My Ideal Holiday Spanish Essay

This Revision Bite will give you practise having a conversation about your holidays.

Warm-up exercise

Conversation simulation: Holidays

Example answers with examiner's comments

Compare what Jimmy and Rosie said in this role play and find out why the examiner gave Rosie a higher mark.


  • Not only does Rosie say what he usually does but he also tells us about something different he did this year, introducing the past tense without being asked for it


  • Rosie tells us where, when , how long and who he went on holiday with. He gives two accounts.


  • Rosie gives a lot of information about his trip. He says when he did things, where they went, offers opinions, and explains why he liked the themes park. He makes the most of a short question to show off and gain points.


  • As well as giving his opinons about the holiday he says why he liked the trip, and what he liked in particular about it.


  • Rosie gives a detailed description of Madrid, not just using easy year nine adjectives like Jimmy, but saying what kind of city it is in terms of what there is to do and see. Although he might not know what madrid was like in the past, he has got another past tense description in there to show off. He has also given an opinion and explained it clearly.


  • As well as saying what he is I doing he says what he hopes to do and who with. He also manages to get in another past tense as he explains that he was invited although he is talking about what he hopes to do in the future. The examiner can see clearly that he can manipulate his tenses easily.

Transcript and Translation

Compare what Jimmy and Rosie said in this role play and find out why the examiner gave Rosie a higher mark.

1. ¿Qué haces normalmente durante las vacaciones? - What do you usually do in the holidays?

Jimmy says:

Normalmente voy a Escocia.

Usually I go to Scotland.

Rosie says:

Cada año visito a mis abuelos en Escocia durante dos semanas, pero este año tuve la oportunidad de viajar a Madrid con el instituto también.

Each year I visit my grandparents in Scotland for two weeks, but this year I had the chance to go to Madrid with my school as well.

2. ¿Adónde fuiste de vacaciones el año pasado? - Where did you go on holiday last year?

Jimmy says:

Fui a Escocia con mi familia.

I went to Scotland with my family.

Rosie says:

Fui a ver a mis abuelos como de siempre, pero en julio fui a Madrid para una semana con un grupo del instituto ¡Qué risa!

I went to see my grandparents as usual, but in July I went to Madrid for a week with my school. What fun!

3. ¿Qué hiciste? - What did you do?

Jimmy says:

Me quedé con mis abuelos, fui a la playa y jugué al golf.

I stayed with my grandparent, I went to the beach and I played golf.

Rosie says:

El primer día en Madrid fuimos al parque de atracciones.Lo pasé bomba allí porque hizo sol y era muy divertido. También hicimos una excursión por la ciudad, fuimos a la piscina, visitamos un palacio y varias catedrales y fuimos al parque. Por la noche cenamos en restaurantes. Me divertí mucho.

The first day in Madrid we went to the funfair. I had a great time there because it was sunny and really good fun. We also went on a trip into town, we went to the swimming pool, visited a palace and various cathedrals and we went to the park. At night we ate in restaurants. I really enjoyed it.

4. ¿Te gustaron las vacaciones? ¿Por qué? - Did you like the holidays? Why?

Jimmy says:

No me gustaron mucho porque era aburrido.

I didn't like them much because I was bored.

Rosie says:

Sí lo pasé muy bien porque era la primera vez que fui de vacaciones con mis amigos. Me gustó el tiempo en España y me gustó Madrid porque hay mucha movida.

Yes I had a really good time becasue it was the first time that I went on holiday with my friends. I like the weather in Spain and I liked Madrid because there was a lot going on.

5. ¿Cómo es....? - What's it like? (...the place you went)

Jimmy says:

Escocia es muy bonito pero tranquilo.

Scotland is very pretty but quiet.

Rosie says:

Madrid es una ciudad muy divertida- hay mucha movida y para visitar hay una gran variedad de atracciones culturales, históricas y divertidas. Antes era más sucia pero ahora es mucho más limpia y hay más dinero. Me encantó porque es una ciudad grande pero también hay bastante espacios verdes en los parques.

