Do you long to visit far-flung destinations, but hold off on your travel plans because you only speak English? There’s no need to abandon your dreams — with a little planning, the world is still wide open and waiting for you.
According to Berlitz, English is the language most widely spoken in the world, with nearly twice as many non-native speakers (about 753 million) as native speakers (379 million). It’s the default language in international business, technology and tourism, and in many urban areas around the world or popular tourist destinations, English speakers get around just fine. If you’re a novice traveler or nervous about language barriers, consider visiting one of these countries where English travels well.
* Belize: English and Spanish are the official languages in this beautiful Caribbean nation. About 82 percent of citizens are fluent in English, according to Travel Off Path.
* Nigeria: More than 500 languages are spoken in this large and diverse West African country, according to Fodor’s, but the state language is English and travelers get around well in the largest city, Lagos.
* Sweden: About 86 percent of Swedes speak English and most speak it well, according to Thrillist.
* India: Only 12 percent of the population speaks English (which is one of the official languages), according to Thrillist, but in India, that’s about 166 million people. You’ll find English speakers everywhere, especially in big cities.
* Malta: About 89 percent of citizens speak English in this sunny Mediterranean country, which is known for its great food and architecture, according to Thrillist.
If you dream of visiting a country with lower English fluency, don’t let the language barrier hold you back — learn a few useful phrases and download a translator app, or try a tour with a guide who knows the area and speaks the language. People get around language barriers all the time, and you can, too.