Getting around in a foreign city can have its challenges. From language barriers to complicated public transit systems you will need to prepare yourself against the obstacles to finding the tourist destinations you want to visit. With a little preparedness navigating any new destination can be both fun and easy.

Bring a compass

Help get your bearings by using either a physical compass or a compass app on your phone. This will help you to read a map and help if you receive any directions.Bring a compass

Use a Map

Buy a city map, which has a great amount of detail. These types of maps are very inexpensive and found in any gas station.Use a Map

Travel Guide

Use a travel guide book for detailed area maps, phrases and information on what attractions to see. These types of guides will have lots of helpful tips and will be written by someone who has travelled successfully to your destination. Be sure to read reviews on each travel guide as some are better than others.Travel Guide

Learn Key Words

Attempt to learn some useful travel phrases and words as you never know when you will need them. Words to learn would be: where, left, right, please, thank you, how much is?Learn Key Words

Blank Notepad

When all else fails draws pictures of what you are trying to communicate to show locals, if you are having difficulties communicating verbally.Blank Notepad

Using other Languages

Some cultures may understand snippets of other languages and it can differentiate if you will be understood or not. This may be especially true in Europe where in many countries people speak more than 2 languages due to geopolitical reasons.Using other Languages

Plan Your Route

Take the time to prepare your routes to your desired destination the day before. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with directions and transit will help you get a good idea of what to expect.Plan Your Route

Navigate by Landmarks not Street Signs

When you cannot read a language, reading road signs can be very difficult. Use landmarks from maps to navigate a city, especially if you are not driving. Often it is as simple as knowing what transit station to get off at and where to head towards, especially if there are tall towers or distinctive geographic features like mountains.Navigate by Landmarks not Street Signs

Business Card

If you are staying at a hotel bring a business card from the hotel with you. If you have trouble communicating with a taxi driver you can just show them the address where you want to go.Business Card


Use non-verbal hand signals to try to get your point across. Pointing down the street or pointing at your watch for the time. There are some universal gestures that are easily understood. Some of the best gestures in your arsenal are a smile or head nod.Gestures

Ask if someone Speaks English/Ask for Directions

It may seem obvious but try asking for directions in English and it may surprise you that people can help, or if not that someone may overhear who will offer assistance. Also, ask a concierge at your hotel as they can be a wealth of information.Ask if someone Speaks EnglishAsk for Directions