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

IELTS Speaking topic – Travelling #1

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 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 of such a rich and diverse history of sculpture, fine arts, and 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 accommodations 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 travel or save it for something else?
People have different priorities, so there can’t be a one-size-fits-all answer. There is no denying that travelling broadens your mind. However, it largely depends on the type of travel 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 doing, although 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 cultures, 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 kinds of journeys, but instead focus on their fine details. Being aware of the cultural peculiarities, watching 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 your country popular with tourists? Why/why not?
It is for many different reasons. Some come to look at all the monuments, churches and other examples of late-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 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 being 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 sum of its income budget. Another negative effect of an overdeveloped tourism industry is crime – tourists often fall victim 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 travel be reduced?
There are two main sources of environmental damage associated with tourism: increased emissions due to travel itself and tourists’ negligent attitude towards the nature of their 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 infractions would equal an administrative or criminal offense.

Travelling vocabulary

Tourist destination – a city, country or location that tourists prefer going to.
Cultural heritage – the traditions that have been passed down 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 markets 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 to, 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 to; 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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