5 days in Spain under $1,000

Read time: 2.5 minutes

  • Destination: Madrid, Malaga, Marbella, Mijas, and Torremolinos, Spain

  • Budget: $1500 per person

  • Actual Amount Spent: $978 per person

A good friend of mines from London wanted to take a trip somewhere in Europe before moving to America in December, so in August I planned for us to take a trip to Spain. I found a super cheap last minute flight that I just couldn’t pass up, $450 round trip to be exact! Flexible trips are the best to plan in my opinion because you get the best deal and there’s an element of surprise not knowing where you’ll end up after your search. Although it took me 3 flights (I flew American domestically and Iberia Airlines internationally), and a long layover to get there it was well worth it! My outbound journey was IAH >MIA>MAD>AUD, but returning was much easier and more fun! My friend snagged us last minute tickets in first class on a high speed train, a first for both of us! So we took the train from Malaga after 4 days to spend our last day in Madrid, making my inbound journey MAD>MIA>IAH…much better!

I set off for Spain on a Sunday and arrived that Monday. My friend’s flight was booked perfectly and we met at the airport in Malaga, Spain at the same time!

We stayed in the semi all-inclusive beach front hotel Sol House 4 days for $180 per person, in a small town called Torremolinos. I really made that up but when I say semi all-inclusive it just means the hotel included free breakfast and dinner, no lunch or free alcohol. It worked out great because we were always out on the town for lunch and the alcohol was always cheap (like $3 for a glass of wine cheap)! I must say for all my American readers, a lot of hotels in Europe regardless of the country serves British cuisine. I’ll just say this, their breakfast staple is beans, eggs, and sausage (you have been warned). However, the best part about this hotel you ask…Coronado beach! One of the best beaches in Spain was our backyard for the next 5 days! *Bonus: So I met one of my cousins for the first time in Spain! It was amazing and not a coincidence that we happened to be in the same country at the same time. I learned so much from her and really got further confirmation during this trip that I am literally walking in my purpose.

During our time in Torremolinos we were able to visit the beautiful cities of Malaga, Mijas, and Marbella. Each city was a scenic $3 bus ride away!

In Malaga we ate Asian fusion and drunk tea at the foot of a beautiful cathedral, and caught a breathtaking traditional Flamenco show. I have to say this form of dance is one of my favorites, it’s so full of passion!

Mijas was a quaint little white town off the coast of Spain, we took a €10 horseback ride around the town and walked down a few of the streets to get these beautiful pics!

Marbella was another cute white town in the mountains. There was an old castle there that the locals have seemed to build through to adjust to modern times.

On our last day in Madrid we caught a great deal walking down through Torremolinos Marina. There were many companies offering boat rides (all for pretty cheap), but this particular one in the middle of the marina caught our attention with the cutest little catamaran. So for €10 a piece my friend and I got to take a beautiful ride around the sea!

We spent our last evening at the hotel pool and finished off a bottle of Baileys before packing to hit the road again. The next morning we were off on our first class adventure to the Malaga High Speed Train Station!

This was my first, first class seat on anything! I could definitely get used to the service you get in first class. I also prefer the train over the plane now for many reasons, but most of all because of the extra space (I’m a little leggy).

We made it to Madrid just in time to catch the sunset! We toured pretty much the entire central parts of Madrid on the rail system (€8 for 10 trips). We took a cab twice, once to get to the shisha aka hookah spot (where we got free shisha with the purchase of 2 cheap drinks like under €10)…that number seems to be a trend but that’s pretty much how our spending went! 

All in all Spain was an amazing trip. I got to relax on one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen thus far, met my new favorite cousin, toured the cutest white towns that would make you want to stay, had some great wine (every night), saw a traditional flamenco show that stole my heart, took my first high speed train ride in first class, and did it all with a friend! Couldn’t have asked for a better trip.

Signing off and sending good vibes,


Radiant Social