When thinking about moving to Spain for its beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere and friendly people, there are certain things that you will want to know before taking the plunge.
This article outlines 6 key criteria you’ll need to know immediately about moving to Spain before you make the relocation.
Following these suggestions can truly save you time, money, effort and stress when closely followed.
Sit back, relax and find out about this amazing country.
The Regional Climates of Spain
Spain is a fairly large country and the climate can vary depending on the locations that you’re visiting.
Down in the south, it is known for it’s incredibly hot temperatures while in the Northern regions, you can expect a more balanced climate with fairly mild winters and warm summer months.
However, move towards the more centrally located cities and the climate is known to express itself in extremes in heat and cold because of the proximity to the ocean.
For those that are interested in winter sports, there are some areas where you can ski that include regions around Madrid, the Pyrenees and the Sierra Nevada.
Living Expenses in Spain
As you may know, making the transition to Spain has many perks which includes a much lower cost of living.
Such things as buying property is easier than in the UK, but the real estate market tend to be more expensive in popular central cities and well known, established tourist areas.
If you live, eat, and breathe like a local, then it will not take you long to notice it is significantly less expensive than living in the UK or other northern European countries.
Utility expenses can be a little high because of bottled gas if needed.
But that is a small expense compared to other savings you’ll experience living in Spain.
Employment and Income Tips
Many people who’ve made the journey to Spain advise that finding employment or starting a business is best done before you plan on moving to the country.
Establish a financial plan on how you will maintain your expenses, because many will tell you how they have been caught out in the past by not having a plan in place.
It is best to move there with at least 6 months worth of cash in the bank to cover of living expenses.
EU citizens don’t need any work permits but you will need a Spanish social security number.
This can be arranged through your local Oficina de Seguridad Social.
If you plan on living on a pension, just be aware of the fluctuations in value with the British pound and Euro currency.
If there were to be economic woes back home, your pound may not go as far as you’d expect!
Know the Language
It is best advised to learn Spanish and to be proficient with both speaking, writing and reading it long before you relocate.
Plenty of British expats choose not to learn the language, but when it comes to finding employment, socialising, making friends and living, it will be much easier if you knew how to speak even a little Spanish to get by.
There are many different options that you can use before you make the move to Spain that can include audio learning systems, CD’s and DVD courses, books, classes and even hiring tutors.
Nowadays, there are lots of online language courses that are fairly inexpensive and can be followed at your leisure.
Take a look online at some of the best online language courses and you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.
Being able to communicate without knowing the local dialect can be done, but it limits your opportunities and abilities to better understand and interact with the people and culture.
The Importance of Gestures
When it comes to dealing with the Spanish administration, for certain things you would need a professional.
A gesture is a person who has experience with tasks and reliable contacts.
They charge low fees when hired but they will save you much time and frustrations you may have with Spanish administration.
The best way to find a gesture is to speak with the locals to find a reputable one who can help you.
Without a gesture, you can run into plenty of frustrations and hassles because of not having the knowledge or expertise with dealing with the bureaucracy of Spain.
Ask around for suitable gestures and people will help you find a reputable one to employ.
As a EU citizen you are entitled to use the Spanish national health services which provide citizens with free or very low cost health care.
If you are registered to work in Spain and you deposit National Insurance contributions, then you are eligible for state offered health services.
However if you are a visitor of Spain you will need to apply for an EHIC card which is free to British citizens.
Private health care may be covered for a period of time with health insurance coverage.
If you are retired, note that the NHS does not reimburse non-working British citizens under pensionable age in different European areas.
Be sure to have your health care needs taken care of before you move.
You may have to pay for private health care.
If you have a S1 then any changes won’t cause any issues until your current form becomes obsolete.
Like most expats wanting to move overseas, it’s very east to get carried away with the romance of the idea without dealing with the practicalities.
So be sure to do your research before you decide to pack your bags and organise having a removals to Spain specialist ship your effects overseas, only to find the whole idea was a disaster waiting to happen.
Be sure to follow these six suggestions as outlined above to have a better experience in Spain with fewer hassles and greater comfort.
The first two years are always the hardest.
So even if you’ve gotten everything organised and are ready as you’ll ever be, be prepared for the inevitable culture shock.
With time and patience, you will settle in soon enough and start to love your new life overseas.