Those who are going to Spain and have no clue on how to speak the language should find a fast way to learn it. I know from experience that there are only a few people who can speak English, and even if they do, they will need a dictionary to understand you. This is a very good reason to start learning Spanish as soon as possible. I once tried to get directions to reach the train station, and nobody spoke English. I was very frustrated and that was the moment when I decided to learn Spanish fast.
Learning to speak Spanish may seem pretty difficult at first, but after I learned basic grammar rules and I had the minimum vocabulary, I was able to understand most of the conversations. However, not even the best courses on the internet could get me to remember so many words. When you first start a course you will learn how to greet and how to find out certain information. But no one will teach you how to name different objects in a house, or how to speak on the phone. I learned this from my roommates, who did not speak English. Whenever I had to cook and I needed a pot or a frying pan, I described the object through signs and they would tell me how the object was called in Spanish.
Although this is an unorthodox method, I remembered each and every new word. I knew how to name all the objects in the house within a week and I also knew how to answer the phone and ask who was calling. I also used to have certain discussion at dinner regarding the differences between my country and theirs, and they began to speak in Spanish and I understood them only after a couple of days. Whenever I was confused, they would explain me through a simpler vocabulary, one that I could easily understand.
Living with Spanish people that have no idea how to speak English is one of the greatest methods to learn to speak Spanish. You will be forced to learn and also practice the language. At some point you will see that the words will flow easily and you will be able to carry a long and interesting conversation. Although it may be fun to play charades in order to find the right word, it is ideal to carry a pocket dictionary with you. Sign language worked with my roommates, but when I had to go to a public place, people thought I was crazy.
Spanish is not such a difficult language, and I had to discover that the hard way. I tried to finish some online courses, by I really lack determination and I can learn new things only if I am forced. This is why the best thing that helped me to learn Spanish was to live in Spain for a few months. It was one of the most beautiful vacations ever and I also got a new plus point in my resume.