Vacation Disasters

Theresa Dash - author of the lesson   Theresa I November 03, 2023
General English, Speaking Lessons
Travel, Vacations
A2 Elementary, B1 Intermediate
Mixed Grammar
Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
30 minutes
ESL classroom with students discussing travel problems for a vacation-themed lesson plan, featuring a chalkboard with key topics and travel-inspired decor.

Lesson Overview

I’ve gotten myself into a pickle! In this lesson, students will discuss the problems that one might run into while traveling on vacation. Students will give examples of different situations that travelers need to face and share their own experiences. This lesson features a video about a trip to Cuba. Students will learn and practice vocabulary and idioms relating to the topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Listening: Students will watch a video and listen to discussions about the challenges travelers face, such as getting lost or dealing with theft. This will help improve their ability to understand and process spoken English, especially related to travel scenarios.

  • Speaking: They will share their own travel mishaps and how they navigated those situations. This activity aims to enhance their spoken English by encouraging them to articulate personal experiences and opinions related to travel.

  • Vocabulary: Key terms and phrases related to travel issues, such as "stranded," "pickpocketed," "lost luggage," and "travel insurance" will be introduced. Understanding these terms will expand their English vocabulary and enable them to talk about travel experiences more effectively.

  • Homework: Tasks include writing about a personal travel challenge or creating a guide on how to avoid common travel problems. These assignments will help students use new vocabulary and expressions in context, reinforcing their learning and improving their ability to communicate in English about travel.


Have you ever experienced a disaster like getting robbed while on vacation? Watch this video to hear about a travel story to Cuba that went downhill. But remember, don’t let one bad experience change your perspective on people

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

get oneself into a pickle [idiom]: be in a difficult position
crime [noun]: an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government
rob [verb]: take something from (someone) by force or threat of violence; steal from
set foot in somewhere [idiom]: enter; go into
stuck in time [adjective]: be unchanged or unchanging from a time in the past
miserable [adjective]: unhappy or depressed
attend to [phrasal verb]: manage or take care of something or someone
precarious [adjective]: uncertain or unpredictable
lose one’s spirit [idiom]: lose one’s energy or hope
lose one’s head [idiom]: lose self-control; panic
get a grip on oneself [idiom]: get control of your thoughts and emotions and stop behaving in a foolish or uncontrolled way
bundle of nerves [noun phrase]: someone who is extremely anxious or tense
have the nerve [idiom]: have the will to do something bold or daring
get on one’s nerves [idiom]: annoy or irritate someone
go easy on oneself [idiom]: treat someone in a gentle way
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