Navigating “La Ciudad de Naranjas”

Oranges are evidently not only good for eating and making juice out of, they also make for stunning decorations. Valencia is known as the land of the oranges and rightfully so; the city’s streets are lined with trees full of those bright and beautiful little oranges. But, tip number one, don’t eat the oranges! (They’re too sour and are sprayed to have such vibrant colors.

A Few Helpful Pre-Departure Tips

  1. Read up on the culture: googling a few travel blogs before you go will help you when you eventually arrive. Going into a new country blind to the customs can be very overwhelming- it’s better to be prepared before you board the plane. This can include how the bill at restaurants are handled (in Spain you have to ask them to separate it, or get your party’s Venmos to split later), whether or not you tip (here tipping is not common), and what the fashion situation is over there. In Spain I’ve found many helpful tips on travel blogs that helped me prepare a proper wardrobe to bring over here so that I don’t stick out too much as foreign. Try googling phrases such as “what to expect in (insert country)”, “fashion in ___”, “___ customs”. You may learn things you never thought to search!
  2. Figure out your phone situation: do this BEFORE you go. From personal experience I can say that it’s much harder than you think to get your phone ready to function in another country. There are also TONS of different options to choose from, so it’s best to go ahead and take the time you leave to decide which plan is best for you. I didn’t do much research and came overseas with my original phone plan. Even though they said I had “free” international service plans I racked up over a $60 bill in the first four days I was over here. Finding an international SIM card wasn’t too hard, but the process of getting my phone unlocked was an ordeal that left me dependent on WiFi for three days.
  3. Pack, unpack, then pack again: It seems like a lot but trust me, you will forget/regret bringing something. Again from personal experience, I packed the day before I left and did not bring proper clothes to wear here. The Spanish winter is cold and lasts until about the end of February- being from Florida I don’t have many warms clothes so I’ve had to visit shopping centers a lot. This goes both ways though- be prepared but also understand additional bags have fees and surpassing 50lbs can cost you a pretty penny. Worst case scenario, if you really can’t fit anymore in your suitcase you can always visit the store and buy what you absolutely need. Here in Spain rebajas (sales) are the biggest in January and February so shopping is cheap!
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