Phrasal Verbs for Travel

For ESL Levels 4+

Are you confused by prepositions? My students always ask me, “Teacher, can you explain prepositions?” Some prepositions are not too hard. Prepositions of place and time, for example, are easy to teach. Prepositions in English are so difficult because we have many, many, many phrasal verbs.

What is a phrasal verb?

A phrasal verb is usually two or three words. The first word is a verb, and the other word or words are prepositions. Phrasal verbs are like idioms. When you use the words together, the phrase has a specific meaning. Often, the meaning is related to the meaning of the verb, but not always. For example, “blow up” can mean “to put air into something” like a balloon or a tire. With this meaning, you must blow air into something. However, “blow up” can also mean “to explode.” With that meaning, you don’t blow any air.

Phrasal Verbs for Travel

This week, we are going to learn some phrasal verbs related to travel. Here are 10 phrasal verbs and their definitions.

  • drop (someone) off – to take someone to a place and leave him/her there
  • check in – to tell someone at a hotel or airport that you are there for your reservation
  • check out – to return your key and pay your bill when you are leaving a hotel
  • get in – to arrive at a destination
  • go/come back – to return
  • look around – to explore / to walk through a city, museum, store, etc., and see what is there
  • pick (someone) up – to get someone from a place
  • see (someone) off – to go to the airport, train station, or bus station and say goodbye
  • stop off – to stop in one place for a short time on your way to another place
  • take off – to leave, usually when an airplane leaves the ground

Now look at this conversation and answer the questions.

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

  1. Who is going somewhere?
  2. How is the person traveling?
  3. Who is going to help him/her? How?
  4. When is the person leaving?
  5. When is the person returning?
  6. What do you think “that’s up to you” means?
  7. Do you think Mom will see this person off, or will she drop him/her off at the door?
  8. How does Mom respond to “thank you”? What other phrases can you use to reply to “thank you”?









In the next conversation, a husband and wife are talking about their weekend travel plans. Read the conversation and answer the questions.

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

  1. Where do you think the couple is going? Why?
  2. What does the wife want to do on Saturday?
  3. What does the husband want to do on the way to the airport?
  4. What day/time can they arrive at their hotel?
  5. What day/time do they have to leave their hotel?











Your Turn

Work alone or with your classmates. Try to complete each sentence with the correct phrasal verb.

  1. We want to ______________________ in Washington D.C. for one day on our way to Pennsylvania.
  2. You should arrive at the airport and ______________________ with your airline at least two hours before your flight.
  3. My flight should arrive at 3:30, so I told Karen to _________ me _________ at 3:45. That will give me time to get my bags and go outside.
  4. I’m leaving on Monday, and I’m ______________________ on Saturday.
  5. The scariest parts of flying for me are when the plane ______________________ and lands. The rest is fine.
  6. I didn’t get to see John at my going-away party, so he came to the airport the next day to _________ me _________.
  7. You look so tired! What time did you ______________________ from your trip last night?
  8. After my friend _________ me _________ at the airport this morning, I realized my trip is tomorrow! I had to call a taxi to take me home.
  9. We have to ______________________ of the hotel by noon, but our flight isn’t until 4:00, so we have plenty of time to eat lunch.
  10. I like to go to new cities and just ______________________. I don’t follow a guide book.

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