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Best languages to travel cheap

  Tags: Low budget | Hit List | Travel
 Language Learning Forum : Immersion, Schools & Certificates Post Reply
16 messages over 2 pages: 1
tarvos
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 Message 9 of 16
20 October 2013 at 10:35pm | IP Logged 
EU nationals need a visa for Azerbaijan (not for Georgia or Armenia I think, or at least
it's not hard to get). Moldova is mostly bilingual so it depends on where you go. I at
least would love to go to Moldova, I can practice two of my target languages at once :)



kanewai
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 Message 10 of 16
21 October 2013 at 12:46am | IP Logged 
I agree that Spanish is the most obvious choice for North Americans, and also that
language skills for any country will probably help you travel smarter, and on a lower
budget.

I'm finding an unexpected "French discount" for places outside of Paris. Day tours of
the Rhone wine country, for example, are 85 to 100 euro on the English-language sites,
and 50 to 60 euro on the French-language sites. It's still not cheap, but it's a
huge drop.



Edited by kanewai on 21 October 2013 at 12:47am

1 person has voted this message useful



1e4e6
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 Message 11 of 16
21 October 2013 at 1:20am | IP Logged 
For EU countries, I think any European language. The distance between many of them is
probably less than between Toronto and Québec City.

And for North Americans, surely French is also a possibility, given that many places in
the USA and Canada are within easy driving distance of Québec. I think Manchester in
the state New Hampshire (not the one in England) is something like one hour drive or
perhaps two, to Québec City, depending on traffic.

I should imagine that people living in Ontario, especially the heavily populated
Greater Toronto Area and the Horseshoe Belt, or how it is called, would spend time on
French for a weekend trip to Québec. Although I think Canadians take French as a
compulsory language in secondary school, but if they want more practise, then Québec is
always an option. I have relatives in Ontario, i.e., Toronto, London, Kingston, Ottawa,
etc. who say that they like spending weekends in Québec as a cheap holiday. Montréal
included, but also the more rural regions, like Les Laurentides and Les Canton de
l'Est, like Sherbrooke or Grimsby. Probably French without switching to English is more
prominent there.

Although here in Manchester (the original one) it is one hour flight to Paris. Driving
from here to France also is quite possible and people do it, but to me that is quite
cumbersome.



Arekkusu
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 Message 12 of 16
21 October 2013 at 7:47pm | IP Logged 
leroc wrote:
I know that learning any language can open up worlds, but what languages are best to learn if you want to travel for cheap? For those with experience what are the languages that are best for those on a budget? This is factoring in airplane tickets, housing, food, public transportation and general leaving expenses. Like for instance, Cambodia is very cheap while Norway is notoriously expensive and has sky-high taxes.

The two biggest expenses are plane tickets (unless you want to travel closer to home) and lodging. If you can make a friend who'll put you up for free, you've saved at least half of you travel costs. It has nothing to do with language.



leroc
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 Message 13 of 16
21 October 2013 at 9:45pm | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
leroc wrote:
I know that learning any language can open up worlds, but what languages are best to learn if you want to travel for cheap? For those with experience what are the languages that are best for those on a budget? This is factoring in airplane tickets, housing, food, public transportation and general leaving expenses. Like for instance, Cambodia is very cheap while Norway is notoriously expensive and has sky-high taxes.

The two biggest expenses are plane tickets (unless you want to travel closer to home) and lodging. If you can make a friend who'll put you up for free, you've saved at least half of you travel costs. It has nothing to do with language.


How do you make friends with someone well enough if you don't know their language? What do you eat and where do you sleep while you try to find friends to mooch off of? The point of this discussion is what languages can help open up inexpensive travel opportunities.



Chung
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 Message 14 of 16
21 October 2013 at 10:32pm | IP Logged 
For me the best language for cheap travel is a tie among Polish, Romanian and Slovak. Those countries (especially outside the capital or more accurately the downtowns of Warsaw, Bratislava and Bucharest) are dirt cheap for westerners. However I may not be the best example since I often use Couchsurfing or already have friends in places that I visit thus removing the need to eat out at restaurants or stay in hostels/hotels.

For something more general, one starting point would be to look at the Cost of Living Survey from The Economist's Intelligence Unit. According to the summary of the survey, New Delhi, Karachi, Bucharest, Panama City and Algiers are among the 10 cities with the lowest cost of living. It follows that for someone who can go for peanuts to South Asia, knowing Hindustani or just English will serve one just fine in India and Pakistan, whereas a European could bone up on Romanian before trying to score a Ryanair or Wizzair flight to Bucharest. On the other hand someone in the Americas could take up Spanish before looking for a promotion for a cheap flight to Panama.



tarvos
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 Message 15 of 16
22 October 2013 at 11:38am | IP Logged 
Arekkusu wrote:
leroc wrote:
I know that learning any language can open up worlds,
but what languages are best to learn if you want to travel for cheap? For those with
experience what are the languages that are best for those on a budget? This is
factoring in airplane tickets, housing, food, public transportation and general leaving
expenses. Like for instance, Cambodia is very cheap while Norway is notoriously
expensive and has sky-high taxes.

The two biggest expenses are plane tickets (unless you want to travel closer to home)
and lodging. If you can make a friend who'll put you up for free, you've saved at least
half of you travel costs. It has nothing to do with language.


And if you are travelling longer distances, check to see if you can travel overland by
train - if you can sleep on a bus or train, you'll save yourself a night's worth of
accomodation. On long train journeys in Russia, China etc., this can save you a bundle.
Due to this, I spent only 9 out of 27 days in hostels in Russia - the rest was all on
trains or at friends' places. And I probably could have made more friends and used
Couchsurfing to make that even lower a number.

Edited by tarvos on 22 October 2013 at 11:44am



embici
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 Message 16 of 16
24 October 2013 at 9:44pm | IP Logged 
Knowing the language of the country you are travelling to, no matter which one, is a
huge advantage.

I can't count how many times monolingual travelling companions have told me "If you
didn't know [language] we would have never found this restaurant/hotel. We would have
ended up at the [tourist-trap/big chain restaurant/hotel] instead and paid a lot more."
This has happened to me in Paris and Amsterdam as well as rural Central America. It's
not just about being able to haggle the price down (although that works in a lot of
places) it's also about being able to take public transit instead of a tourist taxi,
reading signs and menus and making a reservation at a small hotel where they don't
speak English.

The gap between the tourist and local oriented hotels and restaurants is much bigger
in low income nations, however, so I can see knowing languages like Spanish and
Vietnamese giving you a big cost savings.



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