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Broke or Flush?

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While living in Russia, a TV show gave me the idea for this activity. Essentially, two women would travel to the same location for a holiday. On arrival, one would be given a relatively small amount of money ($100), while the other would have a credit card with a seemingly unlimited limit. The two women would then both spend the same amount of time in the destination, but naturally they would have a very different holiday as they searched out the best options in their budget.

You recently attended a meeting at a hotel. When you returned home, you found you had left some important papers at the hotel. IELTS general writing task 1 broke or flush


1: Put students into groups. Tell the students to think about tourists who are visiting their city. Have them list possible answers to these questions:

  • What should they see in their city?
  • What should they do?
  • What local food should they try?
  • Where can they stay?

2: Once the previous stage is complete, mix the groups up so that they have a chance to share their ideas. Then inform the groups that they need to plan a 4-day holiday for a group of tourists in their city. Half of the groups will have a modest budget, while the other groups will have a much higher budget.

Have students plan the trip.

You may wish to set some rules such as they may not sleep in the same place for the whole trip, or do nothing if they are trying to save money.

If students have access to the internet, you may allow them to look up any information they need such as the cost of excursions, hotels, restaurants, etc.

3: When students have their plans, get them to think about how best to present them to the class. If there are four students in a group, they might each talk about one day of the trip.

After the presentations, you could have a vote to decide which is best.

Follow on:

Students could prepare some literature aimed at selling their trip such as a brochure or flyer. They could even work on making a video.

This work could later be referenced in a course when dealing with complaints for example. Students could be given a scenario of an unhappy tourist who took one of the trips and was dissatisfied.


If students are quite travel-focused, or from different parts of the world, they need not be limited to the city where the class is taking place.

Alternatively, you could have students discuss other scenarios and how they would behave if they had no money or lots of money. For example:

  • they needed to get dinner tonight;
  • they were going to get married;
  • they wanted to start a business.
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