Planning a trip to Spain? Want some help from a Spain tour operator? Take a look at the questions we at Totally Spain put to our clients when working on an itinerary. It might help you identify what you want to do, see and experience in Spain. And we also provide a checklist, to make sure you only book with an experienced company that cares about you, your likes and dislikes, and the type of Spain trip you want to take.
What to Think about When Planning a Trip to Spain:
1 Summarise the type of person you are and the people you are travelling with. Is it a family trip? Do you have many shared interests? Where else have you travelled together? Make a list of the kind of places you like to see and you like to be in. Also note the kind of locations you do NOT want to go. Have you considered places on the coast, in the interior, or cities?
2 Where will you be arriving into Spain and where you will be departing from? Is this part of a wider trip?
3 How long will you be in Spain for?
4 Do you have a fixed budget for the entire trip? How much are you happy to spend on accommodation per night? What elements are you happy to spend on and where are you cautious to spend?
5 What is the pace of the trip? How many places do you wish to see and how many nights do you want to spend in each place?
6 Are there any health or mobility issues that should be factored in to an itinerary? For example can everybody in your party walk comfortably on cobblestone streets and/or uphill? Are there any buggies to factor in? And while we’re talking about kids, will babysitting services be required?
7 Do you have any special dietary requirements e.g. vegetarian, vegan, celiac, kosher?
8 Do you want to be able to dine at your hotel? What about breakfast?
9 Will you be following Spanish mealtimes (read our post on this) or do you prefer to eat a light lunch and an early evening meal?
10 How foodie a trip would you like? Is it something you want to dedicate time to – e.g. long lazy lunches, late evening meals etc? Or would you prefer more active activities centred on food? e.g. visits to food markets, wine-tastings, cooking classes etc.
11 Which of your interests and hobbies do you want to try in Spain e.g. history, art, architecture, learning Spanish, hiking, sailing, horseriding, painting, yoga, golf, vintage cars?
12 How much free time do you need for shopping or otherwise? Will you want to shop at craft workshops, the high street, designer labels or designer outlets? Will you wish to pick up some items at a foodmarket or supermarket before you leave?
Now that you know the type of trip you want – put it to a specialist Spain tour company such as Totally Spain. Cross reference the tour operators’ replies with our checklist below to find the best tour operator in Spain for you.
Did the Spain tour operator advise you about?
- The most comfortable and convenient transport options internally in Spain
- Interesting arrival points and departure points into Spain that you might not have considered
- What is realistically possible to fit in on a trip based on your dates of travel
- How long it takes to get to and to see the major attractions (eg Alhambra Place 3hrs, Prado Museum 2hrs, etc)
- The best places to visit at different times of the year.
- The types of hotels that are best in each location – we usually recommend modern hotels in the city and rural hotels in the countryside but there are some exceptions…
- The pricing of hotels vis-à-vis location and whether it’s worth paying to be centrally located. We usually base our hotel recommendations on the type of traveller – for example if you are a family looking to make use of a swimming pool, you are often better off staying out of the city centre where you’ll find hotel options with swimming pools, for example. If you are driving, you are often better outside of the city centre too.
- Which guided group tours are worth taking and when is it better to arrange a private guided tour. You don’t always need to get a private guide – we can advise when you do.
- When selecting private guides, can the operator pair you with somebody with a background in an area you have an interest in – eg architecture, Jewish heritage, painting, artisan food?
- When plans need changing, for example if a person in your group falls ill, and needs to extend hotel nights/cancel a number of tours, what is your tour operator able to do? We are very responsive when it comes to last minute changes. We have a long working relationship with the guides and hotels and when necessary, can factor in last minute changes.
Do I really need a tour operator in Spain?
Of course it’s possible to plan a holiday in Spain without the assistance of a Spain specialist travel company and for this we recommend looking at our suggested tours and read more of our blogposts which will help you in constructing a trip of your own.
That said, if you want the security of having a fully bonded travel specialist handle your trip and if you don’t have the experience or the time to plan your own trip or you simply don’t enjoy researching trips, or you have a large group, or some specific or niche requirements, or simply want to have a trip that is completely unique and tailored to your interests, we recommend you contact us a Spain specialist such as Totally Spain.
In addition to the specialist knowledge and benefits of having somebody on the ground to contact when you’re in Spain, remember that a specialist can often secure the best deals at hotels and also help you to avoid costly trip planning mistakes. Our network of great city guides, for example, will make sure that you only go to the best places for food and entertainment – which are often less expensive than the places you might walk into yourself. And you’ll save a lot of time avoiding queues for the more popular monuments and sights as well! Our network of drivers around Spain are true professionals who will get you from A to B in the most comfortable and quickest way.
Whatever option you choose, go for somebody operating in Spain – it’s just not possible to do this job successfully from outside the country. And make sure they are a good listener, if you want something really unique.
We have organised custom itineraries for luxury travellers, sea glass collectors, photographers, teachers, honeymooners, college reunions and multi-generational family breaks. We thrive in putting together unique programmes. Let us put together a customised package for you and yours. We can book hotels, arrange guides, drivers, high-speed train tickets, museum tours, cooking classes, tapas & wine tastings and much more. Have a look at our Suggested Spain Tours for details of our more popular programmes.