You need to know the Dos and the Don’ts of traveling in Spain if you’re planning to blend in, or at least attempting to. Traveling is very exciting but there’s a lot of planning and packing that has to get done. Yet, sometimes we forget to do one of the most important parts… research on the culture! It is important to have cultural knowledge of the specific place you’re traveling in order to avoid any international trouble as well! We’ve all heard stories…
Here’s What You Need to Know…
1. Passports must be valid for at least 3 months after your planned departure date. You may be denied boarding and/or denied entry to any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area. Make sure you’re not left behind!
2. Leave regionalism and religion out of your discussion topics:
Regionalism and religious topics are very sensitive for Spaniards. Avoid swearing and using God’s name in vain, it may offend the people around you.
3. Catalonia has its own language and culture – They really take pride in their own language and culture, again be cautious about bringing up regionalism topics.
4. Don’t even think about walking around the city streets with a swimsuit. It is illegal in cities like Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, and Barcelona. Unless you are on the beach or surrounding streets, you may end up with a fine! It’s not worth the Instagram post… make sure to bring a cover-up.
5. DO Dress accordingly- If you are visiting a sacred place, a monastery or church make sure to dress accordingly to avoid any trouble. Spaniards follow seasonal fashion rules! Leave those shorts back home if you’re planning to go during winter.
6. DO Learn about their culture- Myths and beliefs they have, like not passing the salt shaker from hand to hand. According to Spanish belief, it is bad luck to do so! Don’t forget to leave a cactus on your window, it will ward off evil spirits from entering your home.
A little superstitious…
7. Friday the 13th? Nope, it’s Tuesday 13 – Don’t even think about leaving bed.
Tuesday= bad luck. Their saying for Tuesday is: En Martes, ni te cases, ni te embarques, ni de tu casa te apartes – which translates to “On Tuesday, don’t get married, don’t board, don’t leave the house.”
Late dinner is the new late night snack
8. Don’t expect dinner before 9 PM. Don’t plan to have dinner before 9 PM, restaurants won’t open before. Trust me, you don’t want to be THAT person.
Don’t think you’re the only one who is late…
9. Be patient, don’t rush! Expect to wait 15 to 30 minutes. Spaniards typically are not strict about punctuality so, if you’re running a bit late, relax! DO take your time.
10. El Coco- Who hasn’t heard about hundreds of stories about the Boogieman? In Spain, children refer to the Boogieman as ‘El Coco’, the terrifying creature that eats or kidnaps kids who misbehave. According to legend in the 20th century, ‘El Coco’ was Francisco Ortega, El Moruno, who was sick of tuberculosis and was told the cure was to drink children blood, so he did, by kidnapping a 7-year-old boy. Don’t leave your naughty children unattended.
At the end of the day, make sure you make friends while abroad. They might give you a few tips that are hard to find on the internet. If you’re interested in interning abroad in Spain, read more on Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville.