Whether you’ve started your packing list months in advance, or you’re racing to pack the night before, this guide will help you figure out what you need to bring on your adventure to Spain. Worry not fellow travelers, we’ve got you covered
Since it’s not a good idea to be physically exerting yourself with a very heavy bag, we recommend finding a backpack or suitcase that is ultra-light. If you’re opting for a suitcase with wheels, try to find one that has four wheels as opposed to two. This is SO beneficial when trying to navigate the Spanish streets
You will also need a day bag for day-to-day use. Ladies, if you’re bringing a purse, it is important to make sure it has a zipper. In bigger cities there tends to be a lot of pick-pockets, so if you don’t have a zipper on your bag, it’s like taking candy from a baby. Men, if the “man purse” isn’t your thing, a small backpack works like a charm
As we are trying to keep our bags as light as possible, the key here is packing clothing that can be mix-and-matched. Neutral clothes are the best, as you can usually pair them with almost anything. Also pack things that you can wear more than once. Unless there is a special occasion, there isn’t much sense in packing something that you’re only going to wear for a few hours one night
If you are going in summer, you want to try to stick to tops that are light. We are talking fabric as well as colour. Packing some black is fine of course, especially since it goes with everything, but try to find some lighter colours as well for those super sunny days
So what exactly should you be packing? We’ve gone ahead and made a list to ensure that your packing is panic-free
- Two comfy tank tops for wearing during the day/to the beach
- Two plain t-shirts.
- One or two nicer shirts that can be transitioned from daytime to nighttime.
- One cardigan or light sweater for a more modest look that can be worn in churches
- Two to three pairs of shorts that can be worn for a day of walking
- Two to three dresses that can be transitioned from daytime to nighttime.
- One pair of long pants that can be worn during the day, but can also be worn out to dinner.
- One pair of tights (for those days when you can’t be bothered to wear real pants).
- One bathing suit
- One week’s worth of underwear
- Two quick-dry t-shirts for travel or active days
- One nicer shirt for going out
- Two shirts that can be transitioned from daytime to nighttime
- One pair of shorts for swimming
- One pair of shorts for active wear
- One pair of shorts for city wear
- One long pair of pants—preferably black so that they can be worn when you’re out and about in the city, and also worn out to a nice dinner
A little travel tip: If your clothes get wrinkled and you find yourself without an iron, you can use a hair dryer! Pull the article of clothing taught and make the same hand movement as if you’re blow-drying your hair. Works like a charm!
This is one of the most important aspects of your trip, because you will most likely be doing a lot of walking. We recommend bringing a pair of comfy and supportive walking shoes as well as a pair of flip flops. The flip flops serve two purposes: you can wear them to the beach, or use them in hostel showers/for wearing around your hotel
Some people opt to bring a third pair of dressier sandals or shoes for going out at night. Some clubs and nicer restaurants in Spain won’t allow you to enter in flip flops, so if you are planning to be going to a lot of these types of places, you may want to consider this
Odour reducing socks are awesome to have. You’ll be walking a lot in the heat, so I think this one is pretty self explanatory. I’ve never regretted having these
- A hat is always a good idea because it can help keep you cool and avoid your face getting burned. Hats are also a great way of changing up an outfit and making it look a little different. (Helpful if you have limited clothing options.)
- Sunglasses are a necessity if you don’t want to spend the duration of your trip squinting at everything.
- A belt is something that I hadn’t considered packing until recently. Since you’re usually doing a lot of physical activity while travelling, it’s possible that you will lose a bit of weight. That’s great, except for when you’re in public and your pants refuse to stay up.
- Jewelry is nice to have and can dress up an outfit in seconds. Try to choose only a few pieces as it can really add weight to your bag. You can put them in empty pill bottles to keep things neat.
- Watches can be a life-saver while travelling. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where your phone is dead and you have no idea how much time you have until your bus/train/flight.
- Money belts may be a good idea if travelling to bigger cities such as Barcelona, where there are many pick-pockets.
- A scarf is one of the most versatile accessories. Scarves have SO many uses while travelling, such as: keeping you warm on air-conditioned public transportation, covering your shoulders for entering churches and holy buildings, or to use as a picnic blanket in one of the many beautiful parks
- Camera: bring your camera as well as the charger and an extra memory card. There’s nothing worse than running out of memory halfway through the trip and having to decide which photos to part with.
- A quick dry microfiber towel can pack really small and you won’t be forced to pack a damp towel back into your bag when it’s time to go to a different place.
- Travel documents are the one thing you don’t want to leave home without. Double check that you have them…And then check again.
- Guide books and maps are so helpful because you don’t have to spend all of your vacation in Spain trying to find out what to do/where to go. Yes, you look like a tourist with them. No, people aren’t judging you.
- A travel journal is something that you will be so thankful to have once your trip is over. Pictures are a great way to remember a trip, but there’s just something so great about being able to look back and read about exactly how you were feeling on your journey.
- A small notebook can come in handy when you need to keep track of schedules and reminders. Also, you’ll definitely be glad that you brought it when that sexy Spaniard asks you for your phone number.
- A toiletry bag that you can hang can be so beneficial to have. If you’re staying in hostels, counter space is usually a luxury, but you can almost always find a hook to hang your bag. If you can find one that’s waterproof, that’s even better.
- Body wash is usually less messy than carrying around a bar of soap. Bonus points for mint body wash, as it can really help to cool you down and keep you feeling refreshed
- Hair products with some humidity protection are a must, especially for those of us who are prone to frizzy hair. Most brands make travel sized products, so find your favourite with humidity protection.
- Witch hazel is a clear liquid that is a miracle for skin care. It can be used to cleanse/tone/moisturize your face, and also can be used for sunburns and skin irritations. It’s the Swiss Army knife of skin care
- Face wipes are multi-purpose as well. They are great for taking off makeup and also can help you feel refreshed if you don’t have time to wash your face
- Antibiotic ointment is a good one to have in your toiletry bag. Unfortunately sometimes cuts and scrapes happen when you’re travelling, and you don’t want to wind up with an infection during your Spanish vacation
- Moisturizer can help combat the dry skin that may occur from the high temperatures. It’s nice to have one for body and one specifically formulated for the face, but if you’re running out of room, you can use the same one for both
- Sunscreen is necessary if you don’t want to finish each day of exploring Spain by looking like a lobster. Something with at least SPF 50 is recommended, because the sun in Spain is very strong and can be dangerous to skin
- Eye drops are great because when travelling around Spain it’s possible that you’ll be taking a lot of busses, trains, or planes. These tend to be pretty dry, so keep a little bottle of eye drops to prevent a sandpaper feeling every time you blink
- Medicine that you’re used to can be really comforting to have. You can pretty much find everything that you need at any pharmacy in Spain, but sometimes it’s nice to have familiar medicine with you.
Hopefully this list has helped you figure out what you need to pack for your adventure to Spain. While we think all of these are important, the most important things to pack are your passport, wallet, and appetite.
Yep, you read that right. Spain is full of so much amazing food that you’re going to need a huge appetite to try everything.
Now get off the Internet (we know you probably have Facebook open in another tab) and get packing!
Here’s something you don’t wanna miss on your trip, a complete Spanish Phrasebook with audio!