Love travelling? Then, you are most likely to end up in a country that you do not speak the local language. Below you will find some useful tips to help with your visit abroad.
1.Learn essential words
Learn at least 10-15 essential words in the local language such as, “Hello”, “Thank you”, “yes”, “no”, “Do you speak..?”, “please”, “stop”, “help”, etc.
2.Use a translator app
Make good use of your smartphone and before you fly to your destination, download or find a translator application with offline capabilities such as Google translate app. When you find your self stuck on a sentence or a phrase, use it! That will ease the communication and help you avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
3.Planning is the key!
Organise your trip before you land in your chosen destination. Arrange transportations, transfers, short trips and tours and all kind of bookings ahead of time. That will help you alleviate a lot of stress and feel more relaxed and secured abroad.
4.Get an international data card or a local sim
Whichever you decide to choose, load it with credits in order to use useful application. You will be able to use google maps which I find it to be a life-saver and whatsapp or viber, useful applications for free calls.
5. Ask the concierge or the receptionist
A local person can help you out with useful information and by writing down in the local language, addresses of places of interest, food allergies and important phrases. Who can be more appropriate than the concierge or the receptionist of the hotel? Do not be afraid to ask their help!
Use the word toilet instead of restroom, bathroom or ladies room. In many of my travels, I have discovered the word toilet is universal and understood in almost every language.
7.Use your knowledge of other languages
It may come in handy, if you speak other foreign languages. Some languages interconnect due to their similar roots. So, for example, you could use your knowledge of french or italian language to understand words in spanish.
8.Gestures and smile
Non verbal communication is the most universal language. Do not be afraid to use your hands even thoough, gestures may have different meaning in every country. In case you feel you might have offended the other person, perform the “namaste” gesture along with a smile.
Smile also is a basic key to communicate with others, even if you do not now their language. People are always willing to help a kind, well-intentioned and smiling person.
So, do not forget, gestures and smile may get you a long way!
9. Notepad & Pen
Carry with you a notepad and a pen. They may come in handy. When everything else has failed, “Pictionary” really helps, even if your drawing skills are not that good.
So, Plan your trip ahead, as well as you can , learn a little bit about the culture and the local language or dialect and be ready to put on your good smile and be in good mood to meet and explore your new destination.