Want to know what to pack for Spain? Then look no further than this comprehensive list to help you get organised for your Spanish vacay!
The lead up to and planning of a holiday can be as exciting as the actual holiday part. Researching where to go and what to do can evoke a real sense of wanderlust and intrigue. At the same time, organising all the logistics and packing for your holiday could seem a daunting task.
Thankfully, with some careful planning, you too can travel hassle-free when knowing what to pack for your vacation.
Before you go, be sure to plan & book your Spain Travel Essentials:
- Search & Book flights here on Skyscanner
- Book your car rental through AutoEurope
- Search hotels here on Booking.com, or on VRBO for apartment-style stays
- Click here to browse & book bus and train tickets
- Lastly, don’t forget about travel insurance for your trip!
Planning Your Trip to Spain: Things to Pack
One thing to consider is that the type of vacation you take will make a big difference to your packing. If you intend on experiencing Barcelona’s nightlife, your needs will be quite different from a hiking-focused holiday.
To get a better idea of the things to pack for Spain, decide on the type of holiday you want and the season you intend to visit.
Summer is between late June and September in Catalonia. This is when you can expect the hottest temperatures and the best beach weather.
The winter months fall towards the end of December and late March. It can get frosty and rainy during these months, especially in northern Spain. Fortunately, you can always chase the Spanish sun in the southern part of the country for some warmth in winter.
May and September are the shoulder seasons. This means fewer crowds and mild, warm weather. You’ll get the sun, but you may also experience some cooler temperatures.
Spain Packing List
For the packing list, there are several different categories to keep in mind. I’ve divided the packing essentials into the following: electronics, luggage, clothes, and accessories. These are some great items to pack come summer or winter!
Where would we be without our handy gadgets? Going on holiday doesn’t mean we need to leave all our favourite devices at home. Our technological life can go on as per usual. You just need to be a bit more particular about what you take.
Here are some suggestions:
It goes without saying that most of your gadgets are not going to work if you don’t have a power adaptor for them. You could buy one just for Spain, but I’d recommend purchasing a universal adaptor. Then, you’re sorted for all your global adventures.
You’re lost, and you can’t use your Google Maps because your phone is on 2% battery. This situation can easily be avoided by including a charger in your packing for Spain. Purchase a multi-device power bank, and you’ll never need to worry about the battery life of your phone, smartwatch, or laptop again.
What madness is this? Surely Spain is a first world country with WiFi? That may be true, but WiFi can be inconsistent in some of the hotels and restaurants. Remove the uncertainty and bring along a WiFi Hotspot – it’s small, and your whole family can connect to it. Be smart and choose one that doubles up as a portable charger.
Virtual Private Network (VPN):
If you need to do any sensitive transactions while you’re away, make sure you have a VPN. This helps you to keep all your data safe, like passwords, card details, and personal information.
You will no doubt be snapping away as you explore all the incredible sights of Spain. So packing the perfect travel camera is essential. Top-rated cameras such as the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, the Panasonic Lumix ZS200, as well as the slightly more affordable Nikon D3400 are three great choices to consider, perfect for capturing those special travel moments on the go!
Will you be embarking on a road trip through Spain? Whilst you may be able to rent a GPS navigation system through your car rental provider, you may as well consider buying your own and pre-programing your route ahead of time. Plus it often works out cheaper, in the end, to buy it brand new, especially if travelling for a couple of days.
Considering this is what you’re going to be lugging around with you, you want to make the best choice for travel gear. As much as we want to take everything with us on holiday, try not to overpack. Choose durable and transportable luggage options.
If you’re going for a week or two, you can pack carry-on luggage and use some small bags like a backpack or travel wallet for smaller items.
Here are some ideas:
Lightweight Carry-on Luggage:
Packing smart and light is key for your vacation. You don’t want to be muttering to yourself every time you have to move your luggage. Pack a bag that meets carry-on requirements and is durable – just in case. Taking luggage with spinning wheels will help with mobility and practicality.
If you’re planning on hitting the Camino de Santiago, you will want a backpack with some serious attitude. Think big, durable and full of pockets. If hiking isn’t your thing, then you can get away with taking a backpack that combines function with style while carrying your personal items.
Secure Travel Wallet:
The days of the fanny pack are long gone. Now, you can keep your cards, foreign currency, and personal information safe in a sleek travel pouch. It’s super slim so you can wear it under even the lightest of shirts and it’s almost invisible. If you pick the right one, you can also protect against unwanted card scans and moisture.
