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Spain has a booming tourist industry. In 2011, over 12 million Brits visited its shores, making it one hell of a popular place for cheap holidays abroad. The charms of Spain are well known – golden beaches, buzzing cities and relaxing island paradises to name but a few.
With the 12 million Brits making up around 24% of the annual visitors to Spain, the conclusion to draw is that tourists are everywhere, and spotting them is as easy as pie. But if you want to blend in with the locals rather than stick out, follow our fool proof plan which will allow you to live and act like a Spaniard:
Ditch the Sombrero
Contrary to what you may think, Spain and Mexico are two totally different countries with their own cultures. The typically oversized sombrero is associated with Mexico, not Spain, and going around wearing one whilst screaming ‘Aribba’ will result in a few confused looks and immediately set you apart from your Spanish comrades. Your veil of cover will be removed for all to see and you will look quite the fool.
Drink Small but Often
It is very British to neck ten pints in as quick a time as possible, and to do so will immediately let your Spanish hosts know that you are not one of them. To fit in, you do not need to abstain from alcohol – the Spanish love a beer too – just change your habits. Drinking small glasses of beer during the day is a very Mediterranean thing to do and is actually much more enjoyable. Most Spaniards will enjoy a cold beer during lunch and sometimes even earlier.
In the UK, most people tend to sit down for dinner at around 6pm, give or take an hour or so. Coming in from work to find a nice steaming toad in the hole waiting for you on the table is pure heaven, but if you find yourself sitting in a Spanish restaurant at 5pm you are more likely to be handed a lunchtime menu than one for dinner. Due to the locals taking siestas during the day, most restaurants do not get busy until 9pm or later. Bear this in mind when planning your meals on Spain holidays. The last thing you want to do is be sitting alone in an empty restaurant, eating five hours earlier than everyone else.
Kiss and Become Friends
In the UK, when meeting someone for the first time it is customary to shake hands. In Spain, if you are introduced to someone of the opposite sex, kissing them twice on the cheek is the common way to greet them. No, this does make you a God in the eyes of the opposite sex, it is just the way things are done over there. You are not special.
Got any more tips for Brits when on cheap holidays to Majorca or any other part of Spain? Leave your advice below!
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Ricky is a keen traveller and writer who shares a passion for both. Ricky has travelled extensively, visiting various countries in Europe and South East Asia along with Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Ricky is a resident blogger for travel specialists Beat the Brochure, and in his spare time enjoys playing football and following Chelsea FC. Google Visit his Google + page for more information.