As I may have mentioned before, this is not my first time in Spain so naturally, I have taken all sorts of trips around the country. With friends and solo. I am currently on a solo day trip of my own right now but I utilized the time on the train ride there to gather up some of my advice and packing tips for day trips in Spain.
A few do’s and don’ts:
Go on a day trip to a town (or city) that is less than or about 3 hours away.
Venture out alone only if you are confident enough in your language skills and aren’t shy about asking a stranger where the nearest museum, supermarket, ATM, bathroom, etc. is. You never know what wonderful kinds of people you’ll meet and what conversations you’ll have with them! However, as a general rule, use your best judgment with people and know when to break an interaction off and leave.
Take a day trip somewhere if it will take more than 5 hours to arrive there one way. You will most likely not see everything on your list or will try to fit too much into one day and could miss your train or bus back home.
Go to a town that speaks a regional language or little to none of your native tongue if your Spanish skills are weak. Exception: if the town or city is more touristy and so English and other languages would be spoken, go! Just remember to use common sense wherever you are and visit the tourist office if you need help finding a monument or point of interest. Or use your trusty friends, Google Maps and the Internet!
Don’t leave your apartment in Spain without these day trip essentials
1) Money belt and/or wallet (with the necessary tickets, cash, cards, and passport or national ID card tucked safely away in the zippered pockets)
2) Reusable Water bottle
3) Camera + extra batteries or smartphone + cord or portable battery charger (plus the necessary power converter plugs)
4) Non-perishable snacks
This packing tip is all up to you but I would suggest focusing on bringing foods that will give you natural energy and would be easy to carry and then discard or recycle.
Some of my go-to day trip snacks are sunflower seeds (nuts), dried fruit, bananas or apples, a pre-made sandwich (or a package of ham or chorizo and cheese with the option of buying fresh bread in a local bakery) and maybe some cookies or granola. Pack light but pack enough to help you power through the day (and all the inevitable walking!) in your new destination.
If you think you might need basic medicines like aspirin or allergy medicines, take them. If your day trip will involve hiking and you have a condition like asthma, pack an inhaler or any type of prescription creams if you’re prone to bad sunburns or may encounter poison ivy or the like. You can’t be too careful!
6) Travel toiletries
Pack things like tissues-which can act as toilet paper-, lotion, hand sanitizer, scissors, tweezers, a comb or brush, hand wipes, resealable sandwich bags for snacks or leftover uneaten food.
7) Waterproof rain jacket or heavy coat (depends on the season and location of the city or town you plan to visit)
(Note: This depends on season and region. This will be #1 on the list if you plan on visiting any city or town in the region of Galicia or going around Andalucía during the summer. Check the weather first!)
9) Reading material
(Eg: Your favorite book, magazine, guidebook or E-book and/or audio books)
Just keep in mind the mode of transportation you’ll be using when deciding on what entertainment to pack. I found that I could read while on the train but due to how curvy and hilly the roads around Galicia were, I could not stomach reading a book or an article on my phone while on a bus. I would recommend you stick to your normal habits when reading (or not reading) on buses and trains even in a foreign country. I don’t think those habits will change that much for you!
10) Plastic bag with an extra change of clothes or for dirty clothes
(Note: this one mainly applies to those who are taking a day trip that involves some type of outdoor activity or hike. Cross this one off your list if you don’t foresee yourself getting wet, muddy or sweaty on your day trip).
11) Your imagination and sense of wonder!
Take the time to get to know the city you’re in and talk to a few locals if you can. It’s fun to see the sights but it’s much more worthwhile if you can not only get to know the layout of the city and also get to know the place on a more personal level. You may walk away with a fun story or possibly a new friend – you never know.
And that’s all I’ve got!
What would you add to this list, if anything? Tell me in the comments below!
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