Thinking about your dream vacation to Spain but not sure where to start? From long seafood lunches to island hopping, museums, and so much more, Spain truly has something for everyone. Want to know the best part? Planning a trip to Spain doesn’t have to be difficult! Follow our 10 step easy guide for everything you need to know before visiting one of Europe’s most beautiful countries.
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10 Steps For Planning a Trip to Spain
1. How Long is Your Trip to Spain?
The first thing you need to figure out before planning your vacation to Spain is how long you’ll actually have! The good news is with its close proximity to the United States and the rest of Europe, you can really visit for any amount of time.
Whether it’s a relaxing one week vacation to the Costa del Sol or an adventurous month-long road trip through the Basque country, you’re sure to have an amazing trip to Spain!
If you’re traveling to Spain from afar we would recommend at least a week or two! However, Spain is also one of our favorite countries for longterm stays. Spain is part of the EU so as U.S. citizens we can visit for up to 3 months.
Spain Travel Tip: Once you know the number of days try to be flexible until you book a flight. We’ll talk more about this part of planning a trip to Spain soon!
2. Set Your Trip to Spain Route
Are you thinking of visiting mainland Spain and exploring its vast cities? How about the beaches and islands, or even a mixture of everything? This popular European country has such a diverse list of enticing destinations… It’s almost overwhelming to pick just one or two on your vacation to Spain.
Nonetheless, depending on the length of your visit you will have to decide on a route. If you’re sticking to the mainland you can pick a region and rent a vehicle.
If you are comfortable driving abroad you should definitely rent a car! We use Discover Cars whenever we’re in Spain and find deals for as little as $10 a day.
Don’t feel like driving? No worries! Once you’re in Spain domestic flights can be extremely cheap. There is also a great bus and train system that connects the country. Wherever you decide to go, know it is easy to get around Spain.
Trip to Spain Sample Ideas
Northern Coast: Know for amazing food and authentic vibes.
Eastern Seaside: Rent a car in Barcelona and cruise down the coast exploring Valencia, Alicante, and small seaside villages.
Costa Del Sol: Drive the stunning Southern Coast starting from Malaga!
City Hopping: Plan your visit to include Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and more!
Canary Islands: See one or utilize the hopper flights and ferries to visit several of these unique islands off the coast of Morrocco.
Mallorca & Ibiza: Experience one or two of Spain’s most famous islands! Mallorca is known for it’s gorgeous beaches, and Ibiza for its upscale resorts and party scene.
3. Time of Year
One of the best parts about taking a trip to Spain is that you can visit any time of year! In other European destinations, you might cross off certain countries during winter unless it’s a ski holiday. However, the fall and winter months are some of the best times of year for a Spain vacation.
Our favorite months to visit Spain are during the swing season in May or October. The water is still warm in the South and you will encounter far fewer tourists. Check out our season’s guide below to help determine when you want to go yourself!
Spain Seasons Guide
Spring: March – June
Summer: June- September
Fall: September to November
Winter: December – February
Planning a trip to Spain Check: At this point do you know the number of days you have to visit Spain, where you want to visit, and the time of year you plan to go? Great!
4. Trip to Spain Cost
Part of what keeps us coming back to Spain time and time again is the cost of travel. Believe it or not, Spain is actually a super affordable country to visit in Europe! This rings especially true if you compare the prices to nearby France or Germany.
Everything from food to transportation and accommodations is affordable. Endless tapas, fresh seafood, and their famous plate of the day deals are sure to keep your belly full all trip.
Morning coffee with toast will run you 2-3 Euros and beer or wine overlooking the sunset can be even less. If you’re not looking to eat out it’s always fun to make the trip to a local grocery store or bakery.
Don’t get us wrong though… A plush vacation to Spain is not hard to find if you want to splurge. There are plenty of swanky and upscale hotels that match anywhere else in Europe.
Spain Vacation Budget
Flights: $20-100 within Europe – $300+ Outside Europe
Summer vs. Winter: Expect to Pay 1/3 to 1/2 the cost in winter!
Backpacking: $20-50 Per Day
Budget Holiday: $50-100 Per Day
Upscale Vacation: $150+ Per Day
5. Book Your Flights
It’s time!! Ready to book your flight and truly take your planning a trip to Spain to the next level?
If your travel dates are set then you won’t have much wiggle room. Yet, if you are flexible you can find the best flight deals by analyzing which day has the most inexpensive or direct flights.
Every flight we book we start by searching on searching on Skyscanner! If you’ve never used it, Skyscanner is a website that compares airlines and shows you the cheapest day to fly.
For example, you can search from your home airport to “Spain” and it will display the most inexpensive city to fly into! From there you can plan the rest of your trip to Spain.
5 Things to Remember
1. Check the total travel time. Are there any direct flights that cut out a layover?
2. Are you booking a round trip or one-way flight? If you’re traveling around Spain and don’t want to return to the city you flew into, it would be wise to book two one-way flights.
3. Confirm the airline cancellation policy before booking any international flight.
4. Always apply to the airline miles program to save money on future trips.
5. Look into booking the cheapest flight for your vacation to Spain then connect with a domestic hopper flight or train to your final destination.
6. Transportation in Spain
Public Transport: Public transport in Spain is very affordable and easy to use. If it’s a short distance in between towns we typically take the bus or train. However, for longer distances taking a cheap domestic flight is the way to go.
Rental Car: Renting a car can be a great way to get around on your Spain vacation. Depending on the time of year, it can be especially budget-friendly if you know how to drive manual. For the best deal try and rent a car directly from the airport on your trip to Spain.
Campervan: Renting or buying a van is becoming an increasingly popular way to see Spain. One thing that makes it so appealing is that you can park overnight almost anywhere in Spain. This gives you the freedom to explore the country on your own terms!
7. Trip to Spain Accommodations
There is a range of accommodations to enjoy in Spain depending on your budget. From cheap hostels to epic luxury resorts, there is something for every kind of traveler when planning a trip to Spain. Below we link our favorite sites to use depending on what type of vacation you plan to take!
- For the ultra-budget trip check out Hostelworld.
- Find hotels, bed and breakfasts, and luxury resorts on Booking.com & Agoda.
- Looking for an apartment? Vrbo has places that can accommodate everyone. From solo travelers to large groups, and couples!
8. Trip to Spain Activities
Hopefully, by now you know what type of vacation to Spain you’re ready for! Just keep in mind when planning a trip to Spain you should leave some money and time for activities.
Many of the most popular things to do like hiking and swimming outdoors are free. Still, there are activities that are more than worth paying for.
Some of our favorite memories were made on boat trips, food tours, and cultural sites. Also, Spain is known for having some of the best museums and art galleries in the world!
Tours in Spain You May Enjoy
- Granada: Alhambra Ticket and Guided Tour with Nasrid Palaces
- Madrid: Royal Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
- Tenerife: Dolphin and Whale Eco-Cruise with Snack & Drinks
- Barcelona: Sagrada Familia and City Highlights Bike Tour
- Madrid: Live Flamenco Show with Food and Drinks Options
9. Final Steps Before Your Spain Vacation
1. Book Travel Insurance: Never go abroad without travel insurance! It’s a small price to pay to know that you have some protection in case something goes wrong. We’ve been using SafetyWing over the last several years when traveling abroad.
2. Send Yourself Documents: Once you have a mix of emails and forms it’s time to get them all in one place. From hotel bookings to flight confirmations and everything between, we recommend sending yourself all the important information and attachments in an email. That way you have everything accessible in one place.
3. Confirm Travel Plans with Friends/Family: After you forward the email to yourself share it with a friend or family member in case of an emergency.
4. Passport Check: Best to do a quick passport check as early into the travel planning stage as possible. Confirm that your passport isn’t going to expire for at least 6 months and that you have several pages left to be stamped.
10. Pack Your Bags and Go!
Now that you’ve got your trip planned there is only one thing left to do… Pack your bags for Spain! This is easily one of our favorite countries in the world and for good reason.
The food, culture, and lifestyle are unique to anywhere else we’ve been. Add on amazing history, beautiful beaches, and friendly locals to that and you’ve got yourself the perfect holiday destination.
Have any questions about planning a trip to Spain? What about some helpful tips from your own visits? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Spain Travel Planning
Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Spain than driving or taking the train!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Spain road trip!
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around Spain. You can book a tour of the Madrid Royal Palace, skip the line and explore the Alhambra de Granada, or even jump on a Tenerife Dolphin cruise!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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