Travel Tip – Learn (a little of) the Language
If traveling somewhere that uses a different language, 12 (or more) weeks ahead start listening to language lessons. The “One Minute Language Lessons” series from RadioLingua ┬áis a good place to start. The BBC Languages page is another good source. What’s available online keeps changing, search for things like “language tips for travelers” and see what you find.
Once you have learned a little of the language, use it! The local inhabitants will be pleased that you made the effort. In some places, demonstrating that you’re not concerned about speaking a language perfectly (by demonstrating your lack of facility with theirs!) will make people more comfortable about using their imperfect English with you. And in all cases, you’ll be astonished to discover how small a vocabulary you need to achieve communication, and even have interesting conversations.