Transport and travel

Whether you are abroad or traveling domestically, there are multiple transportation options to choose from. Here are a few means of transport and travel available:

Public transportation 
  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Monorails and tramways
  • Light rail
  • Subways / The Underground / The Tube (London) / The Metro 
  • Taxi – tuku – rickshaw – cab – über
  • Cable cars
  • Rented Bikes 
  • Ferries, ships, boats
  • Planes/ jets/ helicopters

(How did you get there? I was on foot. I walked here.)

Private transport 
  • Car
  • Bicycle
  • Scooter / moped / motorbike
  • Boat (own)
  • Horse 
  • Rollerblades / skateboard 

Now that you identified the different means of transport / travel, notice the grammar and prepositions we can use to talk about different kinds of transport.  

  • took / got a boat / bus / ferry / train
  • She caught the Subway / Underground/tube / train

When actually boarding a vehicle we can say:

  • She got into her car / taxi
  • got on the bus / train  / plane

Generally speaking we can use travel by

  • She was lucky enough to travel by helicopter 
  • I like to travel by train, taxi, car, plane….

When a means or transport is leaving we can say:

  • The plane took off (and later landed) / departed 
  • The train / coach left / departed at 6 p.m.


There are many possible questions that could occur in the IELTS speaking test related to the topic of transport. Let’s look at a few of them and I will write some sample answers for you, with highlighted words and phrases. The following three questions are from part one of the speaking test.

Q: How did you get here today?

A: I drove here from my home. It’s actually my parents’ car, but they lent it to me for the day. (to lend) | Bank loan – money borrowed from the bank.

A: I took the train. Then, I walked.

Q: Do you ever use public transportation?

A: Yes, I sometimes take the bus or subway, but it depends where I’m going. I passed my driving test a few years ago so when I can borrow a car, I will drive, but otherwise I rely on public transport. (to borrow)

Q: Is there a lot of traffic congestion in your hometown?

Getting Around Hometown

Here are some nice phrases you can use to answer this question

  • I tend to move around by bus, it’s really cheap and convenient.
  • I typically walk everywhere. I live in a small city so it’s easy to get around on foot. 
  • I don’t like driving because there are too many cars.
  • It’s congested = too many cars = a lot of traffic jams
  • There many cars in the rush hour (= peak time people go to work)
  • Cars are bumper to bumper (=close together and so cannot move)
  • Infrastructure (n. / uncountable) = roads, buildings, bridges  
  • It’s a nightmare = a terrible thing
  • Pedestrian area (a pedestrian is a person who walks)
  • Walking is so easy and a pleasure because we have so many pedestrian areas.
  • My father is a backseat driver = someone who doesn’t drive, but tells the drive how to drive!
  • At last, I am in the driver’s seat = to be in control 
  • It’s already 6 o’clock and time we hit the road = to leave / start a journey 

I have itchy feet = I love traveling / I want to travel

Delays When Traveling

  • get (on) the train to the suburbs = take / travel by train
  • I was held up in traffic and missed the flight
  • missed the plane = I was late and didn’t catch it (missed the train, not lost)
  • It was a disaster = a terrible thing
  • I got my money back in the end. They re my ticket.
  • I arrived in the nick of time.
  • We made it to the airport on time by the skin of our teeth = just managed to do it (often meeting a deadline)
  • There was a heavy traffic jam

The following both mean arrive well before the necessary time. Learn how to talk about time here.

  • Arrive in plenty of time 
  • Arrive with time to spare 

Places in towns

woman walking on pathway while strolling luggage
woman bartender smiling while mixing liqueurs
Bar (Pub/Tavern)
trendy young lady catching cab on city street
Bus Stop
close up photo of person holding tennis racket and ball
Tennis Club
fries and burger on plate
city of orlando fire station one
Fire Station
group of people studying together
High School
ambulance architecture building business
cartoon movie showing on theater screen
Movie Theater (cinema)
woman with face mask holding an alcohol bottle
Pharmacy (drugstore/chemist)
architecture building business city
Shopping Center
booth branding business buy
baguette bakery blur bread
man taking beard shave
america architecture bay boat
person using espresso machine
judge signing on the papers
Circuit Court (County Court)
children painting with water color
Elementary/Middle School
woman in black sleeveless crop top and white leggings using a butterfly machine in front of a mirror
man covering face with frame
exhibit painting display
post office facade
Post Office
woman doing facial mask
silhouette photography of people on theater
buildings with glass windows
oimachi sta signage
Bus Station
white concrete building
City Hall (Civic Center)
man in black jacket holding a rattan plastic basket
Department Store
coca cola cans beside pizza
Fast Food (Joint)
photo of person s hairstyle
Hairdresser/ nail-saloon
people walking on park
High Street
light inside library
Library (bookstore)
people inside a club
blur breakfast chef cooking
aerial photography of stadium
gray and red train on subway
Train Station