What to Pack for Spain Holiday: Things to Pack for a Week in Spain

Spain is the place to go on holiday. I’m not just saying that because I happen to be a long-term expat in Spain. From 2017 to 2018 there was a 1.1% rise in tourists visiting Spain. That number may seem small, but the statistics show that last year, over 82 million people visited the country. If you’re wondering what to pack for your Spain holiday, take solace in knowing that 82 million other people have probably also asked themselves that same question. The average duration of an international holiday like for example, a trip to Spain, is about one week, hence my decision to offer some tips on things to pack for a week in Spain.

In order to make this article as objective as possible, I’ve reached out to the LMDES Tribe for reinforcement. The Tribe is LMDES’s online community with 500+ members from all over the world. It’s our little corner of the internet where we can ask questions, make connections, and support one another’s initiatives. These ladies really came through when I asked them what they would suggesting packing for a holiday in Spain. Some of the answers may surprise you!

Photo by  Jakob Owens

Photo by Jakob Owens

Here is what to pack for a Spain holiday (as told by the LMDES Tribe community)

Kleenex & Portable Tissue

- Dolores, W.

Dolores suggests packing kleenex and portable tissue for your vacation in Spain because while there are many public and free restrooms, not all are stocked as they should be, ergo the need for portable kleenex. The last thing you want to happen on your holiday in Spain is to have some bad shellfish, and end up in a bathroom with no toilet paper in sight! These kleenex will also come in handy when tapeando at Spanish bars because the traditional paper napkins aren’t as common as the waxy, translucent napkins commonly found in Spanish restaurants!


-Evelyn, C.

Seems like an obvious thing to pack, right? Not really. Many people assume that they can skip packing deodorant and just buy it on arrival because, well, most countries are #teamdeodorant. That’s not to say that Spain is any different, but what many North Americans encounter is that their favorite brands are missing from the shelves. Spain also tends to lean more towards roll-on and spray deodorant versus the white stick that most Americans are accustomed to. Brands like Secret or Degree are far less common in Spain, so listen to Evelyn, and pack your favorite deodorant for your week in Spain.

Disinfectant Wipes

-Rocío O.

Now, we’re not going to sit here and judge Spanish hygiene because that would be an unfair sweeping generalization, right people? What we will say is that Spain is… different. Rocío suggests bringing disinfectant wipes because well, this society is simply closer than maybe the average American is used to. We kiss to say hello, dogs are welcome in most restaurants, strangers may handle, kiss, and hug babies that do not belong to them. Covering one’s mouth when coughing is seemingly optional here. The metro in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona are sometimes so packed that you can smell what your neighbor had for lunch (yesterday). We suggest wiping down commonly touched item like train-car tables, the metro handles, and bathroom doorknobs because there’s nothing worse than catching the flu while on the road.

Afro-Hair Care Products

- Everyone in the group

Madrid is not Chicago or New York where you can pop into any Target, Walgreens, CVS or Wal-Mart to snag your go-to Carol’s Daughter or Shea Moisture staples. Not at all. This is not something we suggest playing by ear. You want that twist out to last, girl, that will take some prior planning. While most health food stores (herbolarios) carry natural hair essentials like argan oil, jojoba oil and castor oil, you’ll be hard pressed to find the big brands that are much more common in the US. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to find natural haircare products in Spain, but be willing to both wait and pay!

Activated Charcoal

-Danni (that’s me!)

Charcoal has been a travel Godsend. I keep a bottle in my bag. While it’s not as trendy as hot sauce in my bag, it’s ten times more useful. What does activated charcoal do? It binds to toxins, and since our bodies cannot process charcoal, it removes said toxins through the feces. It’s been approved to treat certain overdoses in hospitals, help prevent and treat hangovers, eliminate gas and bloat, and to treat diarrhea. It’s also commonly used in water filtration and teeth whitening! Whenever going to a new restaurant or indulging in the yummy street-food moment, I keep charcoal on hand. Don’t worry, it’s not the same charcoal you use for bbq’s!

Bonus Round: Things to Pack for a week in Spain (The Checklist!)

Sunscreen with a minimum 30 spf
Chargers & Plug Adaptors
Medicine: allergy meds, contacts, and any prescription drugs you rely on

There you go! You’re more or less ready for your holiday in Spain. Now it’s time to snag a cheap flight and make your way over here!