How to learn languages online: a guide for round-the-world travelers

How to learn languages online: a guide for round-the-world travelers

Being a solo traveler is a challenging thing itself, but when it comes to nomad lifestyle — language can boost your chances of having an excellent international experience.

In today’s post, I want to help you understand how you can prepare yourself for the round-the-world trip and make sure you know the languages you’ll need the most. 

You ask me how to learn languages online for travel and whether it’s hard or not. My answer is — it’s easier than you think. And today I’ll show you a few ways of doing that.

Why learning online is the best way

First and foremost, I’d like to emphasize how learning online is becoming the best way of dealing with foreign languages. Since nowadays you can tune in your laptop and get in touch with the tutors around the world, you can easily up your traveling game with small investments.

One of the things that you’ve got to figure out right away is that learning online can challenge your motivation and ability to stay focused. 

Between you and me, I believe that’s the tiniest problem that a real solo-traveler can run into in life. 

Let’s sum it up: learning online is cheaper than going to a language school. It’s more convenient and provides you with a more flexible schedule. Let’s face it; this benefits rock.

What are the options out there?

Now, when we already know why looking for a tutor online is one of the best decisions you can make, it’s time to figure out what options we have here after all. 

There are several ways, each of them can work for you. But I’d like to note that if you’re looking for real perfection, you may find it a great idea to combine them and put more effort into this.

1. Find a teacher on Preply 

Preply is considered one of the most reliable platforms where you can find language tutors in 2019. Since every language section has many tutors to choose from, you can find someone with whom you’ll really ‘click.’ As a solo-traveler, I know for sure how important it is to find a person that understands you. 

As a quick example, let’s say you plan your long-term travel to Japan. Oh, what a country! Right?! I know!

But while Japan is a real beauty, Japanese is a very complex language that you’ve got to take seriously when you start learning it. 

Any long-term travel should start with the research to understand what problems you can run into while solo-traveling in a foreign country. When it comes to Japan, you really need to invest your time in learning their language. 

This way, you’ll be able to experience this county at the fullest. 

So to start your learning journey, just go to Preply and open the Japanese online tutors section. You’ll find plenty of options there. Just pick a tutor who:

  • Fits your budget
  • Offers a convenient schedule
  • Has an excellent welcoming video
  • etc

Browse teachers and take the first lesson with a tutor you liked. This is a small step that will lead to a fascinating journey. Learning foreign languages in Skype is super-convenient and way better than attending a group-class offline (gosh, technologies rock).

2. Use mobile apps to memorize the words and phrases

When people ask me how to learn languages online for travel, I always take a look at my smartphone and show them the screen. You want to know why? 

That’s simple — I show them a few apps that I use to memorize the most widespread words in the country I’m visiting. 

These apps use gamification to help you learn the most popular words and phrases in foreign languages for travelers. Apps like Memrise or any other gamified vocabulary app is an excellent addition to the nomad language skillset.

3. Order a study plan and download e-books to your tablet

One of the cheapest and, at the same time, complicated ways of learning other languages. 

You can find a tutor online and only pay him once — for a general study plan and a brief overview of the e-books you’ve got to work with. 

Unfortunately, then you won’t get tips for learning languages on a daily or weekly basis. It’s just a one-time lecture and a study plan to follow. Some will find it too hard, and I’ll agree. 

But for some people, it can be a great solution when they simply do not have enough time for constant lessons or they have a very tight budget. 

4. Polish your spoken language in online conversations

When someone asks me how to learn some language, I’m perplexed cause nowadays it’s really too easy. We have so many resources to review. 

We have access to millions of books in online libraries. It’s up to you to grab the needed books and give them a try. 

I genuinely believe that you can polish your spoken language online. It can either be the Preply tutor, a Reddit thread, or a forum topic where you read a discussion about the latest movie you liked. 

The Internet itself provides you with plenty of language tips, just look around.

Also, do not forget about Youtube, it can be your best bet when you want to dive deeper into the cultural background of the country you want to visit and how their slang works. 

Time to step up and tackle any language you want

How to learn languages online for travel… You learn it the way YOU want it. Grab any option above, and you won’t be disappointed. 

My personal suggestion will be to combine all of these tips and polish your language skills to perfection. After all — understanding locals make your trip truly unforgettable!

Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Workpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Workpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • 12Go – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then 12Go is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and air travel.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.

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