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How to learn English while you travel. 7 proven ways to do it naturally and effectively

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How to learn English while you travel?

What if I told you that traveling is a brilliant way to practice your English and learn new vocabulary? This is a fantastic opportunity that you don’t want to miss.

People love to travel. Who already booked a trip?

Let me guess! YES! Of course! It’s YOU! You are the lucky one!

Let me ask you something:

Are you going on vacation or long-term travel?

Are you traveling alone or with friends?

Or maybe you are on your dream vacation with your family?

What about a cruise?

I can imagine how funny and enjoyable any of these trips could be.

Have you ever imagined that you can travel and learn English?

How so? – you would ask.

I can almost hear you wondering: How can I travel and learn English at the same time? Is that even possible?

Absolutely! Yes! A hundred percent!

Let me tell you the secret!!!!

Keep reading as I will give you 7 proven ways how to learn English while you travel.

Be prepared with “How to Learn English” printables

Prepare your calendar, planners, and maps (in English) in advance.  Print

cheat sheets,

worksheets,

notes, and keep them in your carry-on luggage.

You can also print a self-study book like an English self-study series, topic: Traveling to have all the information organized together.

self study book  to learn English
Self-study phrasal books can help you to communicate effectively when you travel

This book is ideal for travelers who are still learning English because of its easy-to-use format of two-page units – the content is on the left side of the page and the vocabulary explanation is on the right.

You don’t need to look for a dictionary or electronic devices because all the information is right in front of you.

Even more! If you prefer you can get Kindle format.

Having these helpers in your hands will reduce stress and anxiety and will help you to feel confident.  

calendar to plan how to learn English while you ravel
Print a calendar to help you plan

There is a travel blog by the name Travel addicted unicorn (it is not an affiliate link), where you can find a lot of information and resources for travelers.

I recommend this website because it is written in casual English and it is easy to read and understand.

The tips and advice you can find there you can not find anywhere else. The number of words and phrases you can learn from there is so helpful and at this point, that is a real treasure.

Trust me! Now go and check it by yourself!

Just to make your life easier, here I will show you a screenshot of the Travel checklist everyone needs to have to start planning a trip.

Amazing, isn’t it?

You can visit the blog and ask for this bundle to be sent directly to your inbox completely free for you:

screenshot of bundle to travel and learn English

I have an amazing, win-win collaboration with Travel Addicted Unicorn.

Our partnership was established a couple of years ago and the book Traveling is one of our projects.

Start a journal “How to learn English while I travel”

How keeping a journal will help to learn English while you travel?

What is journaling?

Journaling is when you write about your thoughts and feelings. You can record your trip from day one and keep writing every day.

You can create journals that are intended to be used digitally, or you can create journals that get printed out and are written in with pens, pencils, etc.

What is the process of journaling?

The best thing about writing a Journal is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. Whatever you’re thinking, whatever you’re feeling, jot it down! It’s all about what works for you.

When do you journal when you travel and want to learn English?

To be honest, there is no wrong time to journal-it can be done at any time, in any setting.

Some people prefer to journal first thing in the morning, others like to do it before bed, and some like to journal at lunch.

However, as you want to learn English while traveling, I would recommend doing some work during the time you wait for the train/plane/ or at the reception, plus writing at the end of the day.

How to start journaling about How to learn English while I travel?

Let me tell you how to do it.

Before you start your trip just start simply by picking up a journal and writing down the date.

The next step is to write a sentence or two about how you’re feeling today.

Are you excited?

Of course, you are!

The day of your departure is coming soon! Isn’t it exciting to travel, have fun, meet new people, and learn English?

Let me share with you how I made my Travel journal.

I prefer to use the free option of Canva to create my own designs.

How do I make a journal in Canva?

First, select “Journal” from the list of options.

A new page with a blank canvas appears.

Then, on the left-hand side of the screen, you can see a menu of different elements that you can add to your design – images, text, shapes, and lines.

Finally, you can print it.

My colors are bright and cheerful!

What about yours?

Here is my Canva screenshot.

How do you like it?

journal to learn English faster

How does everyday journaling help you learn and improve your English?

  • Journaling will get you into the habit of daily writing
  • A great way to increase your vocabulary
  • Better spelling and grammar
  • Better sentence structure
  • Improves your fluency in writing
  • Helps to track your progress

Some ideas on what you can write about:

Please, be focused on how all the experiences you had during the day, either good or bad helped you to learn English. 

