Learn Languages at Home to Prepare for Travel


Want to learn another language? Feel that you have more time on your hands due to Covid-19 lockdowns? There are several apps or language learning sites that are offering free lessons or at reduced prices. So, if you fancy a sangria in Cádiz or have the urge to shop in Paris or plan on backpacking through Thailand or Vietnam. In no particular order, here are five language learning sites/apps to prepare you for travel.


Similar to Rosetta Stone, Babbel is a subscription service. However, it’s free to register and the first lesson of each course is free to try. As an added bonus, Babbel will also offer a free month of language learning for students, and this spring, US grade students, K-12, have free access for the next three months. Its features include:

  • An online school-type experience.
  • Learning through conversation for real life scenarios.
  • Spaced repetition to maximize long-term retention.
  • 14 languages to choose from, including Danish, Indonesian and Turkish.
  • 10-15 minute, bite-sized lessons fit conveniently into your schedule.
  • Speech recognition technology helps keep your pronunciation on point.
  • Learning progress synchronized across all devices, so you can easily pick up where you left off.


Duolingo is a great app for language learning. Even better, it’s free! This app has become increasingly popular for its gamified approach to learning. This coupled with its bright and intuitive interface made it one of the most popular free apps last year. It’s the perfect resource when you want to try learning a language but aren’t sure where to begin. Its features include:

  • Lessons that cover reading, writing and pronunciation through a range of fun activities.
  • Build skills over time with quick lessons which are easy to process.
  • Helpful timeline as you progress through the language, from simple phrases to more complex sentences.
  • Duolingo points out mistakes and helps you pinpoint areas you need to work on.
  • Offers tons of languages free of charge. You can even learn Klingon or High Valyrian!
  • Can be used with Duolingo’s Tinycards. These are flashcards which help you strengthen vocabulary as you work on forming sentences with the Duolingo app.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone
Perhaps the most well-known language learning software Rosetta Stone has been a leader in teaching languages for decades. Therefore, it has a good track record to get people speaking confidently. Due to COVID-19, Rosetta Stone is offering a free three-month subscription for students. Its features include:

  • You can choose from 24 languages and have access to all of them with a subscription package.
  • Provides real-time pronunciation feedback. The patented technology immediately compares your voice to thousands of native speakers to get you the most accurate pronunciation.
  • Flexible 10-minute lessons you can take anywhere, either online or offline.
  • An immersive learning approach in a more traditional approach to digital learning.


As the name suggest, Memrise helps you memorise vocabulary and other language topics. It works as a flashcard system, and let’s you make your own deck of relevant words or pick one already made. What’s even more fun is that you can make a little meme for each word to try to remember it. Its features include:

  • The use of spaced repetition to maximise retention after learning.
  • A huge selection of user-created content and the chance to customize.
  • An attractive and colourful interface that encourages your progress.
  • Works perfectly as a complementary resource with other language apps or an online course.


Want to put your language skills to the test? HelloTalk is a language exchange app, and most of its features are available for free. You can find a native speaker in the language you’re learning and in turn teach them yours. Then you can chat, text or even call your language learning partner to practice. It could also be a great way to make friends! Its features include:

  • Allows you to communicate via text, calling, voice recordings, video calls or doodle shares.
  • Language learning tools, such as translation and voice recognition helps you along as you communicate in your target language.
  • You can mark your conversations so you can study them later or save the entire chat.
  • You can post moments about a question you have, which can be seen by native speakers.

Some honorable mentions include: LingoDeer for Asian languages. Try it by using the code REMOTE and get 30 days for $1. Fluentforever offers 30 days free using STUCKHOME code. Busuu is also another great option to learn and interact with native speakers.

Give these a try and see what works for you. Hope they spark the wanderlust in you!

Stay updated on the coronavirus situation. CheckMyBus constantly updates the page and helps you know about cancellation or rebooking policies.

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