IELTS Speaking topic - Travelling #1 -
IELTS Speaking topic - travelling 1

IELTS Speaking topic – Travelling #1

This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Talk about a country or a city you would like to visit.
You should say:

  • what the city or country is
  • how long you have wanted to go there
  • why you want to visit it

and say why you haven’t visited it yet

Model answer

There is this one country that has always fascinated me – Italy. It is the perfect tourist destination for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Italian cultural heritage can’t be beaten. I doubt there is another country that can boast having such rich and diverse history of sculpture, fine arts as well as general historical significance. Secondly, Italy is famous for its good taste in finer things – cuisine, clothing, engineering. The gentle Mediterranean climate is another point that seals the deal for me.

I’ve been meaning to go there for the past decade, but a trip like this requires meticulous planning to make sure you don’t miss anything on your to-do list. Another reason why I haven’t been there yet is the more mundane one – the plane tickets get really pricy, especially in the high season. Basically, if you want to go there for a reasonable price you have to book tickets and accommodation well in advance – we’re talking up to a year beforehand! So it might take me a while to plan this.

IELTS Speaking Part 3


Should people spend money on travelling or save up for something else?
People have different priorities and therefore there can’t be one-size-fits-all answer. There is no denying that travelling broadens your mind, however it largely depends on the type of travelling you do. A package tour won’t help much with that as you will simply spend a fortnight lying on the beach and haggling over some trinkets at a local bazaar. A more inventive, off the beaten track approach is to always be on the move once you set foot in a foreign country. This is the kind of travelling that is definitely worth taking, albeit it won’t be to everybody’s liking. Of course there is always the option of not travelling and saving up for a place of your own and buying it in your late forties.

Is it better to travel when you are young or in your older years?
I’d say age is of little importance in this matter. Young people are more impressionable, risky and willing to try new things. Travelling young is about daring, diving deep into foreign culture, making friends in unexpected places. It is about exposing yourself to the unknown and accumulating experience. In one’s more mature years a person becomes more observant, reflective and introspective. They might not enjoy the active and adventurous type of journeys, but instead focus on its fine details. Being aware of the cultural peculiarities, watching the nature, noting the little differences compared to their own home country – that is where the joy of travelling lies for the more adult. In short – it doesn’t really matter how old or young you are, travelling is an activity anyone and everyone can enjoy.


Is you country popular with tourists? Why/why not?
It is for many different reasons. Some come to look at all the monuments, churches and other example of last century architecture. Others want to take in the rich arts scene in museum and exhibitions. Many of the foreign visitors have no winter and have never seen the snow so it is a kind of a sight for them as well. However, my country is by no means a popular tourist destination if you think about sunny sandy beaches. It is more of a cultural journey.

What are the possible negative effects of a country too dependent on tourists?
A country that grows too complacent with its popularity among tourists is at risk of becoming too dependent on this industry. It is very tempting to invest in the tourist sector disregarding manufacturing and other important aspects of economy. This can lead to the country shooting itself in the foot because tourism is a highly-competitive field so it doesn’t last forever – and if it doesn’t, the country will be left without a lump part of its income budget. Another negative effect of an overdeveloped tourism industry is crime – tourists often fall victims to scammers and pickpockets. This can tarnish the country’s reputation and make living there unsafe for everyone, tourists or not.

How can the negative environmental impact of tourism and travelling be reduced?
There are two main sources of environmental damage associated with tourism – increased emissions due to travelling itself and tourists’ negligent attitude toward the nature of destination country. The former can be offset by either increasing awareness of the damage done or introducing a travel tax that comes with air travel. The tourists’ negligence could be addressed by littering fines or a point system where too many infraction would equal administrative or criminal offense.

Travelling vocabulary

Tourist destination – a common city/country tourists go to.
Cultural heritage – the traditions that have been passed and preserved over generations
Historical significance – how important and influential something was historically
Mediterranean climate – mild climate characterised by dry, warm summers and winters that are not too cold.
High season – time of the year when the popularity of something is at its peak
Fortnight (n) – two weeks
Haggle (v) – to try and convince the shop owner to sell you something a lower price
Bazaar (n) – a common name for outdoor market in the Middle East
Off the beaten track – original, not used or chosen often
Set foot in – to go or arrive somewhere
Take in – to understand, to open yourself to new experiences
Sight (n) – something that is worth seeing
Emissions (n) – (here) harmful gases produced as a result of burning fuel.

General vocabulary

Boast (v) – (here) to have something impressive
Cuisine (n) – local dishes
To be meaning to do smth – to want to do it
Meticulous (adj) – paying attention to small details
To-do list – a list of things that you plan to do or see
Mundane (adj) – not worth paying attention too, regular
One-size-fits-all – something that works for everybody.
Impressionable (adj) – easily impressed by something, not jaded
Dive deep into smth – to get more involved in something
Observant (adj) – attentive, noticing finer details
Reflective (adj) – tending to think things over, analyzing
Peculiarity (n) – something strange or unusual
Complacent (adj) – too happy about the current situation and achievement, used negatively
Disregard (v) – to pay no attention or ignore something
Shoot yourself in the foot – (figurative) to do harm to yourself either through action or inaction
Highly-competitive field – a sphere that is lucrative (financially attractive) and has a lot of competition
Fall a victim to smth – become affected by something or someone bad
Pickpocket (n) – a person who steals things from your pockets without you noticing
Tarnish (v) – if somebody tarnishes your reputation, they make others think worse of you
Negligent (adj) – not paying enough attention to something important, used negatively.
Littering (n) – act of putting or throwing litter (trash/garbage) where it does not belong
Fine (n) – a financial penalty paid for breaking some law or regulation

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