In this lesson you will learn common phrasal verbs and expressions on the topic of travel. 

We will use a dialogue at an airport to introduce you to the new phrasal verbs (these are very common!).

Then you can test your understanding of the vocabulary. 

Next you can practice your pronunciation with the listen and repeat exercise. 

Then, listening practice with a story! Listen to the phrasal verbs in context through a story called “Darren’s Passion”. 


Listening Activity. 

Listen to the dialogue without reading the transcript. See how much you can understand. You can also listen to the slower version too. 

  • Now listen again and read the transcript. 
  • Pay attention to the highlighted phrasal verbs and vocabulary and try to guess their meaning in the context. 
  • Make a note of any other vocabulary or expressions you don’t know. 



Sally: That was a terrible flight! Such a bumpy landing! I’m so glad to be on solid ground.

John: I know! Awful turbulence. But the flight attendants were pretty friendly. Let’s go through immigration and grab our luggage.

Immigration: Hey guys! Welcome to Sydney. May I see your passports please?

Sally: Sure. Here you go.

Immigration: So, you’re not travelling on a connecting flight? Your ticket says you’re flying on to Alice Springs.

John: That’s where we live, but we decided to stay on here for a while and check out the sights.

Immigration; Great idea! It’s a great time of year for it. Ok, you’re all good. Have a great time!

John; Thank you!


Sally; Great! Woo! I’m off to the shops! Let’s hit the town baby!

John; Ah! I am shattered! Can we just catch a cab and go to the hotel? I need a place to crash.

Sally; Oh John! Sarah’s going to pick us up and show us around the city. Come on! We just got here! And anyway, we’re supposed to meet up with her friends for dinner, remember??

John; I don’t want to wander around the town all night. We’ve got plenty of time to do that.

Sally; Ohhhh! You’re so boring!


  1. To go through means to proceed forward through a check point. 
  2. To fly on means to continue flying to another destination after stopping in transit. 
  3. To stay on means to continue to study, work, or be somewhere after others have left. to take a look at something for the first time.
  4. To check out means to take a look at something for the first time.
  5. To be off somewhere means to leave to go somewhere. 
  6. ‘Shattered’ is an informal slang word for ‘extremely tired’. 
  7. A place to crash’ is informal for a place to sleep. 
  8. To pick someone up (S) means to collect someone in a car from a place.
  9. To show someone around (S) means to show someone a new area.
  10. To meet up with someone means to see and talk to someone familiar or someone you do not know.
  11. To wander around to casually walk around an area with no particular destination. This is usually an area you have not seen before. 



Now you can practice your pronunciation of the vocabulary in a sentence context.

Use the audio to listen and repeat the sentences. Try to copy the speech pattern as closely as possible.

go through
Just walk to the gate and go through the main doors.

stay on
Mary and Andrew decided to stay on for the whole summer.

check out
I always like to check out the latest fashions in the department stores.

be off to
Where are you going? I’m off to the store to get some supplies for the party.

pick someone up
I have to pick my sister up from the airport tonight.

show someone around
I can show you around the city tomorrow.

meet up with someone
We’re meeting up with some friends for coffee this weekend.

wander around
I think I might wander around the shops for a while before dinner.


Now you will hear the new phrasal verbs and expressions in context through the STORY EXERCISE. You can use this activity as both a listening, reading and speaking exercise. 

Listening to audio stories is a great way to integrate vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation into your learning and memory. 

I suggest following these steps to get the most benefits from this exercise. 


  1. Listen without transcript. Simply listen and try to understand the story. 
  2. Listen again and read the transcript at the same time. (Make a note of words / phrases you don’t understand).
  3. Now read the story out aloud. Speak the text aloud. You can listen to the audio again and pause to repeat. This is called “imitation”. Improve your pronunciation by trying to ‘copy’ the speaker. 


Darren loves to travel. It’s his passion. He doesn’t like his job at all so he finds fulfilment in travelling around the world whenever he can. He works very hard in his office for a big software company.

“I work at least 80 hours a week but I don’t mind cos I’ve got a huge map of the world on my wall in front of me. I look at it everyday and dream about the next place I want to go”.

His favourite thing to do is to close his eyes and throw a dart at the map. Wherever it lands, that becomes his next destination.

“Of course if it lands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, then maybe I’ll try again”, he says.

Darren doesn’t have a problem with flying like some people do.

“I actually love it. I don’t care about turbulence. I get excited when the flight gets all bumpy.

When he gets to his destination he grabs a map of the town or area and wanders around for a few days. If he likes the place, he’ll stay on.

“I like to be spontaneous and I try to meet up with someone who might show me around. I like to be social and meet new people if I can. I’m a bit of party pooper though. I’m not really into hitting the town but, you know, I don’t mind having a drink and a chat with one or two people. I’m so active during the day so at night I’m usually pretty wrecked (shattered) and just want to crash!

Darren especially loves to check out historical sites and take photos. He puts them on his office wall around the map as mementos of his travels.

“I’m an outdoorsy person. I’d much rather be trekking through the Himalayas in the biting cold wind, hanging onto my backpack than sitting in an air-conditioned hotel room watching movies. You know, I could do that at home! I like to go out as much as possible because then, you know, I have so much more to remember and it keeps me going for the next 6 months, until my next journey of course!”

“At the moment I’m planning my next trip to Peru. I’m actually working in the evenings as well at my local supermarket, just so I can raise enough money to stay there for 3 months. I want to trek around South America. I’m also staying at my sister’s place just to save on rent. When I set my mind on something, you can’t stop me”

Written by Nick Dale

(c) 2014

Real English Speaker


Bumpy – is an adjective which describes uneven, with many areas raised above the rest.

On solid ground – this is an expression which means the solid part of the earth’s surface. Solid means strong and stable

Turbulence – is a noun which means violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid

Luggage – is a noun which means the suitcases and other bags that you pack your personal be- longings in for travel

To grab – is a verb, which is commonly used, in everyday English. This is a casual way to say “get” or “take” something.

“Here you go” – This is a phrase we use to say “Here is what you asked for”

“You’re all good” – This is a very common phrase used in Australia. We say this to mean, “Every- thing is fine”.


To “hit the town” – This is a common phrase, which means go out to bars and clubs, usually to drink alcohol and dance!

To be shattered / wrecked – An adjective, which means very tired.

To crash – A verb which means to fall asleep from exhaustion. This is an informal way to say “go to sleep”. 


(Use these questions to practice speaking English with an English speaking partner, friend, with your teacher, OR – if you don’t have someone to practice with, answer these questions yourself. But speak your answers out aloud)

You could also write your answers to these questions to practice.

  1. What is the best holiday you have ever had? Where did you go?
  2. Have you ever STAYED ON in a place for longer than you planned? Where? Why?
  3. Do you like to SHOW people AROUND your hometown?
  4. Where do you usually MEET UP with your friends?
  5. Do you like to WANDER AROUND in a new place? Or do you prefer someone to SHOW you AROUND?