Have you ever visited another country where you didn’t know the language and couldn’t figure out how to say something as simple as “Where’s the bathroom?” or “In which direction is my hotel?”. Well, here are the common phrases you need to know before traveling to another country.
1. Where’s the bathroom?
This is an hourly-daily-weekly thing that everyone does. If you can’t find a bathroom wherever you are traveling, you are going to have some serious problems. Make sure you know how to say this by heart!
2. Where’s the money exchange?
One of the messy things when going to a foreign country is exchanging your money. You can’t just use American money in Japan, or euros in Australia, etc. Just in case there is an emergency where you might need some extra cash, be sure you know where you can exchange your money!
Extra tip: You may want to also know how to say “Do you take credit cards?” or “Do you take cash?” just to be safe.
3. “Do you speak English?”
You might not expect it, but sometimes you can find an English speaker in a foreign country. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and if the person doesn’t, maybe they will point to someone they know who speaks English!
4. “How much is ___?”
Everyone needs to buy things in foreign countries, so remembering this question is a must! And as for the response you get, you probably won’t have to go out of your way to learn to count to 1000 in a different language because whoever you’re asking can always write it down or show you with their fingers.
5. “Which way is ____?”
Finding your way around a city, depending on where you go, can be pretty aggravating. The city could be large or small, but you somehow still need to find your way. A person on the street can just point in the general direction for you to follow. Then when you don’t know where to go anymore, you can ask another person and just keep repeating this process until you arrive at your destination.
Also, memorizing common location terms can be pretty helpful when traveling. Such common terms to memorize include: car, beach, hotel, restaurant, shopping center, park, and hospital.
6. “What time do you close?”
If you pass by an interesting museum, or a very cool shop while on the run to a destination, you may want to know when they close and when they open. That way, if you want to return again, you’ll know what time to arrive at.
7. Your please’s and thank you’s
Not meaning to go all “old school” on you, but sometimes people forget to say these common courtesies. They can be the easiest to memorize and they don’t require a lot of thinking. Just remember to use them!
8. I’m allergic to____.
Probably one of the most important things to know how to say when traveling is how to say what you are allergic to. If you’re in a restaurant and you don’t know how to say this, you’re going to be in big trouble! If you’re vegan/vegetarian, it’s also really helpful to know how to say that you are.
9. Where can I find a pharmacy?
Getting an injury or getting sick is not uncommon when traveling to other countries, so knowing how to get to your local pharmacy is pretty important. Make sure you have common medicine names written down and what they are for. Sometimes countries don’t have the same branded medicines but they will probably have something similar.
Even after reading this, there’s no need to worry. If you forget how to say something, body language and gestures always work well. And just in case, keep a pen and paper handy to draw or write things down.