5 Travel Idioms You Need This Summer

Updated: 17/08/2022

← Back To Blogs
Learn: 4 Tiny But Powerful Words

Travel and tourism is slowing recovering after two years of pandemic restrictions around the world. People want to move, explore, discover and meet, by any means necessary. Where did you go after travel restrictions were lifted?

Thanks for budget air-travel (in Europe), travelling has become a big part of our lives so it's important we know how to express ourselves and talk about the subject confidently in English.

Here are five idioms (with their definitions and examples) you should learn to describe different types of travel experiences.

Get off the beaten track

This is a great expression to get familiar with. Do you already have an idea of what it means? Let me help.
It's nice to find undiscovered places tourists don't know about


If a path or track has been used excessively, it can be described as "beaten". We use this expression to describe a popular tourist destination that everyone goes to. Can you think of an example? The Colosseum, Eiffel Tower or Christ The Redeemer, are all examples of this.

In order to avoid the crowds and find undiscovered places, 'get off the beaten track' and walk a new path that no one else has.

How To Use It

We usually use this expression in an imperitive form or as a question.
"Let's get off the beaten track and find a quiet café somewhere."
"Shall we get off the beaten track and take a break?"
Be adventurous and get off the beaten track at your next destination!

To be on a shoestring budget

Common amongst younger travellers, many UK students take a gap-year between secondary school and starting university. Most work, save and then travel on a shoestring budget to see some of the world.
Backpacking is a fun way to travel on a shoestring budget

The word 'budget' may already give you an inkling? When we budget, we are controlling how much money we spend and if the budget is the length of a shoestring, then it's not very big!

Therefore, the idiom means to travel on a low budget.

How To Use It

Used as a noun, here are some examples.
"We're not going anywhere this year as we're on a shoestring budget. We spent a lot of money on the house."
"I decided to back-pack through Asia because it's cheaper and I'm on a shoestring budget." 

Spend a fortune

We've put this here to make it easier to remember as it's the complete opposite of being on a shoestring budget!
Destinations such as Dubai offer luxury tourism.


The complete opposite therefore is not to plan and budget how you use your traveller's cheques but rather spend a large amount of money and as we all know, is easy to do when you're on holiday.

How To Use It

Use it as you would any verb.

"He spent an absolute fortune on the flight because he booked first class!"
"I refuse to spend a fortune on 5-star hotels. I'd rather rent an apartment." 

Culture vulture

This is an easy one to remember because it's short and rhymes.
Learning about other cultures is important.


Simply put, a culture vulture describes someone who loves learning about culture and therefore does cultural activities, also while travelling. Do you know anyone like that?

How To Use It

Use it as an adjective.

"She's such a culture vulture, she's always heading into all the museums and churches."
"They love history, they're real culture vultures!"

Rough it

Probably the most uncommon of the list and the most difficult to guess. Let this be a challenge to you to remember it!
Roughing it can be really uncomfortable


'Rough it' or 'sleep rough' is when you don't sleep in a bed but somewhere 'uncomfortable' or unconventional. It could be on transport or on the floor somewhere.

How To Use It

As a verb.

"I roughed it at the station last night because I missed the last train home!"
"I've never roughed it while travelling because I like to book accomodation well in advance."

Those are your five travel idioms! I wonder which is most memorable for you and I challenge you to memorise them and test yourself every 3-4 days.

Do you know any other travel idioms? Share them in our community!

PS. Learn travel phrasal verbs with Steve in a recorded class.
PPS. We recommend Idioms In Use to learn more common expressions.


4 ways Convo can help you when you are ready..
1.  Meet a teacher and discover your language level
2. Join A Group Course
3. Become An Ambassador & Earn
4. Connect With People Around The World

Ready to dive in?
Start your language learning journey.

Liked this post? Share it with others.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Convo uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website through traffic analytics and repeat visits.