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Top 10 mistakes people make when planning their trip to Spain

Top 10 mistakes people make when planning their trip to Spain

Top 10 mistakes people make when planning their trip to Spain

1. Renting a car to drive between big cities (from madrid to barcelona or to bilbao) While it may save you some money, you are opting for more stress on your vacation. Navigating through busy cities with crazy drivers can make for an unpleasant experience. Remember that you will not need the car in the city as chances are public transport will be good, so the car will sit in a likely expensive parking lot. Don´t forget about tolls that you have to pay on the freeways, hike up the price. Overall the efficient, safe and frequent trains are your best option in getting around Spain. If you are going to the north, the options are less and there, we may recommend a rental car in some areas. The other exception where a rental car comes in handy is between villages anywhere in Spain. Public transport is not as convenient.

2. Packing in too many destinations for the time you have If your plan is to do many one nighters, our advice is to cut down your destinations or consider doing day trips from one or two cities. The hassle of getting in and out of a city with your luggage is not fun and can take a lot of time which takes away from your sightseeing time.

3. Calculating distance between destinations; Spain is bigger than it appears If you don´t feel like spending the majority of your vacation in transport, look at the map of Spain beforehand and check on Google maps to verify driving time to get a good sense of how long it will take to get from Point A to B. Even if you are taking the train, go on to study the distances between cities.

4. Booking a hotel or apartment too removed from the center Can result in a loss of time going back and forth. While some cities are a little more spread out than others, it is ideal to have your accommodation within walking distance of the sights. We have many clients that book hotels that are farther out without speaking to us first, and then they lose a great deal of time between coming and going to their hotel. Again, look online at the maps of the cities and look for ¨Casco Antiguo¨ or a Plaza Mayor or keys words that indicate old center. Since most of your sightseeing will be around there, doesn´t it make sense to make your accommodation close by?

5.Trying to maintain your normal eating times in Spain is crazy. Yes, the lunch and dinner are very late but there are tricks around this. Have a midmorning snack and a proper Merienda (afternoon tea) and you will be good to go. Later, if you are the first one in the restaurant starting at 1:30pm, you will also be the first one served and out the door as the restaurant gets full. If you make the mistake of eating lunch at noon and then do your sightseeing, some things are bound to be closed. Have a snack, do your sightseeing and then eat lunch when the Spaniards do.

6. Forgetting to schedule breaks and free time. We find clients start with a very ambitious schedule and after the 3rd or 4th day, they are exhausted. One reason, is that the day goes very long in Spain and into the night, late. Do like the spaniards do, and schedule in a rest, down time or even a relaxing siesta. Some of the most interesting things can happen later in the evening. You want to live it and not be tucked into bed.

7. Packing heavy instead of light. You will find overall, in general, Spain is filled with lots of stairs and not always the easiest to navigate with your hands full. Not everything is set up for the visitors convenience and from the airport to the metro to entrances, you will be glad you have a light load.

8. Only planning for big tourist attraction cities? We recommend getting off the beaten track. Don´t underestimate how beautiful some small villages can be outside of the big cities. Usually, there is something historic or famous to find reason to go but the best part is observing the villagers doing their every day life. Less English will be spoken and your experience will be a memorable one.

9. When choosing destinations, people don´t consider the price of the AVE fast speed train. While they are fast, convenient and a great way to go, a one way ticket can cost as much as €100, so for a family of 5, the price can add up. Take it all into consideration when doing your planning. Sometimes flights are less of a hassle, get you there faster and are less expensive.

10. Failure to consider an open jaw ticket. If you know you will be visiting both Barcelona and Madrid, consider flying into one city and departing out of another. By the time, you assume cost of a train to return to the Arrival city, it may be the same added cost for an open jaw ticket Again, a savings of time that will allow you more sightseeing.

At Letango Tours we have encountered these mistakes over the years. We now make it our priority to put emphasis on travelling well and smart. If you need assistance with planning your trip in Spain, check out our Spain Trip Planner service.

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  • Carlos Galvin
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