Madrid is a very interesting city - there's lots going on and there's a great variety of interesting cultural and historical sights. Before it was more dirty but now its much cleaner and wealthier. I loved it because it's a big city but there's plenty of green space in the parks too.

6. ¿Vas de ir de vacaciones este año? - Are you going on holiday this year?

Jimmy says:

Voy a visitar a mis abuelos en Escocia.

I'm going to visit my grandparents in Scotland.

Rosie says:

Voy a visitar mis abuelos en agosto como siempre, pero espero volver a España con un amigo y su familia. Me invitó a ir de cámping con ellos en la Costa Brava al norte de Barcelona.

I'm going to visit my grandparents in August as usual, but I'm hoping to go back to Spain with a friend and his family. He invited me to go camping with them on the Costa Brava north of Barcelona

Exam tips

  • Always try to say as much as possible in your answers- prepare them well then show off.
  • Try to include information that answers questions such as what, when, who, where, when and why even if you are not asked. If you do this your teacher will not need to ask you as many easy questions and can move on to the harder questions which gain more marks.
  • Give as many opinions as possible and always explain your reasons - don't forget to use porque.
  • Try to use a variety of vocabulary and phrases. This will impress the examiner. Always look for opportunities to include all the tenses - past, present and future tenses, even if you are not asked directly.
  • Remember, everything you say doesn't have to be true although it can be easier to remember if it is.


Translation and hints

  • 1. ¿Has visitado España alguna vez?
  • Have you ever been to Spain?
  • Remember the Examiner likes to hear about Spain and things Spanish. If you haven't been say where you would like to go and why. If you have give some opinions- would you like to go back?
  • Useful Vocabulary:
  • Sí he visitado España hace... años - Yes I visited Spain...years ago
  • Fui a.. con.. en.. - I went to.. with.. in..
  • Me gustó - I liked...
  • No no he visitado España pero me gustaría ir porque ...... - I've never been to Spain but I would like to because...
  • Quiero irme a Ibiza porque me gusta ir a la discoteca - I want ot go to Ibiza because I like going to nightclubs
  • 2. ¿Qué hiciste?
  • What did you do?
  • Give as many details as possible- when, who with, why?. Remember to use the past tense and give opinions about the things you did as ou go along.
  • Useful Vocabulary:
  • Durante el día - during the day
  • Fui a la playa - I went to the beach
  • Nadé en el mar - I swam in the sea
  • Un día visité un castillo - one day I visited a castle
  • Por la noche - at night
  • Cené en un restaurante - I had tea in a restaurant
  • Salí con mi familia - I went out with my family
  • Bailé en la discoteca - I danced in the club
  • 3. ¿Qué era lo mejor de las vacaciones?
  • What was the best thing about your holidays?
  • You could mention several good things before telling the examiner about the best thing this way you will include more opinion phrases. Remember always to give reasons for your opinons.
  • Useful Vocabulary:
  • Lo bueno era - the good thing was
  • Lo positivo era - the positiv thing was
  • Lo mejor era - the best thing was
  • La vida de noche - the night life
  • El ritmo de vida - the way of life
  • El tiempo - the weather
  • La ciudad - the town
  • Porque - because
  • Había mucha movida y diversión ¡Qué risa! - There was a lot happening and lot´s of entertainment- what a laugh!
  • Era muy relajante ¡Qué bien! - It was very relaxing- great!
  • Hacía sol y calor ¡fenomenal! - It was sunny and hot- fantastic!
  • Había mucho de interés - There was a lot to see
  • 4. ¿Qué era lo peor de las vacaciones?
  • What was the worst thing about your holidays?
  • Really lay it on thick and give a strong opinion with lots of reasons. If it was the hotel give examples of the things that were wrong.
  • Useful Vocabulary:
  • Lo malo era - the bad thing was
  • Lo negativo era - the negative thing was
  • Lo peor era.... - the worst thing was
  • El hotel - the hotel
  • La comida - the food
  • El viaje - thejourney
  • Porque - because
  • Era sucio - It was dirty
  • -Era horrible ¡Qué asco! - It was horrible- disgusting
  • Hubo un retraso de ocho horas - There was a delay of eight hours
  • 5. ¿Prefieres ir de vacaciones en Gran Bretaña o en el extranjero?
  • Do you prefer to go on holiday in Britain or abroad?
  • This is a good opportunity to compare Britain with abroad.
  • Useful Vocabulary:
  • Prefiero ... porque - I prefer... because
  • Es más/ menos - it is more/ less
  • Hay más/ menos - there is more/ less
  • Tiene más/ menos - It has more/ less
  • 6. ¿Cómo serían tus vacaciones ideales?
  • What would your ideal holidays be like?
  • Imagine you won the lottery! Where would you go and why, with whom (it could be someone famous!) and why, where would you stay and why, what would you do and why?
  • Useful Vocabulary:
  • Mis vacaciones ideales serían - My ideal holidays would be
  • Me gustaría ir a - I would like to go to ..
  • Iría a - i would go to
  • ...Visitaría - I would visit
  • Me quedaría en - I would stay in
  • Nadaría en el mar... - I would swim
  • Comería en.. - I would eat in

