Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How to Plan Travel to Mainland Spain

How to Plan Travel to Mainland Spain

Spring break is coming up soon and it has me thinking back to past spring break trips I've been on. My husband and I tried to do as much traveling as we could before we settled down and had children. That included Ireland, Scotland, 2 cruises, Mexico, London, and our last trip was to Portugal and Spain. That was our spring break trip in 2012 right before I became pregnant with Claire. Spain is a popular holiday destination in Europe which people all over the world are drawn to every year. In fact, many people are so taken with the country that they decide to make a whole new life for themselves under the warmth of the Spanish sun. The country boasts a rich and vibrant culture, delicious cuisine and an incredible history, not to mention to breath taking scenery and picture-perfect beaches. If you are one of the many people dreaming of making Spain their next destination, here are some tips to help you plan a holiday to mainland Spain in 2020!

Choose where to stay
Choosing where to stay in Spain should begin with working out what it is you want from your trip. Some areas like Andalucia are better for people looking for a traditional Spanish experience while places like Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol are the ideal beach destination. Popular destinations include Costa Blanca, Andalucia, Costa Calida, Costa del Sol and the Costa Brava. Wherever you choose to stay, whether it’s in the city, by the coast or in the countryside, you’ll be sure to find a selection of high-end villas in mainland Spain which you can call home for the duration of your trip. Luckily driving in Spain isn't too bag (apart from those crazy multi-lane roundabouts) so you can always rent a car and take day trips to other locations in Spain. 
How to Plan Travel to Mainland Spain
Decide when to go 
Spain is blessed with a Mediterranean climate meaning it enjoys hot summers, mild winters and very little rain. However, there are differences to be aware of which may influence when you decide to travel. For example, in the south of Spain in the summer months the heat can be very intense, and resorts are likely to be busier. In the winter temperatures will be milder and you may not have as many tourists to contend with, but it might not be quite warm enough to enjoy the beaches! 
How to Plan Travel to Mainland Spain

Find out if you need a visa
Depending on where you are from, you may need to get a visa to travel to Spain which can take a few weeks to sort out. American citizens are automatically eligible for a 90-day tourist visa into Europe, but others may have to complete some paperwork. Click here for more information. 
Learn the language essentials
It’s important to know that there are several languages spoken in Spain depending on the region you are in. While Spanish is widely spoken as the official language, you may come across Catalan, Basque or Galician. It is advisable to learn some of the essential words and phrases which will help you to communicate with locals such as greetings, asking for prices or directions to places. Thankfully my high school Spanish came in handy a few times during our trip. And people were very forgiving and understanding as I stumbled along! 

How to Plan Travel to Mainland Spain

Other points to remember
Aside from clothes (it’s best to dress in light layers), medication, and toiletries, there are some key pieces of luggage to consider taking with you. For example, you should take a European adapter with you so you can charge your phone and other electronic devices. Generally, Wi-Fi is widely available in Spain and there are plenty of phone providers. You can also get a prepaid SIM card to use in your current phone. It's useful for directions or translating. 
If you are planning on visiting major cities such as Barcelona or Madrid, remember that pickpockets tend to target unsuspecting tourists so be sure to stay alert, particularly in crowded places. You should also take out travel insurance before your trip to cover any medical treatment you might need or any lost luggage. 

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