Spain remains one of the world’s favourite travel destinations (and one of mine). It packs in gothic cities, pristine beaches, fantastic food, abundant wine, and friendly locals. What is there not to love about España?!
If you are headed to Spain and need some help in packing, then you have come to the right place. In this guide, we will talk you through packing for Spain by season and run down the packing essentials.
Any doubts or concerns you had will be a thing of the past by the end of this read. Our job is to get your through the packing process as stress-free as possible and let you focus on having the Spanish experience of a lifetime.
Ok then, let’s get to it!
The Ultimate Spain Packing List
Nomatic Travel Bag
- Capacity > 30L
- Price > $299
Nomatic Navigator Carry On
- Capacity > 37L
- Price > $400
GoPro Hero 9
- Resolution > 5k
- Price > $400
- Price > $500
Insurance From World Nomads
- Price > Click For a Quote
From what bag to pack to what shoes to walk in, let’s get packing for Spain.
Best Backpack For Spain: Nomatic Travel Bag
Before you even take on the task of figuring out what to pack for Spain, you’ll need an amazing backpack to pack it all into. For all types of travelers and destinations, our number one recommendation is the Nomatic Travel Bag.
The Nomatic travel bag covers every detail to make backpacking travel the best experience. Because of its smart design, it manages to provide loads of packing space in a convenient, carry-on size package! Its handy built-in pockets make plenty of room for all the necessities on your what to pack for Spain checklist – you’ll find separate compartments for important items like shoes, water bottle, electronics, underwear and socks. As an added bonus, there’s also an RFID-safe and cord management pocket.
You have a choice between backpack or duffel bag carry, and extra carrying comfort for your back thanks to its innovative strap system and detachable sternum strap. And its black, waterproof material is every bit sleek and modern as it is durable and tough. There is a reason why most Broke Backpacker staff swear by this backpack.
We’ve tested countlessday packs over the years, but the Tropicfeel Shell is something else. There are a lot of flashy backpacks on the market but not many come with a detachable wardrobe.
Weatherproof, eco-friendly, durable, feature-loaded, and comfy as fudge brownies: these are just some of the words people might use to describe the Tropicfeel Shell. But we just call it bloody beautiful.Learn More • View on Tropicfeel
Best Suitcase For Spain: Nomatic Carry-On Pro
Backpacks not your thing? That’s ok. Our friends at Nomatic are back again with a great alternative to their badass Travel Bag; the Nomatic Carry-On Pro.
This suitcase is ultra-durable, sleek, and comes with a handy tech compartment for transporting your laptop and other electronic bits. Nomatic has been an industry leader when it comes to travel gear and that reputation is reflected in the quality build design and functionality of the Carry-On Pro suitcase. Best of all, if you are happy to take Carry-on only, then there are some absolute bargain flights from all over Europe to Madrid, Malaga and other awesome Spanish destinations.
Check out our Nomatic Carry-On Pro review to learn more about this epic suitcase.
Best Camera For Spain: GoPro Hero9 Black
For most of us, our smartphones now feature cameras with stunning photo capabilities.
But… if you are an aspiring photographer who wants to take next-level photos and video beyond iPhone selfies, I recommend going with an action camera like the GoPro Hero9 Black.
It does deliver pro-quality video and gives you a bunch of a different angle options and shooting speeds to work with for photos (including a selfie-mode).
Think of a camera purchase like this as a long term investment that will have you capturing epic shots well beyond your time exploring here. If you are looking for something cheaper for video specifically, check out these epic GoPro Alternatives.
Packing Cubes For Spain – Wandrd Packing Cubes
In case you have never used them, packing cubes are little compression cubes that allow you to neatly pack clothes in in order to help facilitate better packing. They allow you to pack more stuff, and to keep it all better organised.
For the longest time, I thought that packing cubes were a superfluous indulgence, but boy was I wrong. Now I never travel without a few. These ones from WANDRD are great quality and excellent value for money. Get them on your Spain packing list now!
Best Sim For Spain – HolaFly eSim
The good news about Spain is that there is extensive 4g and 5g Internet coverage offering ready access to taxi apps and food delivery apps. The bad news is that your native SIM card will most probably not work and so you will not be able to access any of this online goodness until you rectify that particular situation.
You can waste time hanging around phone shops queuing to get a plastic sim or you can simply install a eSim onto your phone before you leave home. You just access the HolaFly site, choose the relevant package, download it and off you go – you are online the moment you land at the airport. eSims are easier to set up and better than the environment than plastic sims. The downside is that not all phones are eSim ready.
