslaw (cabbage with carrots and sometimes other veggies, in a special dressing)
  • Side soup (there are usually a variety of options available for the type of soup)

The most common lunchtime drinks are water and soft drinks (such as soda).

3. Dinner

Especially if you’re visiting the United States on business, you’ll probably find yourself eating out for “dinner,” or the last meal of the day. For most restaurants, dinner meals are served from around 3 o’clock in the afternoon until late at night. Dinner is probably the most versatile meal in the United States.

Plates served for dinner are usually larger than those used for serving lunch, and the meals are often more expensive (depending on where you’re eating). Meal types range from classical American, like we described above, to other things like:

  • Steak meals (a portion of steak, usually served with multiple sides)
  • Fish meals (depending on where you are, any type of fish fillet served with multiple sides, such as rice)
  • Various pasta dishes (most restaurants serve some kind of pasta dish, though the best pasta is usually from Italian-style restaurants)

4. Appetizer

An “appetizer” is usually served before a lunch or dinner meal is served, and is prepared upon request; it’s usually served to the table as a whole. It’s called an appetizer because it’s supposed to prepare your appetite for the meal to come. There may just be more types of appetizers in the United States than there are actual meals. Appetizers are sometimes unique to a specific restaurant, so be sure to have a good look at the appetizer section of the menu.

5. Dessert

Slice of Chocolate Cake

For some people, the “dessert” is the best part of the meal. It’s usually served after lunch or dinner. In the United States, this is usually some type of a sweet treat to eat after you’re done eating the main meal. Common U.S. dessert items include:

  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt (this can be prepared a number of ways)
  • Slice of cake
  • Slice of pie
  • Cookie

Some restaurants may also serve healthier desserts, such as fruit trays.

For this section, I sought to provide an array of example for classic American foods, but keep in mind that the types of food available fully depends on where you’re eating, and in the U.S. you can find restaurants serving food based on just about any other country’s food as well. So get out there and explore!

3- Money/Payment Words and Phrases

When you’re done eating, you’ll need to pay. Here are some useful phrases for you:

  • “Check, please,” or “May I have the check?” You can use these phrases interchangeably to ask your server for the check. The first phrase is less formal, but is a simpler and more efficient way of asking for the check; the second one is a little more formal, so you may want to use it if you’re eating at a nice restaurant.
  • “Credit card.” If you’re asked how you’ll be paying for your meal, you can simply answer “credit card,” if you’ll be using a credit card. Other possible answers are “cash,” and “check,” (though be aware that some restaurants don’t accept these). Further, a “debit card” can be used in place of a credit card.
  • “May I have the receipt?” Oftentimes, you’ll be asked after paying if you would like a receipt, to which you can reply “yes” or “no.” However, if you would like your receipt and it wasn’t offered, you can simply ask, “May I have the receipt?”
  • “How much should I tip?” While this may be an awkward question to ask the server, it can still be helpful to ask this to someone in the party you’re eating with. Tipping is always much appreciated, and asking a colleague how much you should tip definitely won’t be frowned upon.

4- Allergies and Special Accommodations

If you have a food allergy or are following a strict diet, don’t be afraid to speak up. Here are a few phrases you may find helpful for communicating your needs to your party or the restaurant staff:

  • “I’m allergic to ___.” Use this phrase to let someone know you’re allergic to something, where the blank space is the food (or foods) you’re allergic to. For example, you could say, “I’m allergic to peanuts,” or “I’m allergic to shellfish,” both of which are common food allergies. If you’re allergic to multiple foods, you could say, “I’m allergic to fish, milk, and tree nuts,” for instance.
  • “I’m a vegetarian,” or “Do you have vegetarian options?” You can use the first phrase to inform either the server or someone in your party that you don’t eat meat, so that they can help you find a tasty meatless meal on the menu. You can use the second phrase if you want to simply ask the server for recommendations on vegetarian options. (Keep in mind that you can replace “vegetarian” with whatever type of diet you’re following. E.g.: “I’m a vegan,” “I’m on a keto diet,” etc.)
  • “Can I have this without ___?” You can make this request to your server, filling in the blank with whatever ingredient in the meal you don’t want. For example, if you ordered a steak meal that usually comes with mashed potatoes, green beans, and rice, you could say, “Can I have this without the green beans,” if you don’t like green beans.
  • “Can I have extra ___?” On the other hand, if you absolutely love green beans and can’t get enough of them, you could ask the server, “Can I have extra green beans?” You may just be surprised how many restaurants are willing to accommodate requests like this.
  • “Can you substitute ___ for ___?” or “Can I have ___ instead of ___?” You can ask these questions pretty much interchangeably, and both are used to ask for one food item instead of another. For example, if you ordered a fish meal that’s usually served with rice and steamed broccoli, but you want mashed potatoes on the side instead of rice, you could say: “Can you substitute the rice for mashed potatoes?” Many restaurants will accommodate for things like this.

6. Directions

World Map

You’ve just finished eating your meal, the table conversation is starting to slow, and your U.S. colleagues are getting up to leave. You suddenly panic and realize that you don’t remember the way back to your hotel. As the table empties, you hurry to get one of your colleagues’ attention…we’ll call him Phil. So how do you ask Phil how to get to the hotel?

1- Asking for Directions

Asking for directions can be embarrassing or awkward, but it’s nothing to be ashamed about. In fact, learning these travel phrases in English can really get you out of some sticky situations. Here are some common travel phrases in English you can use to ask for directions:

  • “Where is ___?” Probably the simplest way to ask for directions is to ask the question, “Where is ___?” The blank represents the destination you’re trying to get to.
  • “How do I get to ___?” This is another simple way to ask for directions, and is a more straightforward way of asking. (“How do I get to,” implies that you want specific directions, whereas “Where is,” implies that you need more general information.)
  • “How do I get to ___ from here?” This is a little bit more complex, but has the same meaning as the two phrases above; the only difference is that you’re adding “from here” to the end, which indicates you want directions with your current location as the starting point.
  • “Can you tell me where ___ is from here?” This has the same meaning as the phrase above, though it’s a little bit more formal and polite. In the case of asking your colleague Phil for directions, this may be the best option. (Tip: Be sure to say something like “excuse me,” before you ask the actual question as this is seen as generally polite.)
  • “I’m trying to get to ___. Can you point me in the right direction?” If you want to add a little flair to your directions-asking, this is a good option. It’s a little bit more complex than the others, but it has a more conversational tone and will be particularly well-received by the person you’re asking.

Woman Giving Man Directions

2- Giving Directions

How is Phil going to answer your question?

1. Common Directional Words

  • North
  • East
  • South
  • West
  • Right
  • Left
  • Toward
  • Ahead
  • Behind
  • Around
  • Near

2. Common Directional Phrases

  • “Find ___ and make a right/left.” The blank here is usually a street name, though it can also be some kind of landmark. Phil may tell you, for instance, “Find Coyote Road and make a left,” and then, “At the fork in the road, make a right.”
  • “Stay ___ on ___.” In this phrase, the first blank is usually a direction (north, east, south, or west), and the second blank is usually a highway, road, or street name. For instance, Phil may tell you, “Stay north on Highway 89.

If Phil is a less technical kind of guy or if you happen to have a hard time remembering street names, he may use more general directional phrases and words. These are usually associated with some kind of a landmark, such as a certain building or park.

  • “___ is near ___.” In this phrase, the first blank can either be the place you’re looking for, or a road he mentioned. The second blank is some kind of landmark. For instance, Phil may tell you: Your hotel is near Heritage Park.”
  • “You’ll find that road around ___.” In this phrase, Phil is seeking to give you a better idea of where a road he mentioned is. For instance, he could say: “You’ll find that road around the Heritage Park Zoo.”

7. Phrases to Use in an Emergency

Survival Phrases

Just because you’re on vacation or a business trip doesn’t mean emergencies won’t happen. It’s very important that you know how to communicate serious problems with those around you and with those trained to handle emergencies.

Here are some useful travel phrases in English to help you out in an emergency, as well as other important information. Keep in mind that these are some of the most important travel phrases in English.

1- Emergency Numbers

Before anything else, it’s important that you know what phone number to call in case of an emergency, how to dial it, and what to expect during the call. Here’s a list of some of the most common numbers:

  • 911: This is the catch-all emergency phone number in the United States. Whatever your emergency is, dial 911 on your phone and answer their questions to the best of your ability. In particular, you’ll need to know where you’re located at the time of the emergency and what the emergency is. If you’re unable to talk on the phone for whatever reason, you can also request that someone else makes the phone call.

2- Phrases to Ask for Help

Here’s a list of useful travel phrases in English you can use to ask for help in a pinch:

  • “Can you help me?” or “Please help.” The first phrase here is a more polite way of asking someone for help, and should probably be started with “Excuse me.” You can use this for emergencies that aren’t particularly urgent (such as if you lost something that’s not ultra-important to you). The second phrase is less polite, but also suggests more urgency; this should be used for more urgent emergencies, such as if someone’s been seriously injured or you’re in some kind of trouble.
  • “I lost my ___.” or “My ___ was stolen.” These are two phrases that you can use if you’ve either misplaced something important to you or if somebody took off with it. For instance, if you can’t find your cell phone anywhere, you can declare to someone, “I lost my cell phone,” and then ask them if they’ve seen it. Or, if you definitely saw someone pick up your phone and walk away with it, you can say, “My cell phone was stolen.”

