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Spain

Spain on a Budget

As Western European countries go, Spain is fairly affordable -- but we wouldn't call it cheap. To help reduce your vacation price tag, seek out hostels and homestays, and cook for yourself when you can. Pensiones, or small guesthouses, are another good bet for basic and affordable accommodations. Buses, trains and subways offer affordable alternatives to rental cars and taxis. When eating out, look for fixed-price meals; many restaurants offer them and they're often a great deal. Tapas, or small plates, make a delicious and affordable snack.

Best Time to Go to Spain

Avoid the stifling summer heat in places like Madrid and Seville (highs regularly top 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so even the locals clear out) by traveling during the spring or fall; as a bonus, airfares will be lower then too. More temperate northern Spain is a better bet if you have to go in the summer. Spain is surprisingly appealing in the wintertime as well; its mountainous areas are good for skiing, while southern areas like Andalusia are mild enough to walk around outside without a coat.

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