Unlock the World of Travel Idioms: Enhance Your English Language Skills!

Ultimate List of Travel Idioms with Meanings and Example Sentences

idiom, definition, example sentence

A change of pace

  • Doing something different or at a different speed to add variety or excitement.
  • After studying for hours, I decided to take a break and go for a bike ride to have a change of pace.

A change of scenery

  • Going to a different place or environment, often to find inspiration or a fresh perspective.
  • Our family decided to go camping in the mountains for a change of scenery during the summer break.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  • A big journey starts with a small step.
  • Learning to play the piano may seem difficult, but remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Just start practicing one note at a time!

A leap of faith

  • Taking a big risk or making a decision without knowing the outcome.
  • Sarah decided to take a leap of faith and try out for the school play, even though she had never acted before.

A road less traveled

  • Choosing a less popular or unconventional path.
  • Instead of going to the crowded beach, we decided to explore a hiking trail in the mountains – taking the road less traveled.

A ticket to ride

  • An opportunity to travel or experience something new.
  • Winning the contest gave us a ticket to ride on a hot air balloon for the first time.

All aboard!

  • A phrase used to announce that everyone should get on a vehicle or start an adventure.
  • The conductor shouted, “All aboard!” as the train was about to depart from the station.

All roads lead to Rome

  • There are different paths to reach the same goal or destination.
  • There are many ways to solve a math problem, but remember, all roads lead to Rome – there’s more than one correct answer.

Any port in the storm

  • When you are in a difficult situation, you will accept any help or solution, even if it’s not ideal.
  • I didn’t like the hotel, but it was the only one available, so it became any port in the storm.

Around the block

  • Experienced and good understanding of the situation
  • It was a critical meeting but John had been around the block so he was ok.

Asleep at the wheel

  • Not paying attention or being unaware of what is happening.
  • Sarah was asleep at the wheel during the meeting and missed important information.

At a crossroads

  • Facing a decision or a point in life where one must choose between different options or paths.
  • After completing high school, she found herself at a crossroads, deciding whether to pursue higher education or start working.

At the crack of dawn

  • Very early in the morning, at the first light of day.
  • The hikers woke up at the crack of dawn to start their ascent to the mountain peak before the heat of the day.

At the wheel

  • In control or in charge of a situation.
  • With the manager at the wheel, the team felt confident about the project.

Backseat driver

  • A person who gives unwanted or excessive advice or criticism to the person who is actually driving.
  • Sarah’s father is a backseat driver, constantly telling her what to do while she’s behind the wheel, even though she’s an experienced driver.

Bad news travels fast

  • Negative information spreads quickly.
  • When Tim broke the window, he knew bad news travels fast, and soon everyone in the school heard about it.

Be In the driver’s seat

  • To be in control of a situation or have the power to make decisions.
  • With his extensive experience and knowledge, he was confident in being in the driver’s seat of the project.

Bite the bullet

  • Facing a difficult or unpleasant situation with bravery and determination.
  • Although I was scared, I had to bite the bullet and give a presentation in front of the whole class.

Blow off steam

  • To do something to release stress or tension.
  • After a long day at school, I like to go to the park and play soccer to blow off steam.

Bon voyage!

  • A French phrase used to wish someone a good and safe journey.
  • As I waved goodbye to my friend who was leaving for a vacation, I said, “Bon voyage! Have a great trip!”

Bump in the road

  • A minor difficulty or obstacle encountered during a journey or process.
  • Despite facing a few bumps in the road, such as flight delays and lost luggage, they managed to enjoy their vacation and create wonderful memories.

Bumpy ride

  • A journey or experience that is full of challenges or difficulties.
  • The road to success is not always easy; it can be a bumpy ride with ups and downs.

Burn your boats

  • To commit fully to a course of action without any possibility of turning back.
  • When Jenny decided to start her own business, she burned her boats by quitting her job.

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Cabin fever

  • Feeling restless or frustrated after being indoors for too long.
  • During the winter break, I started getting cabin fever because I hadn’t gone outside to play for days due to the snowstorm.

Call It A Night

  • To decide or agree to end an activity or event and go to bed.
  • After a long day of sightseeing, we decided to call it a night and return to the hotel to rest.

Carry coal to Newcastle

  • Doing something redundant or unnecessary.
  • Bringing sandwiches to a picnic is like carrying coal to Newcastle; there’s already plenty of food.

Carve out a path

  • Creating a unique and distinct way of doing things or achieving goals.
  • Emily decided to carve out her own path in the music industry by starting her own band and writing her own songs.

