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SPAIN: Travel Tips

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Spanish life has undergone rapid change in recent years and many of the stricter religious customs are giving way to more modern ways, particularly in the cities and among women. Nonetheless, many old customs, manners and traditions have not faded and hospitality, chivalry and courtesy remain important.

-Handshaking is the customary form of greeting.

-Normal social courtesies should be observed when visiting someone’s home.

-If invited to a private home, a small gift is appreciated.

-Flowers are only sent for special celebrations. Conservative casual wear is widely acceptable.

-Some hotels and restaurants encourage men to wear jackets.

-A black tie is only necessary for very formal occasions and is usually specified if required.

-Outside resorts, scanty beachwear should be confined to beach or poolside.

-Smoking is widely accepted.

-The evening meal is taken late, generally 2100-2200. The Spanish have two family names; in conversation only the first should be used.

-Tipping: service charges and taxes are usually included in hotel bills, however in addition, a tip should be left for the chambermaid and porters should be tipped per bag. It is also customary to leave a tip for the waiter. Restaurants often include service in the bill so a tip is discretionary. In cafes and bars, it is 5 to 10 per cent. Tip taxis 10 to 15 per cent when metered.

-Do get an Spain cell phone rental so you can stay in touch and coveniently get important information during your stay.

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