Surviving the Summer Travel Season in Spain
Leah Walker April 26, 2013

By now everyone surely knows I’m a huge fan of Spain having visited the Costa Brava region three times in the last six months. I absolutely adore the country. Spain is known for its fascinating history, seemingly endless fiestas, and gorgeous coastlines. The best time to visit the Iberian nation is arguably autumn, although I’ve also been in winter and spring and had incredible experiences.

Spanish Sunrise

What’s not up for debate is that most of Spain gets extremely hot during the summer months. Of course, this is also the time when the most tourists arrive. If you don’t like standing in long queues with a whole mess of sweaty people like me, then avoid a Spain holiday in the summer. Big crowds of tourists often mean big bucks, especially compared to the lower travel season. It doesn’t mean that summer travel to Spain is out of the question. However, if you’re dead-set on traveling to Spain in the high season, there are ways to not pay out the nose and still have a good time.

Barcelona at Sunset Beach

Travel Tips for Saving Money in Spain

In my mind, everything is more fun when I feel like I’ve gotten a deal. European tourists are lucky and get to take advantage of budget airlines for inexpensive, direct travel to the Iberian Peninsula. I only wish air travel in the US was so affordable. One way to save a bit of money is to consider finding the least expensive flight to Europe from North America and then research discount airlines {like the Spanish airline, Vueling} and fly into the Spanish airport of your choice. You’ll just have to look at various routes and times to see if this option can save you money.

Easy Jet Barcelona

Besides airfare, hotel fees eat up most travel budgets. Now, I can honestly say I’ve never stayed in a hostel, but so many of my travel-obsessed friends swear by them. They say that the easiest way to save on lodging costs is to stay in a hostel. Apparently hostels provide visitors with clean rooms, some interesting amenities, and many times free breakfast and Internet {see my money rant about paid Internet}. Just by looking online, I saw that the Casa Gracia Barcelona hostel offers guests free Internet, game room access, a communal kitchen, and tourism information. A renovated mansion houses the hostel and lends character to its surroundings, and rates start at $27 per person. A room in a mansion for less than $30? I possibly could be persuaded. House swapping, room rentals, and couch surfing are some other creative ways to spend less on sleeping quarters.

Barcelona Street

Eating like the locals is a sure way of making the most of one’s food travel budget. Spanish people tend to eat a light breakfast and a large mid-day meal of the day. Ideally, you’ll have lodging that has breakfast included, so that’s one less meal to buy. The large, lunch-time meal is cheaper than à la carte options and dinner prices. In the evening, one of my favorite tricks is to seek out places that offer free tapas with drink purchases. I’m surely to have a gin and tonic, wine, sangria, or cider while in Spain, so why not get free food while I’m drinking?

Barcelona Tapas

Europe, no matter where you’re going, is going to be more expensive in the summer. After all, it’s the high season. When choosing to visit a place during the most popular time you have to know it’s going to cost more in general, but by putting in a bit of research and using a bit of creativity and financial management software, you won’t feel completely ripped off. I say any time is a great time for Spain. And the summer heat? Ha! I live in Houston, home of 100-degree temperatures and 100% humidity. Bring it and the Iberian ham on!

Leah BCN

 

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don't extend to speaking French. Yet.

10 Comments

  1. You know, I have never been in Spain in summer! Spring and fall have been so good to me! I am sure gelato would be on my Spanish summer survival guide…it’s the perfect answer to a hot summer day. Tapas and wine – well that is just a good answer for anything!

  2. Spain was hot enough in the spring thank you very much! And I can’t stand all those tourists LOL! But whatever the case, some very good tips, just in case I should ever find myself there in high season. For now, my plan is to escape to Spain this fall… my favorite time to travel!

    1. Fall is really my favorite time to travel as well. Spain is absolutely wonderful during that time, too. Have fun!

  3. Hi Leah,

    Glad to see you love spain as much as I do 😉 Even though I also enjoy it (even more) in summer than in autumn. If you want, next time you come to Spain you can check our website http://www.trip4real.com/ where you can find amazing activities hosted by locals that will make you live spain as never before.

    Un saludo and congratulations for your blog 😉

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