Best Travel Towel For Spain – Matador Packable Towel
Towels are essential backpacking gear as a lot of hostels don’t provide them or if they do, they may not really be all that clean. However don’t bring a ‘normal’ towel on your backpacking journeys, they are big and take up loads of room in your pack and they take ages to dry.
Travel pros like use micro-fibre dry towels that roll up into tiny, space saving proportions AND they dry unbelievably quick. Granted, they are not quite as comforting as a cotton towel but its a trade of that travellers need to make. A good micro-fibre travel towers is essential travel gear on any ultimate backpacking gear list.
What To Pack For Spain: Personal Gear
Yes Spain is hot and dry for the most part and you probably won’t need much winter gear. However, the way you pack will still vary depending on precisely where and when you re going and what you are doing.
If you are headed for a week in Benidorm then flip flops and a beach towel are pretty much all you need. On the other hand, if you are city slicking in Madrid then you need smarter attire, and if you are going trekking in the Sierra Nevada then a tent may be useful.
No man ever committed any great deed in bad shoes (except maybe those biblical guys and Ghandi) so get your Spain packing of on get right foot with a good pair of shoes. These are great for hiking in Spain, for exploring cities and even decent for sitting in tapas bars eating cheese and getting loaded of Summer wine. They are less good for the beach though, that we do concede.
Most shoes that are also good for hiking are not the most attractive pieces of footwear but these ones are ok – like the most attractive of Cinderella’s ugly sisters right? They are some of the most comfortable and deliver good ankle support for a long day of walking about town. I mean, your body is already going to be suffering enough from all that wine, sangria and Estrella Galicia.
Away from the cities, Spain offers excellent day hiking opportunities. Take at least one day to explore the beautiful country side and packing a pair of hiking shoes gives you the option (and eliminates excuses) to go head for the hills when the city becomes too much.
Check out the women’s Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero.
Summer in Spain can get VERY hot especially in the South and Andalusia. However, the Northern cities and those near the sea can get cool in the evenings, especially in Autumn and Winter.
This bad boy is ideal for when the nights cool. It weighs just under a pound and provides an excellent weight to warmth ratio. If you don’t go for one of the super bright colors, it is pretty stylish and city-worthy also.
If visiting Spain in the winter, this jacket is an absolute must.
Check out our best travel jackets article for more inspiration.
Spain has some lovely coastlines. Benidorm’s beaches are packed with red British bodies, Ibiza buzzes with biking clad party people and San Sebastian is a surfers delight. Whatever beach you are craving, you will find it in Spain.
Bring your best beachwear for those beachdays.
You don’t need to tote around half a pharmacy, but a well-stocked first aid kit should be in all our backpacks. Stuff happens on the road and it’s inconvenient and embarrassing when you can’t manage small situations like a cut finger or hangover migraine.
You can tuck this lifesaver away in a forgotten pocket – and it’ll be there when you need it.
Tip: Add a few bits and pieces to the first aid kit after you purchase it, like extra headache medicine, any personal meds you need (like allergy pills), whatever you take to calm your stomach and a few more plasters.
Travel Insurance From World Nomads
World Nomads’ mission is to support and encourage travellers to explore their boundaries. They offer simple & flexible travel insurance, and safety advice to help you travel confidently.
They’ve been doing it since 2002 – protecting, connecting, and inspiring independent travellers just like you.
Get a quote below or read our in-depth review!
Keeping a journal is one of the best things to do when traveling. The Drifter Leather Journal by Kodiak is our favorite, it works great for digital nomads and organized backpackers and can be used as planner or a dream diary – whatever you want!
Keep on track with your goals, travels and save those precious memories, especially the ones you do not want to share online. This one is bound in beautiful leather so it looks beautiful and will withstand life on the road.
They’re built tough with triple-layer scratch-resistant lenses and trademarked Adventure-proof Frame Material. You can also customize them with your choice of lens and frame colors to reflect your own style.
Suncream: Thinksport Safe SPF 50+
If you visit Benidorm, Costa De Almeria of the beach towns of Andalusia, your eyes will be affronted and assaulted by the sight of a thousand sun burned brits. We never learn and we will never will, but you can learn from our mistakes and bring some good high quality sunscreen before it’s too late!
Thinksport Safe SPF 50+ sunscreen gives folks strong sun protection in a non-oily formula that’s free of gluten, paraben, phthalates and biologically harmful chemicals.
