One of the most important things you can do before any trip is pick up a little bit of local lingo. Spanish in particular is a widely spoken language throughout much of South America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Spain. Here are some helpful resources and tips for learning a bit of Español before you begin your journey:
Read & Speak Spanish: The Editors of Think Spanish Magazine
They say reading in Spanish will improve your vocabulary more than any other method. This book is great because it has culturally related articles of all levels with word definition inserts in the margins. This makes for smooth reading and learning new words quickly.
Learn Spanish – Survival Guide with David Spencer
Download and listen to these short-but-sweet podcast. There is a broad range of different topics covered from travel basics to dealing with specific situations. In particular I like the short format and how he often connects songs with learning the basics, which really helps you remember!
Online Lessons Recommendation:
Synergy Spanish Systems Blog
This link comes to me as a recommendation from a friend. Its an online learning system that offers free Spanish language lessons and helps you build confidence in speaking Spanish with a focus on learning patterns.