Necessities of travel in Spain

Jun 17th, 2006, 04:20 AM
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Necessities of travel in Spain

My wife and I will be traveling in Spain in September and are just starting a list of necessities and coveniences that we might need on our trip. We will be staying in Hostels (adult) mostly and traveling by rental car. I apologize if this has been covered before. Any help will be appreciated.BS
BobSwanson is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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Bob, it's not clear from your post what kind of help you are asking for. Apart from your preferred sunblock and a Spanish phrasebook, I don't know what you would need to take to Spain from home that you wouldn't need to take to Texas or Florida or San Francisco.
nessundorma is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 05:29 AM
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I'm thinking on the line of what might be convenient to take in our baggage as in bottle opener, can opener, clothes pins, clothes line, laundry soap, etc. Will the hostels have ammenities (soap, toilet paper) since we will more than likely be avoiding large cities. We know going to Texas or Florida that we can stop by any 7-11 and pick up coffee or snacks where a convenience store might not be available in rural Spain. Mine might be a nonsensical request. BS
BobSwanson is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 05:41 AM
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Spain is well populated and will have everything you need. There are little travel clothes lines and pins available at camping stores that are about the size of a change purse. I use shampoo and my clothes haven't suffered. There are some great packing lists on this site and on others. Don't worry anything you don't have or need can be easily obtained.

My first trip to Europe was in 1996 to Spain. The only thing I couldn't get, (I wouldn't believe I could get) was a cup of coffee at 6 am. My very patient friend walk miles with me in my quest for coffee. Got some great photos, exercise, but no coffee.
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Jun 17th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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No, it's not a nonsensical request. I've never stayed in a Spanish hostel, but I'm sure someone will come along to tell you what's convenient to take along and what a nuisance to drag around since it can be so easily purchased.

Just for starters, anytime I know I'll be staying in less than a 3 star hotel in Europe, I pack a bottle of Pert 2-in-1 Shampoo plus Conditioner. If the last time you traveled you collected the little soaps in your bathroom that you didn't use, tossing them in your bag is a good idea too.
nessundorma is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 05:48 AM
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PS: As for food, the Spanish keep strict lunch hours when it comes to restaurants and in many small towns, shops shut tight for several hours in the afternoon. It's never a bad idea to have a handful of energy bars in your bags for the rare emergencies when you're starving and can't find eats.
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Jun 17th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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In Spain, there is a difference between hostals and hostels. Hostals are usually small, pensione, family-owned hotels where hostels are the more familiar youth hostels with dorm type rooms.

You can get some great bargains at times with the Bancotel coupons. www.bancotel.com

Paradors could be another option.
http://www.parador.es/english/index.jsp

My daughter gets back from 5 months in Spain Monday and I can't think of anything (including peanut butter) that she hasn't been able to find.
kybourbon is online now  
Jun 17th, 2006, 06:22 AM
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Thanks everyone. Hostals are what I meant and we stayed in them mostly on our previous trip. Most were very accomodating. I guess the best tip would be to not pack what can easily (and cheaply) purchased there. Energy bars are a great idea as I remember having some "belly growling" experiences on my previous trip. Are Paradors reasonably priced?BS
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Jun 17th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Depends on what you call "reasonably priced". I'm Spanish and I've never been on a Parador , too expensive for me at its normal rate. I didn't happen to find an offer when I needed it
For the necessities, just carry what you think you could need for an "urgency" , for the rest..you can buy anything you want or need here
kenderina is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Bob,

I don't know what Hostels charge but I would venture that Paradores are more expensive. However, they have some good promotional programs like "Golden Days" where they give significant discounts to people over 60 ( I'm not there yet, but soon!) and also their 5 nights card where you pay a flat per night fee ( in some Paradores you have to pay a supplement as well) as long as you spend 5 nights in Paradores ( it can be in different Paradores and it doesn't have to be consecutive nights). Check it out at www.parador.es
cruiseluv is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Almost anything you need is available in Spain but I would still take a few things for the convenience of not having to look for it upon arrival. Go to a Dollar store and buy a can opener and a corkscrew (if you drink wine.) Do not pack them in your hand luggage. You can leave these items at the end of your trip. I also take a device which heats water so that I can have tea or coffee in the morning. It must be 220 not 110. Throw is some sample size soaps and shampoo. Toss in your sunscreen and a few handiwipes. Couple of snack bars wouldn't hurt. As mentioned a small kit for clothespins and line plus a small amount of liquid detergent would be a good thing. When you find out what is available in stores in Spain you can fill in the blanks.
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Jun 17th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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We just got back from Barcelona about 3 weeks ago and we had an expresso machine in our room! I just wanted good ole USA coffee, so I always bring a European outlet heating element, and melamine cup and folgers packets, that are just like tea bags. They whole setup will fit inside a gym sock and it really helps me in the morning. AI love staying in Spanish hostals, but I need MY coffee.
zwho is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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You only need what you will use. So, if you are taking a bottle opener, that means you plan on opening bottles, which is probably not realistic. Same with can openers unless you plan on purchasing canned goods and cooking them (which I think is not such a good idea, as you can get fresh ingredients for a reasonable price). Remember, hostels are not campsites and they usually have what you need.
laclaire is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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Again, Laclaire your logic is right on the money. I imagine I should just get a corkscrew there too. I imagine I'll screw some corks.
Thanks again, BS
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Jun 17th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Just make sure the corks don't screw you!

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Jun 17th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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I carry what RaydotMan does, wherever I go. A stetchable, twisted rubber line to use in the shower to hang small washables, a small pack of 'spot remover'packets which look like handi-wipes, and yes a corkscrew. Maybe I want to open the bottle of wine supplied by the hotel when I first get there, and the shops are closed? I don't like shopping for stuff like that when I am more interested in sightseeing, so while I keep them down to a minimum I usually bring some conveniences from home. For example, I find ziplock plastic bags extremely convenient, and I don't want an entire box of them. So I just stuff a few in the corner of my suitcase.
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Jun 18th, 2006, 01:58 AM
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itrandolph, good suggestions.
Thanks, BS
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Jun 18th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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My first MUST when traveling is a small compass. It is a great way to always know where you are going especially when you are walking in a city. Always make sure your map is correctly orientated. Little maps from the hotel etc. don't always have north on top.
Make sure you have the correct electrical converter.
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Jun 18th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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I think those travel clothes lines, laundry soap, tiny clothes pins, etc. are a hassle. I tuck in two plastic molded hangers in the bottom of my suitcase instead. They come in handy and I leave them at the end of the trip.

I make one stop at the start of the trip right after arrival, and pick up things like a corkscrew. As laclaire already mentioned, I doubt you need a bottle opener, can opener, etc. A few empty ziplocks (jtrandolph mentions) is an excelllent suggestion and take up no room.
suze is online now  
Jun 18th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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thanks fotofootp & suze
BS
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