Travel: it’s more than just the act of moving from one place to another. It’s a journey of discovery, an adventure of the senses, and often, a voyage of self-realization. Just as travel broadens our horizons, language, with its rich tapestry of idioms, offers insights into the essence of these journeys. In this article, we embark on an exciting expedition into the world of “Travel Idioms” — those linguistic gems that encapsulate the adventures, mishaps, joys, and revelations of travel.
From “hit the road” to “off the beaten path”, travel idioms capture the nuances of our wanderlust, the challenges we face, and the exhilaration of exploration. Tailored for avid travelers, linguistic enthusiasts, and anyone who’s ever felt the urge to explore beyond their comfort zone, this piece promises a journey through language that’s as captivating as any worldly expedition. Pack your linguistic bags, and let’s set sail on this voyage through the intriguing alleys of idiomatic expressions, where every turn holds a story, and every phrase, a destination.
Common English Idioms for Travelling with Meaning and Example
The allure of travel has fascinated mankind for centuries. It beckons with the promise of new experiences, cultures, and memories. While the journey itself is often the highlight, the stories and conversations that ensue are the threads that weave these experiences into the fabric of our lives. The English language, rich and varied, encapsulates many of these experiences in idiomatic expressions. These idioms serve as shorthand for broader ideas, adding color and depth to our tales of adventure. Let’s embark on a linguistic journey exploring some common English idioms related to travelling.
- Hit the Road
- Meaning: To begin a journey or to leave a place.
- Example: “We need to hit the road early to avoid traffic.”
- Off the Beaten Path/Track
- Meaning: A place that is isolated or less frequented by tourists.
- Example: “On our trip to Italy, we discovered a charming little restaurant off the beaten path.”
- Travel Light
- Meaning: To travel without carrying a lot of luggage.
- Example: “I always prefer to travel light, taking only essentials in a backpack.”
- Itchy Feet
- Meaning: A strong desire to travel and see new places.
- Example: “She’s had itchy feet ever since her return from Europe.”
- On the Fly
- Meaning: Doing something quickly without much preparation.
- Example: “We booked the hotel on the fly, without any prior planning.”
- Jump on the Bandwagon
- Meaning: To adopt a popular activity or trend.
- Example: “Since everyone’s visiting Iceland now, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and plan a trip there too.”
- Go Down a Storm
- Meaning: To be very successful and popular.
- Example: “The new beach resort has gone down a storm with holidaymakers.”
- Mile-High Club
- Meaning: The unofficial ‘club’ of people who have had intimate relations in an airplane in flight.
- Example: “Some people have joining the mile-high club on their bucket list.”
- Red-Eye Flight
- Meaning: A flight that departs late at night and arrives the next morning.
- Example: “To maximize our time, we’re taking the red-eye flight to New York.”
- At a Crossroads
- Meaning: At a point where one has to make an important decision.
- Example: “After backpacking across Asia, I felt I was at a crossroads, deciding between continuing my journey or returning home.”
- Catch Some Rays
- Meaning: To enjoy the sunshine, especially on a beach.
- Example: “Let’s head to the beach and catch some rays.”
- Travel Bug
- Meaning: The strong and irresistible urge to travel.
- Example: “Ever since his gap year, he’s been bitten by the travel bug.”
- Sail Close to the Wind
- Meaning: To act just within the limits of what is legal or safe.
- Example: “Hitchhiking through unknown places can be sailing close to the wind, but he enjoys the thrill.”
- Burn Bridges
- Meaning: Act in a way that makes return to a situation impossible.
- Example: “Be careful not to burn bridges when you leave a hostel on bad terms.”
- Land of Milk and Honey
- Meaning: A place full of luxury and great opportunity, often in reference to a place one is travelling to.
- Example: “She moved to California, believing it to be the land of milk and honey.”
