The best tours in Spain

How Not to Screw Up Your First Trip to Spain!

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Guest Editor:

So, you're thinking about going overseas are you? Well, I would like to share a few things I have learned (the hard way) on my first trip to Spain. These are just five simple ideas that will help you to make your trip that much better!

Barcelona, tourism

Clear Customs. That seems so elementary right? Well, I screwed that up. When I arrived by ship to the Port of Barcelona Spain, I am not sure how I did this, but I just left the port area without ever clearing customs. It was quite simple really. I just walked out of the disembarkation point. In my defense, I had even looked for customs and thought about clearing them, but did not find them, so I assumed that since I came by ship, it was unneeded. I figured the cruise line must have handled that paperwork. Wrong. When I left the country, it became quite the issue, and very unnerving.

Research. Traveling to Barcelona Spain, I just figured I would "wing it" once I got there. What I should have done was checked out every travel documentary ever made and done some homework. Instead, I was trying to figure out things to do, while there, and I missed many fabulous things that I would have liked to have seen. I did see many of the works by Gaudi, and those were a true highlight, but I missed the world famous museums which I really wanted to see simply because I did not plan ahead as the museums are closed on Mondays.

Spain, travel

Have an out. When I got over to Spain, I ran out of money. The Iceland volcano was erupting, and price gouching was in full force all across Europe as travelers were stranded by the hundreds of thousands. Many travelers found that hotels and travel companies had raised prices just because they could. Make sure you have someone you can fall back on in case of an unexpected emergency. Mine was my mother. Luckily, I did not need her help.

Talk to strangers. I love to talk to people when traveling. I find that is the best way to find the best places to eat, things to see, and areas to avoid. Spain is a travel hotspot and I met many people from all over Europe and America on my travels. I talked to everyone, especially the hotel staff of the Barcelona Marriott and other guests staying there who helped me many times over by pointing out some of the things to see and do.

Travel alone. I have learned to travel by myself these days. I do not have to plan my itinerary with anyone, and I have no one to blame but myself if something goes wrong. Traveling alone also forces you to meet new people, which becomes as rewarding as the trip itself. While on my travel to Spain, I met many others who were traveling alone, and we just had blast being together, sharing adventures and getting to know one another.

Travel light. I had a work assignment to get too once I left Spain, so I had packed my work clothes along with my travel clothes. This was a mistake. I had way too much baggage and trying to get through customs, airports, and terminals became a challenge. In fact, I threw stuff away at almost every stop, just to make my baggage more manageable.

Travel is wonderful, as long as you do it right! Heed my advice and you will have a great time!

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