Learning Spanish While Traveling: A Guide

Learning Spanish While Traveling: A Guide

Spanish is the second most popular language in the world and for a good reason. Each of their cities is beautiful and have an interesting history behind them. While general education Spanish classes will help you get a basic understanding, it's better that you go to a Spanish speaking city so that you can learn the language naturally.

That's why this guide has been made to help you find the most Spanish-friendly countries so that you can become fluent within a matter of months.

A guy learning Spanish online.

source: becomenomad.com

So let’s get started!

Best Places To Travel And Learn Spanish

If you are going to travel, you need to find the right places in order to learn the language quickly. Here are four locations that we recommend so that you can get an immersive experience and learn the language from native speakers.

Barcelona, Madrid

Barcelona is made for college students and travelers trying to learn Spanish. You don’t have to be a morning person to enjoy Barcelona either, meaning that you can wake up at 3 PM to see what the city has to offer. Barcelona has a never-ending nightlife, long afternoons, and delicious oily food. Since most of the population speaks Spanish, you’ll be able to pick up the language within weeks.

Spanish cities are entertaining hubs of fun while that also enjoy a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. In fact, the cost of living and tuition of Barcelona is cheaper than other countries including the US. So you can save those extra pennies… or use them for Spanish lessons or Sangria instead!

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala is a beautiful city that survived a major earthquake in 1773. It's one of the most important colonial cities in the region. Antigua is a major attraction for visitors, history buffs, and locals who love the appearance of the city. Besides exploring this city, Spanish learners can explore the ancient Mayan ruins, and eat world-class cuisine, and partake in fun eco-activities.

If you're trying to improve or learn the Spanish Language, then you'll find Antigua Guatemala a fun and exciting place to start. They have a school located in Antigua's central park named the "Continental Spanish Academy". Its classes are flexible enough to meet your schedule, and you can opt in at any time. Also, there are homestay programs where you can travel and learn Spanish with a Guatemalan family.

Colombia

Tied with Mexico for the more accurate Spanish in Latin America, Colombia is one of the best spanish speaking countries to visit. You'll experience all of the social and architectural beauty Latin America provides - archaeological ruins, beaches, cobblestones, and Spanish colonial architecture.

Whether you're looking for the city feel of Medellin or Bogota, or a smaller city like Cartagena, the neutral, crisp accent of Colombian Spanish will help you pick up the language and immerse with its culture immediately.

South America

South America is perfect if you're learning Spanish for travel, social, or business purposes. However, we believe that Ecuador is the best place in this region if you're looking for an authentic Spanish experience.

Ecuador is a great place to travel and learn Spanish because of its affordable costs of living, moderate climate year-round, and the immersive experience that helps you improve your language skills.

Ecuador is one of the best countries in South America to learn Spanish. Even though the city is growing in tourism and non-Spanish speakers, Spanish is still the predominant language, allowing you to immerse in the culture and stretch your Spanish speaking muscles.  

Phrases

Before traveling, you want to learn a few phrases so that you can communicate with the locals effectively.

Spanish phrases written on a blackboars.

source: crashsymphony.com.au

These are the most common phrases you should know in order to make your life easier:

Phrase

Translation

Explanation

Quiero practicar mi español.

"I want to practice my Spanish."

When introducing yourself to a Spanish speaker, use this phrase to denote your inexperience so that they can help you. Make sure to tell them this early so that they can be patient with you.

 No comprendo.

"I don't understand."

Is someone speaking too fast? Or are you having a hard time understanding the concept behind what they're saying? Use this when you're confused and they'll either repeat the saying slowly or find a better way to communicate their thoughts.

¿Cuánto cuesta?

“How much does this cost?”

When temporarily residing in another country, you will end up shopping whether it's souvenirs, food, or other goods. This phrase will come in handy in these situations.

¿Dónde está el baño?

“Where is the bathroom?”

Social norms and laws vary from country to country but relieving yourself in the alley, or the beach is usually frowned upon. Use this phrase to find the nearest bathroom and save yourself from nasty stares or going to jail.

¿Puedo usar tu cargador del móvil?

“May I use your phone charger?”

This is a serious question that you need to ask. If your phone battery is dead, you’ll find it harder to navigate around the city. Since you’ll be in a foreign country, you’ll also need an adapter as well. With this phrase, you’ll save yourself time and keep your phone charged.

Me llamo ___. Mucho gusto.

"My name is ___. Nice to meet you."

When introducing yourself to a local, use this simple greeting. This makes it easier for them to open up to you and have a conversation.

Lo siento/¡Perdón!

“I’m sorry!”/ “Excuse me”

Use this phrase as a way of saying “excuse me” when walking in public or to apologize for a mistake.

Yo Quiero ___ (un taxi, un hotel, un boleto)

“I want __” (a taxi, a hotel, a ticket)

You’re going to use this phrase a lot when traveling in Spanish countries. It will help you get to your next hotel or receive a taxi ride faster.

¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril?

“Where is the next bus/train station?”

You’ll need to use this phrase if you plan on taking public transit.

Closing Thoughts

Learning Spanish is fun once you find the right location that's suited to your skill level. Not only will you understand the language faster, but also you'll be in a city where you'll be forced to use the language every day. Thus, have fun in your desired destination and continue practicing your Spanish speaking skills.

Resources:
Babbel
Fluentu

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