List of 80 Idioms For Travelling with Meaning
|A Mile A Minute||very quickly|
|All Over Some Place||everywhere in a particular place|
|Any Port In A Storm||used to say that in a difficult situation, people get help from wherever or whomever they can|
|At The Crack Of Dawn||very early in the morning, especially at the time when the sun first appears|
|be At A Crossroad||to be at a stage in your life when you have to make a very important decision|
|be hot on someone’s track||to be very close to catching or finding someone|
|be in the driver’s seat||to be in charge or in control of a situation|
|be in the same boat||to be in the same unpleasant situation as other people|
|be running on fumes||of an engine or vehicle to have almost no fuel left|
|Bump In The Road||something, usually something not very serious, that delays a process or prevents it from developing|
|burn your boats||If you are in a situation and you burn your boats/bridges, you destroy all possible ways of going back to that situation|
|call it a day||to stop what you are doing because you do not want to do any more or think you have done enough|
|Carry Coals To Newcastle||to supply something to a place or person that already has a lot of that particular thing|
|Circle The Wagons||to join together in order to protect yourselves against attack, criticism, or danger|
|Clear Sailing||easy progress, progress that is not blocked by anything|
|clip someone’s wings||to limit someone’s freedom|
|cover your tracks||to hide or destroy the things that show where you have been or what you have been doing|
|down the road||in the future|
|Drive A Hard Bargain||to expect a lot in exchange for what you pay or do|
|Fall Off The Wagon||to start drinking alcohol, after a period when you have drunk none|
|Float One’S Boat||to be what someone likes or is interested in|
|fly by the seat of your pants||to do something difficult without the necessary skill or experience|
|get the/this show on the road||to begin an activity that has been planned|
|give the green light to something||to give permission for someone to do something or for something to happen|
|Go Off The Rails||to start behaving in a way that is not generally acceptable, especially dishonestly or illegally|
|Go The Extra Mile||to make more effort than is expected of you|
|go/send something/someone flying||to fall, or to cause something or someone to fall or move through the air, suddenly and by accident|
|Have Something, Will Travel||said if you want to go on a trip and use a particular skill|
|Highways And Byways||the roads and paths of a place|
|Hit The Ground Running||to immediately work hard and successfully at a new activity|
|Hit The Road||to leave a place or begin a trip|
|Hitch A Ride||to get a ride in a passing vehicle|
|I’ll/we’ll cross that bridge when I/we come/get to it||an expression that means you will not worry about a possible future problem but will deal with it if it happens|
|In A Rut||too fixed in one particular type of job, activity, method, etc., and needing to change|
|In The Driver’S Seat||to be in charge or in control of a situation|
|In The Same Boat||in the same difficult situation as someone else|
|It’S Not Rocket Science||used to say that you do not think that something is very difficult to do or to understand|
|Itchy Feet||to start to want to travel or do something different|
|Jump On The Bandwagon||to become involved in an activity that is successful so that you can get the advantages of it yourself|
|Jump Ship||to leave (a cause or party) often in order to take up another|
|Jump/Leap/Climb On The Bandwagon||to become involved in an activity that is successful so that you can get the advantages of it yourself|
|Just Around The Corner||not far away, or going to happen soon|
|Just The Ticket||very suitable and exactly what is needed|
|Light At The End Of The Tunnel||signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished|
|like rats leaving a sinking ship||used to refer to people leaving a place, organization, activity, etc. very quickly and in large numbers, because it is failing in some way|
|Live It Up||to be as good as something|
|Make Headway||to begin to succeed|
|Miss The Boat||to lose an opportunity to do something by being slow to act|
|move up a gear||to start to do something better, especially in sports, in a way that is easy to see|
|My Way Or The Highway||used for saying that someone will only accept their own way of doing something|
|Neck Of The Woods||this, our, etc. part of a particular area|
|Off The Beaten Track||in a place where few people go, far from any main roads and towns|
|Off your Trolley||behaving in an extremely unusual way or doing something very silly|
|On A Shoestring||If you do something on a shoestring, you do it with a very small amount of money|
|On A Wing And A Prayer||If you do something on a wing and a prayer, you do it hoping that you will succeed, although you are not prepared enough for it|
|on an empty stomach||without eating anything|
|On The Fly||If you say that you would like to be a fly on the wall on an occasion, you mean that you would like to hear what will be said or see what will happen while not being noticed:|
|On The Right Track||doing something correctly or well|
|paddle your own canoe||If you describe a person as paddling their own canoe, you mean that they are independent and do not need help from anyone else.|
|pull up stakes||to take all the things that you own and go and live in a different place|
|Put The Brakes On||to slow down or stop an activity|
|Put The Cart Before The Horse||to do things in the wrong order|
|rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic||used for saying that someone is wasting time dealing with things that are not important, and is ignoring a much more serious problem|
|Rock The Boat||If you rock the boat, you do or say something that will upset people or cause problems|
|Rocky Road||If you are on a rocky road, you are experiencing a difficult period and have a lot of problems|
|Sail Close To The Wind||to do something that is dangerous or only just legal or acceptable|
|Set Up Camp||to prepare an area for sleeping outside|
|Shift Gears||to change the position of the gears to make a vehicle go faster or more slowly|
|Smooth Sailing||to be easy and without problems|
|spin your wheels||to waste time doing things that achieve nothing|
|step/move up a gear||to start to do something better, especially in sports, in a way that is easy to see|
|Take Someone For A Ride||to deceive or cheat someone|
|Take The High Road||to behave in a moral way when other people are not behaving morally|
|take the wind out of someone’s sails||to make someone feel less confident or less determined to do something, usually by saying or doing something that they are not expecting|
|Throw Someone Under The Bus||to do something harmful to someone else in order to gain an advantage for yourself|
|Train Of Thought||a series of connected thoughts or events|
|Travel Light||to bring very few things with you when you go somewhere|
|Turn The Corner||If a situation turns the corner, it starts to improve after a difficult period|
|Walk It Off||to leave a place because you are angry or unhappy about something|
|Wheel Within Wheel||hidden or unknown things that influence a particular situation, making it more complicated than it at first seems|
|Your Mileage May Vary||used for saying that someone might have a different experience in a particular situation|
Travel has the power to transform, inspire, and rejuvenate. It’s a dance of discovery, both of the world and of oneself. Just as each destination has its unique charm, the idioms that stem from our travel experiences are snapshots of those moments, emotions, and tales. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler with countless adventures under your belt or a dreamer planning your first escapade, these idioms offer a fun and flavorful way to recount and relate to travel stories. So the next time you hit the road, remember to weave these idioms into your tales and let the journey continue through words! Safe travels!