How To See Spain On a Budget
One of the most popular destinations in Europe is Spain. The country is one of the most beautiful, diverse and historical on the continent. Although it is smaller than France, Spain is considerably larger than California and offers a similar diversity in geography. Parts of the mainland is mountainous, while the country’s territory includes islands such as the Canarys (home of Mount Teide, the world’s third largest volcano). Then there’s the Mediterranean coast, hundreds of miles of beaches where tourists flock to soak up the sun and sand.
A trip to Spain can be pricey, especially when dealing with a tour group or a travel agent. Any flight to Europe can be costly and when you add car rentals, hotels, meals and attractions into the price, it’s not surprising that many people feel this trip of a lifetime is out of reach. But if you know what you are doing, you can plan a Spanish vacation on the cheap, without making sacrifices like staying in hostels or eating only at fast food restaurants. The key is to find a website that offers deals and booking the vacation online. The savings can be significant and if you combine discounted hotel rates with cheap airfare and even reduced rates on attractions, you can put together a memorable trip to Spain that doesn’t cut corners.
As an example, I recently spent a week in Barcelona and a week in Madrid. A flight from New York to Venice, Italy (where I spent a few days exploring the canals prior to my Spanish adventure) cost under $1000.
While in the capital, I splurged, staying at the Hotel Ritz Madrid, a 5-star beauty of a hotel discounted to roughly $330 per night. This was for ultra luxury accommodations that included handmade carpets in the room, bed linens that were embroidered, antique furniture, a marble bath with gilded fixtures, an incredible restaurant and views of the city that simply cannot be described. When it came time to hit the beaches of Barcelona, I used the web to wring the best deal possible on a decent hotel, with the aim of saving money (without having to dread returning to my room at night) so I could spend it on the nightlife instead. I found it with the Hotel Osuna, featuring terraced bungalows, gardens and an outdoor pool, clean and air conditioned rooms and WiFi. And I only paid $65 a night.
Hotels in Barcelona don’t have to break the bank. In fact, I proved you can stay in a great hotel for less than you’d expect to pay for a typical airport strip motel. All it takes is a quick search online.
Helen Beck is a travel writer who frequently blogs about her trips to Spain. From the best deals on Madrid Hotels to the best food in Barcelona, Helen has written about all aspects of a Mediterranean vacation. Her number one recommendation is leveraging the web to save money on any trip, thanks to websites offering discounted hotels, flights, car rentals and attraction tickets.