Learning Spanish for Travel

Last updated on 03/27/2023

Learn Spanish for TravelIf you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country and you don’t speak the language, you may want to consider learning at least basic words and phrases to help you get around your destination and communicate with the locals. Although many people in various destinations around the world do speak some English, it’s still advisable to make an attempt to communicate in the native tongue while you’re abroad. Doing so can not only help to gain the goodwill of those around you, but also enriches your travel experience and can be a valuable safety tool in case you find yourself in an emergency situation with no English speakers nearby.

Because Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world, making an effort to learn some Spanish is likely to come in handy not just for one trip, but for many future travels. These resources can help you to gain a working knowledge of the basics, and can be referred to again and again, including while you’re on a trip to Spain, Mexico, or another destination in Central or South America.

Basic Spanish Words & Phrases for Travelers

  • Hola: Hello
  • Por favor: Please
  • Gracias: Thank you
  • Buenos días: Good morning
  • Buenas tardes: Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches: Good night
  • ¿Cómo está?: How are you? (formal)
  • ¿Cómo estás?: How are you? (informal)
  • Bien: Good
  • Me llamo...: My name is...
  • Cómo te llamas?: What is your name?
  • Mucho gusto: Nice to meet you
  • Disculpe/Con permiso/Perdóname: Excuse me
  • Lo siento: I'm sorry
  • ¿Me podría ayudar? Can you help me?
  • Estoy perdido: I am lost
  • ¿Dónde está...: Where is...
  • Busco un...: I'm looking for a...
  • Aqui: Here
  • Allí: There
  • A la izquierda: On the left
  • A la derecha: On the right
  • Derecho: Straight ahead
  • En la esquina: At the corner
  • ¿Qué hora es? What time is it?
  • ¿Cuánto cuesta?: How much is it?
  • La cuente, por favor: The bill, please
  • Dinero: Money
  • No hablo español muy bien: I do not speak Spanish very well
  • ¿Habla inglés?: Do you speak English?

Is Learning Spanish Difficult?

Learning any new language is both challenging and rewarding. Most linguists agree that learning Spanish is typically easier than learning other non-Latin-based languages. Additionally, Spanish is widely spoken around the world. As a result, there are more learning resources for Spanish than many other languages.

A solid understanding of the parts of speech and conjugation will help you learn any language more quickly, but this is especially true when it comes to learning and speaking Spanish.

Can I Learn Spanish on My Own?

Absolutely! With so many resources to learn the language, aspiring bi- and multi-linguists can definitely learn Spanish on their own. However, it is important to keep in mind that you'll want to choose tools, games and apps that require speaking aloud. Reading and writing Spanish are just part of the process. When it comes to learning Spanish for use abroad, make sure to practice your speaking and conversation skills.

How Can I Make Learning Spanish Easier?

As with any new skill, practice makes perfect. With that said, learning Spanish can be much easier (and more enjoyable) by using games and apps. Some language learning apps are based around a reward system that features daily and weekly goals. Reaching these milestones provides a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction to the user. However, the best reward of all is being able to use your new Spanish speaking skills.

Which Countries Speak Spanish?

While many countries have populations that speak Spanish, these 21 countries cite Spanish as their official language:

  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua

Top Resources for Spanish Language Learning

Spanish Dictionaries

Grammar Tools

Spanish Vocabulary

Spanish Translators

Spanish Activities & Games