Semana Santa is officially here and for many of us living in Spain (and in other countries too) that means vacation time! Many of my fellow expats have chosen to spend the holiday abroad—in gorgeous places like Turkey, Greece, Portugal, and Italy… but I made the wise decision to stay put right here in Spain.
Why, you ask? In the age of cheap flights and decent hostels, why wouldn’t I venture out of Spain to explore the rest of the continent? Well, as tempting as it was, I’m convinced that staying here was the best choice for me—and maybe a good idea for your next trip too!
1. It’s Cost Effective: I won’t deceive you-- cost was definitely a factor in deciding to spend Semana Santa in Spain instead of, perhaps Thailand or Vietnam (two places I’m dying to visit by the way)! I realize that with low cost airlines and a bit of planning in advance it could also have been really budget friendly to have explored another European destination, but considering that prices usually go through the roof around this time we decided to make it easy on ourselves and seek out some very off the path destinations here in Spain for our last minute holidays.
2. Airline Strikes: It seems like every day we hear reports of another airline canceling flights, striking, or even closing down! Recently, Iberia has been canceling flights on a daily basis due to their strikes. There is nothing worse than having your travel plans affected by airline drama, and we decided that traveling by bus and train would be a safer and more comfortable option.
3. Weather: The beginning of April is a funny time for the weather in most countries around Europe (Spain included). If you’re lucky, you’ll be treated to warm days and sunshine. But if you aren’t (or if you travel to some Northern European destinations) you’ll have to endure the remnants of cold winter weather—with bitter temperatures and lots of rain! Here in Spain we’ve been lucky so far; while we have seen a shower or two, the temperature has stayed warm and it definitely feels like Spring! The forecast for the end of the week in Cadiz is sunshine and beach temperatures—fingers crossed!
4. Keeping our Euro in Spain: Everyone knows that Spain is struggling and small business owners are fighting to pay their bills. I love spending my money in Spain and supporting local businesses. Everytime I go out to eat or stay in a small Spanish hotel I know that I am helping the economy in some small way.
5. Countless Places to See: Have you really seen Spain? I know I haven’t—and I’ve been living here for three years now! Spain is extremely diverse and almost every region boasts countless things to see and do, as well as typical foods and drinks to try. You’d have to dedicate a long time to traveling around this country to really be able to say that you’ve seen it all! For this trip we focused on Extremadura, and now plan to shoot back down to Cadiz, where we have already been but always enjoy. I miss the beach!
If you aren’t convinced that staying in Spain makes sense for your next vacation take a look at the photo evidence—now tell me that your trip was better! 🙂