Are you about to start planning a language learning trip? Don’t know where to start??
Often I get asked, how do I plan my trips and what tips do I have? I love researching destinations, language schools, accommodation and flights. I love it so much I even do it for my family and friends!
So here are my go-to tools and resources I use to plan our language learning immersion trips.
For more information on organising your own language learning trip – check out my blog post series here!
BONUS! I am now offering personalised consults online helping you plan your perfect language learning trip! Read more about consults here.
I usually start here! I use Skyscanner to research all my flight options and usually spend ages checking routes, airlines and prices. I love trying to get the best deal, the least amount of layover time and the best inclusions for the price.
Choosing a destination
Lonely Planet books and Lonely Planet website
I am a longtime Lonely Planet convert. Ever since I started travelling as a teenager in the 1990s I have sought out Lonely Planet guidebooks to get inspiration and do my planning. Even now we have so much information available online, I still consult the traditional LP guidebook! Here are some of my favourites destination guides!
Travel and language bloggers
I follow so many amazing and inspirational travel and language bloggers. We are so lucky with the information we have at our fingertips! If I am looking for destination-specific information, I will go to one of my favourite bloggers and search their site. If it is a travelling with toddler/travelling with children type search, then some of the bloggers I follow also post a lot about travelling with children, so I might find something there, or I will google ‘travel Saigon with toddler’ for example.
Please let me know your favourite travel and language blog resources in the comments!
Next up I’ll jump onto Tripadvisor and take a look at what accommodation prices and availability is like in my chosen destination. Sometimes I might use Tripadvisor to look at activities, attractions, restaurants and tours too, especially if this is my first visit to a destination. And especially if I am finding things for Lingo Dada and Lingo Bubba to do!
Trip.com is another great option for researching and bookings flights, transport and accommodation.
I’ll also look at Airbnb. If we’re staying in a destination for longer than a few nights (which we almost always do) then we prefer to stay in an apartment – with all the facilities like a kitchen, separate bedroom/s and laundry. We find this especially important now travelling with a baby/toddler! We like to use reusable nappies (our favourite brand is Hippybottomus) for Lingo Bubba even when we travel, so we need a washing machine!!
Before we leave
Travel insurance is good to purchase as soon as you have your flights and accommodation booked, just in case you need to cancel or defer your trip for any reason (which means you can make a claim). I can be a bit slack with organising insurance, but I always check a few providers to make sure the cover is what we need. For our coverage, I pay particular attention to the medical expenses and evacuation. I also like to compare personal liability and accidental death coverage (morbid I know – but this is why we have insurance..). Extras like coverage for luggage loss and delays can be a bonus, but for me the big ticket items related to health are the most important. Check out Travel Insurance Saver.
Before embarking on a language learning trip, I always brush up on my existing language knowledge. I use the pre-departure time to work out what I want to learn and focus on during my language immersion experience.
Some of the tools I use before I leave are:
Lonely Planet phrasebooks
Some of the more traditional methods of learning new phrases and revising your existing knowledge, might be in a good old phrasebook! I can’t go past the Lonely Planet phrasebooks… some of the ones I own are below! You can take a look at the full range at Book Depository here!
There is so much language learning material available on YouTube and it’s a great place to start or to refresh your existing knowledge. Mandarin Corner is one Chinese based YouTube video series to check out. Miss Panda Chinese is great for kids Mandarin Chinese videos. For general language inspiration and fun, check out Lindsay Does Languages
Yoyo Chinese are fantastic video based Chinese courses, with much focus on conversational Chinese. If you are a beginner or intermediate level, it is a great way to brush up on or start learning Mandarin Chinese.
We are inundated with information and options for research and booking our travels now.
What tools do you use to research and book your language learning trips?
Share your tips below!
Until next time,