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Complete Spain Packing List for Every Itinerary

Complete Spain Packing List for Every Itinerary

What needs to go on your complete Spain packing list and what can be left at home?

It’s all too easy to overpack the clothes and forget useful items that make your trip run smoothly. There are so many incredible products available to make travel go without a hitch – modern technology, innovative toiletry items, and “just in case” items that pack down small. This Spain travel packing list focuses on those everyday essentials.

What to Pack for Spain

In terms of what to wear in Spain, this will depend on where you’re going and what you’re planning to do on your vacation. Pack cautiously and plan to do laundry to save your packing. Your destination will impact your choice of outfits for Spain – hanging out in the beach clubs of Ibiza has different requirements to a three-day weekend in Valencia or when ticking off the cultural things to do in Bilbao.

On the whole, stick to lightweight day apparel made from natural fibers: cotton tanks and vests, linen shorts and dresses. Wrinkle-free jumpers, sweaters, and cardigans that you can carry in your day bag. A couple of dressy pieces if you feel like it for the evenings.

Remember to check the weather right before you leave in case you need to make any last-minute swaps and tweaks. These guides will help you get a sense of the typical weather patterns in Spain for January, February, March, April, May, June, and July.

Complete Spain Packing List

Clothing aside, this complete Spain packing list is preoccupied with gear and gadgets.

woman standing on the front of a boat near an island.

If you are spending most of your trip by the water, pack plenty of bathing suits and warm-weather clothing like dresses and shorts.

1. Itinerary-relevant bag

You’ll need a bag to tote all your daily essentials around. The type of bag you use will vary drastically based on your itinerary, destinations, activities, and the season/weather.

For a fairly active vacation with lots of walking around and day trips, you’ll want a lightweight rucksack. This will keep your shoulders level and not drag at one side. It should be the right size for essentials but not so large you risk overstuffing it with things you don’t need.

This bohemian backpack is ideal for a Spain holiday packing list. It’s fun and practical with good security due to how it closes. It’s inexpensive and packs down in your main luggage if you have a different plan for your carry-on bag.

Tortuga travel backpacks are great for carry-on-only travel. They open like a suitcase, but are lightweight and have a waist strap so that you have more support carrying it around. 

Fjallraven Kanken backpacks are perfect for all types of travel. The lightweight fabric and capacity make it particularly suited for a packing list for Spain in spring. It comes in a mix of sizes and most are roomy enough to stash a spare jumper, an umbrella, and water.

This convertible canvas backpack was designed for a Spain packing list for study abroad or digital nomads! It’ll hold all your notebooks, gadgets, and gizmos. The backpack is practical but it’s nice to have the option to wear it as a shoulder bag and feel less like you’re heading to class when you’re bound for the nearest tapas bar.

2. Two/three pairs of shoes

As with the type of bag, a couple of footwear options are integral to any complete Spain packing list. Mix and match these based on your travel plans.

You’ll need something comfy to wear during the daytime when you’re ticking off the museums in Madrid, wandering the Barcelona seafront, or taking yourself off to see the 12 Treasures of Spain. A pair of Keds or Converse pumps are practical and may also be worn at night in casual places.

Alpargata shoes are ideal for what to pack for Spain in summer. They hold up well with extended wear and look great with all outfits.

Sandals are a must for a beach vacation in Spain. Reef sandals are sturdy, comfortable, and water-resistant.

Chelsea boots are a must for the rainy winter months in Spain. They’ll keep you warm too. Dr. Martens is a brand you can trust although you’ll find cheaper ankle boots that work as well.

man carrying two suitcases for his Spain packing list.

Consider whether you want to roll suitcases on cobbled streets or opt for a backpack if you are going to be moving around a lot on your trip to Spain.

3. Reusable water bottle

The great news is that yes – you can drink tap water in Spain. It might not always taste wonderful but it is safe. And, a reusable water bottle is an absolute must for your Spain travel packing list.

