Our money saving guide shows 11 ways to have a cheap holiday in Spain!
Although there is usually lots of great holidays deals to be found by searching the internet there are ways you can enjoy a really cheap holiday in Spain if you follow a few simple steps. Here then are 11 ways to have a cheap holiday in Spain!
Travel in low season
Do your best to travel in low season – in spring and autumn. Generally you find both low cost air fairs and cheaper accommodation, the climate is extremely pleasant and you will avoid the stifling heat. Especially in southern Spain, during summer, temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius.
Choose a low-cost budget flight operator and spend time on searching around. You can save anything up to 80% on flights if you do intelligent searches. Sometimes buying flights well in advance can save a small fortune. For cities like Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia you’ll have much more low-cost options. If you’re not tied to a specific date of travel an then search for some incredible last minute cheap flight deals. Make sure you pay special attention when booking to the extra fees charged by low-cost companies, especially those for luggage!
Use public transport when possible
The most economical ways to get around in Spain is by bus, metro, local buses and long distance bus routes. The major Spanish cities now offer a very good underground system where you can buy daily and weekly passes, they include Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville. A metro pass in Madrid costs around £20 for a 5 day pass, for that you get unlimited travel on the metro, suburban train and bus lines as well as access to the airports metro stations. An unlimited one day travel pass in Barcelona costs around £5.50 per day with discounts for weekly and 30 day travel. Long distance bus routes offer a great way to travel distance sand explore the country if you are a tight budget. We found a bus connection fro m Madrid to Barcelona in October for just £6 one way on the BusBud website, departure time was a comfy 2 pm as well.
Car-sharing is a relatively new concept in services, which lets you use a car together with others, using the car only when you need it and paying only for the time and distance travelled. The advantage is not only a lower cost for those who opt for this system, but also reduces traffic jams.
Low Budget Accommodation
Differences between accommodation charges can be enormous! But one thing is for sure, Spain offers an enormous amount of accommodation possibilities from super luxury to quality low budget hostels and guest houses so it pays to search around for those special deals which are always available, specially in the low season. For example Barcelona is beating all records of prices of accommodation, unless you have friends where you can spend the night or if you are not very picky, you can choose a hostel, where you find a private room hostel from £6 ( 9 Euros ) / night.
A cheap hotel deal doesnt mean your booking a low grade half built undesirable dirty hotel ! remember that hotel rates are not fixed as such and therefore there are massive savings to be had of you book it right. Use a good hotel search comparison site, these type of sites will search hundreds of hotels and travel agents in one go to find the best deals. Try as many different permutations as you can and if you are flexible on your travel dates there are plenty of lastminute holidays on offer. Make sure there are no hidden extras and taxes to pay that will increase the final price. Before booking look on the actual hotel website to make sure they do not offer a cheap rate of special offer if you book directly with them. And finally it is always a good idea to check the hotel reviews on TrypAdvisor.
Other accommodation options worth taken into account are (pensiones) and (fondas) = guesth houses, usually family-run establishments with a limited number of rooms.
Eating cheaply does not mean eating poorly, it means eating what is best, bought from places that sell at the best price too. So, buy food at the supermarket It is cheap, quality and highly diverse: scallops, fresh fruits, jamon serrano, delicious sweets and more. Aldi, Lidl and Carrefour exist in almost all cities in Spain. If you still want to dine in the restaurant opt for the famous menu del dia– the menu is displayed on a banner in front of the restaurant, which often do not exceeds 8 to 10 Euros per person, with three dishes included. There is plenty of choice when it comes to eating out so search for those hidden places where the locals eat. Some of the cheapest bars and restaurants can be found in the back streets of popular towns and cities or off the beaten track. If the eatery is full of locals it is usually a good sign that you will enjoy good food at the right price.
Choose cheap or free attractions
No need to tick all the sights listed in travel guides! There are so many beautiful places that do not require a lot of money at the entrance. Sometimes sights, particularly museums, have days or hours when access is free: for example, at the Escorial Monastery near Madrid , every Wednesday, EU citizens can enter for free, while the access to Mosque of Cordoba is free daily, between 8.30 am – 9:30 am. Check the website of each attraction to be up to date. Do not forget to visit the fabulous cathedrals around Spain, the entrance is free. Choose to visit them in the morning, so you avoid the queues and you’ll start the day brightly.
Apply for EHIC: European Health Insurance Card
It is an ideal option especially if you travel a lot, so somehow you expose yourself to accidents or incidents which unfortunately can occur. It can be done for free and gives you access to free medical treatment or reduced costs in any country belonging to the EU.
You can apply on for the European Health Insurance Card online for free.
Be careful where you exchange money. Always ask the exchange rate and the amount you will receive, whether you go to the bank or money exchange. The best exchange rates are using the ATM card (exchange service rate is usually: 1%). At the bank will pay a higher commission.
Low Cost Travel Insurance
It’s better to be insured! On the internet you will find lots of travel insurance deals. It is definitely advisable to take out travel insurance which will include theft cover, medical care, public liability and unforeseen holiday cancellation for around £10 for a normal one off trip so its worth it. Simply search online, complete a simple form, you can then buy the insurance and receive a copy of the policy via e-mail in less than few minutes and that’s it!
If you have not tried you should do it! First, you are in direct contact with nature; you have all the conditions of home and secondly, you pay much less than at a hotel! Camping in Spain is great fun and whether you choose a camping on the white sands of the Costa del Sol or you opt for the cooler version, in Pyrenees Mountains, you have hundreds of options, the entire Spain being camping friendly.