Getting ready to say “adios” to home and “hola” to the beautiful country of Spain? Bueno! You’ve got everything booked, and you’re ready, but are you prepared in the event of an emergency that might cost you your trip? That’s where travel insurance comes in! We’re here to provide you with all the information you need about travel insurance – what it is, the cost, and whether or not you should invest in it for your trip to Spain. Then we’ll review some of our best travel tips to make sure that you have the experience of a lifetime when you get there!
Travel Insurance for a Trip to Spain
No matter how much time and effort you’ve put into planning your trip to Spain, unforeseen problems can occur. Whether it’s an emergency that requires you to cut your trip short, delays, cancellations, or a medical problem that requires immediate attention, travel insurance has your back. Even the best-laid plans are susceptible to being canceled when things outside of your control bubble up. Travel insurance helps protect your vacation investment, as well as from unexpected costs that may show up while you’re abroad.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to Spain?
Travel insurance isn’t required when you visit Spain. However, it’s in your best interest to get coverage. When you’re abroad, you can encounter a variety of situations that could force you to return home early, or even cancel your trip before you leave! Without travel insurance, you’d be out of all the money you’ve paid out. Travel insurance coverage can help you recoup your money and help you when something happens to impact your plans.
When it comes to getting medical attention while you’re in Spain, travel insurance can cover costs that your health insurance provider may not cover (and most domestic health insurers won’t cover you abroad). If you get sick or injured while abroad, know that Medicare doesn’t include any services provided outside of the United States. If your illness or injury is severe enough that requires you to be transported back home, neither your private insurance nor Medicare will cover that cost, but travel insurance will.
Getting medical coverage as part of your travel insurance will protect you from paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for seeking treatment that your health insurance won’t cover. Plus, travel insurance also provides coverage to get you back home if you need emergency evacuation! You could believe that nothing will happen while you’re away, but if it does, you’ll be out of luck when something unfortunate occurs, and you don’t have travel insurance to back you up.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for My Trip to Spain?
The cost of travel insurance for your Spain trip depends on your needs and the type of policy and options you choose. Basic coverage runs anywhere from 3-4% of your total trip costs, while you can get premium coverage for 10-12%. Variables that can impact the cost include your trip length, the age and number of people in your party and the cost of your trip.
There’s no standard pricing matrix from one travel insurance provider to the next, so you want to make sure you compare your options and pricing accordingly. With our comparison tool, you can get quotes from a variety of different travel insurance providers and buy your plan online within minutes. Easily compare and analyze them to determine what’s right for you, your trip, and your budget. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you’re covered in an emergency with a plan that’s right for you in both options and cost!
With your travel insurance taken care of for your fantastic trip to Spain, you can now continue with planning the perfect itinerary! To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our best ideas for traveling to Spain, so you can get the most out of your adventure. From money to weather, siestas to fiestas, here are some of our top tips!
Money: Currency & Tipping
The official currency of Spain is the Euro. While you may be tempted to get traveler’s checks before your trip, you should know that it’s not as common a form of currency as it used to be. If you prefer to carry traveler’s checks, make sure that you know where your local AmEx office is when you get to Spain. Using currency exchange at the airport or other exchange locations will cost you an arm and a leg in fees!
Credit cards are generally accepted at most large retailers, restaurants, taxis, and cafes, but note that Spain requires a photo ID when using a credit card. If you’re uncomfortable with bringing your passport around with you, some places will accept a driver’s license, but that won’t be in all cases. You’ll also need cash at any small mom-and-pop locations (where you’ll get the best meals) as they won’t take credit cards or traveler’s checks. Also, good to note is that most banks are only open until 2 pm in Spain, so if you need to get some cash, you should do so in the morning.
When it comes to tipping in Spain, it’s considered discretionary but a common practice. In bars, restaurants, hotels, and taxis, tipping is generally accepted. Unlike the U.S., though, the average percentage of your tip is around 5-10%. If you’re in doubt, it’s always a good idea to round up any loose change.
Speaking of loose change, Spain, unfortunately, does have a reputation when it comes to pickpockets. While there has been a significant decrease in theft over the last few years, it’s something that you should be aware of. Bring with you only a small amount of cash and one credit card, and keep them in separate pockets or use a money belt under your clothes. Make sure your bags and purses are zipped up and secure.
What to Pack for Your Visit & Weather Conditions
When it comes to weather, Spain definitely is home to warm temperatures and dazzling sunlight. Depending on where you’re traveling to within the country, you can see a variety of different weather patterns. Summers are typically hot and dry, sometimes exceeding 30*C (or 86*F). If you’re traveling in July and August, avoid places that are south of Madrid, where temperatures often climb to over 40*C (104*F). Winters are mild and rainy, but see comfortable temperatures of 10*-15*C (50*-55*F). However, if you get up close to the Sierra Nevada region, they do get snow!
When it comes to packing, don’t forget your hat and sunscreen. If you’re traveling during the summer months, remember that there are a lot of places where you’ll have to cover up. It’s considered improper to go to hospitals, churches, banks, museums, and even some restaurants, with bare stomachs and shoulders. So, make sure you have a sweater to throw over your outfit if necessary. Showing some skin in public is totally acceptable, but be conscious of respecting the Spanish culture when entering any of these establishments.
Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture
Spain is a wonderfully diverse country, and there’s so much to see, do, and experience! Comprised of 17 different semi-autonomous regions, you may be surprised that although Spanish is the official language of Spain, it’s actually most resident’s second language! In the various areas, you’ll find the primary languages to be Catalan, Basque, Galician, Leonese, etc. While almost everyone will know Spanish, learning a few words in their primary languages will go a long way with the locals.
Of course, when you go to Spain, you need to be aware of the afternoon siesta. Every day between 2 pm and 5 pm, almost everything shuts down, except for some restaurants and pubs. Don’t think you’ll get something done, or be able to explore during this time because nearly everything is closed so shop owners and employees can have their midday siesta, which they take very seriously. Because of this, it’s important to note that in Spanish culture, it’s not unusual for people to be out late into the night. Make sure that you adjust your schedule to experience the authentic Spanish culture. Have lunch between 2 and 5 pm, and don’t go to dinner until 9 pm. In fact, most restaurants have two seatings at dinner – one at 8 pm is the tourist seating, and then 9 pm for locals!
Speaking of food, Spain is known for its amazingly delicious traditional meals. For a truly immersive experience, check out one of the small restaurants that you’ll find throughout the country, and get the menu del dia (“menu of the day”). It’s usually posted outside the front door on the small mom-and-pop places and comes with a choice of your 1st and 2nd courses, followed by dessert and a beverage. The prices are really low, and you’ll be able to enjoy a home cooked, traditional Spanish meal! What could be better? It’s also good to note that the largest meal in Spanish culture is typically lunch.
If you’re a drinker, you’ll find fantastic Spanish wines and ales everywhere you turn! It’s also important to note that when the Spanish drink, there is always food that comes along with it. Spanish tapas are actually free plates of small bites that are served in bars when you order a drink. There will usually be a menu available for all the different types of tapas they have available. But being a local really means that when you order your alcoholic beverage of choice, you’re getting some tapas with it.
Popular Destinations in Spain
While you’re still ironing out your itinerary for your big Spanish adventure, here are some of our favorite places that are popular to visit in Spain. We’ve also thrown in a couple of unique ones that are stunning, but less touristy if you’re looking for something different.
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in Spain
- San Sebastian
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in Spain