Spanish for Travel – Learn Essential Spanish Vocabulary and Short Phrases for Your Next Holiday

Spanish for Travel
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Introduction

Our Spanish vocabulary blog contains loads of useful tips and phrases, including the essential verbs you need to know before traveling or holidaying in Spain, plus useful phrases that will make your life easier when communicating in Spanish.

If you are going to travel to Latin America, you need to know some Spanish words to get around and communicate with locals. You’ll be surprised how many people there won’t understand your English.

For example, let’s say you want to order something in a restaurant. You might say: “I’d like the special on the house.” or “I’d like a hamburger.” But you might find out that the waiter doesn’t understand a single word you’ve said. He’ll probably ask you to repeat yourself. Or perhaps he’ll have his assistant translate for him. And so on. And, if this happens often enough, you will begin to feel very uncomfortable eating out in a foreign country.

Following are some useful Spanish phrases and words for your travels. Whether you’re going to Spain, Mexico or just visiting Miami, these phrases will come in handy. The best way to learn these conversational words and phrases is by using them over and over until they become natural to you.

Essential Spanish Conversational Phrases

A big part of traveling abroad is meeting new people. It doesn’t matter where you meet them, it matters what you say to them. To have a broader picture check out our blogpost about Greetings, Common Phrases and Most Common Questions in Spanish. The blogpost was prepared for you by our Spanish teachers.

 

Hola, ¿qué tal? – Hello, how are you?

Estoy bien, gracias.I’m fine, thank you. 

No estoy muy bien. No estoy bien. I’m not too well. I’m not well.

Buenos días. Buenas tardes. Buenas noches. – Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening.

Adiós. Buenas noches.Goodbye. Good night.

¿Hablas inglés?Do you speak English?

¿Puedes ayudarme?Can you help me?

¿Puedes hablar más despacio? No entiendo.  – Can you speak slower? I don’t understand. 

Hasta mañana. / Hasta luego. / Hasta pronto.See you tomorrow. / See you later. / See you soon.

Disculpe/Perdona. Por favor. Gracias. De nada.Excuse me. Please. Thank you. You’re welcome.

Sí, por favor. No, gracias.Yes, please. No, thanks.

¿Cómo te llamas? Mi nombre es…What’s your name? My name is …

¿Dónde vives? Vivo (aquí).Where do you live? I live (here).

Encantado de conocerte. ¿De dónde eres?Nice to meet you. Where are you from?

Soy de (un lugar).I’m from (a place).

¿Cuál es tu trabajo? Trabajo (allí).What’s your job? I work (there). 

¿Cuál es tu número de teléfono? Mi número de teléfono es… Llámame. Este es mi número de teléfono.What’s your phone number? My phone number is… Call me. Here’s my phone number.

¿Cuál es su dirección de correo electrónico? Mi dirección de correo electrónico es… Envíame un correo electrónico. Esta es mi dirección de correo electrónico.What’s your email address? My email address is… Email me. Here’s my email address.

The first step of traveling is planning. It can be fun but also quite stressful. It’s up to you to decide. In our podcast we talk about planning vacations in Spanish. You can listen to it on different platforms!

Transport names

First, we need to get started with the vocabulary of transportation. Now, without losing more time, let’s dig in. 

At the airport

If you are taking your first flight to Spain, you should be prepared for all the different languages and accents you will hear and see on your trip. To smooth your experience, we provide you with a list of common words and phrases used at the airport in Spanish.

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

el avión

airplane

la terminal

terminal

el equipaje (de mano)

(hand) luggage

la tarjeta de embarque

boarding pass

las salidas 

departures

las llegadas

arrivals

el horario

timetable

el vuelo

flight

cancelado

cancelled

con retraso/retrasado

delayed

el control de seguridad

security check

el visado

visa

la puerta de embarque

gate

la conexión

connection

facturar

to check in

embarcar/subir a bordo

to board

despegar

to take off

aterrizar

to land

la compañía aérea

airline

el mostrador de facturación

check-in counter

recogida de equipaje

baggage claim

servicio al cliente

customer services

¿Dónde está el mostrador de facturación?Where is the check-in counter?

