Spain is a beautiful place to live. Days are longer, the climate, the different pace of life and the opportunities it has.
Moving to Spain has been a wonderful opportunity, but it isn’t all beach days and pool days. It can be so rewarding and a lovely pace of life. But, the same problems occur here, and different ones, too.
Over 4 million foreigners live in Spain, are you ready to add to that figure? Here are 8 things to consider before moving to Spain.
Learn Some Basic Spanish
Communication is something we take for granted. It just comes so easily to us. Walking to Tesco and doing your weekly shop, reading rental contracts, phone contracts, although long, isn’t near enough impossible.
Of course, there is the option of hiring a translator for everything, but when you consider the costs, is it worth it?
It may be easy to get yourself into the tourist areas, but once you’re in the middle of a community, do you want to be that one that can’t join in?
Take advantage of the possibility to push yourself to learn another language and really find yourself enriched. Learning the language is the first step to becoming an integrated ex-pat.
Join up for my FREE Spanish Lessons to get yourself moving here.
Prepare for Lengthy Police Visits
I’m trying to think of when I actually went to a police station in England and I can’t even think.
However, in Spain, I’m sure in the first few weeks you find yourself in there more than your local bar.
Once you’re in Spain, you will need to go through the process of obtaining an NIE, Social Security, Padrón and Medical Card. The processes of how to do this are available here.
Get a Bank Account
Get yourself a bank account and find the best one for you. BBVA offers great rates for younger people.
You will need a Spanish account to pay your bills and receive your wages (if you plan to work!)
BBVA is a well-optimised bank with the option to switch to English which not all banks do, so do your research on which one works best for you!
Know the Cost of Living
Depending on what you’re looking for, rentals for one-bedroom apartments in Benidorm can range from €400 up to €700 per month.
Some places will have your bills included, most you will be required to pay for electricity and bins. Most landlords should cover the comunidad fees, which includes your water.
Electricity can range from €60 per month to up to €200, if you have air con.
A phone line must be installed by Telefonica who work alongside Movistar. Once you have paid for your line, you have the option to shop around. However, there isn’t much competition and a WiFi, phone and television package is usually around €130 a month.
Police blocks are not uncommon. If you have a car, you need to make sure you have all your documentation on you, at all times.
Police blocks happen often and if you’re not prepared, they can be a nightmare.
This is something we rarely came across in England, however in Spain, they are a regular occurrence.
It’s not uncommon to see roads blocked off for up to an hour near tram stops, motorways and shopping centres.
It is also a legal requirement to carry ID with you in Spain. Photocopies are not actually accepted, but you can have them legally stamped so they are accepted. A driving license is not accepted as a form of ID. It must be a passport or a residents card with a photo.
Who is going to be coming with you? What are you sacrificing? It can be incredibly lonely when you are in a different country separated by hours. Fortunately, flights between England and Spain can be as little as 10€ each way in the off-peak season.
There is also a great community of ex-pats that you can get to know and the locals are friendly. Get to know a basic grasp of the language and you’ll be able to make friends from all-over!
Another great part is the amount of people who holiday here, there is always somebody new to meet up with. But, remember with hello’s usually comes with goodbye’s. It can be hard living away from families and friends.
Research your Neighbourhood
Before moving, it’s essential to find out about the different barrios. Where do you want to move to? Where should you avoid?
Make sure you take into consideration, the location, the cost, the lifestyle and who is living near you.
Our first place was so loud and party time that it got difficult to sleep during the stag and hen months. The place we’re in now is so quiet that you aren’t allowed to speak above a certain decibel without the police coming (ok, an exaggeration but you get it!). Basically, take everything into consideration!
Find the right place for you. Nobody can tell you where is the best place to go as everybody is different. Are you more of a mountain village person or a bustling city person?
Do you want to Live or a Holiday?
The centre of Benidorm is great for a holiday, but do you see yourself living there?
Winter can get very cold, the climate makes a considerable drop in the winter months. Even though snow isn’t likely unless you’re up in the mountains, the cold air really gets into your bones!
Summer can be incredibly hot, working in this isn’t such a beach day every day as it may seem! (Though it is nice to spend the days off at the beach and the pool!)
Are you ready to make the move to Spain? Learn how to get your NIE here!
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