Getting confident with speaking English

Learning a foreign language can be exciting, especially if you want to use it to travel to all kinds of new places. Unfortunately, even the excitement of travel doesn’t make your own nervousness about speaking go away. In fact, you might feel even more uneasy about speaking a foreign language while trying to get around an unfamiliar country.

You might wonder whether you’re using the right words or if others will be able to understand you. What if you mess up while trying to order food or ask for directions?

Luckily, we’ve got a list of 20 useful travel phrases you can rely on for your next trip.

Getting Around in English

Are you the kind of person who tries to plan every moment of your trip? Or do you prefer to figure things out as you go? Either way, it’s all too easy to get lost. The important thing is knowing how to ask for directions.

“Pardon me, do you know where I could find…?”

Don’t forget your manners, even if you’re stressed. At the end of the phrase, just insert the name of the place you’re looking for or a general place. “Do you know where I could find the bus stop?”

You can do the same with these phrases:

“Where is the closest…?”

“How far is it to…?”

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Staying at a Hotel

You’ve arrived at your destination and managed to get to your hotel. Now what?

“Hello. I’d like to check in.”

You also might like to ask questions about your stay, such as:

“What time do we have to check out?”

“Is there Wi-Fi/a pool/a restaurant?”

If you choose to stay at a hotel that serves breakfast, it’s a good idea to know what time to eat.

“What time is breakfast?”

Missed out on breakfast? If your hotel has room service available, you can simply call and say:

“I’d like to order room service.”

Eating at a Restaurant

What’s a trip without tasting the local cuisine? If you’re hoping to celebrate at a nice or popular place, you’ll want to have the word “reservation” as part of your travel vocabulary.

Use “I’d like to make a reservation,” ahead of time and “I have a reservation,” when you arrive.

If no reservation is needed, you can simply say: “We’d like a table for 2, please.”

During dinner, you might also need the following:

“I have an allergy to peanuts/shellfish/dairy.”

“Could you please tell me where the restrooms/toilets are?”

“Could we have the check/bill, please?”

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Shopping in English

Unless you’re ordering or shopping online, you’ll have to go into a store to buy everything from souvenirs to clothes to replace the ones from your lost luggage. That means you’ll need phrases like:

“How much does this cost?”

“I’m looking for…/Do you have…?” Simply insert whatever it is you need at the end of the question, as in “Do you have any postcards?”

“Can I pay with cash/credit card?” Sometimes, you’ll come across a shop that doesn’t take one or the other. It’s always good to ask if you’re not sure.

Asking for help in English

Nothing is perfect, which means it’s always good to be prepared.

For instance, if you ever feel overwhelmed or don’t understand what’s being said, you might need the phrases, “I don’t understand” and “Could you please repeat that?”

We’ve all misplaced things from time to time as well. If you ever need help, you can ask, “Could you help me please? I’ve lost my room key/ticket/passport.”

Remember that speaking in a foreign language doesn’t have to be so difficult or scary. Use these travel phrases to help you practice before your trip so you can focus more on relaxing and having fun.

If you’d like to practise your travel phrases before you next trip, head over to the Lingoda website and sign up for your trial with our native speaking teachers. You never know where it might take you.