Hi there,
Here is a vocabulary list that I made a while ago for one of my students who was struggling to come up with interesting phrases related to travel that would help her reach band 8 for IELTS speaking. It was inspired by a Lonely Planet article and many of the phrases were taken directly from there. Lonely Planet writers are passionate about travel and need to come up with plenty of synonyms to keep their articles interesting. I’ve included a couple of links to recommended articles below the list. 
I have another IELTS vocabulary list for travel and some answers in context, please let me know if you would be interested and I’ll upload it. 


Budget Flight

cheap airlines, often with only the flight included in the price-e.g. Ryanair

Makes it a doddle 

Makes it easy

Jaw dropping views

Breathtaking views

Awe-inspiring views

Spectacular views

Beautiful views

Shoulder season

The time just before and after peak season. April,May, September, October etc



Boiling hot

Very hot-imagine when you drop meat on a hot pan

To linger/hang out

Spend time without a purpose

Budget conscious travellers

Travellers who think about how much money they are spending

Epitomised by

The best example of the point you are trying to make. This mountain epitomizes the beauty of the whole area.

Hip and trendy


Coffee Joints

Sandwich joint 


Joints is used as an informal word for shop/restaurant. For example Mexican joint, sandwich joint or  barbecue joint

Haunting coastal scenery

Dark and mysterious landscape near the sea.


Very modern 

Keenly priced




Won’t tax your wallet

Synonyms for cheap or good value



Reap the rewards

Benefit from the positive aspects


Someone who thinks carefully before spending money




Hot and Spicy especially related to food. Can also be used to describe temperamental people ‘He has a fiery personality’ 

Regenerating/regeneration of the older areas.

Developing old areas of the cities to make them more attractive

Up and coming destination

A place that is becoming more popular

The iconic…..

Very famous or popular

Classic place to go

A place that most people visit

Modern architecture

New buildings

The central square is lined with museums, theatres and cafes…

There are lots of …….around the square

………is known all over the world for its……..

Is famous worldwide for

The city is really well set up for bikes with cycle lanes everywhere.

A city with bike-friendly facilities

Cool, contemporary 


Exercise 1

Write two paragraphs describing a beautiful place in your country using at least 5 of the words and phrases above.

Exercise 2 Write two paragraphs describing your last trip abroad using at least 5 of the words and phrases above

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