Running a small apartment complex in the Canaries
and being a rep means I see daily examples of what strange things
people bring on holiday that they'll never need, as well as the things
that people often forget. So, here's a page to give you some advice,
much may be obvious to most of you but not to all.
First, if you have any special requests for your
airline seat or your apartment once you're here. the time to make
these requests is with your travel agent when you book your holiday.
If you leave it until you're at the airport or destination, you're
leaving it too late.
Lanzarote enjoys a tropical climate throughout the
year. The island enjoys sunshine and high temperatures every month
of the year. Don't pack too many warm clothes, you won't need any
during the summer and you're better off packing too many T-shirts
instead. You'll be changing your clothes a couple of times during
the day with the high temperatures here (check the weather
page). Bring comfortable shoes for walking too and from your apartment
complex as this will most likely be done on steep hills or up and
Bring travellers cheques and credit cards rather
than cash, ensuring your cheques are insured in the case of theft
or loss. Cash only what you need for the day and lock away what you're
not using in a safety deposit box in your apartment or complex. Banks
are the best bet to exchange money (6 days a week 08:30 - 13:30, closed
Bring your driving license if you have one, even
if you don't plan on hiring a car. It's not heavy, doesn't take up
space and you may find yourself deciding to hire a car after all as
you discover how much there is to see around the island, once you're
Don't bring your favourite foods from back home with
you unless they really are bizarre and hard to find back there. Food
products are imported to Lanzarote from all over Europe & Scandinavia
especially, due to the large amount of tourists that visit here on
self-catering holidays. The same goes with toiletries. Whilst water
is hygenically safe for cleaning teeth, washing food etc... it is
very high in mineral content which can cause bad stomaches so for
drinking water, by bottled water from any supermarket at around 100
ptas for a 5 litre bottle. All ice cubes here are made from mineral
water too, so safe to consume. If your flight lands here after around
9pm, you might want to bring a small amount of coffe/tea/sugar/milk
and a small bottle of mineral water all ready to make your first "brew"
as facilities around many complexes will be closed when you get there.
Bring plenty to read, don't forget you'll be spending
a lot of time by the pool or on the beach and foreign magazines and
books are a bit expensive here. Some complexes have a "book exchange"
facility so check that at reception or the pool bar.
Pack a small first aid kit with plasters, antiseptic,
headache and stomach-ache pills, maybe ear-plugs if you're a light
sleeper. Also make sure you have an insurance policy that covers you
if you need to visit a private medical centre here, as they can be
a bit expensive. Bring toiletries from home, they'll probably be cheaper
than here. When you get to your apartment or see your rep, find out
the emergency medical number to call that your insurance covers then
keep that number with you at all times. Don't rely on the local emergency
A lot of the accommodation here doesn't have kettles,
toasters or irons so pack the travel kind if you can't live without
them. The currency here is 220 and sockets are 2-pin.
If you need a new camcorder or a new camera, or anything
else electrical for that matter, wait until you've been here first.
Lanzarote is a duty-free island and camcorders here compared to UK
prices are around 20-30% cheaper in most cases, as are cameras and
all other electrical goods are very much cheaper too. Shop around
and compare prices. It's best to know what you want and how much
you'd normally pay for it before you get here, then ensure you get
all the extras you need for it and everything works. Be prepared also
for some hard selling from most shops, be firm with them when you
know what you want or go to another shop if they get on your nerves!
Be sure you are happy with what you've bought and how much you've
paid for it before you leave a shop as they won't change anything
or refund you after a purchase has been made in other shops around
Also along the lines of duty-free, check what your
allowance is for going home. Everything you buy on the island must
be within the limits set by customs. Duty-free cigarettes, alcohol
and perfumes are cheaper on the island than in the airports!
You won't need your passport with you as a tourist
here unless you want to change money, are using the services of a
bank or driving a car so at all other times, keep it locked away.
Rent a safety deposit box from your reception.
Take care of your valuables when you're on the beaches,
especially at weekends, best off leaving them in a safe if they're
not in use. Also, when out of your apartment, ensure all windows and
doors are locked behind you and electricals (especially the cooker)
are turned off. Don't leave valuables behind in a parked
Something I didn't think I'd have to warn people
about but it's happening a lot, don't come home drunk at night, leave
all your money/wallet/valuables on the living-room table and go to
bed leaving the main door unlocked, even open! 90% of all thefts in
the resort seem to happen this way, according to the police/reps so
I guess there are criminals out there who look for situations like
this and take advantage of them, of you! Be careful! Lock things away
and at least close your door at night, if there are valuables lying
around the apartment, lock the door when you go to bed.
Know your rights before you go on holiday. Basically,
if something goes wrong or you're not happywhilst you're on holiday,
tell your holiday representative straight away and give them a chance
to put things right for you. A bit more aobut that HERE
If you're not coming with a tour operator but want
to do organised excursions by them which often includes discounted
prices and free transport, the various reps don't have a problem with
you approaching them to book their trips and go along with their clients.
Try any of the apartment complexes that the tour companies use, check
the notice board for the various excursions and the visiting times
of the rep.
When it's time to go home
aware that the European standard for checking out of your accommodation
is 12 midday. Check with reception regarding the time and a place
for you to use/put luggage until you're ready to leave for the airport.
There may be facilities for you to shower and change through the afternoon/evening,
but you may have to pay extra for this so ask in advance!
Pack passports and tickets in hand luggage, NOT your suitecase. Check
you've emptied your safe and returned any keys. Don't pack immitation
weapons (Sioux City) in your handluggage, they will be confiscated,
pack them in your suitecase. No knives or similar sharp impliments
allowed unless packed in your suitecase.