The Ultimate Babbel Guide To Travel

So you want to be a seasoned world traveler. We’ve got some tips, advice, and tricks of the hat for you.
The Babbel guide to travel represented by two people sitting in a van, one holding a mug of coffee, looking out at the ocean.

Travel: it’s an aspiration, an inspiration and the reason for the season (or, at least, the workweek that earns you time off). But unless you’re a professional jet-setter, most of us board the plane with at least a little insecurity. How will you know how to get around? How can you make sure you don’t stick out like a sore thumb or commit an obvious cultural faux pas? How do you say “Where’s the bathroom?” How can you feel less anxious about flying in general? No matter what level of traveler you are, there are always more questions, and always more answers to be found. And we’ve written quite a bit on the subject. Enough, we think, to compile all our travel guides and resources in one easily navigable place.

Below, you can peruse our archives of general travel tips, language-specific cheat sheets, city and location guides, cultural etiquette know-how, travel motivation and other fun resources. This way, you can always leave home feeling smart, cute and prepared.

Travel Advice, Tips & Hacks

6 Ways To Make The Most Of Off-Season Travel Months
From Spanish street festivals to finally getting around to seeing the Northern Lights, here are a few innovative ways to make the most of the off-season travel months.

6 Quick Tips For Navigating An Airport In Another Country
Though just about all major international airports are pretty intuitive to navigate, you might be able to use a few quick airport tips for a smooth landing.

5 Ideas For Doing Heritage Tourism Right
Being thoughtful in your approach never hurts, and it’s worth considering what you want to get out of your trip well ahead of time so you can return home feeling fulfilled and inspired.

6 Ecotourism Trips For Worldly Language Learners
Travel doesn’t have to have a negative impact! Ecotourism provides a potential solution to this problem.

5 Tips For Navigating Europe’s Hostel Culture
Hostelling is great for saving money and making international friends. Here’s all you need to know about Europe’s thriving hostel culture before your next trip abroad!

The Babbel Guide To Solo Female/LGBTQ Travel
We spoke to a handful of travel bloggers who have been there and done that (so you can too). Plus, we translated some of the phrases you might need while you’re there.

The Ultimate Travel Checklist For Going To Europe
Whether you’re headed to Europe for two weeks or a full year, here’s our ultimate travel checklist for going to Europe — made by Aussies for Aussies.

The Complete Guide For Traveling To (And Through) Europe
Is it your dream to travel Europe like a pro, but you don’t want to miss some important info before you go? Look no further, our Babbel guide is here to help.

The Best Travel Advice You’ve Never Heard
Solo travel is hardly a boy’s club anymore. In this episode of Multilinguish, we dig into some of the linguistic and experiential complexities of being yourself on the road.

How To Combat Flight Anxiety
Here are a few suggestions for managing your flight anxiety, because nothing should stand in your way when you’re just trying to immerse yourself in the language you’re learning.

7 Tips For Environmentally Friendly Travel
Tourism can be a lot of fun, but it can also put a lot of strain on the planet.

The World’s Most LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destinations
Here are the countries and regions where members of the LGBTQ+ community are likely to be safe, accepted and celebrated.

The World’s Least LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destinations
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and planning a trip to one of these countries, do so with caution.

5 Travel Hacks To Live (And Speak!) Like A Local
These tips for travelers really work, even if you’re a last-minute planner who hasn’t learned any of the local language (yet).

Tips On Tipping In 9 Travel Hotspots
How much should you tip (if at all) when you’re traveling in a foreign country? Check out our guide to tipping in restaurants, bars and taxis in these popular destinations.

How To Prepare For Your Year Traveling Abroad
So you’re traveling abroad for a lengthier period of time, but you don’t know what to expect? Here are the top lessons that I’ve learned over the years, so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Your Best Travel Guide Isn’t A Book
If you’re seeking a “more authentic” travel experience, ditch the guidebook and try speaking some of the local language. It will get you much further than you might think.

7 Tips For Learning Languages On Vacation
Don’t take a vacation from learning! Here are some tips to learn while traveling, without taking away from the fun of your trip.

4 Tricks To Cross The Language Barrier On Your Next Vacation
How do you cross the threshold from language learner to language speaker? Your next vacation is the perfect opportunity — just use these four language hacks to practice while you travel.

Useful Phrases & Vacation Cheat Sheets

How To Order A Coffee And Pastry In 6 Different Cities
There’s nothing more timeless than a coffee and a sweet. Here’s how New Yorkers, Parisians, Stockholmers, Romans, Sydneysiders and Mexico City residents enjoy their latte breaks.

Traveling With Dietary Restrictions? Here’s How To Order Food Abroad
Whether you’ve got a deadly tree-nut allergy or you’re just trying to stick to your paleo diet in carb-centric Italy, here are some handy translations to keep in your pocket.

The 13 Most Useful Phrases For Traveling Around Europe
Here we break down the 13 most useful phrases for traveling around Europe, and translate them into the six most common European languages.

Mexican Vacation Cheat Sheet
Make the most of your upcoming Mexican vacation by focusing on these Spanish conversation topics.

