I am planted in the Barnes and Noble travel section with a venti iced latte. Sprawled out around me in a chaotic mess are Rick Steve's, Lonely Planet, and Eyewitness Travel -- all of whom claim to be the best guide to traveling in Spain. They have packing lists, hostel options, and lists of the best restaurants in Europe. After quite a bit of research (including the ever-so-credible Pinterest), I compiled a short list of what every traveler must pack for studying abroad in Barcelona.
Every guide book I came across has this at the top of their list. Barcelona is known for having some of the best beaches in Europe. Barceloneta is a strip along the Mediterranean Sea filled with fresh seafood, like-minded tourists, and breathtaking views of the water. Alongside the beaches, Barcelona has a wide variety of water sports. Everything from kayaking, white water rafting, and surfing! You will not want to miss out on this due to a forgotten bathing suit.
|Necessity #1: Swim Suit|
2. Electrical Adapter
Electric power in Spain comes through at 220 volts and at 50 Hertz, while American power comes in through at 120 volts and 50 Hertz. So if you plan to keep your phone and camera charged, you will need an adapter that converts the North American two pronged-flat plug into a two pronged round European plug. These can be found at Target, Walmart, a travel supply store, or in most airports.
3. Walking Shoes
This is an absolute must. Barcelona is a large city that requires quite a bit of walking. Even with public transportation, you should anticipate walking at least a few miles a day. With that said, your Old Navy flip flops may not be the best option for shoes. Find a good pair of sandals or tennis shoes with arch support for your feet. They will thank you later.
If you forget all but one thing -- REMEMBER YOUR PASSPORT! There is no leaving or entering a country without this little guy. Keep it in a safe pouch in your carry on, and keep your carry on close to you at all times. It is also a good idea to make copies of your passport to keep with you while you wander around the city. Make sure you leave your passport safe in your luggage back at the hotel while abroad. Also, make sure it doesn't expire within 6 months of your trip.
5. Your Meds
It's a good idea to have all your essential medical supplies while traveling. This includes a pain reliever, such as Advil, an anti-diarrhea medication in case you have trouble adjusting to the cuisine, and your prescribed medications. Keep a note from your doctor with your medications explaining the reason for each prescription. Be sure to get enough pills for your entire trip. This may require your doctor to give you double the normal amount so that you don't end up in a medical bind thousands of miles away.
Grace Pearson is the Summer 2015 CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a senior at Belmont University.