Having traveled fairly extensively over the years and especially after having lived for a few years abroad in two European countries, I have gained some valuable insight into some small steps that you can take in order to make your holiday a much more enjoyable experience. Although, I am presenting you with some tips specifically on how to improve your Spanish holiday, I feel that surely these tips are applicable no matter where you happen to be traveling.

First and foremost, the biggest and probably most important recommendation that I can make is that you spend some time before you set off on your holiday journey to learn the basic vocabulary and some key phrases of the country you are going to visit. Unfortunately I see it over and over again, an American or Englishman automatically starting a conversation with someone in English, without the slightest effort to try and at least speak to the person in their native tongue. From firsthand experience and being an American who speaks three languages, I can tell you that there is no better and easier way to get on the locals' good side, than by beginning your conversation with them in their native tongue. After all, when talking about Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy, and Greece, you can bet that most people don´t speak a foreign language, including English. Therefore, you might want to check out an online Spanish program, which can quickly and easily help you freshen up your Spanish, before arriving in Spain.

Also, it will really help you out to understand a little bit about the history of the cities and countries you will be visiting. Perhaps the best way to show you what I mean is by giving you an example. Living here in Barcelona, I can´t tell you how many times I see travelers come here and think that they are truly in the heart of Spain. The reality is that Barcelona is the capital of Cataluña and the local Catalan people would tell you that this idea of Barcelona representing Spain could not be further from the truth. Essentially, by simply knowing a bit about the places you are going to visit you can ensure not to embarrass yourself, or at the very least really piss someone off, especially when you think you are showing them how cultured you are. In this example as well, you will find that if you can speak a little bit of Catalan when taking your Barcelona holiday, this will do wonders for you, much more so than speaking Spanish!

Another piece of practical advice that is rather simple and may even sound a bit corny is to have some respect for the places you are visiting. Essentially, I am talking to the party crowd who likes to go out and have a good time, which is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy yourself during your holidays, but just don't overdo it. By pissing or vomiting in the streets, for example, you not only embarrass yourself, you denigrate the very city you are visiting, as well as make life for the locals unpleasant to say the least. And you wonder why people are rude to you whenever you go on vacation! Por favor!

I am confident that by taking these simple recommendations, you will find that your Spanish holiday, or whichever other holiday you may be taking, will be much more pleasant, the people you encounter will be much more open and inviting, thus helping you to have a overall higher quality holiday, which you will hardly soon forget. Until the next time…