While I would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite country for travel, the vibrant dynamism of Spain ranks it highly in my book. There’s just so much there, from flamenco in Sevilla to the astounding Picos de Europa. A child adventurer will delight in many of the same things that we grown-ups do: stories, romance, new experiences, sunshine and play. Spain excels in each of these areas, providing an all-ages appeal to entice the whole family. If I could simplify my advice for parents planning a vacation in Spain, I would say to embrace opportunities as they present themselves. You’ll be enchanted with the way that your kids will intuitively interact with this wonderful new place, and the stories you carry away may surprise you.
Here are some more ideas to consider as you plan your dream vacation in Spain:
Wherever you travel, growing kids benefit greatly from fresh air and exercise. With 3,000 miles of gorgeous coastline, rugged ranges of mountains and a diverse array of pristine ecosystems, outdoor-loving kiddos will have plenty to delight in when they travel to Spain. You’re never far from something breathtaking, whether it’s a beach, city park or rugged vista trail.
Expansive national parks of Spain highlight the intense beauty of the country and provide for adventures that families are sure to remember for years. You can scale a mountain and catch sweeping volcanic views from Tiede National Park in the Canary Islands or catch magnificent wildlife views from the lakes and streams in Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park.
If you’re in enjoying the city sights of Barcelona, try hopping on horseback and roaming the quiet beaches and valleys of the Catalonia region on a strong, beautiful and trusty horse. With a rental car, it doesn’t take long to go from cosmopolitan city centers to perfect natural landscapes. Similarly, they say that bike riding is a great way to explore the desert landscape of the Navarre region, a land so otherworldly that it’s rumored to be a frequent stop for UFO’s. We provide helpful driving tips for navigating Spain in a rental car, to prepare you for venturing freely into park paradise!
Indulge in Luxuries
My favorite luxury is always food, and in Spain, that means tapas. Ah, tapas. I can say so much in favor of tapas. I just love grazing from delectable and reasonably-priced plates of salty little snacks, and kids often enjoy this style of eating as well. It presents an opportunity to sample numerous little indulgences, and expand their knowledge of food and culture. Not all kids are up for marinated green olives or fresh raw oysters, but a well-rounded tapas menu will have options appropriate for any developing palette. Tortilla or meatball plates are good places to start and you may find them growing more daring from there!
Luxury doesn’t begin and end with food in this stylish country. Like you, kids may want to do a little bit of shopping and delve into unique regional looks. It could be really fun to help your budding fashion maven select just the perfect thing for stepping out. Madrid is well known for numerous shopping districts, ranging from funky independent shops to designer establishments that give 5th Avenue a run for its money. You can also look into experiential luxuries. It may be fun to mark your trip with a spa visit, dance lessons or a special chauffeured city transport. Don’t consider these little extras to be splurges so much as investments in memories. They could add so much magic to the trip!
Delve into Art and Culture
Spain’s rich history can come to life before your very eyes. Whether you are seeing the ancient Roman aqueduct of Segovia or the cheery red arches in the Mosque of Cordoba, you’ll quickly realize what a historic crossroads this country really is. The architecture and artwork is teeming from all corners to remind you of the fantastic narratives that shaped these gorgeous cities. Even more modern works, like the Gaudi architecture of Barcelona or the Guggenheim Museum of Bilboa remind one that the story carries into the future. Exploring art museums or ornate cathedrals can stimulate a child’s imagination and feed their creative ambitions.
Adapt your schedule
Spanish locals are well-known for taking life at their own pace. This means that business hours are often limited, siesta is sacred and dinnertime often extends well past 9pm. As a result, the Spanish concept of bedtimes is near-scandalous by our own standards. It’s not uncommon to find whole herds of children playing soccer in busy city plazas as late as midnight; this is just a normal aspect of Spanish life. The easiest thing to do is just go with the flow. For kids of a certain age and disposition, a late-night intercultural soccer bout might be just the thing that highlights the trip in their memories for years to come. The late evening is also a good time for live music and dance performances. While you can’t exactly take kids out dancing in the nightclubs of Ibiza, or anything similarly outrageous, the cultural offerings of the late evening often embrace the presence of well-behaved little ones with open arms. You can resume strict bedtimes and structured schedules when you return to The States.
Now, I am not necessarily advocating that you completely cast away your sense of boundaries or ignore your biological clock, or the exhausted screams of a cranky child. I am simply saying that it’s much easier to experience Spain when everything is actually open. Don’t burn the candle at both ends; plan for late mornings and ample nap times, and if the late night outings don’t work for your family, there are ways to work around that. You can inquire about the eateries with the earliest dinner hours. If you’re all inclined toward early morning outings, you can pack your rental car with healthy breakfast items like fruit and granola and enjoy the scenery with your kiddos in relative solitude.
Save on a Rental Car
Auto Europe specializes on arranging top-quality family car rentals at discount prices. With a trusty rental car, you can spontaneously take the kids on country drives, exploring Spain’s lush coastline and rugged mountain vistas. You can tour the famed plains and beaches at your leisure, whether you need a sprinter van rental or just a comfy little hatchback. Check out our fleet, we provide a great selection for rental cars in Spain. Our price match guarantee ensures that we will match any competing rate for a comparable rental car. Why spend more than you have to? With your savings, you and the family can load up on snacks and souvenirs to make your road travels truly memorable!
Our helpful travel experts are available 24/7 to assist in planning your next family vacation in Europe. It is simple to reserve a rental car in Spain on our website with our intuitive three-step booking engine, or you can call us toll-free at 1-888-223-5555.