Costa del Sol at the end of September!
August 1, 2018 1:30 PM   Subscribe

There's an EDM show in Costa del Sol that my husband is keen to go to. Since he rarely suggests travelling, I'm leaping on the opportunity. But I have questions, and needs .. below the fold.

1) We don't intend to spend the entire time at the show, and it's in a pretty rural area - worth it to get his International Driving Permit and rent a car for some sightseeing?

2) A straight shot to Malaga is 15 hours, which sounds dreadful. So we'd like to do a 7-ish hours flight to .. somewhere .. spend a few days there, then onto Spain .. or maybe direct to Spain with a 3-ish day layover on the way back.

However, I'm having a hard time finding the sort of information I'd like. In a perfect world, I'd tell a website "I want to leave from Seattle and end up in Spain - my dates are flexible and so is my layover. Suggest things!" but .. is that even possible? Any ideas would be great.

Thanks in advance!
posted by dotgirl to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
1) My friends and I drove a rented car all over Spain last year. He can use his WA drivers' license, we used our CA one for the car rental with no issue.

2) If you're flying from Seattle, 5-ish hours puts you on the east coast, and 9-ish hours puts you in London (7-ish hours is the Atlantic Ocean, so you may want to rethink that timing!) London is a fun place to spend a couple days in before you go on to Spain. Once you're on the continent, though, there's any number of places in Portugal (Lisbon is great), France or Italy that you could spend some time in before you head back. The main point being, though, that you're unlikely to get a <10 hour transatlantic flight anywhere.
posted by Everydayville at 2:00 PM on August 1, 2018

7ish hours would also get you to iceland, im pretty sure (we met a friend from portland there last year and that was, shockingly, how long she said it took her - i was surprised since it doesnt seem that much longer than routes from the east coast of the US to iceland but they fly over the pole and save a ton of time).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:53 PM on August 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Montreal is pretty close to halfway between them flight-wise, assuming you can get direct flights. I've also rented a car in Spain without an international permit - be sure to reserve an automatic if you need one.
posted by soelo at 3:08 PM on August 1, 2018

On Kayak you can filter length of trip, of legs, of stop overs, number of stops, exact or less exact travel dates so that might be helpful.

Consider that the US carriers have domestic hubs and they route you through the hub to get to your international destination. The European carriers have hubs in Europe so the stop will be in Europe, at least for flights they operate as opposed to code share. So that and the Atlantic largely determines where your stopovers are.

And then there is Iceland. For Spain also worth noting that BA owns Iberian airlines and routes some longhaul flights through Madrid.

My personal preference would always be a longer international leg because sleep and better service. And by the time you‘ve travelled for 10 hrs and crossed a few time zones you‘re going to feel gross and be exhausted anyway, an extra few hrs won’t make much of a difference.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:12 PM on August 1, 2018

Iceland is definitely a good bet - you may be able to swing a "free" layover with Iceland Air. You could do that one way, and someplace on the East Coast the other.

Buuuuuuut a direct flight from Seattle to Europe is actually quite the coup (speaking as another Seattleite who used to go to Europe once a year for work). I know 15 hours seems like forever, but they keep you well-entertained and -fed on those flights (it's not like flying domestic, or within North America), it's easier to sleep because you can hunker down, you don't have to go through airport security (and/or customs and immigration) multiple times, you minimize your travel days. Might be worth it to just try the direct flight for at least one leg.
posted by lunasol at 10:32 AM on August 2, 2018

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