Vegetarian and Vegan Travelers

Vegetarian and Vegan Travelers 1108 547 Greg Ellifritz

Twenty years ago, traveling with dietary restrictions was incredibly difficult.  Today, people in almost every country in the world understands the concepts of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free.  In many countries, diners with dietary restrictions are better accommodated than they would be at a restaurant at home.


My veggie/vegan readers will probably find the link below to be a valuable reference.  Knowing a few words in the local language to describe your dietary preferences will make travel so much easier.

How to order vegetarian and vegan in 20 common languages




Learning Chinese

Learning Chinese 1280 720 Greg Ellifritz

Did you know that 1.3 BILLION people speak Chinese?  That’s one in every six people on the planet.  If you are going to learn a foreign language, picking up some Chinese might be a benefit in your future.


If you want to get started, Fluent in 3 Months has an excellent article providing the most commonly used Chinese words.  Check it out below.

121 Core Chinese Words — The Most Commonly Used Words in Mandarin Chinese


Before traveling to another country where I don’t speak the language, I generally download and print out an article like this and treat it as a type of “flashcard” practice session.  While valuable, I think that if you have a little more time, you should invest in a product like the Pimsleur audio language teaching tools.  I think the audio component of language learning is important and I think most people learn better by actually speaking the new language as much as possible.


On my trip to Brazil earlier this month, I got by pretty well in Portuguese and the only training I did was the first 20 lessons of Pimsleur Brazilian Portuguese.  The audio learning methods are especially useful if you can’t read your target language (like Cyrillic or Chinese).



Some of the above links (from and others) are affiliate links.   As an Amazon associate I earn a small percentage of the sale price from qualifying purchases.

If you would like to further support my work, head over to my Patreon page.




Language Learning Tips

Language Learning Tips 1200 448 Greg Ellifritz

I think it’s important to learns a few words of the local language wherever you travel and covered a few language tips in Choose Adventure.  Here are a bunch more.


Mark Manson is a veteran world traveler and one of my favorite authors.  He knocks it out of the park with the article below.


25 Tips For Learning A Foreign Language





Some of the above links (from and others) are affiliate links.   As an Amazon associate I earn a small percentage of the sale price from qualifying purchases.


English? 738 492 Greg Ellifritz

On my very first solo international trip, I ended up camping with a large group of Australians in Peru.  I quickly learned that thongs and jumpers were things that men could carry in their luggage.


If you are heading to the UK or Australia, understand that a lot of words you know in English may not mean the same things in another country.  The article below provides an entertaining introduction to some of these critical language differences.


30 Slang Translations Americans Need Before Visiting UK, And Vice Versa

Free Language Learning Resource

Free Language Learning Resource 1229 428 Greg Ellifritz

I’ve just learned about a new free language learning tool.


Tandem is a web app that allows you to converse with native speakers in more than 100 different languages.


You have conversations with real people whenever you like.  There’s no charge.  You can do it whenever its convenient for you.  You get to practice your new language of choice while the native speaker of that language gets to practice his/her English with you.


I just downloaded the app.  I haven’t used it yet, but I’m looking forward to getting started.  It looks like a great option to informally learn a new language and potentially meet some new friends while you are practicing.


I’ll report back after I’ve done a few chat sessions.


Check it out at the link below.


Speak with Tandem




English Proficiency Index

English Proficiency Index 436 285 Greg Ellifritz

Have you ever wondered how much English the average local speaks in the countries you visit?  This information is available.


The world’s largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills


In my travels, I’ve found that once you drop below #30 (into the moderate proficiency category), it’s actually fairly difficult to find an average person on the street or in a bar who speaks English conversationally.


Many amateur travelers worry about this. You shouldn’t. When two people want to communicate, they can generally make it happen regardless of language barriers. I’ve been to 15 of the countries on the “low” or “very low” proficiency section of the chart and I’ve done fine by learning 20-50 words of the host country language.


Don’t let a lack of language skills impede your travel plans.

Learn Some Chinese

Learn Some Chinese 657 664 Greg Ellifritz

I think it’s really important for all travelers to learn at least a few words of the language spoken in their vacation destination countries.  There are lots of good ways to learn.  I prefer using either DuoLingo or The Pimsleur Audio lessons.

You can also learn some words the original way, by simply studying them.


The link below is a great resource for learning some elementary Chinese before your next trip to Asia.


108 Basic Chinese Words: Essential Chinese Vocab for Beginners



Spanish Language Basics

Spanish Language Basics 1280 700 Greg Ellifritz

I just got back from Mexico.  It’s one of the few countries that is open to travelers arriving from America.  If you know a little bit of Spanish down there, your interactions will be much more pleasant.


I’ve mentioned the language site Fluent in 3 Months here before.  It’s a great language reference.  They posted a very thorough article last week covering Spanish greetings.  If you learn most of these you will be able to start communicating with the locals in their own tongue.  Check out the article below.

Hello in Spanish: “¡Hola!” and 70+ More Spanish Greetings for All Occasions


If you are more proficient in Spanish, or are just looking for some more spicy Spanish phrases to learn, you may want to read Live Lingua’s Guatemalan Slang Terms.


Beyond these articles, if you would like to learn a language in a more structured fashion, I would highly recommend the Pimsleur audio language lessons.  I’ve used their Mandarin, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish lessons with great success.



Some of the above links (from are affiliate links.   As an Amazon associate I earn a small percentage of the sale price from qualifying purchases.

Going to Italy?

Going to Italy? 800 246 Greg Ellifritz

I’ve mentioned the Fluent in Three Months website on this page before.  I think it’s one of the best foreign language sites on the internet today.


They recently published a very useful guide for those of you who may want to learn some of the Italian language.


500 Core Italian Words for Everyday Conversations (Top 500 Most Used Italian Words)


I find list like these incredibly valuable when traveling to a country where I don’t speak the language.



Fluent in Three Months

Fluent in Three Months 1280 700 Greg Ellifritz

Fluent in Three Months is one of the best language learning site on the web.


Benny makes it a project to move to a different country every few months and learn the language as quickly as possible.  He shares is journey and methods on his blog.


If you haven’t read anything from Benny, I would suggest you start with the following articles.  These are indispensable strategies if you would like to learn another language.

Interview #2 with Tim Ferriss: Intensive Language Learning and the Tim Ferriss Experiment


16 Free Online Italian Language Lessons


The Best Way to Meet People While Travelling (Even if You’re Shy)


25 Typical British Slang Words that Every English Learner Should Know