Catch some rays

  • To spend time in the sun.
  • Let’s go to the beach and catch some rays. We can relax and enjoy the warm sunshine.

Catch the red-eye

  • Taking a flight late at night often to arrive early in the morning.
  • To make sure she was at the meeting on time Mary caught the red-eye.

Catch the sun

  • To sunbathe or be outdoors to get a tan.
  • During the vacation, the family decided to catch the sun on the beach every afternoon.

Catch your eye

  • Attract attention or draw someone’s notice.
  • The colorful painting in the gallery immediately caught my eye.

Catching some rays

  • Spending time under the sun, usually for sunbathing or getting a tan.
  • Sarah went to the pool and spent the afternoon catching some rays and reading her favorite book.

Cross that bridge when we get to it

  • To deal with a problem or challenge when it arises, rather than worrying about it in advance.
  • Instead of stressing about the upcoming presentation, let’s cross that bridge when we get to it and focus on our current tasks.

Deck the halls

  • Decorating a place, especially during festive seasons like Christmas.
  • During the holiday season, our family gets together to deck the halls with colorful lights, ornaments, and garlands.

Desert a sinking ship

  • To abandon or leave a failing or doomed situation or endeavor.
  • When the company’s financial situation worsened, many employees chose to desert the sinking ship and seek employment elsewhere.

Destination of dreams

  • A place that someone has always wanted to visit or reach.
  • Paris has always been my destination of dreams. I dream of visiting the Eiffel Tower and enjoying French pastries.

Dive in headfirst

  • To start or engage in something without hesitation or reservations.
  • Jake was eager to learn how to swim, so he took a deep breath and dived in headfirst into the pool.

Drive a hard bargain

  • To be strong when making agreements like buying or selling, and demand a lot in exchange for something.
  • The salesman tried to drive a hard bargain, but Susan negotiated a better price.

Drive someone up the wall

  • To annoy or irritate someone significantly.
  • Her constant nagging and complaining about small things drive her colleagues up the wall.

Far and away

  • By a great margin or to a significant degree.
  • She was far and away the fastest runner in the competition, winning the race by a large margin.

Far and wide

  • In many different places or over a large area.
  • The news of the new amusement park spread far and wide, attracting visitors from all over the country.

Fifth wheel

  • An extra and unnecessary person in a group or situation.
  • Being the only child on the family camping trip made Jake feel like a fifth wheel.

Find your bearings

  • To become familiar with your surroundings or understand your position in a new place.
  • When you arrive at a new school, it may take some time to find your bearings and figure out where everything is located.

Fly by the seat of your pants

  • To do something without a clear plan or preparation, relying on instinct or improvisation.
  • Without any prior experience, he had to fly by the seat of his pants during the impromptu presentation.

Flying high

  • Feeling ecstatic, successful, or on top of the world.
  • After receiving an A+ on her science project, Mary was flying high with joy and pride.

From place to place

  • To move or travel frequently or continuously between different locations.
  • As a touring musician, he lived a nomadic lifestyle, going from place to place to perform concerts and connect with fans.

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Get away from it all

  • Taking a break or escaping from one’s usual routine or responsibilities.
  • During the summer vacation, my family and I like to go camping to get away from it all and enjoy nature.

Get itchy feet

  • To feel a strong desire to travel or move on.
  • After staying in one place for too long, Mark began to get itchy feet and decided to explore new destinations.

Get the show on the road

  • To start or begin an activity or event.
  • The concert is about to start; let’s get the show on the road and take our seats.


  • A person who travels to many different places around the world.
  • Samantha is a globetrotter who has visited more than 30 countries and experienced various cultures.

Going on a joyride

  • Taking a trip or drive purely for enjoyment and excitement.
  • When my dad bought a new car, we went on a joyride to explore the countryside and enjoy the scenic views.

Happy camper

  • A person who is content and satisfied with their current situation or experience.
  • After winning the game, Tim was a happy camper with a big smile on his face.

Have a one-track mind

  • To be excessively focused or preoccupied with a single topic or objective.
  • When he’s passionate about something, he tends to have a one-track mind and can’t think about anything else.

Hit the ground running

  • Starting a project or task quickly and energetically.
  • As soon as the new school year started, the teacher hit the ground running by assigning interesting projects to the students.

Hit the road

  • To begin a journey or start traveling.
  • It’s time to hit the road and start our family vacation to the beach. Let’s pack up the car and go!

Hitch a ride

  • To get a free or informal ride in someone else’s vehicle.
  • As my bike tire got punctured, I had to hitch a ride with my neighbor to get to school on time.

Home away from home

  • A place where one feels comfortable and at ease, as if it were their own home.
  • After staying at my grandmother’s house for a week, it became my home away from home.

In the driver’s seat

  • In control of a situation or decision-making.
  • With Jane in the driver’s seat, the team successfully completed the project.

In the same boat

  • In a similar situation or facing the same challenges as others.
  • We are all struggling with the math homework, so don’t worry, we’re in the same boat.

In your element

  • Being in a situation where one is comfortable and performs well.
  • Jenny is in her element when she’s on stage performing in front of an audience.

Itchy feet

  • A strong desire or restless urge to travel or go on an adventure.
  • After months of staying at home, I started getting itchy feet and couldn’t wait to embark on my next travel adventure.

Jet lag

  • The feeling of tiredness and disorientation caused by traveling across different time zones.
  • After a long flight, I experienced jet lag and had trouble adjusting to the new time zone.

Jet set lifestyle

  • A glamorous and luxurious lifestyle that involves frequent travel to different places.
  • Movie stars and celebrities often have a jet set lifestyle, flying to exotic destinations for events and vacations.

Journey into the unknown

  • Embarking on an adventure or exploration without knowing what lies ahead.
  • The brave explorers ventured into the dense jungle, ready for their journey into the unknown.

Journey of a lifetime

  • An extraordinary and unforgettable trip or experience that one will cherish forever.
  • Climbing Mount Everest was a journey of a lifetime for the experienced mountaineer.

Jump on the bandwagon

  • To join or support a popular trend, movement, or opinion.
  • After the team’s victory, many fans jumped on the bandwagon and started cheering for them.

Just around the corner

  • Very close or imminent; expected to happen or be reached soon.
  • Don’t worry; the restaurant is just around the corner, and we’ll be there in a few minutes

Leap into the great unknown

  • Taking a bold and fearless step into a new and uncertain situation.
  • Graduating from high school, Jake decided to leap into the great unknown by moving to a different city for college.

Let the good times roll

  • To enjoy and celebrate life, typically by engaging in fun activities.
  • It’s our summer vacation! Let’s gather our friends and let the good times roll with beach parties and barbecues.

Let your hair down

  • To relax and enjoy oneself without worrying about social constraints.
  • After a week of hard work, it’s nice to let your hair down and have some fun on the weekend.

Light at the end of the tunnel

  • A positive or hopeful outlook or indication that a difficult situation will improve.
  • Despite the challenges, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and better days are ahead.

Live out of a suitcase

  • To be constantly traveling or living in different places, carrying minimal belongings.
  • As a touring musician, he had to live out of a suitcase, staying in hotels and moving from one city to another.

Living the high life

  • Enjoying a luxurious and extravagant lifestyle.
  • With his successful business, he was living the high life, owning fancy cars and a beautiful mansion.

Lost in translation

  • When something is misunderstood or its true meaning is not conveyed when translated from one language to another.
  • The joke didn’t make sense when translated; it was lost in translation and didn’t have the same humor.

Lost your train of thought

  • To forget what you were talking about or lose your focus.
  • During the presentation, Tom lost his train of thought and couldn’t remember the next point.

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Miles away

  • Daydreaming or mentally distracted, not paying attention to what is happening around.
  • During the boring lecture, Jenny was miles away, thinking about her upcoming vacation.

My way or the highway

  • An expression indicating a person’s insistence on doing things their own way or not at all.
  • He’s not open to other suggestions; it’s always his way or the highway when it comes to decision-making.

Off the beaten path / track

  • Going to places that are less known or less traveled by tourists.
  • The lake is beautiful although it’s off the beaten track.

Off the grid

  • Being disconnected from technology and living a self-sustainable lifestyle.
  • During our camping trip, we were off the grid, without any cell service or electricity.

On a shoestring

  • To travel or undertake something with a very limited budget or with very little money.
  • They managed to explore the city on a shoestring budget, staying in budget accommodations and eating cheap street food.

On a wing and a prayer

  • To do something with very little chance of success, relying on luck or hope.
  • They entered the competition on a wing and a prayer, not expecting to win but hoping for the best.

On cloud nine

  • Feeling extremely happy and joyful.
  • Sarah was on cloud nine after receiving a surprise gift from her best friend.

On the cheap

  • To do something or acquire something with minimal cost or expense.
  • They planned their vacation on the cheap, opting for budget accommodations and cooking their meals.