Recall Something that…

  • made you smile today
  • did a wish come true
  • you are good at doing
  • you enjoyed eating or drinking
  • the vocabulary you learned today
  • you’ve accomplished in your language learning
  • you recently purchased that you were able to describe in English
  • you’re currently doing well regarding your English language learning

Did you hear today a song that:

  • triggers a good memory
  • makes you want to get up and dance
  • makes you feel happy

Did you meet someone today who:

  • makes you smile
  • gives you butterflies (the good ones!)
  • inspires you to be better in your English language

Did you visit a place that:

  • brings back good memories
  • makes you want to travel there again
  • you’ve never been

Hey, dear readers! How is your day going? I would love to have you on my website. It’s called English Study Helper and it is where you can find tips, strategies, and resources on how to improve your English faster and more effectively. Hope to see you there!

You could describe:

  • your day
  • your favorite food and how it makes you feel
  • your favorite drink – at the coffee shop or the beach
  • a time when you felt confident in your English skills
  • a time when you didn’t understand what a person was telling you in English and you got panic

Try to make statements l

“I am glad for __________ because(I learned new words/phrases) ___________.”

“I am looking forward to ________ because __________.”

“I am thankful for________to the flight attendant because _____________.”

Learning Lists

  • List 5 travel words that you learned
  • List 2 travel phrases that you learned
  • List 2 people you became a friend with
  • List 3 things that did well regarding your learning goals and why Reflect on how to change the things you didn’t do well
  • List 2 English songs that you listen to during the day
  • List 2 English books you read

Learning Questions to Answer

  • What is the mistake I’ve made today regarding my English language learning?
  • What I could do better?
  • What is the best English book I’ve read on my trip? Why is it great?
  • Which learning strategies work for me, and which ones don’t?
  • How do I feel? Am I stressed and anxious?

Learning Action Prompts

  • Look at the nearest window. What do you see? Describe it in your journal.
  • Are you at the airport? What do you see? Describe it in your journal.
  • Are you on the plane? What do you see? Describe it in your journal.
  • Are you at the reception? What do you see? Describe it in your journal.
  • Are you at the beach? What do you see? Describe it in your journal.
  • Are you waiting for your flight?
  • Go to a store that has candles or incense. Write about your experience, and how your favorite smells made you feel. What do you see? Describe it in your journal.
  • Go to a café. Use your five senses: what can you see, smell, taste, touch, and hear? What do you see? Describe it in your journal.
  •  Pamper yourself. Practice self-care today, and write about how it makes you feel.
  • Try something new, then write about how that experience contributed to your English language learning goals.

Quotes to inspire you to keep learning

I like to write quotes in my Learning Journal. Here are a few to get you started:

quotes

Use the Immersion method to learn English naturally

Traveling is a perfect time to use the immersion method – surround yourself with the language and communicate, take notes, and think in English only. Your goal is to practice it all the time.

Read books/Kobo/magazines in English

Change your devices – phone, browser, apps, and social media account languages to English.

The good thing about getting a book/magazine is that if it is interesting time passes more quickly. You can also continue reading once you’re on board the plane. Here is a book I recommend as a good read for English learners.

book

Listen to music/podcasts/audiobook in English

If reading books is not your thing, another option is to listen to music/podcasts/audiobook. It’s a good idea to have some loaded on your phone before your vacation.

Also, you should load various content, as you might feel like listening to certain things at certain times.

Having a variety ensures you have more choices, depending on your mood.

Downloading stuff on the airport’s Wi-Fi is usually not a good idea as the free option is usually pretty slow.

Listening to music/podcast/audiobook
Listening to music/podcasts/audiobook in English can be a fun way to pass the time and learn at the same time.
 
 

Watch a movie/TV show in English

 If you have your laptop/tablet, you can easily watch a movie or TV show while you’re waiting for the plane.

Again, I would recommend having options that don’t involve the Internet as a lot of airports offer weak free Wi-Fi.

That makes it impossible to load a whole movie unless you pay for faster Internet.

This will be a really good time to catch up on the shows you like and learn English. Before you know it, you will be on your plane!

Do some work

 Since you already have your laptop for watching your movies/TV shows, it won’t be a bad idea to get some work done.

Catch up on English projects. That way the time wasted waiting for your flight would not feel like a complete waste.

laptop, journal

Play English games in English on your phone/puzzles/

 One of the best ways to pass the time is to play a game, whether that’s on your phone or an actual puzzle book.

Whatever games you prefer, they are easy distractions to pass the time and to keep practicing the language.

Check on your flashcards

 Since flashcards are small and easy to carry, they’re a great way to turn wasted time into useful time.  Instead of checking your accounts on social media, open up your flashcard app (or pull out your flashcard stack) and do a quick vocabulary review.  

