If you're planning a holiday, learn this essential vocabulary for types of holiday and holiday preparation.!
Planning a holiday
Many people take their main holiday in summer, and although some people choose a last-minute break, others plan their holiday months in advance.
The beginning of the year is a good time for people to start looking at holiday brochures. Tour operators (companies that organise holidays) as well as travel agents (the people that sell holidays) give lots of information about holiday destinations and types of holiday.
Types of holiday
As well as the traditional two-week beach holiday, you can choose from a range of holidays: a cruise (holiday on a ship), an activity holiday (a holiday that involves walking, cycling, climbing or other sports), a city break (a weekend or a few days in a different city) and so on. A lot of people choose a package holiday, where flights and accommodation are included in the price. But many people prefer an independent holiday, where they make their own travel arrangements.
If you can't travel abroad, you can also choose a staycation - a mix of "vacation" (holiday) and "staying at home". This is where you still take a week or two for a break, but do fun activities in your own city, region or country.
If you travel independently, you will need to book your flights or train tickets. Unless you have an onward destination, you will probably book a return journey. Then you will need to make a reservation at a hotel, or another place to stay, such as a campsite (if you are camping in a tent), or a caravan site (if you are staying in a caravan), or a B&B (a bed and breakfast).
For all types of foreign holidays, it is essential that you check you have all your travel documents. Make sure your passport hasn't expired, and that you have a visa if necessary. If you are travelling to some countries, you also need to make sure that all your vaccinations (protection against illness) are up to date. For some countries you might need a vaccination against hepatitis, or yellow fever, for example.
As your departure date gets nearer, you can start to plan the details of your journey. Perhaps it will be a good idea to buy a guide book, or a phrase book, if you don't speak much of the local language. Some people like to read up on (= get lots of background information) where they are going, and find out about the places of interest and "must-see" sights. It's also fun to make a packing list, so you don't forget any vital clothes or toiletries.
It's also a good idea to buy local currency in advance, if your flight gets in (= arrives) in the middle of the night, when no banks are open. Most airlines also advise you to take out (=get) travel insurance just in case your flight is delayed or cancelled, or if you get ill and need to be repatriated (sent back to your country).
Don't forget to make arrangements for your pets and your house while you're away. Put your dog into kennels (a dog hotel), and leave a key with your neighbour just in case! Hopefully your neighbour will keep an eye on your house while you're on holiday! Finally, get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Nowadays it can take much longer to get through security and onto the plane. Have a nice trip and send your neighbour a postcard!