Barcelona- Frequently Asked Questions

What do I NEED to do before leaving for the Barcelona trip?

  1. Make a non-refundable $500 deposit by April 15 and then pay in full (also non-refundable) by April 20. Total cost is 1,500 for a double.
  2. Get your plane ticket to and from Barcelona.

What type of payment is accepted?

You can pay online by credit card or send a check.

What does the payment include?

  • Double hotel accommodations in Barcelona (additional cost for single room supplement)
  • Breakfast everyday at the hotel and all meals (except 3 lunches and 1 dinner)
  • Metropass as transportation for all scheduled activities in Barcelona and excursions outside of the city.
  • Entrance/Program fee associated with scheduled activities (unless otherwise indicated)
  • Guided visits and cultural activities included in the program
  • Fees for professors, lecturers, and institutions
  • Program Coordination as is indicated in the tentative attached itinerary, translations and expert guides
  • Farewell dinner
  • Farewell party
  • Administrative overhead fees

What is not included?

  • Flight to and from the US
  • Meals not included in the program, drinks and tips
  • Personal items/expenses
  • Optional/evening activities and/or unscheduled activities

Do I need a visa to go to Barcelona?

If you are a U.S. citizen no.  If not please check your embassy's website.

What documents do I need to bring with me?

The only document you need to bring with you is your valid passport! You MUST have this to get on the flight.

What happens if I miss the flight to Barcelona?

Try to get on a flight the next day, and use one of the emergency numbers to let us know asap.

How can I get in touch with other delegates before the trip?

We will create a Facebook page before the trip for delegates to connect with one another! We will also create an email listserv for delegates who are not active on Facebook.

Do we need any special vaccinations or immunizations? What if we get sick?

No inoculations are required for travel to Barcelona. Depending on your health care provider you may need to get travel insurance or there is public health care in Spain.

What should we wear/pack?

The temperature varies from about 58-73 degrees Fahrenheit in May, and rain is not likely. There is no dress code for the trip, so bring whatever you are the most comfortable in.

Must haves:

  • Your passport
  • Any medication you use
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste)
  • Sun-hat, visor, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • One set of nice clothes for high-level meetings (no need to be very professional, but bring something presentable!)
  • One pair of comfortable shoes for city walking tours

Some things to consider packing:

  • Aspirin, pepto bismol, or immodium just in case
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Day pack
  • A notebook and pen
  • Light sweater for the evenings
  • Dancing outfits if you choose to go dancing
  • Ear plugs (in case you are a light sleeper and your roommate snores)
  • Pink clothing! :)

What is the money situation? How much should we bring?

You will be able to use cash and credit cards in Barcelona. There are many ATMS as well. Money can be changed at the airport in Barcelona, as well as at most hotels in the city.

Below is a list of items/activities that you will need money for, and might need money for. We recommend that you bring a minimum of $200 to cover the basic (meals not covered, tips and water), but depending on your spending habits and possible extra purchases, you can gauge how much to bring.

Might need money for:

  • Other beverages
  • Private excursions / optional cultural activities separate from the group
  • Transportation if you go off on your own (the public transportation is very reliable and taxis are easy to find)
  • Shopping! There will be lots of artwork and gifts to purchase for yourself or friends back home, so make sure to budget accordingly!

Can I arrive early or stay after the tour?

If you want to arrive early or stay after the tour in Barcelona, you must sort out the logistics PRIOR to departure. So don't leave this to the last minute!

Will you provide transportation from the airport to the hotel?  The tour starts and ends at the hotel and here are all the options from the hotel. The “Aerobus” departs from the terminals every 10-20 minutes. It is fast and comfortable, with space for luggage. Single ticket:5.90 euros (Return tic mket:10.20 euros). It takes about 30 minutes.Get off at the stop: Plaça Espanya. From Pl. Espanya you can get to Sants Estació by metro L3 (direction Zona Universitaria, 2 stops), taxi or by walking about 10 minutes. http://www.aerobusbcn.com
Taxi: There is a taxi rank at the entrance to the airport and it takes about 30 mins.
Train: There is a train from Terminal 2 of the airport to the train station and it takes about 35 minutes to reach the city centre.There are shuttle buses between Terminals 1 and 2.
Metro: •From the airport, at the terminal 1 or 2, take the metro line 9 Sud to “Zona Universitaria” stop. Once there, change to line L3, direction “Trinitat Nova”. Finally, get off at the third stop “Plaça de Sants”, just a few meters from the hotel. Ticket price: 4,50€.

What if I am taking another flight or coming in from another country?

You can join the tour at any time, but we can’t prorata the rooms, just the meals.

Will there be an orientation?

The official orientation will take place once we arrive in Barcelona.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND LOGISTICS

If I don't have a roommate but want a double, will you pair me up?

Yes, we will pair roommates according to the information provided on your applications. We will contact you with the name of your roommate as soon as the logistics are worked out. We appreciate your patience.

What are the internet options?

The hotel is fully equipped with wifi. If you feel you will need wifi on the go you can buy sim cards at a lot of shops around Barcelona if your phone is unlocked.  But as much as possible, think of this as a time to detox from our electronic gadgets!!!

FOOD

How do meals work?

Most meals are included in the cost of the trip. We will also give you a list of private restaurants and recommendations for the free meals.

Won't providing meals for such a large group be difficult?

Yes, it might be. Breakfast every day is a large buffet with many options. In any case, bring power bars and snacks in case a meal is late or skipped because of activities. Bring extras to give out to people--it’s a great way to make friends!

What about folks with special dietary needs?

If you have strong dietary restrictions, we recommend that you bring along packaged trail mix, power bars, or whatever packaged foods meet your particular dietary needs.

While meals will vary every day, here is an overview of what to expect:

  • Breakfast: the breakfast buffet usually includes meats, cheese, eggs, pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, and more -- it is possible to find vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options during breakfast
  • Lunch: lunch will normally be included in the daily programs and is the biggest meal in Spain. It will almost always consist of bread, meats, cheese, seafood, vegetables, and rice. It is possible to find vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options during lunch (although in this case you will need to ask, and if your gluten and dairy allergies are severe you should communicate that to your trip leaders to make sure you are safe).
  • Dinner: Dinner options will be similar to lunch: bread, meats, cheese, seafood, vegetables, and rice. It is possible to find vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.

GENERAL BARCELONA QUESTIONS

What is the exchange rate?

$1 of US currency will exchange to .81 EURO.

What is the electrical voltage and what plugs do they use?

In Spain the power sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.  All iPhones, iPads, and laptops use now up to 240 volts.

You will need an adapter for all your devices. Check some out on Amazon here and while you are at it use Amazon smile to donate to CODEPINK!

What is recommended for tipping?

While the Spanish are not big tippers per se, it is true that the tipping culture has come to Spain. That said, gratuities are not expected. It is certainly not a legal requirement to tip. People working in the Spanish hospitality sector are usually full-time employees and are paid a salary for the work they do.

Will all the meetings be translated?

Yes, everything will be translated to English.

Can we use our cell phones?

If you have an unlocked phone with a sim card, you can buy sim cards to put into your phone, plus you'll have to buy the minutes. However, we recommend that you plan not to use your phones while you are there. Local phones will be available in case of emergency.

 Can we use credit cards?

Yes. Cash is still used more than credit cards though.

 What can you bring back?

Anything under $10,000.

 Is there much theft?

Take care when travelling in Barcelona. Pickpocket style theft can be an issue in some of the very busy tourist areas. Out and out muggings are not really common and physical violence is certainly the rare exception. Please take precautions, as you would during international travel anywhere. A money belt, worn under clothing, is the recommended option for carrying your valuables during travel. Remember to keep track of your possessions.  You can leave your valuables in your hotel room. We have not had any issues with items getting stolen from people's hotel rooms.

 Can we go off on our own?

Yes, you don't have to attend every meeting. In fact, we recommend that you take off a morning or afternoon to explore with a buddy/buddies. Then tell us about your experiences!

 Can we drink the water?

You should drink bottled water during your stay in Barcelona. It is available in stores and in the hotels. For those of you with environmental concerns regarding the use of bottled water, an alternative is to bring with you a water purifier or tablets– the kind used for backpacking in regions where the water is impure. We encourage you to buy large bottles of water and fill up your individual bottle as needed.

 Can we eat fresh fruit and vegetables?

Yes. If you have a sensitive stomach or just want to be safe, it's good to carry Pepto Bismol and imodium.

Will there be documentation of the trip?

We encourage participants to share their best photos and videos. You can add your photos to our flickr account, and also check out pictures from the last trip. You can also use the Facebook page to share photos and videos

Once in Barcelona, take photos that capture your experience and try to keep a diary so that you can speak and/or write articles when you return. We encourage all of you to share your experiences through social media, writing articles/op-eds, seeking to be interviewed in your local press, setting up talks at your community center/place of workshop/workplace.

 

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Be patient and flexible:

Traveling in any group presents challenges, and this is especially true in such a large group. Number one requirement to make this a great experience is PATIENCE (something difficult for many of us!). Number two requirement is FLEXIBILITY. Plans change at the last minute. Speakers don’t show up. Buses break down. Make the best of these snafus by making new friends in the group, leading us in song, telling jokes. Have fun and bring up the spirits of the others, especially the grumpy ones!

Be courteous:

Please be courteous to your fellow participants, our country hosts, guides, translators, waiters and hotel staff who choose to make presentations to our group. If a difficult situation should arise, try to think in terms of how you, as a member of the group, can contribute to a solution.

Respect and help the trip leaders:

All of the trip leaders have been working very hard to put this trip together, and will be working REALLY hard during the trip. Many of the US trip leaders are not only volunteers, but have actually paid their own way!!! Please give all the trip leaders thanks, encouragement and assistance.

For reasons of safety or for the interest of the group, there may also be times when the group leaders will advise against a particular action. Please respect their request.

Be punctual:

Please try to be at our meeting places on time. Being mindful about punctuality will ensure that the group isn’t late and/or you won’t be inadvertently left behind. If you miss an event you signed up for because you were late, take it as an opportunity to do something else, like join another group or take a stroll along La Rambla.

Respect different political views:

Please remember that we are guests in Barcelona, a country with a different culture from that of the US, with a different history. It is best to approach each new situation with an open mind. You’re there to learn, exchange ideas and have a good time. And remember: there are very different political viewpoints among Spaniards, and among the trip participants.

Comments

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  • Larry Maxwell
    commented 2018-03-30 15:46:25 -0400
    Kirsten Iverson Iverson,
    Well, my +1 fell through, thx to severe bunyans, of all things.

    Also, thx to a major health issue (Type II diabetes) with a minor consequence (incontinence due to a reaction the medications I’m taking to control my health issue), I am requesting a single room (will pay) and plan to be a Joe Hermit while in my room due to medical necessity (Sorry!).

    Also, are people flying out of DC to get to Barcelona? That is the route I would like to take.
  • kirsten iverson
    commented 2018-03-28 19:12:45 -0400
    Hi Larry! We would love to have you and can definitely match you up with other people coming on the trip!
  • Larry Maxwell
    commented 2018-03-28 17:26:06 -0400
    I very much want to go on this trip, and am looking for a +1 to accompany me.

    Larry Maxwell