If you travel to a foreign country, learning the local language will help you to communicate and better enjoy your trip. In this article, you will find 6 important reasons why you should learn Spanish for traveling purposes.
1. Enjoy amazing destinations
I'll bet you have dreamed of visiting tropical places, exotic beaches, archeological sites, and colonial towns, besides great weather the whole year. The good news is that many of the Spanish speaking countries fit this description.
Wherever you decide to go among the 21 countries where Spanish is spoken, whether it's to Mexico, Central America, South America or Spain, knowing the language will transform your travel experience. Also, it will give you an insight into the local culture, mentality, and way of life.
2. Integrate with the local community
If you travel to a Hispanic country, you will find that is quite common for locals to speak English, the universal language. That being said, it is undoubtedly possible to travel to the Spanish speaking countries without knowing any Spanish. Just bear in mind that if you only speak English, you will be restricted to the popular tourist resorts and hotels where everybody speaks English. By speaking even a little Spanish, you show respect and demonstrate your interest in the country you are visiting.
3. Appreciate Hispanic cultural contributions
The Hispanic world is plenty of cultural contributions, ranging from literary and arts to food and music. Learning Spanish will prepare you to appreciate better the literary contributions from Miguel de Cervantes or Gabriel García Márquez, the surreal paints of Picasso, the vibrant sounds of the Mariachi music, salsa or bachata.
We can’t forget about food. Most of modern day Mexican cuisine is derived from the Aztecs, Mayans, and other Native American peoples of Mexico. In addition, crops such as beans, chili peppers, corn and chocolate were first cultivated in Central America.
Finally, have you ever imagined visiting Chichen Itza or Machu Picchu with a local guide? Definitely, by speaking the same language, you will open a window into the Hispanic world.
4. Enjoy the cuisine
Learning Spanish can be the perfect excuse for having a gastronomic tour through the Spanish speaking countries and take part of the cultural delights. Tacos, tamales, guacamole, arroz con frijoles, paella, ceviche, pupusas, empanadas, just to name a few, are part of the diverse and delicious cuisine of the Hispanic culture.
5. Become a more confident traveler
Knowing even a little Spanish might help you interact more successfully. Your travel experience will be much more enjoyable if you can communicate when ordering food and drinks in restaurants, making reservations in a hotel, asking for directions, giving an address in a taxi, buying tickets, getting to know the locals and reading signs and menus.
Eating in a local restaurant, for example, will offer you a great chance to practice your language skills and boost your Spanish. It is useful to memorize the common phrases and try them out: for example, you address the waiter as mesero but if it is a waitress, you should say señorita.
Also, useful phrases might be:
Hola, quiero hacer una reservación para cenar hoy - Hello, I would like to make a reservation for dinner today
¿Hay habitaciones disponibles? - Are there rooms available?
¿Podría pedirme un taxi, por favor? - Would you call me a taxi, please?
¿Cuánto cuesta esto? - How much is it?
Hispanic people are amazingly generous, and if you are making an effort to le