Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Remember to listen to our chat at the beginning of the show for more natural ways to discuss train travel and road trips!

To get an 8+ on vocabulary for IELTS Speaking and Writing, you must use interesting words and phrases that other students don’t use. Stand out!

Recently, a student in our closed Facebook group asked:

Can I use the word ‘wayfarer’  as another word for traveler or tourist in Writing Task 1?

This is a good question, as travel is a common topic in Writing Task 1, for both Academic and General. Plus, this comes up very often in Listening and Reading, and, of course, Speaking.

Be careful when learning new vocabulary, that it is relevant. This might be the difference between getting a 7 and an 8.

An 8 student uses appropriate, relevant, and natural words and phrases, like a native speaker.


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You must actively try to increase your vocabulary, but just make sure to check in with a native speaker so you know if we still say that.

In answer to our student’s question, no! ‘Wayfarer‘, today, is a name for a style of sunglasses that hipsters wear.

Better synonyms for ‘traveler‘ include: visitors, sightseers, globetrotters, expats, and jet-setters

Some of these have slightly different connotations. For instance, a backpacker is a younger person travelling cheaply, while jet-setter is usually an older person who stays in really pricey places.

Also, a drifter or a wanderer is someone who moves around the world or country without a goal or an itinerary.

The experience of travelling itself could be paraphrased with excursion, jaunt, trip, escape and expedition.

A jaunt is more specifically used for a short trip, like 2-4 days; in contrast, an expedition is more serious, such as when one does research in a rugged place. This is used for a trip which is more structured with clear goals. You can find out more about expeditions at

I’d use escape as a verb, like, “I’m escaping to the mountains this weekend.”

How would you use today’s vocabulary?

Share your example sentences in the comments section below!

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