Out and Out Is in Barcelona! Any Must-Dos? (And Updates!)

Dear Out and Out readers, I miss you so.

I got to Barcelona (Barcy) Wednesday morning and have spent the past 3 days wandering, sleeping, working, eating (tapas), and drinking (sangria and Spanish wines and local craft beers).

Wandering in the Gothic Quarter

Wandering in the Gothic Quarter

I still have 3 more full days in Barcy and am totally open to ideas about how to fill the time. I’m meeting with friends, and have a few things on my to-do list (on Todoist):


Restaurants, sites, and things to see. Anything I should add?

I’ll get up tomorrow and see La Sangrada Familia, then maybe head to the Picasso Museum and see the Arc de Triomphe along the way.

Feel free to share any tips about where to go, what to do, or great restaurants you love. I’ll try to work in as many things as possible!

A few updates

Here are a few quick off-the-cuff goings-on:



Loving my upgraded room at the Alexandra Doubletree!

I’m at the Alexandra Doubletree by Hilton – my first stay as a Hilton Diamond guest. I got upgraded to a better room with a private balcony and a view of Las Ramblas – I love this hotel! The location is fantastic!

Full review soon. So far, impressed with Hilton Diamond perks.



My miles already posted

My miles already posted! Including for the current 25K bonus miles promotion for round-trips, even though I obvi haven’t flown back yet. It seems they’re awarding the bonus miles in 12.5K chunks per segments flown, which is kind of interesting.

In any regard, I can safely say it works for AA flights purchased through the fantastic British Airways deal!

The flight over the pond was quick and easy. Again, full review soon.

And I’ll probably still ditch AAdvantage altogether after the flight home in favor of Alaska’s Mileage Plan.


This is my first trip organizing my days with Todoist, and it’s been a godsend. I added things in rough order, and have been ticking them off one by one.

I added things like links to buy tickets, screenshots of maps, menus, opening hours, and other little notes and it’s been so helpful.

Sure, you could use any note-taking app.

I’m finding I love the easy format of Todoist. I created a new label called “Travel” that I’ll use while on trips, or as I find things to add to future trips. I’m still using Evernote and TripIt Pro to keep travel plans in order. And Todoist “on the ground.”

It’s going really smoothly so far. Not to get too “workflow” about it or anything.

New stuff

I have a few collaborations in the pipeline, and looking forward to writing about them.

These have been in the works for a few weeks now, so it’ll be exciting to finally get them out into the world.

More soon!


I’ve been thinking about how to make extra dollas in 2016. I want this to be a positive, wonderful year full of travel and side hustles and money and major steps toward financial independence.

I went ahead and socked $5,500 into my Roth IRA, thus maxing it out in January and giving it a WHOLE YEAR of appreciation and dividends.

Next up: student loans, paying down the mortgage, another investment property, and who knows, maybe another Airbnb?

But for the next 3 days, I’m focused on Barcelona.

Next trip

Loving the momentum already. In early February, I’ll be heading to Martinique (Marty) on Norwegian Air!

Looking forward to experiencing a well-reviewed low-cost airline.

Bottom line

Loving this beautiful, historic city on the Mediterranean. And as a bonus, it’s 60 and sunny every day and I’m dodging a Nor’easter this weekend. Small stuff.

I can’t wait to bring it all full circle and report on the outcomes of the flights, the hotel booking, and the preparation that went into the trip.

Missing you guys!

But for the next 3 days, Barcelona is right outside. Feel free to add tips. I’d love to have a few packed days before getting back to the New York winter.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

And if you’re in New York on January 20th, consider joining us at the Reach for the Miles Meetup at Professor Thom’s from 6-9pm! I’ll be there (and definitely square).


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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. I should have scheduled my trip to NYC next week when there’s that meet up, but I may possibly move to NYC for work soon. Have you done any food tours, I was looking at Devour Barcelona when I’m there in August. How are the gay bars out there?

    • No food tours, just following my belly lol.

      The gay bars are fun, very low-key. Kind of all clustered together.

      I like Atame – the peeps were friendly in there.

      Museum was kinda weird. Night is great for people-watching.

      Boys Bar is meh. Skippable. Same for Metro.

      There are 3 “Arena” bars. 1 of them is pretty solid (I forget which one – the one on the east side of the street if you’re walking north NOT the one on the north side of the street if you’re walking east [if that makes sense]).

      All-in-all, easy to talk to people and all very friendly. Beautiful city. You will love it.

      A food tour might be fun, especially if you’re into local dishes/wine/etc.

      And yes, you’ll have to make the next NYC Meetup. They’re really fun!

  2. Be careful of pickpockets in Barcelona. We did the AA/BA but sale to BCN during Christmas. Took the A2 bus to the airport on the way home…my wallet and passport was stolen from my pocket. Complete nightmare… Have fun, but be cautious.

    • Absolutely. So far so good. I have pickpocket-proof pants on lol. But ugh, that sounds like a nightmare.

      Thanks for the reminder to be cautious – it goes far here!

  3. Just left Barcelona a week ago. Here are other places

    Marcat St Josep La Boqueria. & eat at the seafood restaurant on the left Ramblero
    Park Güel by Antoni Gaudi (must see) plus the homes Gaudi designed
    rooftop decks at the W & other places
    if the FC Barcelona is playing futbol (soccer) you can see one of the best teams in the world

    this is plenty
    have fun

  4. Please don’t tell me that you went to Barcelona and are going to miss Sitges, the gay mecca only 30 minutes away by train. It is wonderful. OK, I know it is the off-season, but there should still be something going on over the weekend.

    • I’m still here. 🙂

      I’m on the fence about Sitges. On one hand, I’m all the way here and it’s only 30 minutes away. On the other, it’s WAY off-season.

      Still considering hopping on a train and just taking a look. We’ll see how it goes today and go from there.

  5. What room category did you originally book at the Doubletree? Also a Hilton Diamond and wondering whether I should jump on their Winter Sale for an upcoming trip or book a lowest-tier refundable room. Still haven’t decided on a hotel yet.

    • I booked the lowest/cheapest room category. Double Queen. Then got upgraded to a King room at check-in.

      I was worried about the non-refundable thing too, but it ended up being fine.

      FWIW, Citi Travel Concierge had no trouble the Winter Sale rate with the 4th night free.

        • Oh man. Just got back today. Back in NYC!

          I’ll do a full review soon but:

          – breakfast is a one-note affair. limited selection. kinda meh, but sufficient considering it’s free. exact same items every day. but not crowded and quick service, ample seating. NOT a zoo or stampede like in other hotels. actually very relaxing.
          – noisy? that depends. it was facing La Rambla and we could hear the ambient noise of cars/occasional honking and sirens/random passersby, but like 1/10th of what you get in NYC. it is still a city, after all. was on 2nd floor. higher floors would be better/quieter.
          – overall. BEAUTIFUL room. great location. great staff. clean, friendly, well-stocked and all-around a wonderful stay. all the pros more than outweigh the cons. recognition of diamond status. good, fast internet. would book again.

          if you’re considering booking with the ~$100/night Winter Sale I say do it!

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