On the horizon

  • Something that is about to happen or become visible soon.
  • The summer vacation was on the horizon, and the students were excitedly counting down the days.

Pack one’s bags

  • To prepare for a trip by putting belongings into a suitcase or bag.
  • The family was getting ready for their vacation; it was time to pack their bags with clothes and essentials.

Packing a punch

  • Having a strong impact or delivering a powerful effect.
  • Although the movie was short, it packed a punch with its intense action scenes and suspenseful plot.

Put the pedal to the metal

  • To accelerate or increase speed, especially in a determined or forceful manner.
  • With the deadline approaching, they had to put the pedal to the metal and work overtime to complete the project.

Rest and relaxation (R&R)

  • Taking time off to rest and rejuvenate, often during a vacation.
  • After a busy week at school, the weekend was all about R&R, spending time relaxing and doing activities we enjoy.

Road rage

  • Intense anger or aggressive behavior shown by a driver in response to a traffic-related incident or frustration while driving.
  • The rush hour traffic caused a lot of road rage, with drivers honking, yelling, and even engaging in dangerous behaviors.

Road trip

  • A journey or excursion taken by car, usually with friends or family.
  • We planned a road trip to visit national parks and famous landmarks across the country during the summer break.

Rolling in the dough

  • Having a lot of money or being very wealthy.
  • The successful entrepreneur was rolling in the dough after his business became a huge success.

Rolling with the waves

  • Going along with the flow or adapting to changes smoothly.
  • Instead of stressing over the unexpected changes, Sara decided to go with the flow and started rolling with the waves.

Sail close to the wind

  • To engage in risky or borderline behavior, pushing the limits of what is considered acceptable or safe.
  • His business practices often sail close to the wind, skirting the line between legality and questionable ethics.

Sailing through life

  • Having an easy and smooth journey through life without facing many challenges.
  • With supportive parents and excellent opportunities, he seemed to be sailing through life effortlessly.

See the sights

  • Visiting and exploring famous or interesting places in a new location.
  • When we visited Paris, we made sure to see the sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Set off on an odyssey

  • Embarking on a long and adventurous journey or quest.
  • The brave knights set off on an odyssey to rescue the captured princess from the evil dragon.

Set sail

  • To begin a voyage or start a journey by boat or ship.
  • As the captain shouted “Set sail!” the ship started its journey across the vast ocean.


  • Engaging in activities or touring places to see and explore the attractions.
  • During our vacation in London, we spent the day sightseeing, visiting famous landmarks like Big Ben and the Tower of London.

Sinking ship

  • A situation or endeavor that is failing or doomed to fail, often accompanied by a sense of urgency to abandon it.
  • The company was in financial trouble, and many employees started looking for new jobs, sensing that it was a sinking ship.

Smooth sailing

  • Progressing or proceeding without any difficulties or obstacles.
  • After resolving the technical issues, the project was back on track, and it was smooth sailing from there.

Soak up the sun

  • To spend time enjoying the sunshine or basking in the warmth of the sun.
  • During the summer vacation, we went to the beach to soak up the sun and play in the sand.

Spread your wings and fly

  • To gain independence, explore new opportunities, or pursue one’s ambitions.
  • After graduating from college, she was eager to spread her wings and fly by moving to a different city.

Step into the unknown

  • Taking a brave and uncertain step into a new and unfamiliar situation.
  • Moving to a new city for college was stepping into the unknown, but I was excited about the new experiences.

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Take a breather

  • To pause and take a short break to relax and catch one’s breath.
  • After finishing the long hike, we decided to take a breather and enjoy the beautiful view from the mountaintop.

Take a hike

  • A phrase used to tell someone to go away or leave.
  • The annoyed hiker shouted at the noisy group, “Take a hike! This is a peaceful nature trail!”

Taken for a ride

  • To be tricked, or exploit by someone for personal gain.
  • Be cautious when dealing with  salespeople; they have a reputation for taking customers for a ride.

Take the plunge

  • To take a risk or make a bold decision, often without hesitation.
  • After much consideration, Sarah decided to take the plunge and start her own business.

Take the road less traveled

  • To choose a path or course of action that is unconventional or less popular.
  • Instead of following the traditional career path, she decided to take the road less traveled and start her own business.

Take the scenic route

  • Choosing a longer or more picturesque path instead of the most direct one.
  • Instead of taking the highway, we decided to take the scenic route, driving through beautiful countryside roads.

Take the wind out of your sails

  • To deflate or diminish someone’s enthusiasm, confidence, or accomplishment.
  • His negative comments took the wind out of her sails and made her question her abilities.

