When you’re planning your trip, it is very important to think twice and fill your bag with all the important stuff not to regret later (arriving at a Spanish beach without taking your swimming suit feels terrible).
Also, in every country, your needs are different, same as the items to pack.
Not to forget anything important, fellow travel bloggers and I created a list of the most useful things you should pack for your trip to Spain.
You can print the Spain packing list at the end of the article.
The article includes affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost for you you can buy something, book a hotel or a tour that I indeed recommend.
Spain Packing List
I visited Spain an uncountable number of times, and every time, I had to think of the clothes, electronics, and other things to take for the trip. Twice, I was packing for 4-5-months of living in Spain thinking of safety, occasions, weather, places, and convenience.
After many mistakes in taking something unnecessary or not taking essential, I can help you to make a list of things you can always use when traveling to Spain.
And … 12 other travel bloggers help me with that.
Let’s start with the most obvious items!
Although Spain is a lot more than a beach destination, there’s no denying that it has some of the dreamiest beaches in the world. For that reason, a bathing suit is a must-have on your Spain packing list.
The type of bathing suit to pack obviously depends on your personal stylish preferences. However, you should also consider other activities you might need it for such as sailing, scuba diving, and other water sports. If you’re planning to engage with some water activities, try to choose a bathing suit you’ll feel comfortable with.
As for choosing your destination, try to step out of the box. Since many beaches tend to get overcrowded, I recommend heading to a less touristy part of Spain such as the north.
Traveling through northern Spain, you can explore its mesmerizing green scenery, charming fishing villages, and of course, the incredible coastline. Beaches like La Concha, Rodas, Covas, and Rodiles are only the tip of the iceberg of what this amazing area in Spain has to offer.
By Or from My Path in The World
Spain is the sunniest country in Europe. Really! The Mediterranean coastline enjoys an average of over 300 days of sunshine each year. Also, the country includes amazing hiking destinations such as Picos de Europa, the Pyrenees, the Basque Country, and the Canary Islands.
Whether you’re planning a short beach trip or a hiking adventure up in the mountains, keep in mind that wearing a good pair of sunglasses is just as important as applying good sun lotion.
To make sure all of your clothes fit in your bag, check this backpack packing guide
Tips on finding the right sunglasses:
1- Choose sunglasses for their practical value. If you need them for the beach, any model with good protection will work. If you need them for hiking or outdoor sports, I recommend that you go for specific hiking sunglasses. They have special features like interchangeable lenses, side shields, and removable sweat blockers.
2- Find sunglasses that fit the shape of your face. They must feel comfortable.
3- Quality and protection. A good pair of sunglasses should protect against the sun, wind and small debris. Also, they should offer 100% protection against UV rays.
By Miguel from Travelsauro
Most travelers to Spain are likely to find themselves on a beach location sooner or later. At such a time, having swimming goggles can make all the difference between swimming on the beach with your eyes closed or enjoying the cool waters of the Costa Brava or beaches further down south. For this reason alone, I’d recommend packing swimming goggles in your Spain checklist.
However, there is another reason to pick swimming goggles for a Spain trip. If you’re attending the Tomatina festival, then it’s compulsory to wear them according to the festival rules. This is to avoid rogue tomatoes from hitting you in the eye and potentially blinding you. Also, water cannons spray indiscriminately so having your goggles on can save you a lot of pain.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know this and had to buy these goggles at an outrageous price from the tour company who took us to the venue. I want to save you from that hassle and thus implore you to pack your swimming goggles for your Spain trip right away.
By Priyanko from Constant Traveller
Spain is a sunny country, so you should think of packing a straw hat to your bag. It is effective and elegant protection from the sun.
For guys, don’t forget to take a baseball cap with you!
If you live in a colder country than Spain, you should think of protecting your skin from the hot sun, especially in the first days of your trip.
Sometimes, you don’t even need to go to the beach to burn under the sun. I made this mistake once. I thought, if I’m not trying to get suntanned and don’t lay under the sun for hours, I don’t need sunscreen.
It is definitely a good idea to put sunscreen on when you’re out.
Main things to know when choosing a sunscreen:
- It should have broad-spectrum protection as the sunbeams are different and some sunscreens might protect you from one kind, and not protect from another one.
- It should be water resistant, but you still need to apply it again after going to the water.
- It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above.
Learn more about choosing a sunscreen here.
Water Bottle with Filter
Bringing a water bottle with filter is essential to save money and being an environmental friendly traveler in Spain. The tap water is usually safe to drink, except in some remote places, but in general, it’s safe to assume that the water is drinkable in Spain.
However, it has a strong taste of chlorine, and many tourists buy bottled water. Even locals buy filtered water even though more and more Spaniards tend to install filters in their homes. But as a tourist, you will most likely not be staying in a place with filtered water from the tap.
