Traveling to a foreign country can be a daunting experience. Here are some basic tips to help you get started. Don't worry if you have more questions, we are here to help – just drop us a line!
Spain Travel Basics
VISAS: No visa is required for U.S. passport holders for a stay of up to 3 months in Spain.
Vaccinations: No inoculations are required for travelers to Spain from the United States.
Time Zone: Spain is in the same time zone as most of Western Europe, which is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard USA and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Standard USA time. Due to differences in daylight savings, there may be another hour difference.
Calling: To call Spain from the USA or Canada, dial the international access code (011) followed by Spain’s country code (34) and the phone number. To call your home from Spain dial the international access code (00) followed by your country code and the phone number.
Electricity: 220 volts is used in Spain with two round prong plugs for the outlets. Standard American plugs will not fit into Spanish outlets, make sure you have the proper adapters & transformers for your digital cameras, electrical shavers, etc.
Money: Credit and debit cards are the most efficient and convenient way to get money. ATMs are throughout Spain, and most places accept major credit cards (Visa is the best). Before you leave, talk to your bank and make sure that you have the correct PIN and inform them that you will be traveling to Spain, so your account is not frozen after 1 transaction. Travellers checks and cash can be changed at banks and exchange offices, although hours can be problematic.
Value Added Tax (VAT): Non-European Union residents may request a reimbursement of the V.A.T. sales-tax (Value Added Tax, IVA in Spain) when taking goods out of the EU. This applies to minimum purchases of 90.15 Euros (approximately $99.00).
Travel Insurance: If you are interested in travel insurance, we like Squaremouth.com, which allows you to compare various policies across the top Insurance Providers. Visit our personalized Squaremouth for Fresco Tours Clients page, where we have taken the time to wade through policies that don't fit your needs (such as immigrant travel, golfing or and other specialized trips, etc.) to make your selection process easier.
In addition, we encourage you to check out TravelInsuranceReview.net, which explains the different insurance policy options in simplified lingo and provides editorial reviews of the insurance companies in terms of "The Good, The Drawbacks & The Bottom Line".
Recommended Packing List
Due to space limitations each client is allowed 1 suitcase / duffle bag and a day pack.
- 2 shirts
- 1 pair of pants / slacks / leggings
- 1 pair of walking shoes, sandals
- 1 pair of socks
- 1 pair of hiking boots - Your boots will be your best friend on the trip. Make sure they are well broken in and that you are comfortable walking in them.
- 2-3 pairs of hiking socks
- 1-2 pair synthetic hiking shorts
- 2 quick drying T-shirts
- 1 long sleeve shirt
- 1 lightweight fleece sweater / vest
- 1 wind breaker / rain jacket and pants
- 1 backpack to carry daily items
Accessories / Other Gear:
- 1 toiletries kit - small, travel size amounts, shampoo works well for washing too.
- 1 liter water bottle or hydration system
- Sun screen and sun glasses
- A sun hat
- A travel alarm clock
- A small flashlight
- Moleskin / Compeed / blister kit
- Medications / vitamins
- Swiss army knife
- Ear plugs for sleeping
- Book / Journal
- Bathing suit
- Rain pants
Jackets, ties, formal eveningwear and jewels will NOT be required at any hotels or restaurants. Please keep in mind when preparing your 1 suitcase / duffle bag.
Spain's Ministry of Tourism
Spain's National Train
Yahoo! Weather in Spain
Camino de Santiago
Camino de Santiago (2021 is the next Holy Year)
Santiago de Compostela Tourism
Camino de Santiago Community
Basque Country Tourism