Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Those living in Spain have the incredible opportunity to travel all over Europe due to our convenient location and affordable travel options. It can be overwhelming to begin planning a trip, whether you’re traveling fifty miles or several thousand. Although it can be tempting to be spontaneous with a weekend getaway, it pays to plan ahead to help you get the best deals.
Traveling by Plane
If you’re traveling outside of Spain or to a large city within Spain, your best travel option will almost certainly be flying. There are several budget airlines operating within Europe that offer great deals to varied destinations. The most popular airline is RyanAir, followed by EasyJet and Vueling. All three offer inexpensive flights when you book in advance. It can be daunting to search for flights from multiple airlines, and many frequent travellers use a website called SkyScanner which provides a reliable search engine for European airlines. Flexible travelers looking for great travel deals can type “everywhere” into SkyScanner’s search bar to find the most affordable destinations during any given time frame.
Although they offer incredible deals, these budget airlines might not provide the same level of luxury you’re accustomed to at home. Unless you’re in the mood to pay astronomical baggage fees, most budget airlines only allow a small bag to be carried with you onto your flight. For example, RyanAir allows one cabin bag weighing up to 10 kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus 1 small bag up to 35 x 20 x 20 cms may be carried per passenger, while EasyJet allows just one bag per passenger, measuring 50cm x 40cm x 20cm. While these limits are just fine for shorter weekend trips, it can be difficult to pack all your belongings for a longer excursion into such a small space. Check out our article about packing for some helpful tips!
Traveling by Train
When traveling within Spain, especially to smaller cities, the train can be your cheapest and easiest option. The Spanish train company is called Renfe, and they have a large network of destinations across the country. Although the Renfe website is notoriously difficult to navigate, it can be helpful to reserve your tickets ahead of time to ensure that you have a seat on your desired train.
In other countries, websites like RailEurope can help you find local train routes and destinations. In years past, purchasing a Eurail pass (which gives you access to several countries’ train networks during a given period of time) has been a popular option, but as budget airlines have become more common, the Eurail pass is now a less budget-friendly choice.
Traveling by Bus
Another option for shorter journeys is to travel by bus. The most popular bus company in Spain is Alsa, which provides service to a wide range of destinations across the country. You can purchase tickets ahead of time and reserve a seat prior to departure. Several smaller bus companies such as Socibus and Continental-Auto operate within limited regions as well.
Traveling by Car
A car-sharing company called BlaBlaCar is a relatively recent addition to the travel landscape within Spain. When traveling within the country, especially to smaller towns that may not have airports or direct train lines, BlaBlaCar allows drivers to post their empty seats online, and passengers can pay a low rate to travel to their destination. Passengers post reviews of drivers on the website to assure others of the safety and comfort of their journey; however, it should be noted that BlaBlaCar passengers travel at their own risk.