Flashcards are one of the most popular and helpful study tools, especially for learning short pieces of information (like new words or short expressions).

Before the beginning of your trip, prepare different types of flashcards. – Text-only flashcards, Picture flashcards, Combine flashcards, Audio flashcards (digital).

Those cards are for the vocabulary you want to recall and review.

Make some blank cards to write down the new words or small expressions you will learn while traveling.

Learn new English vocabulary

Traveling is an excellent way to practice your English and learn new vocabulary.

Related posts:

Proven travel tips and strategies for Confident Conversations Abroad

English Conversation Travel Tips and How to Be Prepared

Be Travel-Ready: Boost Your English Before Explore the World

From Check-In to Check-Out: Hotel English Survival Guide

Also, you can check out my Guide:

TRAVEL GUIDE Survival Handbook for Effective Communication: Confident Conversations Abroad: Expert Tips to Reduce Anxiety, Stay Safe, Save Money

                        A guidebook never needs WiFi

Packed with expert tips to reduce anxiety, ensure safety, and save money, this guide is your key to successful and confident communication while abroad.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first adventure, this handbook will empower you with the knowledge and skills to navigate new places with ease.

Say goodbye to language barriers and hello to memorable, stress-free journeys with this indispensable travel resource by your side.

PAPERBACK

Enjoy every moment of your trip. However, keep in mind you need to work on your English too.

Thus be creative in how to learn new words and improve your skills.

For example, don’t forget to change the language of your electronic devices to English as well.

You must practice:

Idea #1

Make yourself familiar with flight safety procedures when boarding the aircraft. Try to understand the safety instructions given before the plane takes off. Ask the flight attendant for clarification if you can’t understand a printed copy.

Idea#2

Read the brochures in the seat pocket.

Idea#3

As much as possible, check your flashcards. If you use flashcards to self-test, you can identify weak spots in your vocabulary.

Idea#4

Watch a movie in English on the airplane`s In-flight entertainment (IFE) system. Most long-haul routes provide video entertainment via a large video screen with smaller monitors for each passenger.

Use your “wasted time”wisely to learn English faster

Using your “wasted time” wisely is an effective way to learn English naturally through practice.

Imagine you have plenty of time as your flight is delayed or while you are at the gate waiting for the plane to board.

Utilize all benefits of the services, travel retail outlets, and duty-free shops by having small talk with the staff and sales associates.

Most of the lounges provide a quiet and relaxing environment where you can read the latest newspapers, magazines, and books. 

How to learn English while shopping

Shopping at the airport stores is a good way to practice your English if your flight is delayed.

One of the best things you can do if a delay is announced is to enjoy the big, bright stores whether you’re going to buy something or not.

This is a perfect time to talk to the sales associates and practice your speaking skills.

Recall your vocabulary from the topic Shopping, ask questions such as How much does the top, necklace, or perfume cost? use your flashcards if necessary.

Most big airports have all sorts of clothing, makeup, and perfume shops to choose from.

I have bought some pretty unique stuff at airports so not a bad idea to stroll around and see what’s there ask questions and don’t hesitate to have small talks and conversations.

Don’t be shy. Go there and practice, practice, practice.

Find a restaurant and learn new English “Food” vocabulary

Even though the food at the airport is usually overpriced, if your flight is delayed you might get hungry while waiting.

Practice your Food, Restaurant, At the cafe, At the bakery vocabulary. Ask questions about what kind of food they offer etc.

How to learn English while you have a drink

Whether you prefer coffee or alcoholic beverages, there are also a lot of options to choose from.

There is nothing better than finding a bar close to your gate and sitting with a nice drink while waiting for your plane to arrive.

Start a small conversation. Ask what kind of hot drinks or cold drinks they offer.

Have a drink, start a conversation, find a friend.
Have a drink, start a conversation, and find a friend.

Go to the spa/nail salon/refreshment stations and practice your English

It is a perfect time to have a small talk with the staff in the spa.

In most airports, there are areas where you can get a massage or get your nails done while you wait.

If you feel stressed, tired, or tense, or even if you just feel like getting pampered, you should check out those services.

Get a massage or do your nails while you wait. Remember you are in the spa not only for the service but also to practice and learn English.

Check on your flashcards

 

Since flashcards are small and easy to carry, they’re a great way to turn wasted time into useful time.  Instead of checking your accounts on social media, open up your flashcard app (or pull out your flashcard stack) and do a quick vocabulary review.  

