I try to make a point of learning at least a bit of the language if I'm traveling overseas. It seems like it's courteous at the very least, and also useful in encountering that remaining 1%. (That said, we have some friends we'll be staying with in Umeå, and their English is better than that of most of my coworkers, so I might not get much of an opportunity to try my Swedish out.) I have a bit of a head start this time around - I've got a bit of Icelandic from a trip my family took back in the '90s. Are there any falso cognates I should look out for?
One thing I've encountered in my travels is the assumption that Americans just don't bother with other languages. I remember shopkeepers in Berlin insisting on addressing us in English even when my wife started the conversations in fluent German. It's a stereotype I'd like to do my bit to dispel.
I just need to remember not to try it if I'm drinking - after a few of those generous German beers, I started trying to order the next round in Spanish.