If you couldn’t figure it out by the title, our family is Catholic. When we travel we try to attend Mass in whatever country we’re in. Sometimes this has worked well for us, other times we have failed spectacularly.
If you’re traveling in a traditionally Catholic country (Italy, France, Spain, etc.) you’re not going to have a problem finding a Catholic Church. Your problem is finding a Mass in English. If you missed or can’t find a Mass in English, I still recommend attending Mass even if it’s in a foreign language.
How do I find where/when English Masses are? If you’re traveling in the U.S., I would start with http://www.masstimes.org/. You can input your city/state or zip code and it’ll give you a list of the closest parishes to you and Mass times. I recommend then following up by going to the parish website of where you think you’ll go to Mass. When parishes change their Mass schedule it doesn’t get updated right away to masstimes.org. We’ve made the mistake of not double-checking the parish website and we’ve arrived to Mass as it was ending, etc.
Traveling outside the U.S. gets a little trickier but it’s still doable! If you have a local travel book, many include a list of English speaking religious services in the city/area you’re in. If you don’t have one, check out the website: http://www.tourama.net/englishchurches.php. That isn’t a comprehensive list, but it has a list of cities with English-speaking Mass in popular tourist destinations. Then go to the parish website where the English-speaking Mass is held to double-check that the Catholic Mass times haven’t changed.
Some cities, like Paris and Rome will have one church in the city that conducts all their Masses in English. Other cities will have one, maybe two English Masses. That was our fail. When we went to Venice we didn’t double-check the Mass times online. We were getting our info from a guide book written a year or two previously. Sure enough, we show up, it was the correct church, but we had missed the English Mass for the day. Another Mass (in Italian) was about to start, so we went to that. Mass is in the same format no matter where you go, so you’ll know what’s going on even if you can’t understand the homily.
If you can’t find a Mass in English don’t be afraid to go to a Mass in the local language. It is an amazing experience to attend Mass in different places. Yes, it’ll probably force you out of your comfort zone, but those are the experiences that make the best memories.