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Spain & Portugal 2013/2014
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Spain and Portugal

PLAN YOUR TRIP

PASSPORTS & VISAS

Each passenger must be in possession of a passport, valid for more than six months AFTER the return date of travel. No visa is required for U.S. passport holders for a stay of up to three months. Non-U.S. citizens must contact the Spanish or Portuguese Consulate for entry requirements.

CUSTOMS

Visitors may bring into Spain or Portugal one bottle of liquor, one bottle of wine, 50 ml of perfume and 200 cigarettes.

BAGGAGE

Transatlantic flights allow 2 checked bags per person (neither to exceed 62 inches) or 50 pounds, with the total dimension of both bags not to exceed 106 inches, plus 1 carry-on bag not to exceed 22 inches & 17 pounds. However, please be aware that on flights between European countries baggage is weighed and limited to 44 pounds per person in Economy and 66 pounds per person in First Class.

Note: Due to space limitations in the motor coach, private cars and minibuses we ask that you kindly limit your luggage to 1 piece per person plus a carry-on.

CLIMATE

Spain's weather varies considerably from region to region and from season to season. In general, you can rely on pleasant or hot temperatures just about everywhere from April to early November. In July and August, temperatures can become extremely hot anywhere inland. Rain in most areas is heaviest between October and April. In the mountains, snow-falls start as early as October.

Portugal: Portugal has a mild climate without extremes of temperature. Winters are never too cold and summers are always moderately hot.

WHAT TO PACK

The following are suggestions for both men and women:

Ladies
Gentlemen
  • Lightweight rain coat
  • Jogging suit
  • Casual dress for sightseeing
  • Skirts, culottes and slacks
  • Walking shorts
  • Blouses
  • One or two dresses/Pants suits
  • Cardigan sweater or jacket
  • Swim suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Shoes for evening
  • Travel robe with nightgown
  • Large handbag, evening bag
  • Bathing suit and cover-up
  • Scarf, sun hat, sun glasses
  • Toiletries
  • Lightweight rain coat
  • One suit
  • Sport jacket
  • Slacks
  • Walking shorts
  • Shirts: sports and dress
  • Cardigan sweater or jacket
  • Swim suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Dress shoes
  • Travel robe with pajamas
  • Desired accessories, belts, etc.
  • Sun hat, sun glasses
  • Toiletries including shaver
  • Adapters for electric razor

DON'T FOGET TO PACK

  • Valid passport
  • Traveler's Checks
  • Copy of the first page of your passport
  • Copy of your airline ticket
  • Departure documents (voucher, airline tickets)
  • Medicine
  • Camera, batteries and ample supply of film
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Pocket-size Kleenex
  • Moist towelettes
  • Sewing kit, safety pins
  • Sun screen, tanning lotion
  • First Aid kit
  • Extra luggage locks
  • Money belt
  • Extra set of luggage keys
  • Extra set of eyeglasses
  • Soft, foldable slippers for plane
  • Prescriptions for medicine and eyeglasses
  • Folding umbrella

CURRENCY

Spain's currency is the Euro (€). There are notes in denominations of €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5. There are also Euro coins in denominations of €2, €1, 50 cent, 20 cent, 10 cent, 5 cent, 2 cent and 1 cent. There are 100 cents to €1. These notes and coins can be used anywhere within the Euro area, regardless of country of issue. Currencies of the world can be changed without problems in any bank or exchange office except if you are coming from Morocco. Banks tend to offer the best exchange rates but it is always best to check commission rates as every bank seems to have a different commission structure. Traveler's checks usually bring a slightly better rate than cash and, in many places, the more money you change, the better the exchange rate you will get. A nominal fee may apply when exchanging currency at the airport or hotels.

Portugal: The unit of currency in Portugal is the Euro (€).Traveler's checks are readily accepted, as are major credit cards. Credit cards can be used for many transactions (including meals and hotels) but it is wise to check with your card's issuer on how widely usable your card will be in Spain (especially if you plan to use ATM machines as, in some cases, the number pads are alphabetic and not numeric). Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club are among the most widely acceptable cards.

TIME

Mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (in summer, 2 hours ahead of GMT), or 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time USA. The Canary Islands are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time year round, or 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time USA.

Portugal is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time except for Madeira and the Azores, which are one and two hours, respectively, behind Portugal.

BANKING HOURS

Spain: Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Portugal: Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
Closed on public holidays.

HEALTH

No specific vaccinations / inoculations are required for entry to Spain or Portugal. We recommend, however, that you please check with your personal physician to determine your special needs, if any.

DRINKING WATER

Hotel and restaurant tap water is safe to drink virtually everywhere in Spain and Portugal. Water from public spouts and fountains is not considered reliable. Safe bottled water is available everywhere and is recommended for persons with a sensitive system. In hot weather, we strongly recommend drinking plenty of water, necessary for rehydration. Don't rely on feeling thirsty to indicate when you should drink.

VOLTAGE

Electric current in Spain and Portugal is 220 volts but there are a few places that are still on 125 volts (however, sockets are usually labeled where this is the case). Wall plugs are the round two-prong European type.

Most American appliances will need transformers and plugs (converters)
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