3- List of Common Health Emergency Words

Man Clutching Stomach

The first thing to do if you or someone around you is experiencing an urgent health emergency is call 911. Here are just a few of the most common ailment words to describe what’s happening:

  • Headache: Most headaches aren’t an emergency, but if it’s very severe or is impairing your (or someone else’s) ability to go about normal daily tasks, it may be time to call 911. This is characterized by a dull or sharp throbbing in or around your head, and can be caused by various factors.
  • Heart attack: If you think that you or anyone around you is experiencing (or about to experience) a heart attack, dial 911. Be sure to learn some of the most common heart attack symptoms, so that you can know it when you see it (or feel it!).
  • Dehydration: When you’re dehydrated, it means that you haven’t been consuming enough fluids. Common symptoms include headache, weakness, and stomach ache/nausea. Be sure to drink a lot of fluids during your visit, and then keep drinking lots of fluids when you get back home!
  • Stroke: A stroke is a serious medical condition which can be caused by an array of things. Be sure to brush up on your stroke knowledge so that you’ll know the symptoms and how to help.
  • Stomach ache: A stomach ache can either mean that you feel pain in your stomach, or that you’re very nauseous (though it can be both at once). While not always an emergency, a stomach ache can be a sign that something is very wrong; if a stomach ache is very painful or persists for a long time, be sure to call 911.
  • Injury: While most injuries aren’t serious or life-threatening, they can be; for instance, if a deep wound won’t stop bleeding or you’re in a lot of pain, you should see a doctor.
  • Doctor: A doctor is someone who usually works at a hospital, and has extensive medical knowledge as well as the authority to prescribe medication or treatment. If you’re in an emergency where you need a doctor but can’t get yourself to the hospital or dial 911, you can simply tell someone, “I need a doctor,” and they should get you help immediately.
  • Ambulance: An ambulance is a large vehicle that’s used to transport someone to the hospital if they’re in very bad condition or can’t get there themselves. Oftentimes, an ambulance is sent after someone dials 911.
  • Emergency: It’s important to know the word “emergency.” This word will be very useful in a pinch, as you can use it to explain the severity of a situation. For example, you enter the hospital with a friend who’s about to have a stroke and tell the person at the front desk, “It’s an emergency!” Your friend should then be taken to the emergency room for immediate attention.

8. Flattery Phrases and Compliments

Travel phrases in English language learning aren’t all formal!

When you travel, English conversation is likely to take an informal turn. Nearly everyone appreciates a well-placed compliment, and this is especially true in the United States. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, knowing a few flattery phrases and compliments will certainly be useful. Not to mention the flair it’ll add to your English-speaking!

That said, here’s some English for tourism conversations:

  • “I like your ___.” This is a fairly informal compliment, and is especially appreciated among friends or family. Simply replace the blank with what it is you want to compliment the person on. Oftentimes, this is a clothing item or accessory (“I like your shirt), though it can also be a physical attribute (“I like your smile) or personality characteristic (“I like your caring nature).

    You can also say the phrases “I really like your ___” and “I love your ___.” Both of these phrases add emphasis to your compliment. The word “really” in the first phrase indicates an additional level of approval, while the word “love” in the second phrase means that “like” isn’t even a strong enough word to describe your approval.

    Note: Be careful of how you use this phrase. While it’s generally a nice compliment, this phrase is sometimes used in a sarcastic way as well. You shouldn’t have a problem using this phrase, as long as you say it with sincerity.

  • “You look nice today.” This is a more generic compliment, and can be used in most situations for most people. It’s a simple way of expressing your approval about someone’s physical appearance. This compliment is always well-received; you’ll typically receive a “thank you,” or “thanks,” in response, along with a big smile.
  • “Thank you for ___.” Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and saying thank you is the best way to make sure someone knows you appreciate them. You can use this phrase with literally anyone. Simply replace the blank with whatever it is you’re thanking them for. Here are some examples:

    1.) [A friend came to pick you up from your hotel so you could go to the zoo together.]
    You: “Thank you for picking me up.”

    2.) [A U.S. colleague took the time to introduce you to other colleagues after a meeting.]
    You: “Thank you for introducing me.”

    3.) [A store clerk helped you find just what you were looking for.]
    You: “Thank you for showing me where that was.”