Hanging Toiletry Bag:
For those of us who believe vanity is sanity, a good toiletry bag can make a huge difference. Each person has different ablution needs, like combs, brushes, hair accessories, oral care, skincare, sunscreen and so on. Get yourself a toiletry bag that has compartments so you can keep the different areas of your life organized. If it hangs up, that’s a bonus for travelling convenience too!
When it comes to clothes, what you pack is greatly affected by your personal preferences – for style and your holiday goal. If you’re hiking, sensible footwear and trekking gear is a must. If you’re doing the beach vibe, sarongs and lightweight shirts may be more appropriate.
One thing to note – if you don’t want to stick out like a tourist – is that Spain is quite conservative. The way of dressing in Spain does appear to favour long skirts and flowing pants – nothing too showy. For men, light cotton pants are a winner. Unless of course you’re headed for the nearest beach!
Do also keep in mind that it may be advisable to dress ‘conservatively’ as a form of respect when visiting certain historical or religious landmarks in Spain, such as churches or cathedrals.
Having said that, the Spanish are super laid back and especially when travelling through bigger tourist hubs such as Barcelona or Madrid.
What to Pack for Spain in Summer
Beach-goers should aim to pack swimwear, sarongs, some flowy shirts and blouses (for when you’ve had enough sun). Hikers will benefit from some decent footwear and basic T-shirts.
For those who are planning on exploring the country’s cities, keep in mind the conservative tip mentioned above, and you’ll fit right in. As Spanish summers can get scorching hot, it’s a good idea to wear light, flowy and easily breathable fabrics (such as cotton items).
What to Pack for Winter in Spain
In the northern parts of Spain, it can be chilly and rainy during the winter months. You will definitely want to pack a rain jacket and some warm clothing.
The trick for Spain outfits in winter is layering. Pack long-sleeved shirts, some sweaters and a jacket or comfy coat. These will keep you warm in the mornings, but also allow you to remove some layers if the sun peeps out during the day.
When I say accessories, I don’t just mean traditional accessories like sunglasses and style items. I’m also referring to the things that bring some extra peace of mind and comfort to your trip.
With that said, here are some of the accessories I’d suggest including in your Spain packing list:
Travel Insurance Documents:
Accidents happen. You can’t be prepared for everything. Unfortunately, costs can be crippling if you have a medical emergency while travelling. Travel insurance helps to put your mind at ease so you can squeeze the most out of your vacation. Always carry a copy of your insurance in your travel documents holder.
Sunburn and skin cancer is a real thing across the world. Don’t take any chances. Always remember to put on sunscreen before leaving your hotel. This, along with some long-sleeved loose shirts, will go a long way in preventing any sunburn mishaps. Pack a good-quality, water-resistant sunscreen that protects you from the sun and won’t wash off when you’re in the sea.
If like me, you really struggle to fall asleep on an international flight, especially if that flight is long-haul, then ensuring you have a comfortable and functional travel cushion may just make all the difference in the world.
Apart from having a cosy neck pillow, packing a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is perfect for blocking out the constant drone of the aeroplane engines too!
Packing List for Spain: Some Last Tips
Last but not least, don’t forget these essential packing tips when packing for a trip to Spain!
- Roll, don’t fold your clothes: In true Marie Kondo style, you’ll want to make the absolute most of your packing space. Rolling your clothes, instead of folding them, not only saves tons of space but also helps with creasing too!
- Check your airline luggage allowance: Don’t get caught off-guard by nasty airline luggage restrictions. Certain low-cost carriers in Europe restrict the number of onboard bags and items you may carry. They also tend to strictly adhere to the allowed weight. If you’re booking an international flight separate from your inter-European flight, keep in mind that you may have to adhere to different luggage allowances across different air tickets.
- Make use of packing cubes: making use of packing cubes helps keep your packing compartmentalized and organized to the max.
- Pack a first aid kit: Plan for all eventualities by including a travel first aid kit into your checked luggage. Do make sure to check ahead of time regarding any restrictions on medications though, especially when travelling internationally.
- Prepare for jet lag: Lastly, you may want to pack in some No-Jet-Lag tablets to help you adjust to new timezones with ease. Even more so when travelling long haul!
Packing List Spain: Check List
To help you keep organized, I’ve gone ahead and created this easy-to-use printable checklist covering exactly what to bring when travelling to Spain!