How I Traveled Spain on A Budget

How I Traveled Spain on A Budget

My Strategic Dollar Budget, M$D Wisdom 2 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. We may be compensated if you choose to utilize a link on this page. All opinions are mine.

As I mentioned recently, life has been kicking my butt. Whether its work, personal life, money-wise, etc. life is really testing me. For the most part, I feel I’ve met that challenge, but it’s taken a toll on me. So, I decided to take an 8 day trip to Spain with 2 of my friends. Overall, the trip went as planned and it was super relaxing towards the end and I came home feeling relaxed and ready to get back into the swing of things. Here are the details of my trip and how much I spent:

The Flight – $389

I’m an avid traveler. I love to see other places and get to know their culture. In the past 5 years, I’ve been to India, Greece, England, France and now Spain (internationally). Domestically, I’ve traveled to Austin (many times), Salt Lake City, Portland (3 times), San Antonio, New York (3 times), Washington D.C., Houston, LA/Santa Monica, San Diego and Denver (2 times). I might have missed somewhere, but I’m writing this too early in the morning to remember LOL.

In general, I’m not a big planner when it comes to WHEN I travel. I’m much more of an “I found a great deal….wanna go?” kinda guy. And that’s exactly what happened with this Spain trip. I knew I was getting antsy so I made so to keep updated with my travel sites. Then, one night I was sitting on the couch after a long day and was reading through Facebook (typical millennial ☹) and saw a deal for RT tickets from DAL to Madrid for $389. I was like WTF?!?! Is it true? Turns out it was. So I booked it. Through some issues with people’s work schedule and not letting them off, I ended up going with two of my friends.

The Trip

Madrid – 1 Day

We landed at 8:30 AM. We got a cab to the hotel and grabbed a pizza at La General and it was DELICIOUS. We had the three cheeses pizza and it was a perfect start to the trip.

We then went to the Royal Palace of Madrid, Playa Mayor and walked a good portion of the western side of the city.

Honestly, I didn’t love Madrid. I thought it was overall a big city without a ton to offer. I think my friends felt the same way. I was happy that we only decided to stay there for one day, otherwise, I think we would have been disappointed.


Hotel: $33 per person Actually, this hotel deceived us. We booked a hotel for 3. The booking said a double bed with an extra single bed. We thought that was perfect. Well, we go to check in and they tell us the extra bed is for a child. We fought it but they didn’t give in. We ended up having to get another hotel room and I wasn’t very happy about that. Ended up cost $66 per person.

Food, Drinks & Transportation: $50

Remember we were only there for a day, so nothing crazy here.

Barcelona – 4 Days

Barcelona was a blast. It reminded me of NYC, but more pedestrian friendly. I loved all the large sidewalks and cultural districts.

barcelona, spain

Among many other things, we went to the Gothic Quarter, La Rambla, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Placa de Catalunya, Arc de Triomf, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Like I said, we visited more places but these were the highlights. Additionally, we spent a day in Sitges at the beach.

The Sagrada Familia was breathtaking. It’s insane to me that it’s taking as long as it is to complete. I think it’s got another 10 years.

We walked on average 10 miles each day while we were in Barcelona.

We had a blast going out a few nights. Their schedules are very different from ours in the US. They eat a late dinner then go out starting around midnight or 1 AM. One night we went out not knowing this and ended up coming home around 1 AM. Another night, we go in around 4 so that was more like the locals. They stay out until 6-7 AM and I just couldn’t do it. Am I getting old? ☹


Hostel: $98 per person for 3 nights.

Not going to lie, I didn’t love the hostel situation. I’ve heard great things about the environment and how you’ll meet some cool people and enjoy yourself. While we did meet some cool people, there were 8 people in 10×10 room and that just wasn’t comfortable. Not to mention we had to lock our stuff up underneath our bed in these cubbies so that was frustrating. The main draw for this place was it’s cost, but I would have rather paid a little extra for the comfort.

Transportation: $65

This includes cabs to and from the airport as well as all trains and cabs while in the city.

Food & Drinks: $150

Food & drinks from all meals as well as drinks out at night.

Mallorca – 2 ½ Days

Mallorca is the largest island on the coast of Spain and we intended to do absolutely nothing and just relax, go to the beach and drink. And that we did.

mallorca spain

Half Board Resort: $140

For the two nights we were there, the cost for our half-board was $70 per night. This included 2 glasses of champagne per person upon arrival as well as breakfast and dinner included.

Transportation: $117

Because Mallorca is the big island, it takes a while to get across the island via car. We rented a car and gas wasn’t too cheap over there smh.

Food & Drinks: $115

We had one great night hanging out with a few people at our bungalow patio which was a blast. We ended up going down to the beach at 2 AM so you know it was a good night 😊

Madrid 1 Day & Flight to the US

We went back to Madrid for our return to the US. We were only there long enough to grab dinner, go to bed, wake up and make it to the airport. We ended up going back to the same restaurant we went to when we arrived.

Food, Drinks & Transportation: $40

Wrapping The Trip Up

Total Cost of Trip: $1164

How I Traveled Spain on A Budget

Overall, could this have been a cheaper trip? Sure. We could have only taken the train instead of cabs. We could have purchased cheaper meals. We could have stayed in Hostels the entire time (thank goodness we didn’t, I don’t think I would have made it). We could have traveled to fewer cities. We could have only purchased alcohol from the store and made our own drinks. But you know what, we didn’t do any of that and I don’t regret it.

In fact, this was a great trip and I consider it an inexpensive trip even with those splurges. And most importantly, it was a great break for my life in Dallas before I started a new job 10/2.

What trips have you been on recently?

Comments 2

  1. Man $1200 isn’t bad for a week, with flights included. Nicely done.

    I really want to get to Spain – I studied in London for a few months but didn’t get there sadly. It’s on my ToGo list.

    Last we traveled was our mini-moon (and now idk if we’ll even do an actual honeymoon…)

    The only trip we have booked is Maryland in February to visit some friends – and also for the lovely, balmy New England weather! 🙂

  2. I traveled and lived in Australia for a year and we did the hostels for the first couple of months. I think being 18 was the best time to do those. I don’t really have much of an interest in sleeping in a bunk at this point in my life on vacation. I would rather save a bit more and get a decent room. It would also depend on the trip, some hostels are much nicer then others as well.

    I know a lot of people enjoy budget traveling but I think I am more of a fan of saving up and investing until you have some cash and can go on a comfortable vacation and really enjoy yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *