It’s good to get away. (Phrasal verbs/Multi-word verbs relating to travel)

by Kate Woodford​
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For many of us, the summer season is now ending. How did you spend it? Did you manage to get away (= go somewhere different) for a week or two? Perhaps you were too busy working or studying to take time off (= spend time away from your work/studies). This week, as you’ve probably guessed, we’re looking at phrasal verbs and other multi-word verbs that relate to travel.

Starting with making travel arrangements, if you arrange for yourself or someone else to stay at a hotel, in British English you may say that you book someone into the hotel, etc.: My sister has booked us into a really nice hotel in the main square. When you arrive at the hotel, you will check in (or check into the hotel), meaning that you give the person working there your personal details: I’d just arrived at the hotel and was checking in.

As to how the time away is spent, for some people, getting away is all about relaxing and doing very little. They have no particular plans but instead want to kick back for a few days. (‘Kick back’ is an informal phrasal verb meaning ‘to stop doing things and relax’): I just want to forget about work for a week or two and kick back. For many, kicking back means lying on a beach and soaking up (= enjoying) the sun. For some people, however, a holiday (UK)/vacation (US) is an opportunity to do and see a lot of things. They may want to take in (= visit) a museum or two. They may choose to look up (= visit) an old friend who lives in the place where they are staying. They may enjoy being somewhere so much that they decide to stay on (= stay longer than intended) for a few days. When they come home and describe their holiday to their friends, they may say that they packed a lot in, (or packed a lot into the week/two weeks, etc.). To pack a lot in is to manage to do a lot of things: We were only there for three days but we packed a lot in./We packed a lot of sightseeing into the weekend.

As to the journey (UK)/trip (US) itself, perhaps on the way to your holiday destination, you stopped over in another place. (To stop over in a place is to stay there for one or more nights on your way to somewhere else): We stopped over in New York on our way home. With any luck, you suffered no delays on your journey and your plane/train, etc. got in (= arrived) on time.