By: Laura Walton AFC®
We recently returned from travelling in Spain and among many things we loved about the country was the low cost of great food, convenient transportation and unique accommodations.
A typical breakfast is café con leche and toast with jam or ham and cheese – about $8 for two.
Tapas (small snacks served at bars) can either hold you over until dinner or you can make a dinner out of them. A beer and three good-sized, delicious tapas each cost about $15 for two.
Dinner is typically not served before 8PM. Fun fact – Spain has the fifth highest seafood consumption in the world. However, traditional Paella is not made with seafood but with chicken or rabbit. Seafood Paella is the tourist version. An outstanding meal with wine was about $45.
Travel is easy and cheap. The two hour bus ride between Granada and a small village in the Sierra Nevada mountains (yes, the Sierra Nevada range in California was named by the Spaniards exploring the New World – they reminded them of home) was about $6 each round trip. Note to travelers: Big, comfortable modern bus but no bathroom aboard.
Our accommodations, mostly Air BnB, added to the experience and averaged around $75 a night. The Spaniards brought their building style with them to the New World – we can see it here in our traditional adobe homes with ceilings supported by wood beams. In our mountain village cottage, the wood was Chestnut and it supported layered stones all of which was then painted white.
I found a website that allows you to compare the cost of living between two world cities (even Tucson!). Here are cost comparisons between Tucson and Granada, Spain:
As you can see, our monthly wages go further in Spain – a travel bargain. Our big ticket item, a car, is even more expensive there, about 20% more expensive, not to mention $5+/gallon of gas and scarce and expensive parking. Thanks to cheap and efficient public transportation, Spaniards can skip this big expense but low wages still pinch there budget. Always interesting to see how others live.