131 Useful Spanish Travel Phrases Every Traveler Should Learn

Have you been dreaming about your upcoming vacation to Spain?

Eagerly awaiting your backpacking trek through South America?

Whatever the case, your trip to any Spanish-speaking country will be so much more fun and meaningful if you can communicate with locals.

But what kind of Spanish travel phrases do you even need to know?

Below are the essentials—the most common Spanish phrases for travel to help you upgrade your trip from “goodw” to “great.”

Contents

1. Basic Spanish Greetings and Phrases

spanish travel phrases

Spanish-speaking countries are generally very polite and you must always be courteous and say “hello” and “how are you?”

Don’t worry about making mistakes. Most people will try their utmost to understand you and to make sure you understand them. Try your best and they will be happy to reciprocate!

2. Basic Spanish Phrases for Everyday Use

spanish travel phrases

You can go far with some very easy-to-remember travel phrases and words.

You’ll likely use “I want,” “I like” and “Do you have…?” quite often. If you don’t know the noun, you can simply point at the object or show a photo.

You can also say a lot of things with very simple verbs we’re about to introduce. It may not be the sophisticated way you speak in English, but you will be understood.

…un hotel — …a hotel

…un taxi — …a taxi

That last one is an all-purpose word. You can use this for a million circumstances! Just point at the shower or whatever and say ¡No funciona!”

What we’ve seen so far is basic survival Spanish, so even if you can only remember these words and phrases, they’ll still help a great deal.

3. Asking for Directions in Spanish

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If you get a bit lost or unsure of how to get somewhere, “¿dónde está?”  is the simplest way of asking for directions. Here are a few more phrases, locations and other directions in Spanish that will be helpful on your trip:

…un cuarto — …a room

…un cuarto con baño — …a room with a bathroom

Once you have asked a question, someone will answer you in Spanish. Listen for these key words:

…dos cuadras — …two blocks

…tres cuadras — …three blocks

…cuatro cuadras — …four blocks

4. Spanish Travel Phrases for the Hotel

spanish travel phrases

You’ve finally found your hotel and you’re ready to check in!

Staff at international chains will probably be able to communicate in English with you, but these phrases and questions will come in handy for local hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, etc.

These will also be helpful when you need to make adjustments to your reservation or are curious about other hotel amenities.

5. Spanish Travel Phrases for the Restaurant

spanish travel phrases

Probably the most useful travel phrases you will need are the ones you would use in a restaurant. Let’s go over some basic restaurant vocabulary in Spanish:

Ask for anything by using quiero or quisiera — “I want” or “I would like.” And remember to say por favor and gracias!

…tres — …three

…cuatro — …four

…mostaza — …mustard

…tomate — …tomato

…lechuga — …lettuce

Note that many places in smaller towns still don’t take credit cards, so make sure you have enough cash with you.

You can ask if a place takes credit cards by using the noun with a question. For example, you can pull out your credit card and say: ¿Tarjeta de crédito? They will understand.

6. Spanish Phrases for the Airport and Ticket Offices

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It’s time to soak in some culture! Whether you want to go see a show, check out an art exhibit, watch a local movie or visit the next town (or country) over, you’ll need to buy some sort of ticket.

We’ll start with some airport-specific vocabulary—bearing in mind that many of these phrases are versatile and can be used in various situations—followed by more general vocabulary. 

For more specific situations, here are some words and phrases you might need when purchasing tickets:

La segunda fila — The second row

La tercera fila — The third row

La cuarta fila — The fourth row

Also, as you’ve likely noticed, for anything dealing with money or quantities, you’ll want to be familiar with numbers in Spanish.

7. Medical Emergencies in Spanish

spanish travel phrases

A smart traveler always comes prepared with some emergency over-the-counter meds. After all, you never know what could happen when you’re overseas.

But when those aren’t enough, these are the phrases that will help with your health-related concerns when in a Spanish-speaking country:

If you need help explaining your symptoms, these terms will help you out. With the exception of the last phrase, start off by saying tengo , followed by any of the below:

8. Spanish Phrases for Having a Bit of Fun

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Of course, a trip to a Spanish-speaking country wouldn’t be complete without a little ¡fiesta! (carnival; party). If you’re keen to hit the town, here are a few phrases to help you get your groove on.

 

Of course, to use all these phrases successfully, you’ll need to practice! You can save and print this post as a PDF or even create your own flashcards. You can also use a program that creates flashcards for you, like the video-based FluentU.

Do you feel more prepared for your trip now? Pack these Spanish travel phrases with the rest of your essentials and you’ll be sure to get the most from your vacation!

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