Have you ever thought of getting away, going on an exciting adventure, and experiencing a different way of life? One place to consider is the city of Madrid in Spain. This is the largest city in Spain with a population of three million. Here you will experience a vibrant culture and interesting people.
While visiting Madrid, you will experience all types of artistic and intellectual activity as well as great ethnic food. Also, if you enjoy shopping there are plenty of places to spend lots of money. Make sure to pack a translation dictionary or download an app. The main language in Madrid is Spanish but you may also find people speaking Catalan, Galician and Basque in different areas of Madrid.
How to prepare
The first step on planning a trip to go overseas is making sure you have all the correct paperwork and documents filled out. The two things you’re going to need are a passport and a state id or driver's licence. If you don’t have these you can get a passport at the post office for around $150 and a ID costs around $20.
After you have all those squared away you will want to set a date when your going and then returning. Make sure you prepare for the long flight. Especially because flying to Madrid from Milwaukee takes almost 14 hours. I planned my trip by going on Kayak.com to find my plane tickets, hotel and transportation. You can also find places to stay and transportation options on there as well.
What will my trip cost?
When looking at different airlines I found a roundtrip ticket from Milwaukee to Madrid for $2,533.00. The hotel I found was called the “EXE Plaza” and it was $165 per person/night. The flight had one stop in Chicago and a layover for about two hours then on to Madrid. The travel time from Chicago was about 14 hours. Remember to calculate check in, parking and exedra.
One US dollar will equal .78 british pound. You can download a currency rate converter on your phone. Once you get to your destination there are different types of transportation you can use. If you’re there for business and you need to go to the same destination everyday, using a pickup drop off service would be a good choice. This will help save money especially if you ride with a group. This service costs around $17 per day to get where you're going or $85 per week. If you plan on sightseeing and exploring the city then it can cost up to $200 or more to rent a car for the week. You can also reserve these types of services so you don’t have to figure it out when you get there. When budgeting your money you want to think of these three different categories; hotel, food and spending money. The hotel costs around $165/night for your stay plus tips. When eating out give yourself around $45 per day to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food costs can change quite a bit depending on what you do, but I would say around $100.00 per day for doing different activities like shopping and tours.
When traveling to a foreign country you want to experience and learn as much as you can while you’re there. The first place I recommend is Mercado San Miguel. This is a Market that was built in 1916 in the center of Madrid. There you can find very different kinds of tapas, olives, beer, wine and other freshly made food. The second place is called Plaza de Cibeles. This is where neo-classical complex of marble sculptures can be found. This place has wonderful types of architecture to view so bring your camera. The third place would be Retiro Park “Park of the Pleasant Retreat”. This park is the biggest park in Madrid and used to belong to the Spanish Monarchy. There’s plenty of scenery to admire while taking a walk in the park. Those are three of the great places to check out in Madrid but there are also many more.
After visiting Madrid's attractions you’re going to want to have a good meal. Some good foods that you may like to try are tapas (appetizer), Tortilla Espanola, and Paella. Tapas comes in all shapes and sizes. One tapas is called a Patatas bravas. This is potatoes, cut and fried in oil and served in a spicy sauce. Another one is a croquetas, which comes baked in a ball of ham, fish or cod. The next type of food would be tortilla Espanola. This dish is made with potatoes, broken and beaten eggs and cooked to perfection. This would be more for a lunch or breakfast. The last one would be good for dinner and is called paella, which has white rice, vegetables, chicken, duck and rabbit meat, land snails, beans, and spices in the ingredients. This would be a great dinner plate for any tourist. Some interesting restaurants in Madrid that would be good to visit are Dstage, Ramon Freixa Madrid and Ramon Freixa Madrid. All of these came highly recommended from different travel sources. You can always check out tripadvisor.
When you’re planning your trip you can consider ways of saving money. If you’re on a business trip with other coworkers you can split transportation costs and hotel costs. This will impact the overall total of what your spending. Another example would be taking an Uber to the airport so you don’t have to pay for parking. Parking at the airport can cost around $11 per day. That means you could save $55. When planning any type of trip it’s always good to plan ahead of time so you don’t have any unexpected surprises. Traveling is one way to open your mind to great and amazing things.
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