Have you been dreaming of taking a trip to Spain? Who wouldn’t want to learn more about their impressive culture and eat tapas every day?
But between the flight, hotel, activities, and food, a trip to Spain can get expensive fast. Nobody wants to feel stressed about money on vacation or worse, end up overspending and having no money by the end of the trip.
Luckily, your Spanish vacation doesn’t have to leave you broke. There are ways to travel Spain on a budget.
Don’t believe us? Keep reading to discover our tips for an affordable trip to Spain.
Travel During the Off-Season
What time of year do you think is ideal to travel? If you’re like most people, you’d probably say during the summer. The weather is nice and warm, so you can enjoy your time outside exploring a new city and may even hit the beach.
The problem is that summer travel is too popular. Hotels and flights charge more during these times because the demand is so high.
If you want to save a lot of money fast, consider travelling during the off-season, which for Spain is during the winter (except for around Christmas and New Year’s). If you don’t think you would enjoy a winter trip, consider going during the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October). Prices will still be lower than they would be during the summer months, but you can enjoy nicer weather than winter.
Head Off the Beaten Path
The cities you decide to explore will also dictate how much you’ll spend. Popular cities like Madrid and Barcelona, along with coastal towns like Malaga and Marbella, will cost you a pretty penny.
If you want to save big and experience authentic Spanish life away from all the hoards of tourists, head off the beaten path for your trip. Lesser known towns, such as Almeria, Huelva, and Cadiz are full of wonderful things to do. But since they don’t get nearly as many tourists as the big-name cities, everything from hotels to food is cheaper.
Think Outside of Hotels
It’s no secret that flights and hotels will make up a large portion of your budget. Whether you decide to travel during the off-season or not, you can still save a lot of money by forgoing the fancy hotel.
There are tons of alternative lodging options, including hostels and Airbnb. Both give you the chance to stay in the heart of the action for far less than any hotel.
If you’re planning to stay for an extended amount of time, consider volunteering. You can get free accommodations in exchange for a few hours of volunteering per day. Not only will you get to save money, but you’ll feel great that you’re helping out.
Learning Spanish is also a great idea for anyone planning on taking an extended vacation. It’ll make it easier to communicate with locals, especially in non-touristy areas where English may not be as prominent. You can view here for more information on learning Spanish for your upcoming trip.
Cut Costs on Flights
You may think that there is no way you can save money on flights. Everywhere you look, you see the same prices.
However, an easy way to save is by going with a no-frills airline, like Vueling or Ryanair. It likely won’t be as comfortable as travelling with a bigger airline, but keep in mind that the flight from the UK is pretty short. So, sacrificing that extra foot room for a few hours may be worth the money saved.
Just make sure you research their baggage policies before you buy. Some budget airlines overcharge for checked and carry-on bags, so you may end up paying just as much as you would by flying a bigger airline once you add in all the extra fees.
No matter what type of airline you fly through, make sure to book early. Although last-minute deals can be great, you generally get the best deals by booking your flight months in advance.
Take Public Transportation
While your flight may be expensive, it’s not the only mode of transportation you’ll have to work into your budget. You’ll also have to decide how you’ll get around the city as well as to and from the airport.
Taxis may be the most convenient option, but they’re also the most expensive. Taking public transportation is a great way to save money on your trip as they are far cheaper than taxis.
If you don’t mind sharing your ride with others, consider looking into BlaBlaCar. A verified and vetted driver will pick you up and take you to your destination while giving rides to others. It can be a lot faster and more convenient than taking public transportation, and it’s a great budget option.
Research Travel Cards
Have you decided to take public transportation during your trip? Good news–you can save even more money!
Travel cards give you a certain number of days or rides on public transportation for a discount. For example, you can enjoy unlimited travel around Barcelona for 5 days for only 33 euros with the Hola BCN card. Some travel cards even include activities, allowing you to enjoy galleries and museums for a discount.
Most cards are only valid for one city, though. If you want to take full advantage of these cards, consider staying at each city for a longer period of time rather than changing cities every 2 or 3 days.
Fill Up at Lunch
Food is going to be another big expense on your upcoming trip. But an easy way to avoid this is to make lunch the main meal of your day.
You’ll find cheaper lunch menus, called menu del dia, in most Spanish restaurants. These include a drink and several courses for one set price, meaning a large lunch will cost you a fraction of the price as a large dinner.
Plus, lunch is the main meal for locals in Spain. So, not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also get a more authentic experience.
Consider eating a light breakfast and dinner. Tapas are perfect for dinner as you can sample several traditional foods for a cheaper price than a large sit-down meal.
Eat Away from Tourist Sites
It’s no secret that the touristy sites in any city are crowded. That means that the nearby restaurants get a ton of business. Their convenient location gives them the opportunity to raise prices since most tourists will just eat at the nearest place.
But you can save a ton by walking a little further away. Restaurants just a few blocks off the main road can be vastly cheaper. Finding the best local restaurants means the food may also be better and more authentic.
Cook Your Own Food
One of the best parts about travelling is sampling the local food. But that doesn’t mean you need to do this for every meal.
If you’re staying in a room with a kitchen, consider cooking some of your own meals. Even making your own breakfast will save you money in the long run.
While you may be used to vaping after a nice meal in the UK, vaping laws in Europe are different. So, you may want to cook at home some nights just to enjoy a nice vape immediately after you eat.
If you don’t have a kitchen at your disposal, you can still get snacks at the grocery store. This will help you stay full throughout the day, so you don’t need to eat as much for dinner. Plus, opting for Spanish snacks will still allow you to try the local food without overspending.
Research Free Days
With all the history and culture present in Spain, there are probably quite a few museums you want to check out. While most of these museums charge a reasonable entrance fee, you can save that money by choosing the right days to go.
That’s right–many museums have free days! Make sure you research the museums you plan on visiting to see what days or times they are free, and write it down so you don’t forget!
Planning a Budget Trip to Spain
Who says you have to spend thousands of euros on a trip to Spain? From staying in an Airbnb to making lunch your main meal, there are plenty of ways you can save big and travel through Spain on a budget.
Are you going to Spain for work? Then check out these things to consider when travelling for a business conference.