That’s why you should bring a water bottle with filter, and make sure it filters chlorine as well. This will make the water taste just like water, and thus saving your wallet from plastic bottles, while you also help the environment.
This is useful in the majority of Spanish cities. I recommend the water bottle from Clearlyfiltered or LifeStraw but there are plenty of other options to choose from. The filters usually last for 6 months of regular use.
By Alex from Swedish Nomad
Whether you’re a fan of lazy hours laying and getting suntanned on the beach or not, you’ll finally get bored and wish to have some activity.
While taking a ball for a trip doesn’t sound like a good idea, you can easily fit a frisbee in your backpack, and then have a good time playing it on the beach.
Lately, I cannot imagine going to the beach without taking my Bluetooth speaker with me.
What can be better than enjoying the sun, playing frisbee with your friends and listening to cheerful Spanish music in the meantime?
For me, it’s a perfect pastime on the coast. I don’t even need to go into the water in this case.
International Sim Card
When traveling just to Spain, you might want to buy a local sim card to have the internet and not to pay too much for calls.
If you’re going to visit more than one country or if you travel often, it would be better to buy an international sim card.
After buying such a sim card once, you won’t have to worry about the connection in every next place you visit.
There are many international sim cards in the market, and while some companies just want to rip you off for the convenience they provide, here is a good option for you to buy:
Travel Plug Adaptor
When I first started my adventures as a digital nomad in Spain traveling mostly around Andalucia and the south of the county. One thing that I found was imperative to me and my working toolkit as a digital nomad was a decent plug adaptor.
I had once forgotten mine and later found out that Spain operates on a 230V supply-voltage and there are two plug types. To be on the safe side, I recommend traveling with Plug type C, the plug which has two round pins.
As there are many low-quality plug adaptors on the market it makes sense to take care of this by buying a decent plug adaptor before you travel. This may seem like something obvious, but many people get this wrong and sometimes even end up with the wrong plug.
By Daniel from Layer Culture
Padlock for Lockers
When I travel alone, I like staying in hostels to meet people. It is possible to stay in a 1-person bedroom and meet people in the common areas, but I usually share my room.
Living with many people you don’t know may not be very safe, so I recommend you to buy a padlock to use it on lockers that the hostels usually provide.
External Battery Pack
External battery packs are a necessary part of keeping your phone charged during a long day of traveling. You may not have many chances to recharge while meandering through Spain, so bringing your power with you is vital.
Battery packs have one or more USB ports and come in a large variety of sizes. The more milliamp-hours (often abbreviated mAh), the more of a charge they can hold.
When buying, try to overlook the marketing text that talks about how many times it can recharge a phone or tablet. Few people need to charge more than two things at a time, and throwing more than one device on it to charge means they’ll all charge slower.
Be sure to pair the battery pack with a solid charging cable and a wall charger, and don’t lose the little USB cable that charges the charger!
By Chris from Becoming a Digital Nomad
Anti-Theft Travel Purse
The big cities of Spain are rife with pickpockets, especially Barcelona and Madrid. One of the most functional items to bring on your trip is an anti-theft travel purse. It usually has these qualities: the straps can’t easily be cut, the purse body material also can’t be slashed with a knife easily, the zippers are lockable and/or hidden, and it has RFID-blocking material.
In other words, an RFID reader can’t access sensitive information like your credit cards or passport. Do you want to eat lunch at a restaurant, and you can’t be 100% vigilant of your bag?
You can unlock the main strap and attach it to your chair. The most useful quality, however, is the locking zipper – as a pickpocket can’t easily open the bag with one hand and without you noticing. It’s especially useful in Barcelona when you’re on the metro or bus or in areas like Born, Gothic Quarter, or around the Sagrada Familia.
An anti-theft purse will give you peace of mind as you travel so you know that your important documents and money are safe.
By Justine Ancheta from Latitude 41
Comment from RomanRoams: pickpocketing is a huge problem in Barcelona. My phone recently got stolen there, and I’ve heard stories about people who were robbed several times in Barca.
Big Carry-On Bag
One of my worst, most vivid travel memories is taking a bus back to Madrid after spending the weekend in Seville. It was a long ride, I was exhausted, and I had to work in the morning.
I got off the bus, went down to the trunk where the bus driver had had me put my luggage, and waited amongst the crowd of people waiting for their stuff. And waited. And waited. And waited. I never saw it.
Likely stolen at one of the three stops we had made to swap out bus drivers and take a break. My friend and I complained to the bus driver, but what did he care?
He told me to file a police report, which I did, but at that point, I knew nobody cared. This was Spain: if your stuff was stolen, you should have known better than to leave it in harm’s way.
Comment from RomanRoams: the same was on my trip to Belgium. You should only rely on yourself when taking care of your stuff.
That being said, I now will never underestimate the importance of having a nice, big carry-on bag to hold all of your belongings that you don’t want to get stolen.
