Mexican Vacation Cheat Sheet: 20 Spanish Phrases To Know
Americans love traveling to Mexico for its stunning beaches, cultural cities, delicious food and, of course, its proximity to the United States. Approximately 22 million Americans visited Mexico in 2021 — still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, but those numbers are trending back up again. Do you have a Mexican vacation coming up, maybe to Mexico City or somewhere beachy? You’ll want to brush up on your Spanish before you go, and Babbel has a course designed especially for you.
The Spanish editors on Babbel’s team of language experts created a Mexican vacation course in our app, which covers all the topics you’ll need to know for your trip and even throws in some Mexican slang you might hear when you’re there. The lessons focus specifically on Mexican Spanish, rather than Castilian Spanish, which is the standard form spoken in Spain.
Here’s a sneak preview of the words and phrases you’ll need most. Start with these, and then download the Babbel app to access the other gems in the Mexican vacation course. You can also access it directly through your browser with your Babbel account.
Mexican Vacation Must-Know Expressions
Meeting New People
One of the best parts of visiting other countries is making new friends with cultures and worldviews that are different from yours. Knowing how to introduce yourself in Spanish will make meeting people in Mexico way easier. Here are some phrases to learn:
Me llamo ______ [Leonardo]. — My name is ______ [Leonardo].
¡Mucho gusto! — Nice to meet you!
¿Cómo estás? — How are you?
Estoy bien, gracias. — I’m fine, thank you.
Going Out For Drinks
Sampling the local cuisine is another highlight of any trip abroad. But you don’t want to get caught in a tourist trap. Speaking the language will help you find authentic restaurant and bar experiences that will be much more memorable. Start by learning some key Spanish phrases, like how to order and ask for the check.
Voy a pedir una chela. — I’m going to order a beer.
¿Se puede tomar agua de la llave? — Is it ok to drink the tap water?
¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta? — Can I pay with (a credit) card?
La cuenta, por favor. — Check, please.
Asking For Directions
Attempting to navigate a new city can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t have cell phone data and can’t just rely on Google Maps like you usually do. Picking up some navigation phrases can help prevent nerve-racking situations.
Estoy perdido/a. — I am lost.
¿Cómo llego a ______ [Hotel Milenio]? — How do I get to ______ [Hotel Milenio]?
Gira a la izquierda/derecha. — Turn left/right.
Vamos en camión. — Let’s take the bus.
Getting Medical Attention
No one wants to get sick or have a medical emergency when they’re on vacation (or ever, for that matter), but things happen, and it’s best to be prepared for them. Learn how to ask for help and to discuss your condition before you travel.
Busco una farmacia. — I’m looking for a pharmacy.
Estoy enfermo/a. — I am sick.
Me duele la cabeza. — My head hurts.
¿Me puede ayudar? — Can you help me?
Understanding Mexican Slang
Slang is an important part of local language and culture. It can also throw you for a loop if you only learned the standard form of the language. Want to make the Mexican youth think you’re hip? Here’s some common slang you might hear on your trip to Mexico.
¿Qué onda? — What’s up?
¡Está muy chido! — This is very cool!
¡Órale, qué bien! — Wow, that’s good!
¡No manches! — No way!
Ready for more lessons tailored to Mexican Spanish? Check out our special Mexican vacation course here.