How you go about finding the best places to travel in Spain as an English teacher will depend entirely on your interests, as well as how long you’re planning to stay in the country for. Teachers have the added advantage of the summer holidays, meaning plenty of time at the end of the academic year to explore. From hidden gems off the beaten tourist track, to the iconic must-see attractions, those adventures can take different shapes, but there’s no doubt that in Spain there’s something for everyone.
Work and travel
There are English schools all across Spain, so as an English teacher you will have your pick of destinations. If you intend to stick around for a couple of years, there’s no reason why you can’t change things up each year by applying to different schools, and moving to different parts of Spain. This way you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of various regions, and take day trips to discover new cities at your own pace. The average salary for EFL teachers in Spain makes life more than affordable, and therefore the cost of these outings should be well within your budget for travel.
If working in a private or public school in Spain, and thus being confined to a particular area, isn’t your cup of tea, you could also opt to work as a digital nomad and teach lessons on the move. This would allow you to see any place in Spain whenever you so wished, without the necessity of booking time off of work, or waiting for national holidays. Whilst this comes with the benefit of being able to travel around Spain freely, it comes with the additional requirement of needing to make sure that you meet the requirements for this type of visa. Alongside this, you would have the extra workload of having to market yourself to find students to maintain your monthly income, and ultimately travel spending money.
Talk to locals
Learning the language is a great way to bond with your neighbors, flatmates, or even the barista at your local cafè to build a community that can eventually give you tips on where to head to on your next trip in Spain. This is also the best way to integrate into a new country and culture if you intend to stay for a long period of time, or even indefinitely. Being able to ask for directions, or recommendations in the native tongue will allow you to experience new places through the eyes of a local, and perhaps even discover the best local bars and restaurants you may not have otherwise known about.
On the other hand, if you’re not planning on living in Spain long-term, you might not feel inclined to learn the language, especially if you want to continue working and traveling around Europe. In this case, utilize the people around you to find out about places they’d recommend. If you’re working in a school, it could be fellow teachers, or even your students. If you’re on the move with your nomad visa, reach out to expat groups on social media for ideas. These connections could potentially even become friends that then head out with you to discover new parts of the country.
Take a tour
Opting to take a tour could introduce you to a new way of visiting a country that you hadn’t previously considered, and allow you to make the most of the time that you spend there. Typically you can choose between taking a group tour, or paying a little extra to have a more personalized day out, tailored to your interests. Companies like cooltourspain.com are the perfect way to see the tucked away treasures of Spain that you wouldn’t have necessarily thought to look for. Not only that, choosing what tour, or tours, to take can help you narrow down which cities or towns in Spain you’d like to explore first.
In addition to helping you organize your trip, going on a tour is also a chance to meet new people, and learn about the history and traditions of Spain from local experts. It is a tour guide’s job to know the best places, and moreover, be able to talk about them at length in your native tongue, and answer any questions guests may have. As a result, they take the pressure off of you when it comes to finding the best places to travel to, as well as eliminate the obstacle of navigating a foreign language.
Do your research
For those wanting a more personal trip around Spain that are willing to put the work in to organize it, reading guides and doing your research is key to finding the best places to travel to. This is something that you can start doing before even moving to Spain to teach, so that when you arrive you already have a general idea of the places you’d like to see the most, or even any local festivals you want to go to throughout the year. From there, you can figure out a tight sightseeing schedule so that you don’t miss out on a thing.
Doing your research is also useful for finding out, not only where to go, but more crucially, at what time of the year to go. Some places will be scorching hot during the summer, for example, making days of sightseeing more uncomfortable than enjoyable. There is also the matter of Spain being extremely touristic during the summer. Whilst some cities may be known as must-see destinations, they may not feel that way during peak season. This is a problem that you can nip in the bud by looking into it online, and aiming to visit during quieter periods so that you can avoid crowds, long queues, and enjoy low-season hotel prices.
On the whole, how you find the best places to travel to in Spain as an English teacher is closely tied to what you want to make of your experience whilst there. For some, it may be a case of ticking historical sights off your bucket list, for others it may be the desire for full immersion in a new country, and taking your time to explore it. Neither approach is right or wrong, but both guarantee spectacular sights to be seen.