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How to Make the Most of Your Holiday in Guardamar

Useful holiday tips and hintsSo why do you need a page on how to make the most of your holiday in Spain? Well, the answer is you may not, but this page is to give you a few things to think about and if you are anything like me, a gentle reminder of things you possibly already know doesn't hurt.

The holiday tips on this page cover a variety of subjects including holiday preparation, finding cheap flights, cheap car hire and cheap travel insurance, safety abroad, travel money and shopping and more besides. It will probably become a growing list over time as I discover new things to put here.

Most of the things here will be relevant wherever you decide to holiday in Spain or abroad, not just for your holiday in Guardamar del Segura or for your stay in our Sunrise Apartment.

Deciding Where You Want to Stay for Your Holiday in Spain

Decide What You Want From Your Holiday

Think about what you want from your holiday, do you like walking through beautiful parks or lounging on blue flag beaches? Do you enjoy the Spanish culture and eating in a variety of international and Spanish restaurants? Or are you looking for English bars and restaurants and night clubs that will stay open all night? It's your holiday, decide what you want from it before deciding where to go.

Of course we want you take your holiday in our Sunrise Apartment in Guardamar but only if it is what you are looking for. Your holiday is important, it is a time for you to relax, unwind and fill you with happy memories that will stay with you for the years to come. This is why we are always honest about location, facilities and the area because if you decide you want a holiday in Guardamar but what you really want from your holiday is to party all night at clubs or eat in a different English restaurant every night then Guardamar is not for you.

Once You Have Decided on Location Consider Booking Your Accommodation

This is often true wherever you stay but speaking from our point of view if you want to stay at our Guardamar apartment book early, especially if it is between the months of May to September as this is our busiest time and many of our guests come back time after time.

Book Your Accommodation Before Booking Your Flights

This may sound silly, but time after time we have had enquiries from people who have booked cheap flights to Alicante before finding somewhere to go for their holiday. They are desperately contacting people to find accommodation to match their flight times, and during the peak of summer this is not always an easy job. You could end up in a place you don't really want to be just because you bought cheap flights. Book your holiday then find your flight, it is much easier that way.

Preparing For Your Holiday In Spain

If You Want Cheap Flights to Alicante or Murcia Airport Then Book Them Early

In general it is no longer the case that by leaving booking your flights to the last minute you will get them cheaper, usually it is the other way around. Experience has shown that booking flights early can often save you quite a bit of money. Look out for the sales, often prices are best in the winter just before and just after Christmas because people are not wanting to spend money.

Do not just fly with Easyjet or RyanAir because you think of them as low cost airlines; always Compare cheap flights to spain first because often companies such as Monarch Airlines will come up cheaper. Keep you eye on prices and when you see flights at a price you are happy to pay then book them, they could go up, they could go down but if you are happy with the price why worry. But remember ... book or reserve your desired holiday accommodation first (Click here if you are interested in staying at the Sunrise Apartment).

Make Sure That You Have up to Date Travel Insurance & That Your EHIC is Current

Travel Insurance is a must when you travel abroad particularly in the event of a medical accident or emergency take a look at our cheap travel insurance page to compare policies. Also ensure that you have a current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) this replaces the old E111 form. If you need a new EHIC it can be done directly from the EHIC website which is part of the NHS or call 0191 218 1999; be careful if searching online because many third party companies will charge you for completing the form.

Check That You Have A Valid Passport

Make sure that your passport has more than the minimum number of months left on it, and if it is getting close renew it. If you are looking to go on holiday to Guardamar in Spain you will need a valid passport the minimum time that you should have left on it at time of travel is as far as I am aware six months, but check this with your local passport office.

Planning For Your Holiday in Guardamar del Segura

Learn a Little Spanish, it Goes a Long Way

It goes without saying that if you go to another country locals will appreciate you more if you attempt to speak to them in their language, even if it is hello, goodbye, please and thank you. If you have time get a Spanish phrase book before you go to Guardamar and try to learn a little of the language. We have Spanish phrase books, dictionaries and verb books for you to use whilst you are staying in the Sunrise Apartment in Guardamar but it won't hurt to buy one before you go for your holiday in Spain so that you can prepare.

Look Up Places of Interest in and Around the Area

Once again, we have books with places of interest in our Guardamar apartment for you to use whilst you are there along with a comprehensive information folder but it is nice to get some idea of where you would like to go whilst you are on holiday in Guardamar. There are some wonderful places to see within the immediate area, but if you are prepared to hire a car whilst you are on holiday or use public transport then undoubtedly you will see more.

Decide how far you are prepared to travel and then use our old friend Google to do some Internet research to find places of interest in the area, thoroughly check out our website for information on towns in the region too. Print out details of places you want to go to and write a list so that you have it to hand when you are on holiday.

If You Are Planning to Drive Whilst on Holiday in Spain, Take a Sat Nav

A satellite navigation system (sat nav) can be invaluable when you are out driving, especially when driving home late. Often when dark I have just programmed the holiday accommodation as my home destination and then done Navigate to Home from the sat nav, this has proved to be invaluable on many occasions for me and if you like to go on mystery tours I am sure that it will be the same for you too.

Using Your Mobile Phone Abroad

Ensure That Your Mobile Phone Has Had International Roaming Turned On

If you have had a new phone or have changed network provider it is possible that international roaming will not have been turned on, if that is the case then you will not be able to make or receive calls when abroad. Usually all you need to do is to call your network provider and ask them to disable the bar on international roaming and that's it.

Get Cheap International Phone Calls & Cheap International Data For Your Mobile Phone

If you want cheaper phone calls when abroad and you have a mobile phone that is unlocked to any network then consider getting an international SIM card from 0044. 0044 has been recommended by Which Magazine and offers not only cheap calls from your mobile but also cheap data, this could save you a packet if you use your phone a lot.