¿Dónde está el control de seguridad?Where is the security checkpoint?

¿Dónde está el autobús de enlace que lleva al hotel?Where is the hotel shuttle bus?

¿Dónde está la aduana?Where are the customs?

¿Dónde está la parada de autobús?Where is the bus stand?

¿Dónde está la terminal?Where is the terminal?

¿Dónde está el baño/servicio/aseo?Where is the bathroom?

¿A qué hora despega el avión?What time does the plane depart?

¿A qué hora llega el vuelo?What time does the flight arrive?

¿Cuál es el número de vuelo?What is the flight number?

¿Cuál es el teléfono de la compañía aérea?What is the airline’s phone number?

Getting your baggage

¿Quiere facturar las maletas?Do you want to check-in the bags?

No, solo llevo equipaje de mano.No, I only have hand-luggage.

Sí, por favor. Tengo dos maletas para facturar.Yes, please. I have two bags to check-in.

¿Lleva líquidos en su bolso?Do you have any liquids in your bag? 

¿Dónde puedo recoger mis maletas?Where can I pick up my baggage?

Mis maletas se han perdido.My suitcases are lost.

Buying tickets

We share great tips on how to buy tickets In Spanish. We know how stressful it is to purchase tickets for buses, trains, airplanes or any event that you want to attend. We are here to make your life easier.

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

el billete 

ticket

el billete de ida 

one-way ticket

el billete de ida y vuelta

round-trip ticket

primera clase

first class

segunda clase/clase turista

second class

descuentos para niños / estudiantes / pensionistas 

discount for children / students / pensioners

¿Usted habla inglés?Do you speak English?

Quería un billete a Barcelona.I want a ticket to Barcelona.

Un billete de ida a Santiago, por favor.One way ticket to Santiago, please.

¿Cuánto cuesta el billete?How much does the ticket cost?

¿Cuándo sale el avión/autobús/tren?When does the plane/bus/train leave?

¿Cuándo llega el avión/autobús/tren?When does the plane/bus/train arrive?

Traveling usually means asking a lot of questions, so knowing how to formulate a question is essential. Watch the video below to find out how to ask a question in Spanish.

At Train and Bus station

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

la parada

bus (or train) stop

el andén

platform

la sala de espera

waiting room

el vagón

(train) coach, carriage, car

el pasajero

passenger

el horario

timetable

lleno

crowded

vacío

empty

When you’re at the bus or train station the main things you need to know are how to buy tickets, where to find your bus/train and the timetable, so here we put together the most useful phrases in Spanish

¿Cuánto cuesta el billete?How much does the ticket cost?

Un billete de ida a Valencia, por favor.One way ticket to Valencia, please.

¿A qué hora sale el tren para …?What time does the train to … leave?

¿Dónde está la parada del autobús número 11?Where is the stop for bus number 11?

¿Cuándo llega el tren de …?When does the train from … arrive?

¿Cuál es la próxima parada?What is the next stop?

¿Cuántas paradas más hay hasta …?How many more stops until…?

¿Cuánto dura el viaje?How long is the journey? 

While traveling in Spain or spanish-speaking countries it’s necessary to know the numbers and dates. Even if you know how to ask “How much does it cost?” – it doesn’t mean that you will understand the answer (yes, I’ve been there). For this reason, we have created a complete post for Numbers in Spanish. If you have difficulties with long numbers or find yourself frustrated with 5,15,50 and 500, then you should definitely check it out.

At Car Rental

Types of cars:

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

todo terreno

all terrain

descapotables

convertible

compactos

compact

caravan

caravan

ecológico

eco-friendly

ejecutivo

executive

furgoneta

van

lujo

luxury

monovolumen

people carrier

movilidad reducida

limited mobility

deportivo

sports car

transmisión manual

manual transmission

transmisión automático

automatic transmission

Prices:

¿Ofrecen un descuento semanal?Do you offer a weekly discount?

