Easy Spanish for Traveling
If you’ve been following along for awhile you’ve likely seen some of our other articles about Spanish phrases in the expressions section of this blog, such as vale, no hay de que, and el mundo es un pañuelo. More recently, we’ve also been bringing you the “Word of the Week” on Instagram (be sure to follow us for this ongoing series in our stories!). However, while both of these can be super helpful if you’re living in Spain, the expressions we’ve brought you through these other means may not be immediately useful to the average traveler. Thus, today we’d like to hone in a bit on one topic and provide you a basic guide to the Spanish vocabulary you may need when traveling.
Disclaimer: We by no means pretend to present you with a complete guide of Spanish for traveling and there may certainly be other phrases of equal or greater use to you on your particular travels. However, we believe that it’s helpful (and respectful) to learn even just a bit of the local language of the country you’ll be traveling to so here’s a beginner’s guide to Spanish for traveling.
At the airport
Hola, quiero recoger la tarjeta de embarque. I’d like to check-in (and collect my boarding pass).
Ya he impreso mi billete. I’ve already printed my ticket.
¿Puedo elegir mi asiento? Can I choose my seat?
Prefiero el asiento del pasillo / de la ventana. I prefer the aisle / window seat.
Tengo que facturar una maleta. I have to check one bag.
Solo tengo equipaje de mano. I only have carry-on luggage.
At your accommodations
Hola, tengo una reserva a nombre de __. I have a reservation under the name __.
Aquí tienes mi pasaporte.* Here’s my passport.
¿Hay una piscina / un gimnasio / aparcamiento? Is there a pool / gym / parking?
Quiero hacer el check-out. I’d like to check-out.
¿Cuánto es? How much is it?
Quiero pagar con tarjeta / en efectivo. I’d like to pay with card / in cash.
¿Sabes dónde está el Hotel ___? Do you know where ___ Hotel is?
¿Sabes dónde está la catedral? Do you know where the cathedral is?
¿Sabes dónde está la oficina de turismo? Do you know where the tourist info office is?
¿Sabes dónde hay un buen restaurante? Do you know where there’s a good restaurant?
¿Me recomiendas un buen sitio para comer? Can you recommend a good place for me to eat?
¿Sabes dónde hay una farmacia? Do you know where there’s a pharmacy?
¿Hay alguna farmacia por aquí? Is there a pharmacy near here?
¿Me puedes echar una foto? Can you take my photo?
¿Hay un baño? Is there a bathroom?
¿Cuánto cuesta la entrada? How much does entrance cost?
¿Hay un descuento para jóvenes o estudiantes? Is there a youth or student discount?
Buenos días. Good morning.
Buenas tardes. Good afternoon or evening.**
Perdona... Excuse me… [to get someone’s attention]
Permiso… Excuse me… [to pass someone]
(Muchas) gracias. Thank you (very much).
De nada. You’re welcome.
A tí. Alternative ‘you’re welcome’ = ‘no, thank YOU.’
Well, that’s all for now, I hope these expressions come in handy for you if you’re a first-time traveler in Spain (or other Spanish-speaking countries) or simply looking for a quick refresher before you catch your flight. Let us know if you enjoyed this guide and if you’d be interested in other similar guides for different situations in the future!
*Please note that all of the following sentences with verbs that end in ‘s’ (tienes, sabes, puedes, etc) are given in the tú form rather than the usted form. This is the most common way to speak in Spain (even to people you don’t know) but you can certainly use the usted form if you prefer. Read our full explanation here.
**Buenas noches is not used as a greeting in Spanish! You would only say this as you are leaving somewhere or literally saying ‘good night’ when you or someone else is going to bed.