Back to Revision Bite

Description of a holiday

Here’s what your friend Marie has written about:

  • where she usually spends her holidays
  • what she likes to do on holiday
  • a recent holiday she went on
  • her holiday plans for next year

Salut Hannah,

En général, je passe mes vacances au bord de la mer en Espagne ou en Italie. J’adore nager et bronzer au soleil parce que c’est très relaxant.

Au mois d'août, je suis allée à Biarritz avec mes parents et ma petite sœur qui a neuf ans. Nous avons pris l’avion de Londres à Biarritz. Le voyage était assez confortable et très rapide, mais la nourriture était chère ! Quand nous sommes arrivés à l'aéroport, nous avons loué une voiture. C’était une voiture écolo.

J'ai trouvé la région intéressante et pittoresque parce qu'il y avait des montagnes, des plages magnifiques où nous avons nagé, des restaurants agréables et pas mal de magasins de vêtements.

J'adore faire du shopping et j'ai trouvé plein de jolies choses ! J'ai passé beaucoup de temps à faire de la planche à voile parce que je trouve ça passionnant et j'adore la mer. J'ai aussi joué aux boules. C'était amusant et assez facile.

L'année prochaine, j'ai l'intention de travailler dans un supermarché pendant un mois pour gagner de l'argent. Ensuite, je partirai en vacances avec deux copines. Nous irons peut-être à Paris parce que j'ai envie de voir les monuments célèbres de Paris et visiter le Louvre et le Marché aux Puces.

Où passes-tu tes vacances en général ? Où es-tu allée l’année dernière ?

À bientôt,



Hi Hannah,

Usually, I spend my holidays at the seaside in Spain or Italy. I love to swim and sunbathe because it’s very relaxing.

In the month of August I went to Biarritz with my parents and my little sister, who is 9 years old. We travelled by plane from London to Biarritz. The journey was quite comfortable and very quick but the food was expensive! When we arrived at the airport we rented a car. It was an environmentally-friendly car.

I found the region interesting and picturesque because there were mountains, magnificent beaches - where we swam, nice restaurants and some nice clothes shops.

I love shopping and I found plenty of pretty things! I spent a lot of time windsurfing because I find that exciting and I love the sea. I played boules as well. It was fun and quite easy.

Next year I intend to work in a supermarket for a month to earn money. Then I will go on holiday with two friends. Perhaps we will go to Paris because I feel like seeing the famous monuments and visiting the Louvre and the flea market.

See you soon,


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