French Vacation Cheat Sheet
Here are some handy French phrases you’ll need during your upcoming trip to Paris (or anywhere else in the French-speaking world).

German Vacation Cheat Sheet
Even if you don’t have time to learn the whole language before you go, even just a little German can go a very long way.

Italian Vacation Cheat Sheet
If you’ll be traveling to Italy or an Italian-speaking area soon, here are some important words and phrases to practice using on a regular basis.

Brazilian Vacation Cheat Sheet
Whether you’re planning on checking out Iguazú Falls, sunbathing on the beaches of Rio or zip-lining in Parati, vacationing in Brazil is much more fun when you can speak the language.

Russian Vacation Cheat Sheet
Whether you’re starting your journey or just want a few Russian sentences in your back pocket, this cheat sheet is a great place to start.

Norwegian Vacation Cheat Sheet
Before you board that plane to Oslo, make sure you commit at least a couple of these to memory.

Indonesian Vacation Cheat Sheet
Learning just a few dozen Indonesian phrases can make a huge difference on your experience.

Emergency Abroad: Numbers And Phrases To Know When You Travel
In the (hopefully) unlikely event an emergency occurs when you’re in another country, here are some helpful phone numbers and phrases in the local language.

How To Start Speaking Spanish Before Your Vacation
So you want to learn some Spanish for your upcoming vacation, but don’t know where to start? No problem!

How To Start Speaking French Before Your Vacation
You’ve bought your plane tickets, done your hours of research, and planned your itinerary. You’re just about ready to go, but there’s one thing missing: You don’t speak French.

10 Useful Spanish Phrases For Your Next Vacation
Make the most of your trip to a Spanish-speaking country — and avoid getting lost and frustrated — by learning how to say these key phrases.

Tourist Etiquette & Cultural Competence

Is Personal Space A Cultural Thing?
Different cultures have different innate boundaries when it comes to personal space.

Dining Etiquette Around The World
If you want to make it through a meal without making a major misstep or offending other restaurant patrons, it’s worth it to brush up on restaurant customs and traditions in different cultures.

Should You Engage In PDA In Other Countries?
You can get arrested in certain parts of the world for what you may think is a relatively benign gesture of affection.

How To Talk About Politics When You’re In Another Country
Maybe the better question is: should you even talk about politics when you’re far away from home?

Common Hand Gestures To Avoid Abroad
Whether you’re studying abroad or on vacation, the last thing you want to do is unintentionally offend someone by saying something rude. But what if it’s your hands that are doing the talking?

19 Very Specific Food Rules From Around The World
You don’t eat New York pizza with a fork and a knife. You just don’t.

How Not To Be A Tourist In New York City
Follow these tips on your next trip to New York, and avoid standing out like a stereotypical (and obnoxious) tourist.

How To Live Like A Parisian, No Matter What Neighborhood You’re In
How do you experience Paris like a local whether you’re there for a week or relocating for good? A former Parisian spills her secrets.

How To Cheek Kiss In Different Parts Of The World
If you’ve ever fumbled through an awkward greeting, here’s the international guide to cheek kissing etiquette you never had.

Underground Etiquette: Public Transit Rules Around the World
Please mind the (cultural) gap between the train and the platform.

City Guides & Location-Specific Inspiration

Lisbon Without The Tourist Traps: 10 Must-See Places
This isn’t your ordinary Lisbon travel guide. Here are 10 offbeat places we recommend.

How To Do Barcelona In Only One Day
If you want to make the most of your time in Barcelona and enjoy the pleasures it has to offer in just one day, then I have a few tips.

Go On An Italian Adventure In Matera, The City Of Stones
Here’s why this Italian city has recently been named the European Capital of Culture.

How To Take Yourself Out On A Date In 7 Major Cities
If you find yourself traveling solo and the listlessness starts to creep in as you settle down for yet another lonely meal, you should flip your perspective and still have an excellent time.

The Best Cities In Europe To Spend New Year’s Eve
One of Babbel Magazine’s regular contributors shares her favorite cities for celebrating the big night.

Republic Of North Macedonia: A Cultural Paradise You Need To Visit
Thinking about traveling to Macedonia this summer? Here’s why you should take the plunge on visiting this hidden Balkan jewel.

The Babbel Guide To The World Cuisines Of New York City
It’s up to you. No, really. In New York, New York, anyone can delight in the experience of navigating their way through the world’s best real-life approximation of Epcot.

From Coast To Culture To Communism: Why You Should Visit Albania
Looking to visit a beautiful mediterranean country for a fraction of the price of Italy or Greece? Consider Albania, the up-and-coming destination of the Balkans.

9 Tips For Making The Most Of The Trans-Siberian Railway
For generations, train enthusiasts and Russia lovers have adventured the Trans-Siberian Railway. Here’s a useful list to help you prepare for this journey!

The Complete Guide To Traveling In Sweden This Summer
From Stockholm to Gothenburg, Malmö, the mountains, the countryside and the many islands — we’ll show you Sweden’s true gems and give you some tips for your trip.

The Best Street Food On Every Continent
Arepas, currywurst, boat noodles and more — here’s a guide to quick, delicious eats you can find on the streets of the world.