The best of both worlds

  • Enjoying the advantages or benefits of two different things at the same time.
  • Working as a freelance writer allows me to have the best of both worlds – the flexibility of my own schedule and the stability of regular income.

The call of the open road

  • The strong desire or urge to travel and explore new places.
  • As soon as he got his driver’s license, he felt the call of the open road and planned a solo road trip.

The journey is the destination

  • The process or experience of a journey is more important or enjoyable than reaching the final goal.
  • While hiking in the mountains, we realized that the journey is the destination, as we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the sense of accomplishment along the way.

The path less traveled

  • Choosing a less conventional or popular option or approach.
  • Instead of pursuing a traditional career, she decided to take the path less traveled and started her own organic farm.

The ultimate escape

  • A getaway or vacation that provides complete relaxation and detachment from daily routines.
  • Staying in a remote beach resort with no internet access was the ultimate escape from the busy city life.

The world is one’s oyster

  • The world is full of opportunities and possibilities for someone to explore and achieve success.
  • With her talent and determination, she believed that the world was her oyster, and she could achieve anything she set her mind to.

Throw someone under the bus

  • To betray or sacrifice someone to protect oneself or avoid blame or punishment.
  • Instead of taking responsibility, he threw his colleague under the bus to save himself from the consequences.

Time flies when you’re having fun

  • The perception that time passes quickly when you are enjoying yourself.
  • We were having so much fun at the amusement park that time flew by, and suddenly it was evening.

Travel Broadens The Mind

  • The experience of traveling exposes one to different cultures, perspectives, and ideas, leading to personal growth and expanded knowledge.
  • She firmly believes that travel broadens the mind and encourages everyone to explore the world.

Travel light

  • To pack and carry only essential items while traveling, without unnecessary baggage.
  • When going on a weekend trip, it’s best to travel light and bring only a small backpack with the essentials.

Travel on an empty stomach

  • To go on a journey or travel without having eaten anything beforehand.
  • We didn’t have time for breakfast, so we had to travel on an empty stomach until we reached our destination.

Uncharted territory

  • An unknown or unexplored area or subject.
  • As a scientist, he was excited to explore the uncharted territory of deep-sea ecosystems.

Under the sun

  • Everywhere or in all places.
  • They searched for the lost treasure far and wide, exploring every island and coastline under the sun.

Vacation from vacation

  • A short break or rest taken after a vacation to relax and recover from the activities of the previous trip.
  • After a week of exploring theme parks, we needed a vacation from vacation to relax and recharge at home.

Venture off the beaten path

  • To explore and go to places that are not commonly visited by tourists.
  • Instead of following the popular tourist routes, we decided to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems in the city.

Wheels in motion

  • The process of something starting or moving forward.
  • With the approval of the project, we set the wheels in motion and began working on the first phase.

Wheels of fortune

  • The unpredictable and ever-changing nature of luck or success.
  • In the game of life, the wheels of fortune can turn in unexpected ways, bringing both challenges and opportunities.

Whisked away

  • To be taken or transported quickly and suddenly to another place.
  • As a surprise, my parents whisked me away to a tropical island for my birthday.

Wind in your hair

  • The feeling of freedom and excitement experienced while driving or riding with the wind blowing through your hair.
  • Riding a motorcycle along the coastal road, she felt the wind in her hair and a sense of exhilaration.

Winding road

  • A path or journey that is full of twists, turns, or uncertainties.
  • Starting a new business can be a winding road with challenges and unexpected obstacles along the way.

World traveler

  • A person who has traveled extensively to various parts of the world.
  • As a world traveler, he has visited over 50 countries and has a wealth of cultural experiences.

Worn-out traveler

  • A tired or exhausted person who has been traveling for a long time.
  • After a 24-hour flight, the worn-out traveler couldn’t wait to check into a hotel and get some rest.

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Grow Your English with Idioms about Travel

It’s time to learn some phrases related to traveling and transportation.

Learn English Idioms that refer to Travel

Take a look at he definitions and example sentences to help understand the meanings of these expressions about travel and transport

Idioms in Action: Examples of Travel-related Idiomatic Expressions

You may come across these words used by a native speaker and you’ll be confused if you have not seen these travel expressions before.

Mastering Travel Idioms: Enhancing Your English Vocabulary

Jump on the wagon, settle in, and it will be plane sailing with this great list of idioms to help you improve your vocabulary.

Break the Journey and Go off the Beaten Track with English Idioms about Travel

Enjoy these and other idioms, either with these lists or via the exercises provided, good luck!