Drinking tap water is a brilliant way to reduce your plastic waste. This stainless steel water bottle has a handy strap and is double-insulated to keep your water icy cold for up to 24 hours.

4. Kindle eReader

If you’re planning on exploring Spain by train or spending a chunk of your itinerary horizontally on the beach, you’ll appreciate an eReader. They’re far lighter than carting around physical books.

Only the Kindle Paperwhite spares you from glare and is water-resistant. One charge should give you up to 10 weeks of battery life. This latest model has an adjustable warm light that shifts the screen from harsh white to warm amber. Honestly, it’s almost as good as the real thing.

You’ll also want to buy a protective case for your Kindle.

The Kindle Daily Deal email alert is a great way to stock up on reads for a pittance.

map on the floor with a pair of boots, a jacket, and a backpack next to it.

If you are planning to hike the Camino de Santiago, you’ll need a totally separate packing list, but if you are just doing some light hiking while you’re in Spain, pack a few hiking essentials.

5. Sunscreen

Sure, you can buy sunscreen in Spain but it might be more expensive and you might struggle to find the brand you love. At the very least, pack a sunscreen stick for your face (winter, too). This CeraVe mineral sunscreen protects against UVA/UVB rays and avoids a shiny face.

Do pack a larger bottle of high-factor sunscreen when traveling to Spain during summer. Especially when you’re destined for the beach.

6. Universal travel adapter

A universal travel adapter is a cheap investment that should be at the top of your complete Spain packing list. But, this type of adapter means you’re ready to travel anywhere! The USB ports are really useful as well.

7. Portable charger

This is something you likely won’t use but is handy to have in your inventory. Portable battery chargers have been on the scene for donkey’s years now and sort you out in a pickle.

This slim power bank is compatible with USB-C ports and charges smartphones faster than the wall socket.

man standing at an airport looking out the window while holding his suitcase full of things to pack for Spain.

Packing for Spain can feel overwhelming if you have never been before, but just plan for what activities you’ll be doing and you’ll be fine.

8. Spanish language tools

You probably can breeze through a holiday at classic vacation destinations in Spain with a token “hola” and “gracias” here and there. However, it makes such a difference to Spaniards when you make more effort to converse in the language.

At the very least, brush up on the basics with a Spanish phrase book and a couple of months with the free app, Duolingo. There’s no way that little green owl will let you enter the country without knowing your izquierda from your derecha. If you’re planning on hiring a car in Spain you will need a couple of basics in order to read the road signs.

If you have even more time on your hands or are planning to move to Spain for study or work, consider a course. Baselang and Pimsleur are two of the best online services for learning español! This should go to the top of your Spain packing list for study abroad plans.

9. eSim compatible smartphone

If you’re in the market for a new mobile phone and are a frequent traveler, you’ll want to consider getting one with eSim compatibility. Not all devices are but more and more of the newer ones have this feature.

It means you can install an eSim ahead of travel and have access to data at a reduced rate. It’s cheaper than data roaming and easier than faffing around with a physical SIM card when you land.

Airalo and Nomad are two of the big providers of eSims. They have apps that make the process easy.

10. Solid shampoo and conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner bars are far easier to travel with and are a must for a complete Spain packing list. This Kitsch duo is cruelty-free and made with rice water protein to keep your hair shiny and strong after too much time in the sea.

11. Tangle Teezer

Speaking of hair, a Tangle Teezer hairbrush is the only way to avoid knots. This compact Tangle Teezer is designed for travel. It gently detangles hair without breaking strands and works even on thick hair.

beach in alicante with the mountains in the background.

If you are spending most of your time on beaches like this one in Alicante, you won’t need to pack much. Look for Airbnbs with washing machines so you can pack even lighter.

12. Laundry bar

Planning to do laundry on your travels helps maintain a compact packing list for Spain. It’s easy to find laundromats if your rental or hotel doesn’t offer a laundry service.

