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Things To Know When Traveling To Spain

Written By: Jakus Eloff
Fact Checked By: Mohak Nahta

Jul 25, 2022

8 min read

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Travelling From The US To Spain? This Is What It’s Really Like.

If you are thinking of travelling to Spain from the US in the next couple of weeks, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. In this post, we’ll look at all of the obvious questions, like “how can I travel to Spain right now,” as well as some of the less obvious issues like deciding on the best airline, and your layover strategy.

But first things first, the obvious points…

Who can travel to Spain From The US?

Currently, anybody in the world can travel to Spain if they have been fully vaccinated. This is true for all US travellers heading to Spain that are older than 12 years. These travellers do not need to provide a negative Covid19 test, nor do they need to quarantine once they arrive in Spain. For more information on the exact needs when travelling to Spain for tourism, you can consult our Spain Schengen Visa post.

There is also a growing list of exempted countries whose nationals will be able to travel to Spain, even if they are not fully vaccinated or have a negative covid19 test. This is mostly due to the fact that Spain has vaccinated 77,9% of the population, a total of 36,9 Million people.

Unfortunately the US is not yet on this list and as such the stipulation mentioned earlier still stands. The only way that US travellers can travel to Spain without being fully vaccinated is when their trip is deemed essential. These travellers will still need to produce a negative Covid19 test.

Currently, the only unvaccinated travellers that Spain is accepting that are not on the exempted list are travellers from the UK. These travellers must produce a negative Covid19 test on arrival, no older than 48 hours.

All travellers to Spain will need to complete the Spanish health declaration form, regardless from where they originate. For more information on how to complete this form, please read our helpful guide on How US Citizens Can Travel To Spain Right Now. When completed, this form will generate a QR code that must be presented on arrival in Spain.

What Is Spain Like During The Pandemic?

Spain was hit hard during the Covid19 pandemic with 4.9 million infections and 86600 deaths. Fortunately, the situation has improved drastically and the state of emergency has been lifted. Visitors to Spain will still be required to wear a face mask, but the requirement has been relaxed in certain places. Still, it’s always safe to be careful when travelling and we advise all travelers to keep their masks on while in a public place.

Travel between Spanish regions is allowed and visitors can take advantage of the relatively lower tourist numbers in Spain. The savvy traveller can use this time to dine in some of the best Michelin Star restaurants in Europe, explore Costa del Sol's amazing beaches, or witness the hangover of a 40 year old party on the island of Ibiza.

Remember to remain courteous and polite during your travels and Spain will more than take care of you. Remember that while you may hold personal views on the Covid19 pandemic, you will be dealing with the residents from a country that was one of the worst-hit. Keeping this in mind, it might be best not to volunteer unsolicited views regarding this pandemic, as you never know what and who the person you are talking to has lost.

What is the Covid19 Situation Like in Spain At The Moment?

The Covid19 situation in Spain is heading back to normal, with close to 80% of the population vaccinated and the country reporting a 7 day average of 1800 cases, significantly down from the 7 day average of 25800 cases for the end of July, or the 7 day average of 37000 of January 2021. This is way below the 7 day average in the US, which is over 100000 cases per day at the time of writing.

What Are The Best Flights From The US To Spain?

It all depends on where in the US you’ll be traveling from and if you are willing to endure a layover. We looked at a couple of the options and highlighted the best solution for East Coast, Mid West, Southern US, and West Coast travel from the US to Spain. Please note that all the flights we examined were return flights, 3 month in advance, and departing and returning midweek.

Traveling From The US East Coast To Spain

  • New York At the time of writing, the most affordable option was with TAP Air Portugal. The price reported was $340 for a return flight leaving from JFK New York Airport and landing at Madrid. This flight has one layover for 2h 20 mins in Lisbon, before continuing on towards Madrid.

Second cheapest was a direct return flight from Iberia Airlines, leaving from JFK and landing in Madrid, for $450. American Airlines sometimes also operates this flight, as both airlines are part of the same parent company, and the price reported is also $450.

  • Washington DC If you are travelling from Washington DC to Spain you’ll likely not have the luxury of a direct flight. The cheapest return flight option is operated by American and Iberia airlines and it has a layover at Boston Logan international airport of on average 1h 30 mins.

However, the $550 cost might convince you to take the train to NYC and choose one of the earlier options. This way you could end up saving $150 that would be well spent in Spain.

  • Miami If you are travelling to Spain from Miami your best option for a direct return flight would be the Air Europa flight, coming in at $425 per person. Most of the other flights operated by American Airlines or Iberia Air all have a layover at JFK New York Airport.

Traveling To Spain From The US Midwest

  • Chicago If you are travelling to Spain from Chicago your best option would be the direct return flight on offer from Iberia Air. This flight is a little bit more expensive, coming in at $475, but the luxury of flying direct can’t be underestimated. For the more frugal traveller, there is a $405 option from TAP Air Portugal, but it comes with an average 3h layover in Lisbon.

  • Detroit If you are travelling to Spain from Detroit you will not be able to find a direct return flight. All of these flights stop either in Dallas, or Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey. The average layover time tends to be 1h 45 mins. These flights are also more expensive, coming in at $560.

Travelling To Spain From The Southern US

  • Dallas If you are travelling to Spain from Dallas, you’ll be happy to know that there are direct return flights available, but at a premium. A direct return flight from Dallas to Madrid, operated by American Airlines will cost $840. All in all, it will be much more cost-effective to fly to New York for around $100, before travelling onwards to Spain. This strategy would cost you $550, saving you close to $300!

  • Atlanta If you are travelling to Spain from Atlanta you’ll find that there are no direct return flights available to you. The best option would be the $550 option from American Airlines that comes with an hour layover in Dallas. All in all, it would be cheaper to travel to Miami from Atlanta for $50, and then fly onwards. This approach would save you $100!

Travelling To Spain From The US West Coast

  • Los Angeles If you are travelling to Spain from Los Angeles, you’ll find that there are no direct return flights available to you. You will find, however, that the flights available are reasonably priced, with a $450 option available from American Airlines, with a 5h 50 mins layover in New York. When travelling from the west coast you’ll find that while the prices are affordable, the time spent on layovers increases.

Find Your Layover Strategy When Traveling To Spain

The right layover strategy is not only a great way of saving some money, but it could also help you explore an extra destination for a fraction of the cost. You’ll need to determine what type of traveller you are: The traveller with money to burn, or the traveller with time to burn.

For the first type of traveler the time wasted on travelling to a destination is more important than the money spent. These travellers would rather spend more money to ensure they waste less time on their travels. This will also allow them to spend more time doing things that they want to, rather than sitting and waiting for a connecting flight in some depressing airport.

The second type of traveller believes that the time spent travelling is all part of the journey. As such, they are happy to spend more time waiting for a connecting flight, especially if they could use that time to pop out of the airport and explore the city of their layover.

Some elements that these type of traveller should keep in mind are the length of their layover; ie. would it be long enough to spend time in the city before returning for their connecting flights; and the documentation needed to explore the city. In some cases such a traveler could enjoy visa-free travel in that city, while in other cases they’ll need a transit visa.

You also need to be aware of your risk appetite when determining your layover strategy, as every time you have a layover you increase the risk of something going wrong. So if you are someone who does not do well with confusion or uncertainty, a direct flight approach might be better.

Travel, as everything in life, is a balancing act between the risks you are willing to accept, and those you’d rather avoid. Being aware of this will help you become a better traveller, especially during these uncertain times.

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