Before you Go
Before you leave on your holiday to Spain as with any other travel abroad make sure that you have a good travel insurance that will cover any medical costs while you are either on your way there, while you are in Spain, and also for your return journey. Remember when you travel you should make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected.
Check that your travel insurance covers:
- Medical expenses for injury or illness
- Theft of valuables
- Damage to baggage
- Flight cancellations or interruption of flight schedule
- Additional activities – skiing, water sports, hiring a motorbike etc.
- Make sure your medical insurance provides for repatriation/evacuation this is vital should there be a need to return you to your home country for medical treatment.
Your itinerary and documents
Make sure that your itinerary and contact details certified photocopies of your travel documents are left with your nearest and dearest – and always get in touch and let them know if you make any changes along the way.
Is it safe to travel to Spain?
Yes Spain Is safe to travel but no matter where we travel in our modern world we come across petty crime and so it is good to be prepared and especially not do anything to tempt those on the hunt for an easy opportunity.
- If you have something you really cannot afford to lose, rather leave it safely at home.
- Many of the places you may visit may not be particularly affluent therefore it is not a good idea to look as if money is no object. So don’t show a lot of cash at any time.
- Don’t have a lot of cash on you at any one time, and keep your cash separate from credit/debit cards.
- Don’t use ATMs after dark.
Pick-Pockets – Spain is not any more dangerous than your home turf, as the incidence of serious crime is not high, however if you are going to be in a main centre on the metro or in a tourist resort it as well to be cautious and keep an eye out for pick-pockets and bag snatchers.
What to be wary of:
- Someone wanting to sell you something in the street – Many of these people actually refuse your money as you take out your purse to pay – their Modus operandi is to put their hand over your purse/wallet and say “No, no, not necessary”. Then as you walk away with a warm feeling about the generosity you have just experienced, be warned, that hand over your purse/wallet was well practiced in the art of pick-pocketing and you may find later that all your cash is missing from your purse/wallet.
- Someone who bumps into you and then insists on brushing dirt on your clothing – this is to distract you while his/her partner picks your pocket.
- Getting into the metro – if there is a crowd board you might find yourself being jostled – ideal pick-pocket ruse.
- If someone drops cash in front of you – a coin or an object: as you bend to assist in picking it up someone is helping themselves to your purse/wallet.
- Do not allow someone to polish your shoes – especially if you have not planned to do so.
Your bags and cameras:
Handbags are particularly at risk, or at least their contents, so when you are in a crowded area and on the move i.e. catching a bus or in the metro, it is best to carry your bag in front of you If you have a shoulder bag, you can leave the strap on your shoulder but move the bag from your side to hold it in front of you, this way the strap will be across your body so handbag snatchers will not be so keen to tackle your bag.
When at a café or restaurant keep your bag on your lap, don’t hang in from the back of your chair or leave it on the floor unless you can place it against a wall, even so a good idea is to place the leg of your chair in the centre of the straps so you will notice immediately there is any attempt either to rifle through your bag or any attempt to snatch it.
If you are on a motorbike be particularly watchful at intersections or traffic lights as there are snatchers who will grab your bag, or camera.
- It is always wise to enjoy your night-time entertainment in a group.
- Do not leave your drinks unattended, and do be careful not to be tempted into overdoing it, as the tot measures in Spain are a lot more generous than in other countries.
- Avoid less populated areas, alleyways and dark stairways.
- Try to avoid using ATMs after dark.
What to do if you are the victim of a crime
- You need to report it to the police without delay: Emergency Services dial 112 – all the operators at this emergency number speak English.
- Make sure you have a copy of the police report (una denuncia) – especially if you will be making an insurance claim i.e. stolen goods, passport
If your travel documents have been stolen, you will need a police report when you apply for an emergency travel certificate and when you apply for your replacement passport.
Be sure that you have the ‘una denuncia’ – the police report for insurances purposes as there is another document which is your sworn declaration – ‘una declaración judicial’ – which will not be sufficient in the case of an insurance claim.