¿Cuánto cuesta al día/a la semana? How much does it cost per day/week?

¿Cuánto cuesta el seguro? ¿Está incluido? How much is the insurance? Is it included?

About the car:

¿El coche/carro es manual o automático?Is the car manual or automatic?

¿El coche/carro tiene aire acondicionado?Does the car have air conditioning?

¿Dónde está la rueda de repuesto?Where is the spare tire?

¿Qué tipo de gasolina utiliza?What kind of fuel does it take?

Return/emergency situations:​​

¿Cuántas millas/ Cuántos kilómetros por galón/litro da este carro/coche?How many miles/kilometers does this car get to the gallon/liter.

Ese precio incluye … el seguro y el kilometraje/millaje?Does that price include insurance and mileage?

¿Dónde y cuándo tengo que devolver el carro/coche?Where and when do I have to return the car.

¿Tengo que devolver el carro/coche con el tanque lleno?Do I have to return the car with a full gas tank?

¿Hay alguien a quien pueda llamar en caso de fallo/avería?Is there anyone I can call in case of breakdown/problem?

Useful verbs:

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

alquilar el coche

to rent a car

recoger el coche

to pick up the car

entregar el coche

to return the car

rellenar el formulario

to fill out the form

firmar

to sign

asegurar el coche

to get the car insured

At a Restaurant

When you are in a Spanish restaurant, do you know how to order? What would you say if the waiter spoke Spanish, and it’s not your language? Or if he did not understand your language or was rude? Usually the waiters (camareros) don’t speak English or very little. So, we advise you to take a closer look at the Basic Spanish Vocabulary for RestaurantsThere you will find basic and more than basic vocabulary. 

At a Hotel

If you want to book your accommodation in the old fashioned way, which is through the phone, you can use this guide line. Moreover, all your requests you can write down in the reservation form on the hotel’s website. 

Here you will find useful phrases for making a reservation in Spanish.

Hola, quería reservar una habitación… 🇪🇸 Hello, I’d like to reserve a room… 🇺🇸

… para la próxima semana

… for next week

… para dos personas

… for 2 people

… para cuatro noches

… for 4 nights

de lunes a jueves

… from Monday to Thursday

del 4 de enero al 8 de enero

… from January 4th to January 8th

¿Cuánto cuesta por noche?

How much does it cost per night?

¿Está incluido el desayuno en el precio?

Is breakfast included in the price?

Vamos a llegar a las tres de la tarde.

We’ll arrive at 3 pm.

The phrases you might use while checking-in:

Hola, tengo una habitación reservada. Hi, I have a reserved room.

Me gustaría hacer el check-in.I’d like to do the check-in.

¿Está lista la habitación?Is the room ready?

¿Dónde puedo dejar mis maletas?Where can I leave my luggage?

¿Dónde puedo aparcar el coche?  – Where can I park my car?

¿En qué planta/piso está la habitación?On which floor is the room?

¿A qué hora es el desayuno?What time is breakfast?

¿Cuál es el horario de la piscina?What are the swimming pool hours?

Quería pagar la habitación.I’d like to do the payment for the room.

¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta?Can I pay by card? 

¿Puedo pagar en efectivo?Can I pay in cash? 

¿Puede llamar un taxi, por favor?  – Can you please call me a taxi?

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

la habitación

room

la reserva

reservation

con cama individual

with single bed

con cama de matrimonio

with double bed

con balcón

with a balcony

con vista al mar

with sea view

con piscina

with a swimming pool

con aire acondicionado

with air conditioning

con baño propio/compartido

with a private/shared bathroom

media pensión

half-board

pensión completa

full-board

todo incluido

all included

la hora de llegada

time of arrival

la llave de la habitación

room key

el número de habitación

room number

la factura

invoice

el reembolso

refund

la llamada para que nos despierten

wake-up call

no molestar

do not disturb

el mostrador de facturación

check-in counter

recogida de equipaje

baggage claim

servicio al cliente

customer services

Specifically, for booking a hotel room, describing a place or an object in Spanish, we created a podcast episode that you can listen to and enhance your vocabulary and grammar skills.

