20 Common Phrases to Know When Traveling Abroad

When you travel abroad, it may not be to an English speaking country.  It is wise to be prepared for anything that may occur.  You may need to ask for general assistance, request price information, directions, and locations for food and transportation.  You may also need to be able to communicate in an emergency and notify people of your medical condition as well as any special needs you or your companions may have.

Below is a list of 20 helpful phrases that are valuable to know when traveling.  Adapt these phrases as necessary so they are appropriate to your travel destination.   It is also useful to write the foreign translation next to the phrases below should you forget what you wanted to say, or are unable to speak for any reason. 

1. Do you speak English?
2. My name is __________.
3. Can you speak more slowly?
4. Where can I find a bus/taxi?
5. Where can I find a train/metro?
6. Can you take me to the airport please?
7. How much does this cost?
8. Do you take credit cards?
9. Where is the nearest bathroom?
10. Where can I get something to eat?
11. Can you show me on a map how to get there?
12. Will you write that down for me?
13. I need help.
14. I’m lost.
15. I am an American citizen.
16. Please call the American Embassy.
17. Please call the police.
18. I need a doctor.
19. My blood type is ______.
20. I’m allergic to _______.

As an alternative, there are many great pocket translators or phrasebooks that you can carry with you which are handy in an emergency.


US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA)
UStiA is a national association of insurance carriers, third-party administrators, insurance agencies and related businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and travel assistance products.