Things to Consider when Travelling
When I’m planning to travel somewhere I’ve never been before, there are several things I like to consider. From the sensible stuff, such as, do I need a visa for this location, or what is the currency, or is it okay to dance on a table in the bar, to the more fun things. Like where are the must-see places to visit, which bar serves the best margaritas, what is the nearest restaurant to my hotel?
Another thing I like to think about is whether the place I’m going speaks English or not. Will learning some vocabulary enhance my experience on holiday? The answer is always yes; here are some reasons why learning a little language when travelling is a great idea and have helped me in the past. Meanwhile, if you already know some other languages, you can see your level in 20 different languages at Language Trainers.
Peace of mind
So yes, of course, most airports, ferry terminals, and train stations in the world these days have signs in English as well as the native language. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to understand those tannoy announcements that are always too fast even in English! How do you ask someone to repeat what has just been said if you don’t know how to ask?
Hopefully when you’re off on your travels the last thing you’ll face is an emergency. But I know that I always deal better with, say, an unexpected hospital visit, or a train crash, or something, if I have a little vocabulary to help me understand the situation. You can also get emergency travel cards at Addison Crisis if you are afraid you might forget what you know in the moment of crisis.
The unwitting tourist
Taxi drivers, bless them, can spot a tourist a mile off; we’re a bit difficult to miss with all of our luggage. But the difference between a tourist that gets ripped off and one that doesn’t is firstly a matter of confidence, and second a question of making ourselves understood, which is where learning the local language is most helpful!
This experience of tourists being charged extortionate rates or locals trying to trick them is nothing new, though thankfully for a lot of us a rare occurrence. Sometimes it’s possible to blend in so people don’t notice I’m from somewhere else, but for the times when I couldn’t, knowing at least a few words in the local language has made all the difference.
Sometimes when I travel abroad it feels like a very sanitised experience, when tour guides tell us only half the story in the English they know, and tourist information leaflets are limited to only a few lines. I have already got to experience all a place has to offer far better, by learning a little language before arriving!
Another reason to consider taking some language skills with you is so you can go to the real local places, and not those ones created specifically for tourists. You know the places. The restaurants with the best of the traditional cuisines that only the locals know about, or the supermarkets and stores that are far cheaper and better quality than the ones we would normally on because they speak English.
To be honest, language is one of those skills that will enhance things in your life you probably wouldn’t even think about without it. From a transferable skill on our CVs, to an understanding of a different culture, and just broadening our horizons overall; what’s not to love about learning a language? One tip to find out more is to check out DuoLingo for some self-study courses.
Things to Consider when Travelling