Flashcards are one of the most popular and helpful study tools, especially for learning short pieces of information (like new words or short expressions).

Before the beginning of your trip, prepare different types of flashcards. – Text-only flashcards, Picture flashcards, Combine flashcards, Audio flashcards (digital).

Those cards are for the vocabulary you want to recall and review.

Make some blank cards to write down the new words or small expressions you will learn while traveling.

Focus on communication, not on the mistakes

Don’t be shy about practicing your speaking skills. 

Start a conversation with the person beside you or the other passengers on the plane.

For example, talk to the people waiting in line for the washroom, start a small talk with the flight attendant, and ask for a blanket, pillow, or pair of headphones/earbuds.

Remember; don’t be afraid of making mistakes as that is a part of the learning process. The point is to keep talking.

That is the only way to improve. The more you practice, the better you get.  

When you don’t understand another person don’t panic, instead, ask them to speak slowly and repeat what they said.

If necessary, explain that English is not your first language and that you are still learning it.

Airport officials and staff are very well-trained and professional. They will assist you and explain what is needed in a very polite manner. 

Let’s imagine a situation:

You’re on a dream trip.

You are eager to communicate and practice your speaking skills as much as you can, but when someone asks you a question in English, you don’t know what to say.

You could have misinterpreted the individual for several reasons, such as speaking with someone who talks fast and has a thick accent or using new words.

The smartest thing to do is to not panic. Ask them to speak slowly and clearly and repeat what they said as you learn English.

Another situation

You are sitting in your seat waiting for the plane to take off and the plane crews are giving instructions to the passengers.

Do pay attention to what they are saying about how to use the oxygen mask, how to put on the life jacket, and how to open the emergency doors.

You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to do in an emergency because you didn’t understand the instructions on the demo.

This information could save your life if you ask the staff for clarification.

In case you don’t hear or understand the individual say politely one of the phrases  below:

Sorry?

Pardon?

Could you repeat, please?

Could you speak slowly please,

to make them repeat what they said.

Make friends to practice and learn English together

Traveling is an amazing way to find new friends and build friendships that could last forever.

Meeting same-minded people who love to travel and want to learn English could be an unforgettable experience. 

That can be done naturally by sitting in public or common areas when you’re reading, journaling, eating, or having coffee. 

But you can find new friends in so many other ways – going on a tour, visiting a museum, on a plane, public bus, train, ferry, free walking tour, hop on/hop off bus tour, or day excursion, etc. 

I know people are different and some introverted personality people find it difficult to approach strangers.

Do you want to step out of your comfort zone?

Here are some tips to help you start.

Be Positive

Time to show your beautiful smile! 

Keep a positive and friendly attitude while traveling. It is a million times easier to make new friends when you’re cheerful and optimistic. No one wants to chat with a grumpy gateman. 

When you meet a stranger make eye contact and be the first to say “Hello”.

You never know where that might lead.

That person might be another English language learner so you can exchange tips and strategies on how to improve your English skills faster.

Be Curious

The more questions you ask, the more opportunities you’ll have to connect. Ask anything: 

Where are you from? 

Which language do you speak?

How long have you been here?

How long you will stay?

Where is your favorite place you’ve been?

Find some common ground. 

Find something that could be a conversation starter: “I like your pin, patch, badge on your luggage, or clothing a luggage tag.”

As I said above that could be an English learner like you. If such ask questions about how they use traveling to learn new vocabulary.

Therefore, for you, dear reader, this new friend could become an accountable partner

in the future.

An accountable partner could be a person with the same interests as yours or have the same goals.

You might decide that finding an accountable partner who is native can work better( you can make a lot of new friends who are native English speakers while traveling too) for you, but also keep in mind that collaborating with other English learners is a fantastic way to practice your English.

In that way, you can find tips and strategies to implement in your learning process. 

I have made a lot of friends this way. It starts with a friendly smile, then a conversation and here you go.

It is so easy!

Having a friend is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

Conclusion: How to learn English while you travel. 7 proven ways to do it naturally and effectively.

In conclusion, I would say that traveling is a natural and effective way to learn English and to improve your vocabulary faster. This is a conclusion we can agree on.
I mentioned some tips and ideas such as being prepared with printables, Starting a journal “How to learn English while I travel”, Using the Immersion method to learn English naturally, Using your “wasted time” wisely to learn English faster, Focusing on communication, not on the mistakes, etc.

I hope my blog post will inspire you, and that my tips, strategies, and techniques will help you to learn English while you travel naturally and effectively.

Good luck and Bon voyage!

Thanks for reading!

With love and respect,

M.K.

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