How can you talk about a vacation with your friend in English? You can ask questions to learn about how your friend’s vacation was. For example; Where did you go for your holiday? Did you have a good time there? What did you do there mostly? You should learn how to answer these questions and more in clear, natural English. And also, do you know the differences between holidays and vacations? This is a difference between British and American English you should be aware of. And both words have the same meaning.
You can start your answer with some simple language. You can think about how to give basic information about your vacation. You can begin your answer by saying where you went, how long for and who with. As an example; I went to the countryside with my friends for two weeks. I went to Italy with my family for ten days. My boyfriend John and I went to Paris for a long weekend. A long weekend means you go to Paris for three or four days, usually Saturday to Monday or Friday to Monday. Maybe because there’s a public holiday on Monday. So, can you talk about your vacation? Where did you go on your last holiday? Who did you go with and how long is your vacation? You can try to make your own sentences about your last vacation. If you need extra practice, you can write your sentence down. If you really need extra practice you can write down three different sentences.
Secondly, do you know how you can talk about what you did on your holiday? What do you like doing on holiday? Do you prefer relaxing on the beach? Or do you prefer a more active holiday with lots of activities and adventure sports? Or would you rather do something more cultural for your holiday? Whatever you prefer, it’s better if you can say something about how you spent your time on holiday.
Here’re some examples and some good vocabulary for you to use when you talk about a vacation;
I went to the countryside with my friends for two weeks. Mostly, we went skiing in the hills and mountains nearby. We also just hung out in the village, eating and chatting together. What do you think about hiking? The definition of hiking is going for long walks, often in the hills or the mountains. If you hang out, you spend time without having any specific goal. If you say I just hung out in the village with my friend, you mean that you spent time there in a relaxed way.
If you think about the second example; I went to Italy with my family for ten days. We did some sightseeing in Rome; Love fountain, coffee shops. Then we hit the beaches in Cinque Terre for sun, swimming, and cocktails. As you can understand, sightseeing means visiting famous places in a city. You can do sightseeing or go sightseeing.
As an example;
if you do sightseeing in New York, you’d probably visit the Statue of Liberty National monument, Empire State Building, Central Park and so on. And also, saying we hit the beaches is a very informal way of saying we went to the beaches. You can also say we hit the nightclubs or we hit the bars. Using hit suggests you’re going somewhere to party and have a good time. So, you should not use it in other places.
One more example;
My boyfriend John and I went to Paris for a long weekend. We went on a walking tour of the centre and the Eiffel Tower. Mostly, we went to cafes and restaurants and sampled and ate as much of the local cuisine as we could fit in our stomachs. If you go on a tour, for example, a walking tour you pay Money for a guide. Generally, tours are in big groups. Do you like to explore by yourself or do you prefer to go on a tour with a guide? The meaning of the sample in this example is to try many different things.
We sampled as much of the local cuisine as we could, which means that we tried many different dishes in this sentence.
Here’s a new step. How can you describe where you went on vacation? You can think about three adjectives to describe where you went on your last vacation. You should try to avoid general adjectives like good or nice. You should try to find more specific adjectives. Then, your answer will be more interesting.
I went to the countryside with my friends for two weeks. We stayed in a very nice village which is surrounded by nice mountain scenery. As you can understand, saying nice doesn’t say much. You can make his sentences better. You can say this; I went to the countryside with my friends for two weeks. We stayed in a very sleepy, picturesque village which is surrounded by some dramatic mountain scenery.
Do you know what dramatic scenery means? It means the mountains were very beautiful and impressive. Picturesque has the same meaning as beautiful. If something is picturesque, it means beautiful like a painting. I mean, you can use picturesque to talk about places and scenery. The meaning of sleepy is that the village was very peaceful and quiet. So, using more specific adjectives like sleepy, picturesque or dramatic makes your answer more expressive and interesting. And also, you’ll need different languages to talk about different places.
I went to America with my family for ten days. New York is a very cosmopolitan place but it could be a little overwhelming because there was so much going on. Then we went to Santa Monica, which has some stunning beaches. Do you know the meaning of the adjectives here? Firstly, cosmopolitan describes a city which has many different cultures and people mixed together. Secondly, overwhelming describes something which is very intense.
As an example;
A city can be overwhelming if there are lots of people, sights, noises and smells all around you. And also, there’s so much to take in that you don’t know where to look. The meaning of stunning is very beautiful.
Here’s an example to practice;
My boyfriend and I want to go to Paris for a long weekend. It’s a fascinating place but it’s quite touristy, too. The best thing was the food which was very delicious and out of this world. Do you know what fascinating, touristy and out of this World means? Fascinating means very interesting. We use tourism to describe a place where tourism has grown too much. Generally, if you describe a place as touristy, it means that it’s lost some of its original atmosphere.
Finally, if you describe something as out of this world, you mean you enjoyed it very much and it’s really good. Now, you can try to make your own sentences to describe your last vacation by using at least three interesting adjectives.
Next, how can you describe what you liked or disliked on your vacation? What’s the best vacation and the worst vacation you’ve ever had? What made these holidays so good or so bad anyway. How can you talk about the positives and negatives of your holiday?
I went to the countryside with my friends for two weeks. It was relaxing but by the end, I was getting so bored, because each day was very similar. Each day was very similar, meaning you did the same kind of things each day, so there wasn’t much variety from one day to the next.
The other example is; that I went to America with my family for ten days. I loved Santa Monica because it was like nowhere I’d ever been before. I wasn’t so keen on New York. It’s a cool place but it’s very big and noisy for my taste. You can use it like nowhere I’d ever been before means that the place you went to was really unique. Saying I wasn’t so keen on…to talk about something you didn’t like so much in the past.
I wasn’t so keen on the food in the restaurants or the museums in the city, which means I didn’t think that they were very interesting. Using “for my tastes” after you give your opinion shows that this is just your perspective. You can also use it after you give a negative opinion, to soften your idea slightly.
It’s a nice place but it’s too touristy and developed for my tastes. Using form y tastes makes the meaning slightly softer and less direct.
Now, you can make a longer answer. You should say where you went, who was with you and how long; What you did on your vacation; describe the place you went to and talk about what you liked and disliked.
I went to New York with a group of friends for ten days. We did some sightseeing in New York; The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square and so on. Then we hit the beaches in Santa Monica for some sun, swimming and cocktails. New York is a very cosmopolitan place but it could be a little overwhelming because there was so much going on. Santa Monica has some stunning beaches and I loved it there because it was like nowhere I’d ever been before. On the other hand, I wasn’t so keen on New York. It’s a cool place but it’s very noisy and big for my taste.
You can see how we use simple phrases and ideas to build a full, clear and detailed answer.