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Before you travel

Iberia Spanish plane

Travel documents and pre-planning

There are several important items which you shouldn't leave for Spain without, the most obvious being your passport (or ID card) and travel documentation.  Take photocopies of your passport, travel documentation, insurance, tickets and credit card numbers and keep them separate from the originals (or send the details to a secure email account) in case they are lost or stolen and you need to give this information to the police.  In Spain it is a legal requirement to carry some form of identification - this can be your passport or another form of photographic ID. 
Before leaving for Spain make an appointment with your GP to check whether you need any vaccinations or boosters for your trip.  It is also a good idea to visit your dentist for a check up - the last thing you want is toothache or other dentistry dramas disrupting your trip to Spain. 
Buy a basic Spanish phrase book and learn some handy phrases or words that you may need to use, particularly relating to any medical conditions or allergies you may have.  Pack a mini first aid kit for your trip to Spain to include items like laxatives, antibiotics and anti-diarrhoea medication in case of an upset stomach, especially if you are travelling to more isolated, coastal towns where water sources can vary greatly.  You should also include some bandages, pain killers, plasters, medicated ointment, sunscreen and some good insect repellent and anti-itching cream. 
mobile phone

Communications and business

Mobile phone operators provide GSM 900/1800 coverage throughout Spain and the Balearic/Canary Islands and European mobile phones do work in Spain, but they often have high roaming charges.  Usually, you will be charged for receiving calls as well as making outgoing calls so call your network provider beforehand to enquire about any special roaming deals.
If you are going to be in Spain for some time (or even just a few weeks) consider buying a local (Spanish) Sim card and handset (or use this in your current mobile phone if it has been unlocked) for more flexibility.
Email, internet and wireless access is available at hotels, internet cafes and bars so business travellers using their laptops can connect to wireless broadband.  The international access code for Spain is +34, the outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom).  Each city/area in Spain has an individual telephone code, for example it is (0)93 for Barcelona and (0)91 for Madrid.  Pay phones accept both coins and phone cards which you can obtain at post offices, tobacco shops and newsagents.
Many businesses close for the traditional siesta period at around 2pm - the hottest part of the day - re-opening around 5pm.  Trading hours vary but as a general rule they tend to be between 9am and 1.30pm, reopening at around 4pm until 8pm.

What you can and can't take into Spain

If you are thinking about carrying presents or certain foods in your luggage to Spain be aware of the vigilant European Commission rules and regulations.  For example, meat or meat products, milk or dairy products should not be brought into Spain.  If you are travelling with your baby you are allowed to bring powdered milk in commercial packaging and special foodstuffs required for medical conditions.  Other items of food can be brought into Spain, up to a maximum weight of one kilogram. 
Sums of money in excess of €6,010.12 must be declared.  Currently, people aged over 18 are allowed to carry 200 cigarettes, or 100 cheroots, or 50 cigars, or 250 grams of rolling tobacco and one litre of drink (over 22 percent alcohol by volume), or two litres (under 22 percent alcohol by volume).  Perfumes are also limited to 50 grams of perfume and 0.25 litres of eau de toilette.

Enquire about treatment and costs

We provide an enquiry service for people interested in health services and treatment in Spain, including surgery, cosmetic surgery, and dentistry.

Featured healthcare services

If you want to know more about the healthcare services in Spain, take a look at our featured hospitals, clinics, doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers.