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Common questions when you travel in Latin America

Traveling to a Spanish-speaking country could make you feel insecure if Spanish isn’t your native language. You might think: what if I need something and I don’t know how to ask? What if I approach someone and I don’t know what to say? We completely get you! These are common worries that arise when people are thinking of traveling to a country where their native language is not spoken.

But don’t you dwell on those worries and doubts! We’ve got your back. In this Spanish article, you are going to learn how to ask the ten most common information questions in Spanish for different situations.

These also happen to be very useful Spanish travel phrases. After you finish reading this article, you won’t feel lost and will definitely be able to enjoy your future trips to a Spanish-speaking country.

You might be asking yourself: what even are information questions? Well, this term refers to those questions for which the answer goes beyond a yes or no, and this is because there is a wide range of information being asked. These questions are easy to recognize because they begin with the interrogative words: ¿qué?, ¿cómo?, ¿cuándo? o ¿dónde? etc.

Are you ready? Let’s learn some useful Spanish words and phrases for travel.

Useful Questions in Spanish for Travel

¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s Your Name?

Sound familiar? This is probably the most common Spanish question you’ll have to use! It’s also the question you should answer when you meet someone for the first time because it helps us exchange our names.

  • ¿Cómo te llamas?
  • ¿Cuál es tu nombre?

And the answer in Spanish to that question is:

  • Yo me llamo...
  • Mi nombre es…
¿De dónde eres? – Where Are You From?

Most of the time, this question follows the question above because humans are naturally curious! When you meet someone new or are open to making new friends and you want to continue a conversation in Spanish, you can ask them where they’re from. And this is how you do it:

  • ¿De dónde eres?
  • ¿De dónde vienes?

Easy, right? These are two Spanish phrases that will allow you to make new friends. If you’re interested in learning more basic Spanish to make friends while you’re abroad, make sure to check out our article on The ABCs of Introducing Yourself in Spanish.

¿Cómo puedo llegar a…? Por favor – How Can I Get To…? Please

If you’re traveling in a Spanish-speaking country, it’s likely that the first thing you’ll need to know is how to get somewhere like your hotel, the airport, a restaurant or even a specific address. This next question will get you to all of those places:

  • ¿Cómo puedo llegar a…? Por favor.

It’s important to use the preposition “a” right before the place you are asking for. In that way, you’ll sound more fluent and natural!

For example:

  • ¿Cómo puedo llegar a esta dirección? Por favor

              How can I get to this address, please?

Tip: If you would like to use an expression such as “excuse me” to sound more polite in Spanish, you can use the word “disculpe” before asking your question.

For example:

  • Disculpe, ¿cómo puedo llegar a esta dirección? Por favor.

                Excuse me, how can I get to this address, please?

¿Cuánto cuesta? – How Much Is It?

Another question you’ll want to ask while traveling is “how much is it?” in Spanish. In order to know the cost of a product or a service, such as your taxi ride or your lunch, you can ask:

  • ¿Cuánto cuesta?
  • ¿Cuánto vale?

We all love buying souvenirs while traveling, right? If you’re interested in knowing more basic Spanish to talk about prices, you can check out our article on the verbs “Ser” and “Estar” in Spanish.

¿Qué es esto? – What Is This?

This will be the most helpful question you may use when traveling in a Spanish-speaking country. This is because, when people travel, they’re surrounded by many things that differ from their own culture.

When you see an unfamiliar object during your stay, you’ll be interested in knowing what it is. So “¿qué es esto?” is the question that will bring you closer to all those things that surround you, so you can get to know them better.

¿Puedo llevar esto? – Can I Take or Wear This?

This question can be used in different contexts and situations in Spanish.

For example, you can ask “¿puedo llevar esto?” when you are eating a delicious paella at the restaurant, but you realize you can’t eat everything you ordered (it’s alright, we’ve been there too!). This Spanish question will let the waiters know that you wish to take the rest of the food with you.

Another typical situation may be this: imagine you’re invited to a party, a short trip, or a friend’s birthday, and you’d like to know whether the way you are dressed is proper for the occasion. In that situation, you can also ask “¿puedo llevar esto?” in Spanish.

Useful, right?

¿Dónde…? – Where…?

It’s important to know that the questions for locations and places you want to visit start with the question word “dónde” in Spanish, just like in English when you ask “where…?”. If you need to ask for a place like the hotel you’re staying at, you may say in Spanish:

  • ¿Dónde queda el hotel?

              Where’s the hotel?

Another common situation could be this: imagine you’re inside the hotel, at a friend’s house, or another public place and you need to use the bathroom (oops!) but you don’t see it anywhere. We’ll spare you the embarrassment! In this situation you can ask:

  •  ¿Dónde está el baño?

              Where’s the bathroom?

  • ¿Dónde hay un baño?

              Is there a bathroom here? Where is it?

More common questions to ask with “dónde” are the locations of different places. For example, imagine that during your trip an exciting place catches your eye, maybe you see it in the newspaper or on Spanish TV, and you’re dying to know where it is! In this situation, you can ask “¿dónde es esto?” o “¿dónde queda esto?” in Spanish.

Me gustaría… – I Would Like To…

Although “me gustaría” is not a question, it’s one of the most important Spanish phrases for travel because it shares your wants and desires.

You can use this expression in Spanish when asking for food or drinks you’d like to have. Here’s an example:

  • Me gustaría una hamburguesa

              I would like a hamburger.

You can also use it for shopping:

  • Me gustaría comprar un vestido nuevo.

              I would like to buy a new dress.

Tip: Notice that when you express your wants with “me gustaría” in Spanish, you shouldn’t conjugate the verb expressing what it is that you want. You should just say it in the infinitive form! Easy, right?

  • Me gustaría caminar.

              I would like to walk.

Below you’ll see a list of these 10 most common questions for traveling in Spanish. We’ve also added the English equivalent, so that you feel confident on your next trip in a Spanish-speaking country.

Spanish English Equivalent
¿Cómo te llamas? What’s your name?
¿De donde eres? Where are you from?
¿Cómo puedo llegar a…? How can I get to…?
¿Cuánto cuesta? How much is it?
¿Qué es esto? What’s this?
¿Puedo llevar esto? Can I take it?
¿Dónde está el hotel? Where is the hotel?
¿Dónde está el baño? Where is the bathroom?
¿Dónde queda esto? Where is it?
Me gustaría… I would like…

We know that after learning these ten questions you’re eager to book your next flight to Latin America or Spain because you won’t have to spend a long time looking for ways of expressing your questions and needs.

You also will have the opportunity to enjoy each trip and not miss any important information you hear in basic Spanish. And, of course, your conversations with Spanish speakers will be more meaningful!

One last tip:

In order to sound more natural, remember that the intonation while saying these information questions in Spanish is made with a falling pitch. This means the strong sound at the beginning of the question and then goes down until the very last word!

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