Another backpacker/traveler favorite for staying organized is a hanging toiletry bag. It’s extremely helpful to have all of your accessories neatly gathered in one bag that you can hang for easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available. A well-organized bag is worth having whether you’re tree whilst camping or a hook in the wall – it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.
Historically, I have been the guy who has my stuff all over the bathroom, so getting one of these things really changed the toiletry game for me. Plus they are not too expensive either. A no-brainer essential when packing for Australia.
Circling back to the footwear question, now we are going to talk about sandals. If you are headed to Spain during the summer or plan on spending time by the heated pool in winter, having a pair of flip flops is a good idea.
Your feet will be tired and sweaty from those long days wearing shoes so do yourself a favor: pack sandals and give your feet some well-deserved cushion and fresh air. These Olukai flip flops are ultra-comfortable, well-made, and come in a variety of colors.
Check out the women’s OluKai ‘Ohana Flip-Flops.
Whilst Spain is not particularly dangerous, crime can still happen and tourists are sometimes targeted.
Therefore it is always a good idea to use a money belt to hide your cash just in case something does go wrong.
If you intend on doing any hiking, or day trips, then a good daypack is essential. They are great for carrying water, hat’s and gloves and for packing sandwiches for lunch. They are also great for the beach.
We love Osprey products and this daypack is our personal pick. The Osprey Daylite Plus has a mesh-covered panel to keep your back cool and fresh by minimizing contact with the back of the pack itself and allowing air to get between you and the pack.
Check out our full review of the Osprey Daylite plus for more details.
Additionally, you can attach it to other Osprey packs in case you want to add more capacity and carry just one piece of luggage… but the reviews on this feature are mixed.
Spain’s weather, bountiful nature, and open spaces make it ideal for a bit of camping. Whether you rock to a campsite, or go wild, a good quality tent will make camping infinitely more pleasurable.
The MSR Hubba Hubba 2p is mega-roomy and has multiple of pockets for keeping your self organized when settling in for the night.As far as budget backpacking tents go, this is one of the best. It’s a happy medium between the ‘prepared for anything’ mode and the ‘I wanted to go for a trek so I bought this for 2000 rupees’ afterthought.
The heat in Spain can be bloody intense. If you are visiting places like the Alhambra or the Royal Palaces of Seville, then heat stroke is a real possibility. A sun blocking hat like this can therefore be a real godsend. You can also wear it to fit in with the hipsters up in Barcelona too. Win win!
Patagonia makes great hats. I have probably bought three or four of these over the last five years. Simple. Practical. Comfortable. That is what you are after.
Packing a reusable water bottle is probably the best thing you can personally do to combat single-use plastic bottle use whilst traveling. There is simply zero need to buy plastic water bottles. In some parts of Spain, tap water is safe to drink and in others, you will find fountains to fill up from.
We love the Hydroflask Vacum Bottle for its quality and because it keeps cold water cold for many hours and vice versa for hot beverages. This bottle is the ideal water bottle to get not just for your Spanish trip but for daily use. Please don’t be that person buying plastic water bottles. We are all judging you…especially mother earth.
If you go with the Hydroflask, you’ll probably never need to buy another waterbottle again.
The Basic Stuff To Pack For Spain
On top of the essential items listed above, here is an additional suggested checklist of what to pack for a weekend in Spain:
- 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants/jeans
- 1-2 pairs of shorts (summer/late spring)
- A few pairs of socks
- (Sexy) underwear x 2/3
- Ladies: a few dresses, pants, outfits, or desired lady apparel for a night on the town. Spanish women are glamorous so…
- Dudes: A few collard shirts or something half-way decent for a night on the town. The Spanish dress well so try to fit in.
- Smartphone with a good camera for photos if you are not bringing an actual camera
- Portable power bank for charging your phone on the go
- Phone charger
- Amazon Kindle for reading by the pool
- Copy of your passport just in case
- Cash (not too much, there are ATM machines everywhere)
- Packable Towel
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Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Spain
That’s all of it, folks! Your complete Spain survival guide – a detailed step-by-step of what to pack for Spain manual including a top essential packing list, advice on what to wear in Spain with special packing recommendations for women and men. We also took an in-depth look at seasonal weather conditions with tips on how to pack for each and what NOT to pack for Spain.
Just remember to keep your packing minimal, smart and versatile – with just the right touch of class and style. Go with the flow, and the rest will take care of itself.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to bring your appetite, warmest smile and zest for life! Be ready to experience it all in lively, beautiful Spain…
Bye for now, but not forever!
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