Learning the language of your destination can open up a startling range of opportunities, ease the strain of logistics and planning, and allow you to develop a deeper connection with the place and, more importantly, the people you are visiting.
With a little advance planning and an introduction to the basics, it can be surprisingly easy to pick up a language on the road.
A good phrasebook, and the dedication to use it, are the first steps to mastering a new tongue. Beyond that, an organized set of study materials can make all the difference between stumbling through a few disjointed commonalities and articulately expressing your ideas and opinions.
While most travelers understand this, who wants to buy and carry around a pile of language books? Fortunately, there are a number of excellent internet sites devoted to language study, most of them providing their services for free.