Basic Spanish Directions

This section will help you navigate through the streets of Mexico City, Barcelona or in a little village of Peru. Learn how to ask for directions, understand them and explore the place where you are. In our in depth blogpost we provide you with the Most Basic and Useful Spanish Directions.

Asking for directions:​

Disculpa/Disculpe, ¿la plaza Mayor?

Busco la estación del metro más cercana.I’m looking for the closest metro station.

Estoy buscando un cajero automático.I’m looking for an ATM.

¿Dónde está el Museo de Arte Moderno?Where is the Museum of Modern Art?

¿Hay un hospital cerca de aquí/por aquí cerca?Is there a hospital around here?

Receiving directions:​​

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

derecho

straight

continúa derecho

continue straight

derecha

right

izquierda

left

enfrente

opposite

delante

in front of

detras

behind

en la esquina

at the corner

cerca

close

al lado de

next to

en

at

desde

from

hasta

until

camina

walk

sigue

continue

gira a la derecha/izquierda

turn right/left

sube

go up

baja

go down

sal

go out

entra

enter

pasa

pass by

Remember, always if you don’t understand something, ask to repeat the person by saying ¿Cómo? (How?). Usually Spanish people speak fast so you might need to slow them down a little – just say ¡Despacito, por favor! Slowly, please! – just like in a song.

Case of emergencies in Spanish

We hope that you wouldn’t need this part of our blogpost but it’s important that you know basic phrases in case you need help!

¿Puedes ayudarme?Can you help me?

Necesito ayuda. – I need help.

Estoy perdido. – I’m lost.

¡Llame a la policía!Call the police!

¡Llame a una ambulancia!  – Call an ambulance!

¡Ten cuidado!Be careful!

Ha habido un accidente.There’s been an accident.

¡Por favor, dense prisa! Please hurry!

¿Estás bien? Are you OK?

Me han robado.I’ve been robbed.

Me han atacado. I’ve been attacked.

The most commonly used verbs

In this part you can refresh or learn new verbs for traveling in Spanish, arriving at the hotel and buying tickets. 

Spanish 🇪🇸 English 🇺🇸

reservar

to make a reservation

llegar

to arrive

salir

to depart

registrarse/dejar la habitación

to do a check-in/out

pagar

to pay

no molestar

do not disturb

coger

to catch

validar / picar

to validate

comprar

to buy

embarcar/subir a bordo

to board

despegar

to take off

aterrizar

to land

Best apps for travel in Spain

maps.me spanish app
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1. Maps.me – perfect alternative to any online maps. Before going to your destination download an offline map and you will never get lost. Plus you can search for restaurants, supermarkets, and cultural points without being connected to the internet. 

cabify spanish app
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2. Cabify – it’s like Uber but a Spanish version.

triposo spanish app
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3. Triposo – a different kind of a TripAdviser. More user friendly and has a lot of information about any destination. Create bucket lists and add favorite places. You can also find mini-guides that the community gathered.

spanishdict spanish app
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4. Spanish Dict – although Google Translate is an excellent tool, we suggest this app for traveling in spanish-speaking countries.

el tenedor spanish app
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5. El Tenedor (The Fork) – the app has information about over 30,000 restaurants in Spain. You can discover what is around your location, choose the preferred cuisine and even make a reservation. You can see the full menu in an app, which is handy. The app also offers discounts and some great deals!

idealista logo
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6. Idealista – website and app for finding accomodation for a longer perios. It offers apartments and houses to rent or buy.

wallapop-logo
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7. Wallapop – similar to eBay, but in Spain. You can sell or buy stuff through the website or the app.

Conclusion

We hope this blogpost answered many of your questions and doubts. Now, you’re ready for your adventures in Spain or South America. If you’re interested in more educational blogposts, visit our Learner Blog or see the FREE options to learn Spanish. 

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Spanish for Travel
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