You are all packed and ready to go. You’ve then spent what seems like an eternity being transported to your location – sometimes including plane, train and automobile – and you are ready for your holiday or travelling to begin. But there’s an issue. The language. Signs, menus and maps are all in the local language and it isn’t one you studied at school. You can always make an attempt to sign what you need, whilst at risk of looking like you have just gained a degree in mime. Alternatively you can try that cringe-worthy ‘shout louder and slower’ technique some people like to adopt. However, that’s only likely to end up resulting in whoever you are attempting to talk with ignoring you completely. At Student.com we speak over 12 languages across the seven offices in the world, so we are used to finding different ways to communicate – whatever the language. Here are our top tips on how to student travel without getting lost in translation when travelling abroad:
Tip Number One: Get app happy
The first tip for student travel is simple – use an app. Apps, such as Google Translate, will allow translations into 103 languages via typing and 59 languages offline. Meaning you won’t need to use your data and can translate menus in a flash. Google Translate is simple to use, with icons at the top you can click on to draw, take a photo, speak or type.
Tip Number Two: Count the pennies
Spending abroad can be a nightmare with conversion rates and charges from banks. You can use your Monzo card abroad free of charge (up to a limit), or you can buy a prepaid money card which avoids the hassle. You preload before you travel and you can use it like a normal bank or credit card whilst you are away. Lots of companies offer this so it’s good to search around for the best deal based on what currency you need. When you are there, keep an eye on the conversion rate and remember to use your calculator on your phone when shopping to work out the true value – as sometimes the math can get a bit foggy, especially if you have been enjoying a long lunch beforehand!
Tip Number Three: Plan in advance
Whether that’s buying travel tickets before you go – so you can get around the city to see the sights – or buying tickets to gain access to museums or galleries. It’s much easier to do in your own language before you travel, and a bonus is that many companies run special offers for pre-booked activity which can save you precious spending money for when you arrive.
There you have it. Some serious life-hack knowledge for student travel which you should embrace for your next trip. Whatever the city or lingo, hopefully you will be able to speak the same language and have a great, authentic experience!