  • A Thank You Note

  • “Do you have a Facebook?” You can ask this to someone you’re becoming friends with (or would like to become friends with). While it may not be good to ask this after first meeting someone, by the second or third meeting, this should be fine to ask. Also note that you can replace “Facebook” with any other social media platform you use (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, etc.). If the other person has this social media account and is also interested in becoming friends, they will give you their information so you can stay in touch.
  • “Can I have your phone number?” In the United States today, asking for someone’s phone number usually comes after asking for their social media information. Also, this question is better asked to someone you’ve met a few times already (unless you’re asking a colleague for their number so you can work on a project together or something). If the person you ask wishes to give you their number, they’ll probably ask for your number too. This is called “exchanging numbers.”

9. Useful Phrases to Go Through Language Problems

Finally, how do you tell someone that you don’t speak English very well yet? How do you effectively communicate to work around these issues? Learn some travel sentences in English for going through language problems with someone.

  • “I apologize for my poor English.” Apologizing for your poor English is both polite and a great first step in letting someone know your English isn’t fluent yet. A simpler way of saying this is, “I’m sorry for my poor English.”

    The words “apologize” and “sorry” here are just about interchangeable. However, “apologize” is a verb, while “sorry” is an adjective, so you must include the word “am” when saying that you’re “sorry.”

  • “Can you repeat that?” This is a phrase that you’ll likely need to use often while visiting the United States. (Heck, even U.S.-born, native English-speaking folks say this often!) This is a simple way of asking someone to repeat what they said because you didn’t understand it the first time; they’ll likely say it slower, more loudly, or with clearer pronunciation so you can understand what they said easier.
  • “Can you speak more slowly? I don’t understand English very well.” This is a more complex phrase, and does two things: 1.) It makes a request for the speaker to speak more slowly, and 2.) It informs the speaker that you don’t speak English well, which is important for them to know. After you use this phrase, the speaker will likely repeat what they said more slowly, and pronounce their words more clearly in future dialogue.
  • “How do you say that in my language?” This is a helpful phrase to use if someone you’re with knows your native language (even if only a little bit). Some English words just don’t translate easily, and others are hard to learn; with a little research, however, you and the people you’re speaking with should be able to find similar words or phrases from your own language.
  • “Is there another/easier word for that?” As noted above, some English words are hard to learn or don’t translate easily. However, there’s almost always a substitute (or synonym) for these words. After you ask, “Is there another/easier word for that?”, the person you’re speaking with will probably offer you one or two simpler words for what they mean.

    For example, let’s say you don’t know what the word “bashful” means and someone brings it up in a conversation. It may go something like this:

    Colleague: “That’s Jeff, he’s pretty bashful.”
    You: “Is there another word for bashful?”
    Colleague: “Yes. Bashful also means ‘shy’ or ‘timid.’”

  • “Can you please write that down?” If someone’s using a word you’re not very familiar with or is talking too quickly for you to follow, you can ask them, “Can you please write that down?” Sometimes, it’s easier to understand what something means when you read it; also, when something’s written down, you can read it and analyze it over and over again until you “get it.” In most cases, it shouldn’t be a problem for the person you’re talking with to write down what they said.

    Note: In some situations, it won’t be appropriate for you to ask for something to be written down, such as during a business meeting or presentation. However, it’s likely that there will be enough written material available to get the gist of what’s being said or talked about.

  • “How do you read/pronounce this?” Maybe you can speak and understand spoken English pretty well, but have a more difficult time reading and writing it. Or maybe you just came across a particularly tricky word to pronounce. Whatever the situation is, it never hurts to ask someone how you read or pronounce a word or phrase. In fact, it will show the person that you’re interested in learning and that you want to speak/read English to the best of your ability. They should be more than happy to help you out.

Two Women Discussing Material

10. Conclusion

Whew! That’s quite a mouthful of English travel words and phrases. We hope you learned some useful travel words in English and other English phrases about travelling.

You’re definitely not expected to memorize all of them right away, but we do hope that you’ve gained some insight into the types of phrases you should know and when to use them. When you learn to use English travel phrases, you can expect a few bumps in the road—but with enough practice, the struggle will be well worth it! With a few of these phrases under your belt, you should have a much smoother trip to the United States. Enjoy!

If you want to learn even more about the U.S. English language, be sure to visit us at EnglishClass101.com. We have an array of helpful blog posts, vocabulary lists on a range of topics, and even an online community forum where you can chat with fellow English learners! And if you want a one-on-one approach to your English learning, you can also download our MyTeacher app!

We wish you all the best on your trip to the United States. Have fun and be successful in all of your English-learning endeavors! And be sure to practice these useful English phrases for tourists.

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