Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Spain, so your behaviors are important.
Eat and drink safely
Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.
- Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
- Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
- Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
- Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel
You can also visit theDepartment of State Country Information Pagesfor additional information about food and water safety.
Prevent bug bites
Although Spain is an industrialized country, bug bites here can still spread diseases. Just as you would in the United States, try to avoid bug bites while spending time outside or in wooded areas.
What can I do to prevent bug bites?
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
- Consider using permethrin-treated clothing and gear if spending a lot of time outside. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
What type of insect repellent should I use?
- FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET forprotection that lastsup to several hours.
- FOR PROTECTION AGAINST MOSQUITOES ONLY: Products with one of the following active ingredients can also help prevent mosquito bites. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
- Always use insect repellent as directed.
What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?
- Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
- Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.
What can I do to avoid bed bugs?
Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs.
For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites.
Stay safe outdoors
If your travel plans in Spain include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip:
- Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
- Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
- Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
- Heat-related illness, such as heat stroke, can be deadly. Eat and drink regularly, wear loose and lightweight clothing, and limit physical activity in the heat of the day.
- If you are outside for many hours in the heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
- Protect yourself from UV radiation: use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
- Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
- Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.
Stay safe around water
- Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
- Do not dive into shallow water.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
- Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if you are driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
Keep away from animals
Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.
Follow these tips to protect yourself:
- Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
- Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
- Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
- Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
- If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.
All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:
- Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
- Go to a doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.
Reduce your exposure to germs
Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
- If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.
Avoid sharing body fluids
Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.
- Use latex condoms correctly.
- Do not inject drugs.
- Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
- Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
- If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.
Know how to get medical care while traveling
Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:
- Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
- Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance for things your regular insurance will not cover.
- Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medicines you take.
- Bring copies of your prescriptions for medicine and for eye glasses and contact lenses.
- Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Spain’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
- Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.
Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website (www.jointcommissioninternational.org).
Select safe transportation
Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.
Be smart when you are traveling on foot.
- Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
- Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
- Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.
Choose a safe vehicle.
- Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
- Make sure there are seatbelts.
- Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
- Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
- Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
- Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.
Think about the driver.
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
- Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
- Arrange payment before departing.
Follow basic safety tips.
- Wear a seatbelt at all times.
- Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
- When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
- Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
- Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
- If you choose to drive a vehicle in Spain, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
- Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
- Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
- Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
- If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
- Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.
Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.
Maintain personal security
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
Before you leave
- Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
- Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
- Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.
While at your destination(s)
- Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate.
- Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
- Follow all local laws and social customs.
- Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
- Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
- If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.
Travelers from the USA to Spain must meet ONE of the following health requirements (provided they are over 12 years old): 1. Vaccination certificate (at least 14 days from the last dose of vaccination). Accepted vaccines: Pfizer- Biontech, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, Jansen/Johnson&Johnson, Sinovac and Sinopharm.How long does hepatitis A vaccine last? ›
A hepatitis A vaccine requires one single injection, which should ideally be scheduled to take place at least 2 weeks before travelling abroad. It provides protection for one year, after which you will require a booster dose. If you have this booster dose you won't need further boosters for 25 years.Is there malaria in Spain? ›
Since 1964, malaria is considered eradicated in Spain.Do you need a vaccine to go to Canary Islands? ›
It is good to know that you do not require any vaccinations for your vacation. The Canary Islands are an autonomous community of Spain located on the Atlantic Ocean west of Morocco. The main – and most well-known – islands in the archipelago are Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, and La Palma.What is required for a US citizen to travel to Spain? ›
Spain is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Spain for up to 90 days for tourism or business without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. You must have sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.What do I need to travel to Spain from USA? ›
- Valid passport (must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry in Spain).
- Sufficient funds to cover your trip.
- Return or onward ticket.
- An accommodation provider.
- Important: The Spain Health Control Form (SpTH) is not required anymore to travel to Spain.
Effective vaccines against hepatitis A have been available since 1992, and they provide long-term immunity against the infection. However, there is no worldwide consensus on how long protection will last or whether there will be a need for hepatitis A virus (HAV) booster vaccinations in the future.Does the Hep B vaccine last for life? ›
Most people who are vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine are immune for life.Is hepatitis A vaccine necessary? ›
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hepatitis A vaccination for all children in the United States when they are one year of age, all children and teens through age 18 who were not previously vaccinated, certain children age 6 through 11 months who are traveling outside the U.S., all adults ...What is the leading cause of death in Spain? ›
Non-infectious diseases, particularly heart disease and cancer, are the leading cause of death and illness in Spain. Back pain and depression also contribute significantly to the burden of disease, especially for women.
Cardiovascular diseases are the first cause of death in Spain, accounting for 33.71% of total deaths. Within this group, ischaemic heart disease is the first cause in men (22,923 deaths). Cerebrovascular diseases are the main cause in women (21,927 deaths). In second position are tumours, which cause 25.9% of deaths.Can you get sick from mosquito bites in Spain? ›
It is spread by mosquito bites and can cause a severe flu-like illness. During winter and early spring, risk of dengue in Spain is low as mosquitoes are less active. The risk is highest in the months of May to November.What Covid test is required for Spain? ›
-Negative COVID test: A negative Nucleic Acid Amplification test (PCR, TMA, LAMP, NEAR, etc.) taken within 72 hours of departure for Spain, or a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) taken within 24 of departure for Spain, will be accepted.Can i go to United States without vaccine? ›
As of May 12, 2023, noncitizen nonimmigrant visitors to the U.S. arriving by air or arriving by land or sea no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of June 12, 2022, people entering the U.S. no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.What documents do you need to travel to Spain? ›
Valid passport or travel document: The document must be valid until three months after the planned date of departure from the Schengen territory, and must have been issued during the ten years immediately before the date of entry. 2. Visa: For certain nationalities, a valid visa is required.How often do you need to get hepatitis A vaccine? ›
For long-term immunity, the HepA vaccination series should be completed with a second dose at least 6 months after the first dose. However, the second dose is not necessary for PEP. A second dose should not be administered sooner than 6 calendar months after the first dose, regardless of HAV exposure risk.How often do you need to renew hepatitis A vaccine? ›
The course of the monovalent Hepatitis A vaccine involves 2 doses. The first dose provides short- to medium-term protection, but a booster dose taken within 6-36 months of the first dose provides long-term protection, and in most cases, no further boosters are required.Is hepatitis A immunity lifelong? ›
Key facts. Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver that can cause mild to severe illness. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity.How long after hepatitis A vaccine are you immune? ›
Protection starts 1-2 weeks after the first dose of vaccine, and lasts for 20 years to life after 2 doses. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children should receive hepatitis A vaccine starting at 1 year of age (2007 AAP Statement).