Use Your Smart Phone To Connect To The Internet For Free Whilst In Spain

When you stay in Guardamar for your holidays you will find that you can benefit from an abundance of free wi-fi zones. Many bars or restaurants will allow you to connect to their free wi-fi so just ask. Make a point of visiting bars and restaurants the length of Guardamar del Segura and you will then be able to benefit from free wi-fi whenever you are out and about in the town which will save on trips to the internet cafés.

Make Sure That You Have Mobile Phone Insurance

This is as important in the UK as it is abroad, but if you have an expensive mobile make sure that you have a mobile phone insurance policy that covers you for loss, theft and includes water damage and worldwide cover. Check your home insurance as this may include the cover you are looking for, but if not then why not compare cheap mobile phone insurance quotes and get it covered in case you end up losing it in a bar or taking it for a swim.

Getting Money & Shopping Abroad

Getting Money Abroad From Your Bank

There are many ways of getting money abroad but a lot depends on where you are going. If you are going for a holiday in Guardamar we often find that the best way is to take some Euros with you, enough for immediate essentials on your arrival but then to use a card to withdraw it from one of the many banks.

Most banks and building societies these days will let you withdraw money from your debit account directly and whilst there will be a small charge for this it is preferable to trying to find a bank that will exchange travellers cheques as these are few and far between in smaller towns.

Getting Money Abroad Using Prepaid Credit Cards

Another good way of getting money abroad is to use a prepaid credit card such as the Which Magazine recommended My Travel Cash prepaid credit card there are others too such as the My Wonga prepaid credit card and the BreadFX prepaid credit card amongst others. These cards offer varying benefits and few charges depending on what type of prepaid credit card you use. Benefits of many include free ATM withdrawals, no credit checks and no need for a bank account amongst others, they are a good way of getting the protection of a credit card with less hassle. Always read any terms and conditions carefully before deciding which prepaid credit card to apply for.

Take ID When You Want To Buy Things Using Your Credit Card

When you go into a supermarket or other shop and want to pay for your purchase by card, remember to take identification in the form of your drivers licence, ID card or passport as most places won't accept payment without a form of ID.

Tips For Driving In Spain

Hiring a Car in Spain

If you are planning to self drive whilst you are on holiday in Guardamar why not check our page on cheap car hire and compare some of the companies around. Always check before you hire a car that you know what you are paying for, often there is a charge for additional insurance to cover windows, keys, wheels and tyres along with additional driver fees and an up front payment for a full tank of fuel (you have to bring it back empty and they know you wont). At least if you are prepares for additional fees it wont stress you out at the start of your holiday.

Things to Take With You When Driving

Every time you drive in Spain make sure that you have your car rental documents and driving licence with you. If you are stopped by the police they will require that you have these documents, plus you may need the contact details of your car hire company if you break down.

It goes without saying but take a mobile phone with you, it will be essential in the event of a breakdown if you don't have one consider getting a cheap mobile phone before going on holiday.

If you have one, or a friend can lend you one then why not take a sat nav with you as this is perfect for navigating back to our apartment in Guardamar should you get lost.

Take trainers or shoes with a back in for driving as it is illegal to drive in open backed shoes in Spain.

Essentials for Driving in Spain

Do not drink and drive! Some people may believe that the laws on drink driving are relaxed in Spain ... they are not; you wouldn't do it here in the UK so don't do it in Spain either.

Don't drive with your shopping or bags on the back seat as there have been fines for this, put it in the boot or in the back on the floor. I don't suspect it is a common fine but it does make sense I guess as a tin of beans in the back of the head in the event of an accident or emergency stop would not be good.

Know the speed limits and the signs, searching Google is a great way of finding out this information. Only drive if you are confident with driving abroad; it is easy once you have done it a couple of times so don't worry.

Basic Safety Tips for Your Holiday in Spain

Keep a Note of Your Details

Whilst taking a holiday in Guardamar should leave you fulfilled and relaxed, as with everywhere there is always a risk of theft or indeed loss, and Spain is no exception. Make sure that you take photocopies with you of each of your important documents and keep them in a safe place (for example the safe we have in the Sunrise Apartment). You should keep copies of your passport (the page showing the number and details plus your photo); travellers Cheques numbers; Holiday Insurance Documents (name of company, where and how to claim, who to speak to etc.); driving licence and any ID card.

Only take those things you need when going out, leave the rest safe in the apartment or any other holiday accommodation.

Always keep a tight grip on your handbag (or manbag) when in busy places such as street markets etc. as some thieves just cut through straps also keep wallets in front pockets and be aware of your valuables.

Prevent Dehydration on the Beach

We all like a drink but drinking too much alcohol in the sun or on the beach could dehydrate you. To help prevent dehydration ensure that your fluid level and salt levels do not fall too low; have lots of bottled water to drink (2 litres per day seems to be the recommended amount) also keep a bag of salted crisps with you or fruit such as bananas.

Prevent Sunburn & Sunstroke

We want you to enjoy your holidays in Guardamar and you will not do this if you have turned pink from head to toe on the first day or given yourself sunstroke.

Use plenty of suncream and limit direct exposure to the sun to start with, tanning slowly will give you a better tan and it will last longer. Avoid sitting in the sun when it is at it's highest and make sure that you have access to shade, we have a parasol in our apartment in Guardamar so take it with you. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when you are not particularly thirsty, our bodies are mostly water so drinking it regularly will help prevent dehydration and sunstroke. Also take a hat for your neck and head and a t-shirt or loose shirt for long beach walks.

The warm sun, the sound of the sea, the relaxation all lull you into a peaceful place on the beach, try not to sleep on the beach in direct sunlight because you may well end up with very bad sunburn or possibly even sunstroke.