Traveling alone in Spain - how to meet other travelers, and how to book rooms and train/air tickets on the fly?
November 18, 2007 1:35 PM Subscribe
It's my first time traveling alone! I'm spending 10-11 days in Spain, and I need some advice. How to meet people to share the experience with? How to book accommodations and train/airline tickets on the fly?
posted by inatizzy to travel & transportation around Spain (29 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm traveling alone to Spain for 10 days, flying in and out of Madrid, and I'm really excited because I've always wanted to visit Spain. (And to just do more international traveling in general!) Thanks to everyone who responded to my earlier question about what to do with my vacation time. I almost picked Costa Rica, but I found an amazing flight deal to Spain that I couldn't pass up.
I have plenty of sights to see and I'm sure I'll have no trouble finding things to do with myself once I'm there. I'm hoping to experience three areas: Madrid (maybe Toledo), Barcelona, and Andalusia (specifically, Seville & Granada). I'm traveling light (hopefully just a backpack and daypack) and hopefully staying in hostels, pensions or other cheap accomodations.
I'm trying to ignore my innate tendency to plan everything and instead do it on the fly. I've read that it will make my trip more fun and enriching, and I believe it. However, I'm not really sure how to do that once I'm in Spain and also keep my spending down as much as possible. (Do I go to a travel agent? Train station? internet cafe? And, how much time do I need to book rooms or flight/train tickets in advance to get a decent price and avoid things selling out?) Other than hostels, what accommodations are cheap but a good value? (as in, not a s***hole and in the city near public transport) And, is a Eurrail pass worth it? I've seen some cheap airfares recently, and I'm thinking that would be a better way to go than the train, and when it's not, the one-way train prices don't seem too bad... (STA Travel quoted me about $200 for a 3-day Eurrail pass and I don't know whether that's really a good deal. I don't know how much it will be to buy train tickets at the counter on the day I want to leave. Maybe it is worth it to spend a little more $ total, but take planes in some cases and train in others?)
I'm also really interested in meeting other travelers to share the experience with. The hostels that seem to be really good at promoting community are booked for this weekend already so I'll need to rely on some other method to meet people, but I don't know what that would be. (I'm still figuring out what's available at the end of my trip, but if I book things on the fly, I bet the best ones will be sold out again.)
I'd love any advice you can give me on this. Mostly, I just want it to be an enjoyable experience while keeping my costs down. I'm new to this so any insights you have will be much appreciated! Thank you so much!