Tips and tricks for your trip to Spain

Tips and tricks for organising and preparing your trip to Spain (or anywhere else) simply and effectively! All my professional tips!
tips and tricks for your trip to Spain

In this article ...

Organising and preparing for your trip takes time There is sometimes so much information out there that you get lost and don’t know where to start your researchDviding the whole organisation into clear, concise steps can make your life a lot easier!   In this article, you’ll find the steps you need to follow to plan and prepare for your trip to Spain (or anywhere else), plus a few tips!

Why should you plan and prepare your trip?

I believe there is nothing worse than an ill-prepared trip. Imagine arriving at your destination: you’ve booked the last hotel available (not great, let’s face it); you have no idea what to do there and you waste an inordinate amount of time in the morning looking for things to do; you miss out on some activities that had to be booked in advance; or worse, you don’t even know where to grab a bite to eat and you quickly find a recommendation on an online platform that turns out to be a ‘tourist trap’; you get home and realise you’ve missed out on a whole load of stuff … These are just a few examples, of course (I might be exaggerating a little bit).

PS: Don’t forget to leave a little room for improvisation on your trip!

👉If you’re wondering why travel to Spain? In this article, I share with you 5 good reasons to discover the country!

Are you ready to start organising? Vamos!

1. Choose your destination!

What’s on your mind? A seaside break? A weekend in the mountains? A city trip? When can you go? What’s your budget?

One of the most exciting stages: choosing your destination! You need to take a number of factors into account when making your choice: the type of trip you want, who you’re going with, when you’re going and, of course, your budget!

Tip 1

Once you've chosen your destination, do a quick Google search to check the weather at that time of the year, but also to make sure there isn't an important event taking place at that moment ... You might end up with overpriced or fully booked hotels!

Tip 2

This is also the time to create a file in your Google drive (or similar) into which you can drag all your bookings and your personalized map. You can also create a Google Doc to list the activities you want to do.

2. Choosing your means of transport

Car, train, converted van or plane?

If you choose to take your own car, no problem! Just make sure that the insurance is in order and check if there are any restrictions in the destination country.

The easiest way to rent a car is usually directly at the airport or station where you arrive. To find one easily, you can use a comparator like Discover Cars, which includes all the major companies and has great prices.

When you’re driving, you should also think about parking, and find out about free or public car parks.

For flights, you can use flight comparators such as Google Flight. Using a comparator gives you an idea of prices and dates (if you have flexible dates, of course) BUT I advise you to always directly go through the airline (which will then be your only point of contact in the event of a problem).

Most of Spain’s major cities have a very easy way of getting from the airport to the city centre. In Valencia and Madrid, for example, the metro arrives directly at the airport.

You can also travel by train or bus! Bus travel is well developed in Spain with the ASLA company.

Tip 3

Make a note of the time you will arrive at your destination! Airport shuttle buses generally only run until a certain time, so you may need to take a taxi. You should also let your host know what time you will be arriving.

3. List the activities you want to do

In the destination you’ve chosen, there’s sure to be a thousand things to do! Now’s the time to list them (and make an initial selection based on your tastes, of course!).

How do you find out what there is to see and do in your destination? These days we’re very lucky with the Internet and social networks.

  • The first thing to do is type your destination on Google! You’ll no doubt be redirected to Google’s Travel section, which can give you an initial overview of things to do and see.
  • Take a look at the tourist offices in your destination. For Spain, the French-language site info provides a lot of useful information for organising trips to Spain.
  • Pinterest is also a good tool for redirecting you to blogs that talk about your destination!

Tip 4

Try to mostly look at blogs of expatriates that live in the country. If they've been there for a while, they'll probably have some very good advice, and if language isn't a problem, choose local blogs!
  • Another solution is to look on activity platforms such as CIVITATIS or TIQETS, where you can book activities such as free tours (which is a very good idea) or paid activities with guides. But above all, you can use the activities offered by this platform as a means of inspiration.
  • Do you know someone who has already travelled to this destination? Ask them for advice!
  • Once you’ve listed the activities you want to do, place them on a Google map or in another application such as Mapstr.

4. Choose one or more accommodation options

Using your personalised Google Maps and the different places and activities you’d like to do, try to pinpoint the neighbourhoods where it would be ideal to stay for even greater convenience!

The classic  for choosing a place of accommodation is Booking.The advantage of this is that it generally offer cancellation insurance (to be checked, of course) AND that searches can be carried out using filters (if you want accommodation with breakfast and/or parking, you can indicate it).When you find a place to stay, take a look at its official website to check that booking directly through their platform is not cheaper.I’d also advise you to take a look at these websites, that are specific to Spain:
  • Ruralydays for Andalusia
  • Escapada Rural, ideal if you’re going as a group and are looking for a villa with character to rent
  • Clubrural, also specialised in charming rural homes
If you’ve opted to travel by motorhome or converted van, there’s nothing like the park4night app.

Tip 5

Type in the address of the accommodation on Google Maps and activate Street View to take a tour of the area!

5. Schedule

Now that you have your accommodation, place it on the map too.

It’s time to do the final sorting of activities (don’t throw anything away!). It’ll be a good opportunity to come back to it!)

This is the time to plan your stay. Be careful, though, and leave plenty of time for the unexpected! In my opinion, there’s nothing like wandering around a town or village and getting away from the plan for a while – you could make some wonderful discoveries. But planning is still essential. Why do you need a schedule? Some places will be closed on Mondays, others on Sundays; some activities have to be booked in advance (in the case of the Alhambra, you have to choose the day AND time of your visit)! You need to take all this into account if you don’t want to find yourself at the end of the line!

I like to organise my trips by half-days, for example: a morning for one thing; an afternoon for another. That way, even if the whole morning isn’t busy, I can leave a bit of room for improvisation and enjoyment! Some activities will take a whole day (like a hike, for example), so it’s good to know that too!

6. Spot the restaurants and bars not to be missed

My favourite part!

Now’s the time to pick out a few not-to-be-missed restaurants and bars in your destination!

First of all, find out about the culinary habits of the region you’re visiting and make a note of the specialities you absolutely must try! For example, you can’t visit Valencia without tasting the Paella valenciana or stay in Andalusia without drinking a gazpacho.

  • In the blog articles you’ve already read to find out what to visit and do in your destination, the writer will certainly have mentioned the restaurants and bars they have been to.
  • To find a restaurant I also like to use Google Maps and look at user reviews.
  • Instagram is also a goldmine! What’s in it for you? If you already have a restaurant name in mind, check to see if it is on Instagram and look at the photos in which it is identified (and not the ones posted by the restaurant directly) to give you an idea of the dishes. You can also search with #restaurantvalencia #lunchvalencia #foodvalencia for example.

Tip 6

Whether you're looking for activities or restaurants on platforms like Google Maps or Tripadvisor, always sort reviews from the most recent to the oldest!

Tip 7

Add all these spots to your Google Maps using a different colour, and above all, add them all! You can never have too many must-see spots.

7. The packing list

To make sure you don’t forget anything!

As soon as you’ve chosen your destination, start making a list of things you don’t want to forget (depending on the weather, the activities you’ve chosen, etc.). That way, when it’s time to leave and pack your suitcase, you’ll already have peace of mind.

Tip 8

An essential item to add to your list is identity papers, driving licence, car insurance and so on! Take them with you, of course, but also scan them and put them in your online drive folder (it's a lifesaver if they're lost or stolen!). If you're flying, take a photo of your suitcase too!

8. My resources for organising and preparing your trip to Spain

Well done to those who made it to the end of this article. Personally, it’s one of my favorites articles on the blog, I loved writing it! What can I say? I love planning things! The more time you spend defining your desires and finding the rare gems that match them, the more your trip will be like you!

There’s one negative point I have to mention in all this … we sometimes spoil the surprise of the trip! Let me explain: after spending so much time organising, seeing so many photos and reading so many articles …. In the end, you already have the impression that you’ve ‘seen’ what you were supposed to see (even if there are always surprises in store!). So, organise and prepare your trip to Spain … but don’t overdo it 😘

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Hello! I’m Julie, digital content creator, travel enthusiast and Spain lover!

Good to know: some of the links in the blog articles are affiliate links! This doesn’t change anything for you, but if you make a booking using them, I earn a small commission.