Top 10 European Cities For The Perfect Erasmus Experience
Thinking of studying abroad, but not sure where to go? Keep reading to discover the best destinations for Erasmus students.

The 10 Best Places In Berlin You Never Would Have Visited (If You Hadn’t Read This)
Babbel has teamed up with the city guide specialists over at LOST iN to bring you some of the best places around Berlin to add to your itinerary.

10 Unforgettable Things To Experience On Your Next Trip To Spain
Headed to Spain this year? Travel smart and follow our 10 insider tips to experience local Spanish traditions firsthand and get the most from your trip.

The Places You’ll Go: French Edition!
A guide to exploring Bonifacio, Corsica.

The Places You’ll Go: Spanish Edition!
Part 2 of Babbel’s “The Places You’ll Go” series: we’re looking at our Spanish-speaking selection, magnificent Mérida!

The Places You’ll Go: Italian Edition!
A visit to Siena might just be the most authentic way to experience medieval Tuscany, if not Italy.

5 Unconventional Things To Do In Paris
From the covered passages to the Butte aux Cailles district, visiting Paris is as much a journey through time as a vacation.

Mexico City Travel Guide: What To Do And How To Prepare
Mexico City can be overwhelming, especially when you consider that it’s one of the biggest cities in the world (with over 21 million inhabitants!). But to experience it like a local, all you need is this handy guide.

7 Of The Most Memorable Things To Do In Porto, Portugal
Have you ever been to Porto? If the answer is no, I strongly encourage you to consider it. Here’s a short guide with seven things to do in Porto.

How To Spend Your Weekend Like A Born-And-Bred Londoner
London is a huge city, but here’s how its locals choose to experience it.

Riga Travel Guide: Here’s What You Can’t Miss
Planning a trip to Latvia’s capital (or perhaps just exploring your vacation options)? A local explains his top things to do in Riga.

Places To Travel To Practice Your Language Skills

What Are The Friendliest Countries For Language Learners To Visit?
Are certain countries more tolerant of tourists speaking their language poorly than others?

Top German-Speaking Countries To Visit That Aren’t Germany
Looking to test out your German language skills? Keep things interesting by taking a trip to one of these German-speaking countries.

Top Russian-Speaking Countries To Visit That Aren’t Russia
You don’t have to go to Moscow to practice your Russian in a photo-worthy setting.

Top Portuguese-Speaking Countries That Aren’t Portugal Or Brazil
Want to go somewhere new to practice your language skills? Visit one of these Portuguese-speaking countries you may not have considered!

Motivation

5 Reasons Why You Should Go Abroad This Holiday Season
Despite the hype, many people would like to leave the family behind at Christmas — so we spoke to two people who’ve spent Christmases away from home to find out why you should do it, too.

5 Reasons Why You Need To Speak The Local Language To Live Abroad
When this writer first moved to another country, she didn’t realize how badly she needed the local language in order to succeed in her new life.

7 Reasons To Learn A Language For Your Next Vacation
Are you ready to become an even better traveler? We break down the best reasons to learn a language before your next vacation.

5 Travel Situations Where Speaking The Local Language Could Save Your Life
Here are five sticky situations in which any travelers could easily find themselves. If you speak some of the local language, getting out of them is less complicated.

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel Alone At Least Once In Their Life
Why are more and more people traveling alone and how can you benefit from the experience? We dive into five reasons why everyone should try it at least once in their life.

6 Ways Knowing The Language Saves You Money When You Travel
Don’t be the next victim of the tourist tax. Knowing the language makes for a richer travel experience (and yes, that’s a double entendre).

Learn A New Language For Richer Travel Experiences
Travel is so much easier when you learn at least a few basic phrases.

How Speaking The Local Language Upgrades Your Travel Experience
Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a first-time global traveler, learning the local language of your destination can have a real impact on your trip.

4 Reasons To Travel With People Who Don’t Speak Your Language
Here are four reasons why you should consider traveling with a multilingual group on your next trip.

More Fun Travel Content

18 Unique Travel Gifts For The Jetsetter In Your Life
If you need unique gift suggestions for someone who loves to travel, look no further. We gathered a list of the 18 things we can’t go without.

25 Ways To Be The Worst Kind Of Travel Companion
Step one: clap when the plane lands.

Expert Picks — Books and Films You Should Check Out Before Traveling Abroad
Foreign ambassadors to the U.S. share their book and movie recommendations for visitors to their countries. Be sure to read and watch them before you go!

How To Travel To 21 Countries In One Year — Life Lessons From The Nomad Barber
Meet Miguel, 29, from Liverpool. His story will show how passion and profession led him to visit 21 countries in just one year.

Rare Syndromes Experienced By Tourists And Travelers
Here are four different psychological syndromes that are induced solely by wanderlust.

Quiz: Where Is Your Ideal Summer Vacation Spot?
It’s finally nice out where you live, and that means it’s time to go somewhere else. This quiz will help you pick your ideal summer vacation spot.

How To Pull Off An International Vacation From Home
With the right online resources and a bit of imagination, you can travel virtually anywhere in the world…virtually.

A major item on your travel checklist: learning a few words and phrases before you go.
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