The bus drivers in Spain will often tell you whether or not you can bring your luggage with you, so taking a small carry-on and only packing the essentials means you won’t be faced with this experience.
I was fortunate enough that I was living in and already familiar with Madrid, and that I had kept my phone and my external battery in my purse. However, if you’re just traveling throughout the country and this happens, you’ll be SOL. If you have to put your belongings where you can’t see them, it’s best to assume you’ll never see them again!
By Jamie from Crashed Culture
Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot
Because WiFi can be spotty in hotels and cafes, and roaming charges can cost a fortune, we love to travel with a WiFi hotspot.
These little gadgets fit in the palm of your hand, and give unlimited internet anywhere we travel in the world. You can share the hotspot with up to six devices, which is fantastic for a family of four like ours. A WiFi hotspot is perfect for wandering around a city like Seville, taking photos and videos and sharing them with friends and family. It’s also great for people like us who need to work online as we travel.
Setting up a hotspot is as easy as typing in a few numbers into your smartphone, and all you need to do when you travel is open an app and connect.
By Micki from The Barefoot Nomad
On our last trip to Spain for the Camino de Santiago, we packed a new GoPro7 and were very happy with this great little action camera. The quality of the footage is amazing even in tough weather conditions (heavy rain, strong wind) it managed pretty well and as a result, we got great footage and photos.
We love doing outdoor activities and having a small waterproof camera with great stabilization makes it so much easier to take photos and videos. A bonus the GoPro is that you don’t even have to choose between taking photos or videos you can grab a still frame from your video footage and get good photos from the video photage.
Spain has many amazing places for surfing, hiking, rock climbing, snorkeling, and other adventure activities. Some of the best surfing spots in the country are in the Basque Country and Cantabria, for hiking head to Asturias, rock climbing is great in Andalusia and Catalonia, for snorkeling and diving go to Mallorca or the Canary Islands.
Take a GoPro7 with on any of the adventures and you’ll be able to capture the best moments of your holiday.
By Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads
Spain has some incredible hiking trails, so any person that travels to Spain and is thinking of going hiking should make sure include a pair of good hiking boots in their packing list.
Hiking trails in Spain are generally good and well marked, with good terrain, but even then things such as heavy rain can have an impact and make it very muddy and difficult to walk. These things need to be kept in mind when putting together a hiking packing list.
Whether you plan to go on short distance hikes or you intend to spend days walking, boots will be necessary. Try to look for something that is comfortable, that keeps your feet dry and warm in the winter months or when it rains, or that doesn’t overly heat them in the hottest months.
Hiking boots need to provide proper ankle support, which is especially important when walking downhills. They have to have thick soles so as to lessen the impact of walking on hard terrain, and they should give enough grip in case the terrain is slippery.
By Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
Here are also some useful apps to get prepared for your trip to Spain
App for Vegans
The HappyCow app is a crowdsourced, worldwide directory of vegan restaurants, vegetarian restaurants, and restaurants with veggie options. I highly recommend downloading it to your smartphone before your trip to Spain, even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian.
Why, you ask? Because Spanish cuisine is notoriously meat-heavy, and I’ve heard many complaints from travelers in Spain who were fed up with eating jamón (ham) every day and were really craving some colorful and nutritious vegetables.
Spain actually has some fabulous plant-based food to offer, if you know where to look. In Madrid and Barcelona in particular, veggie restaurants have been popping up like mushrooms in the past few years.
Even in smaller towns, you can usually find a few veggie Spanish dishes, such as gazpacho, escalivada or paella de verduras. But if you’re not an expert in Spanish cuisine and don’t know which dishes to ask for, it’s very helpful to have an app that can point you in the right direction.
The “see everything nearby” feature of HappyCow is the one that I use most when traveling. At the click of a button, it will show you all the veggie dining options within a five-kilometer radius (or whatever distance you set it to).
Even if you’ve just landed in a new city and have no idea where you are, HappyCow knows where you are and is ready to point you to your next healthy, plant-based meal. It’s available for both Apple and Android.
By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan
Money Exchange App
When you travel abroad, every country has its own currency, and Spain has the Euro.
To get rid of the hidden charges of your bank, credit card and e-wallets, use Transferwise. This app helps to exchange money very fast and cheap, without losing 5% on an exchange rate.
See the video about how it works:
When traveling in Spain, you might not always have the internet even if you bought a local sim card.
To avoid getting lost, you should download some offline map apps to your phone. When walking around the city and looking for the nearby restaurants, museums, attractions and other points of interest, you should definitely use MAPS.me. It is perhaps the best and the most popular app for offline apps when not driving.
This was a complete list of things you should pack (and apps to download) for your next trip to Spain.
To enjoy your vacations without unnecessary problems, download the checklist below and use it in an electronic version so that you can still use the links to those products on Amazon to purchase them easier.
Here is a link if the button doesn’t work: https://romanroams.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Spain-Packing-List.pdf
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