Hi Dan here and let's be honest, a lot of people want to explore more and travel but never do it.
Wendy and I get it... it's scary, it can be really expensive and overwhelming trying to plan everything out.
That's a big reason why we make our videos and write blog posts like this one.
We want to give other people our real life experience so they can go out and do it too.
Sometimes you just need to see it or read about it to make it feel more attainable.
I am not saying you have to do it exactly like we did, that would be impossible, but you will walk away with more confidence and be ready to take the first steps after reading this today.
So if you want to save big and experience more of the world, let's get started!
Right off the bat you can start by avoiding the hotels and opt for an Airbnb or hostel.
After Wendy and I find a great flight deal, the next thing we like to do is get right on our Airbnb app to scout out prices and read the reviews.
This is one place you actually benefit from the comment section lol.
And yes, I also said consider a hostel... just tell your Mom it's an Airbnb.
If Airbnb freaks her out, tell her you are renting an apartment for a week, it's basically the same thing.
What you think you’ll lose in luxury or safety (which you won’t) you will gain in life experiences you can't get anywhere else.
We literally became locals for the week, instead of "just tourists".
From the Balcony of our Airbnb in Gràcia
Maybe you're not willing to leave the hotels just yet, but I feel it's worth the experiment at least once in your life.
And in all honesty we still use hotels, just not very often.
Regardless of your choice in habitat, look for a location about 5-10 mins walking distance outside of the most common areas.
You will easily save hundreds and you can get some natural exercise in your day.
Our 1 bedroom apartment was about a 10 min walk from the Arc de Triomf and we loved everything about it.
Arc de Triomf
Now let's get into our top 4 reasons to visit...
1. The Weather!
Spain’s placement on the Iberian Peninsula is near perfect as far as weather is concerned.
You get a nice variety in temperatures and tons of sunlight.
Sunlight is the best cure for nearly everything from depression to acne and a whole slew of other common ailments in the "less lit" regions on our globe.
When you step out into the sun you can't help but smile... and if you can smile, you can really do anything.
Taken outside La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona is the most visited city in Europe and named, “the city of sun” for good reason.
It averages 300 days of sun per year with an average temp of 64.4 Degrees Fahrenheit.
We even saw a good amount of people swimming at the beach in early March, but they were probably tourist from the north just happy to not be stuck in the cold!
With Palm trees swaying overhead you really can sense the mediterranean vibes and when the summer rolls around expect a lot of skin and tons of people lounging around.
This brings us to reason number 2.
2. The Beaches!
The picture above was taken around 4pm at a popular beach called, Platja de la Nova Icària.
You can see that even in March it can get pretty crowded.
Local Tip: Jump on a train and head south from this beach about 15 mins to avoid the crowds and tourist.
Our friend Ave, who we met in a Market by our place, told us about this on our last day there so we didn’t get a chance to go, but we will definitely do this on our next visit!
If that’s not on your agenda, no worries there are plenty of restaurants, bars and tapas spots to enjoy all around that are in walking distance of the downtown and beach areas.
It’s as if the entire city is on the beach... but it’s not. So make sure to bring appropriate clothing for both lol.
As you cover the city, you’ll notice many people hanging out all day enjoying something tasty.
People definitely seem to be working to live and not the other way around.
One place where people are definitely working however, is in the restaurants!
Which brings us to the next reason to visit...
Even a simple tapas item like Bravas pictured above is something special.
This a fried potato dish that is bathed in oil, paprika and topped with aioli and often a spicy tomato sauce.
It will make you wonder how they made something so simple, taste so good.
In my opinion the best food starts with the best ingredients.
And Barcelona is overflowing with fresh, organic and local delights.
They know good food and it’s on every corner.
Also it just seems to be healthier and I for one can personally taste it.
The paella is perhaps the most well known dish but I encourage you to check out all that there is to offer here.
We had a ramen noodle meal that was incredible and some delish tacos across the street from the Barcelona Generator Hostel which was right around the corner of our apartment.
I highly recommend the Gràcia area for food, sights and shopping if you are into that.
The food in Barcelona is a form of art in my opinion and this bring us to the last (but not at all the least) reason to visit.
4. The Art & Architecture!
It’s literally everywhere you look!
You can't turn away if you tried.
I'm not even sure what this building was in the picture above.
It could have been a church, an apartment, or an office building... who knows, but it was beautiful!
The buildings and monuments make the entire city a walkable museum full of history and modern expression.
It shapes the local culture that is Barcelona’s spirit.
It’s unavoidable, so no matter where you find yourself, you will be in awe.
The love for life pours out of the city and it's people.
I really feel that there is something here for everyone from the classic tourist bouncing from site to site, all the way to the back-packing party animal college kids.
Restaurants close around midnight but then turn into lounges till 2 or 3 or 6 am sometimes... they close when people leave.
Sunday’s are the most relaxing as you might assume as many things close down, so Saturday night is very lively.
Actually it seems that every night you can find something to do like many big cities around the world.
This isn't a region where people visit once to never return. You will be planning your next trip back in the middle of your stay, it's just that kinda place.
If you aren’t into walking everywhere, like we are, getting around is simple by taxi.
A 30 min drive is about €30 (about $34 USD at the time of this posting). So it’s about one euro per minute on average, which is basically like an Uber ride back in the states.
The buses and trains are much cheaper and easy to figure out, although we never had to use them. In Gràcia everything we needed or wanted was close by.
One of the biggest questions people ask us is how we save money for all our trips.
We like to make life simple, so we us an app called Digit.
I personally saved over $500 in just 2 months just by using this app.
But there are many options out there for everyone to explore so don't feel limited in any way.
I have found automatic saving options to be the best, especially if saving money is tough for you or you are just starting out.
Last little money tip...
Mostly everywhere in Barcelona will take visa or MasterCard, but will not accept American Express at the time of this posting, so keep that in mind.
Credit cards can very often be better to use when traveling abroad, especially if you find one with no international fees and good security and help (I like Capital One Quicksilver for these reasons).
We barely used any physical currency and had no issues. However, having the equivalent of $50 USD cash or so would be a smart move to have on hand in case of emergency, but as always, go with what you are most comfortable doing.
So there you have it.
You now have more than enough to get the ball rolling.
All you have to do now is take the fist step!
Check out our Vlog here: