Planning a trip to Spain

posted by Russ, September 25 in spain, travel with tags , , , ,

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Spain Map

I have been planning to write an article regarding travel and sustainable living, however I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I wanted to explore the pros and cons of travel when it comes to trying to live a green and sustainable life. Obviously the two don’t quite go hand in hand, however I think there are definitely positive aspects to traveling that can outweigh the negative environmental impact that travel causes. Anyway, that’s a subject for a future post.

The topic for this post is, well, you probably can guess … it’s travel. I have a trip coming up in less than two weeks, and I have been driving myself crazy trying to make preparations. I am going to Spain, and hopefully also Morocco, and it will be my first trip abroad by myself, and my first solid 10 day vacation in a while. I am starting in Barcelona and flying back from Málaga. The 10 days in between are up in the air. My goal is Barcelona, Córdoba, a jaunt into Morocco, Granada, and then Málaga before returning. I’m sure some places I’ll want more time in, some I may just pass through.

Needless to say, I have been keeping busy making sure I have all the proper travel gear gathered up, and I am also going to ensure I have just one moderately sized pack.

green travel

No need for too much stuff to tote around. Also making sure my finances are in order and my credit and debit cards will work, buying a suitable backpack, picking up guidebooks and hotel tips (so I am not lost upon entering each new city), gathering the appropriate electrical converters, and then rounding up the little things I would never remember to bring if I was rush packing the day prior to leaving, like a compass (for wandering around old maze like cities) and a travel alarm clock so I don’t miss my morning trains.

In doing all this work, I have come upon a few things that I wanted to share. If you have ever traveled out of the country, then you know that using your credit and debit cards isn’t always as straight forward as it seems. Some countries (such as Spain) don’t accept Mastercard as widely as you would expect, some ATMs don’t accept cards from your home bank. And on top of that, each bank has different foreign transaction fees associated with your transactions.

Well, to help out, I found a few links. The first is a wiki page that lays out all the fees for each bank in detail, and the others supposedly show locations for ATMs that accept cards with the Mastercard and Visa logos respectively.


Also, here is a site for the Spain and Morocco train systems that has been immensely helpful in my transportation planning, even though I am not booking anything ahead, at least I can see approximate times that I can expect to find trains running between cities.

Map of Spain rail system
RENFE – Spanish rail schedules
Morocco rail schedules

When I return I will post reviews about my trips. Wish me luck!

Some links that are getting me prepped and excited!

Rick Steves – The New Tangier, Tijuana no longer
Rick Steves – Plunge Deep into Morocco
Green Travel
Go Green Travel Center
Lonely Planet Spain

Originally posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 11:43 PM .

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