However, it’s smart to carry a laundry bar for quick handwashing sessions in the sink – or to act quickly when you spill rioja on your favorite top. This one is made using natural and organic materials. It’s tough on stains yet gentle with delicate garments. Even if you don’t use it on your trip, it’ll have its moment someday.

13. Polarized sunglasses

Sunglasses belong on a complete Spain packing list for safety and style reasons. The sun is fierce in Spain (even in the misty north) and exposure to UV rays is dangerous. Buy a pair of polarized sunglasses as these reduce glare and eye strain.

They’re an absolute must for outdoor activities as well as while driving in Spain as they improve visibility.

14. Dry bag

If you’re eyeing up kayaking tours in Cabo de Gata Níjar Natural Park then you’ll need a dry bag. Available in five different sizes, this waterproof dry bag will keep your valuables safe and dry while paddling. It comes with a phone case.

15. Beach towel

Bath towels should be provided in your hotel or rental apartment but beach towels usually are not. Add a beach towel to your packing list for Spain in spring and onwards as you can use it for sitting on the beach or picnicking in a beautiful park.

A Turkish beach towel is a nicer fabric than a microfiber one. It packs down in its pouch for easy transportation.

aerial view of barcelona with the sagrada familia in the center.

If you are spending your time in Spain in cities like Barcelona or Madrid, pack comfortable walking shoes because you’ll be spending a lot of your trip exploring on foot!

16. Toiletries/cosmetics bags

Finally, someone invented a travel toiletry bag with a detachable segment for waving at TSA staff. This one has a nifty hanging hook and lets you pack your carry-on bits and bobs in the transparent pouch. If you need an extra bag for make-up, this cosmetic bag lets you take your expensive products on the plane and saves you a headache at security.

17. Travel jewelry organizer

If you are planning on traveling with accessories, a foldable jewelry roll prevents tangles. It’s small enough to go in your carry-on to minimize the chance of theft.

18. Aqua shoes/socks

Many of the beaches in Spain are pebbly. They’re not the sexiest thing to sport while relaxing on the beach but a pair of water shoes is what to pack for Spain to save you from yelping when you go for a dip. They’re inexpensive and take up next to no space in your bag. Aqua shoes are a must for children if you’re visiting pebble beaches.

If you are planning to do some hiking or walking along the coastline during the summer months, you may want waterproof walking sandals like Merrells or Tevas.

woman taking a selfie on the beach wearing sunglasses and a sunhat.

While spending a month in Valencia I wore my sunhat and sunglasses pretty much every time I left the apartment. It was always SO hot and this hat was a lifesaver.

19. Sunhat

A sunburnt scalp isn’t a look you’ll want to sport in Spain. A sunhat is a must for your packing list for Spain in spring or summer. A simple little baseball cap will work for an outdoor or hiking-based itinerary.

The closer you get to summer (and the beach), the bigger the hat should be. This foldable straw hat is easy to pack and has a wide brim plus UV UPF sun protection. It’ll be your new best friend while lounging on the Costa del Sol beaches.

20. Journal

It’s a little twee but having a notebook to jot down memories and anecdotes is the only souvenir you need for Spain. It doesn’t need to be a brick, just a simple jotter does the trick. These wildlife notebooks are a premium option with silky paper and a faux leather casing. They’re a vegan-friendly and responsible brand and donate a fraction of their profits to WWF-UK. You’ll need a couple of pens, too.

21. Mini First Aid kit

This is really more of a reminder for any vitamins and medication you’ll need for your Spain holiday packing list. It’s also useful to carry the basics, such as painkillers, antihistamines, and plasters. All of this stuff is readily available in Spain but if you wake up to a hangover or mosquito bite, it’s nice not to have to dash out to the nearest pharmacy.

Pick up a mini First Aid kit and customize it with what you need. It can be any old pouch really but it’s very hard to misplace a bright red First Aid case.