One of the biggest questions when planning to relocate to Spain is where, exactly, you should choose to live. Of course, this is subjective depending on exactly what you want out of your move, but we have nevertheless tried to narrow down some of the best places to live in Spain for ex-pats.
As well as suggesting what we think are some of the nicest places to live in Spain, we’ve also tried to point out some of the cheapest for those planning a move on a budget, and will also discuss whether or not you need to pay for a Spain work visa if planning to take up employment.
Where is the best place for British families to live in Spain?
We might be a bit biased on this, but we truly believe that one of the best villages to live in Spain for Brits is Mijas Pueblo in the Malaga province.
It not only provides easy access to the extensive coastline and beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol and the famous whitewashed villages in the region, but it’s also close to the Montes de Málaga Natural Park.
If you’re planning on moving to Spain with family, you can also rest assured that there plenty of great educational facilities for kids in the area, both at private and state-run schools.
Of course, if you’re a city kid at heart, you might not be so eager to give up the hustle and bustle and move to the coast. In that case, a great alternative option is the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Valencia, one of the most popular metropolitan areas for British ex-pats in Spain.
Some other great destinations worth considering if you’re moving to Spain include:
- Alicante, especially the stunning Costa Blanca coast
- Malaga, Marbella, and Alhaurin el Grande, all on the Costa del Sol
- Oviedo in Asturias considered the cleanest city in Spain
- Madrid, which boasts a large ex-pat community
If your main reason for moving to the country is the ample sunshine, you might consider relocating to the Canary Islands. The capital, Gran Canaria, is the warmest place in Spain in the winter and has the best climate year-round.
Best places to live in Spain as an American
While Brits tend to favour the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca areas, if you’re planning to move to Spain from the US then you’ll find most of your fellow American ex-pats living in the two biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona.
Madrid, with its vibrant culture, large green spaces, and excellent international schools, is a particular favourite among Americans who live in Spain as an ex-pat, although those who like to have a beach and the seaside close by tend to favour Barcelona.
If you’re only planning to stay for a short time in the country, these cities are also probably the best places to live in Spain for a month or two, as they provide the biggest samples of Spanish cultures.
What is the safest city in Spain?
Barcelona and Madrid are also considered among the safest places to live in Spain and are in fact regarded as among the safest in Europe.
However, if the large amount of tourist interest in these major cities doesn’t really appeal to you, there are plenty of charming coastal towns that are just as safe (or safer!).
Some of the best small towns to live in Spain along the country’s coast include Altafulla in Catalonia, Ribadesella in Asturias, and Salobreña in Granada.
What is the cheapest city to live in Spain?
If you’re relocating to Spain on a tight budget, the living costs in your destination may be one of the biggest factors in your decision. Luckily, there are plenty of cheap places to live in Spain that are equally as pleasant and pretty.
For example, Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is often considered the cheapest city to live in Spain, and it is a positively gorgeous place with beautiful historic architecture.
Other places in Spain where the overall cost of living is low include:
- A Coruña
- Las Palmas
Saying this, the cost of living will vary for everyone no matter where in Spain you choose to relocate. It’s always possible to get by on a budget in most places if you inform yourself of the cheapest neighbourhoods to live in beforehand.
How to Live in Spain for Free
The good news for Brits planning to move to Spain is that, as EU citizens, they do not currently need to pay any visa or permit fees, although this may well change if you’re moving to Spain after Brexit.
If you’re planning to live in Spain for more than 3 consecutive months, however, you’ll have to register as a foreign resident and pay a small fee to get a resident’s permit at a local police station.
Once you register for residency and begin contributing to social security, or are retiring in Spain, you and your family members will also able to use Spain’s public healthcare free of charge. But that my friends, is an article for another day …
Relocating is tough for many people. It involves saying goodbye to your friends and family, it can put you in an uncomfortable position and it’s a struggle to stay on your two feet while integrating with the local community. However, for some people, these are the perfect circumstances for uncapped growth. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself as well as your surroundings, and it can help you identify new paths in life that you never thought were possible in the past.
It goes without saying that relocating can be a scary thought, but it’s also something that can completely change your perspective on life. So here are some of the top reasons to relocate in the future.
Relocating abroad for a slower pace of life …
1. It helps you build character
Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is a brilliant way to build character. Relocating will put you in a situation where you need to quickly adapt to your surroundings and learn new cultures and languages in order to feel more comfortable. This makes relocating a great way to build character and improve yourself over time.
2. There are plenty of accessible property services for foreigners
Regardless of where you plan to relocate to, there are going to be plenty of property services that are geared towards foreigners. This might be more expensive than what locals pay for, but it’s a small additional cost for all of the help that you’re going to get.
3. It opens up your tastes
Relocating can expose you to lots of different flavours, delicacies and types of cuisine. Broadening your palette like this can be a lot of fun and you’ll learn to appreciate different types of food around the world.
4. It teaches you about language
Languages are difficult to learn, especially if you don’t get to actively use it. But when you relocate to another country, you’ll be thrust into an environment where you need to quickly learn a new language in order to fit in and be able to communicate. This makes relocating one of the best ways to learn a language and integrate with a completely different society to what you’re used to.
5. It can enhance your career prospects
Moving abroad can open you up to new career opportunities and prospects, especially if you’re going abroad with a proven existing set of skills. However, there are also plenty of chances for you to learn a new skill, such as a language, or develop technical expertise working on something completely new.
6. You develop better social skills
It can be difficult communicating in a language you don’t know. However, relocating can put you in uncomfortable situations that will help you develop not just language skills, but also social skills that can be helpful throughout your life.
7. It’s incredibly rewarding
Few people muster up the courage to say goodbye to their old life and start fresh abroad. This is often because it takes a lot of dedication, hard work and motivation to even start living and working abroad. However, after a couple of months or even just a few weeks, all of the benefits will start to appear and you’ll be able to embrace opportunities in your new country. Whether it’s learning about the culture, traditions, meeting people or getting a new perspective at life, there are plenty of rewards just waiting to be claimed.
8. You develop a sense of self-sufficiency
One of the key skills you learn when relocating is being self-sufficient. There’s nobody to hold your hand and guide you through difficult times and there’s nobody to rely on. In fact, you might not even speak the language of the country you moved to. However, it goes without saying that these are the conditions that are required in order for someone to become self-sufficient and start relying on their own ability, leading to immense personal growth.
9. There are countless opportunities to meet new people
Travelling is a great opportunity to meet new people, but rarely do you ever turn those encounters into long-lasting relationships. When you actually decide to relocate, you’ll have more time to nurture these friendships and explore them, turning those first encounters into lifelong friendships or even partnerships.
10. It will change your life forever
A stagnant life is nothing to be proud of. While some people enjoy the idea of a stable and predictable lifestyle, others find that it can be easy to fall into a stagnant daily routine that makes their life boring and tiresome. Relocating could be the change you need in life to reinvigorate your passion and give you the boost you need to start fresh and reach for your dreams.
In our new online course, we include lots of information about costa and procedures for starting and running a business in Spain.
NEW Online Course for a successful Move To Spain .
Moving your family to Spain is a big decision. Telling family and friends about your decision can be pretty daunting; it takes time to find the right home and the right schools for your children. It’s not a decision you make lightly.
It can be even more of a challenge if you run a home business. On the one hand, running a business means that you don’t need to worry about finding a job in a different country and that you might be able to carry on as you are. But, the practicalities of keeping your business going during the move, and making money in a new country can be tricky.
It can certainly be worth it, however. Moving your home, your family and your business to a different country is a chance to have a different kind of life. One with freedom, flexibility and sun! So, here are some tips to help you to keep your business going while you relocate, and to get set up again as you settle into your new adventure.
Here are some tips for Keeping Your Home Business Going During a Relocation:
Get a Virtual Address
Having your mail redelivered can be tricky enough if you are moving down the road and don’t have a home business. We’ve all had mail lost during a home move. This can be a disaster if you run a business, and you are in a different country, unable to chase important letters. A PhysicalAddress.com po box can make the whole process much more straightforward, avoiding potentially costly mistakes and missed business.
Schedule Any Downtime and Let Your Customers Know
As much as you’d love to keep your business going, it may not be possible to relocate your life without taking a little time off. Schedule and automate what you can, even hiring a VA or someone to run things for you while you are busy moving. But, if you need time off, schedule it in, plan for it, and let your customers or clients know how long you’ll be away from your home office.
Get Your Internet Set-Up
One of the key ingredients to running a successful home business, whatever country you are based in, is a stable and quick internet connection. Make sure you are connected as quickly as possible in your new home.
Pack Business Materials Separately
Pack your home office separately, and clearly mark it so it can all move into your new office asap. Within this, make sure important documents and files, as well as anything that you can’t possibly work without, are separate and labelled.
Your business insurance will need updating if you are working from a new address, whatever country it is in. Your home insurance for your new home will also need to reflect any equipment or machinery that you keep in your new house.
Get To Know Your Local Market
If your business operates primarily online, you may be able to pick up where you left off, still serving the same customer base. But, even then, and especially if you serve people face to face, you should get involved in your new community, meeting other local business owners and getting to know your new local market.
Keeping Your Home Business Going During a Relocation can be a challenge but it is certainly worth the effort. If you play your cards right and take the right steps from the outset, you’ll be enjoying more time with family and friends in a beautiful new country, before you know it!
NEW Online Course for a succesful Move To Spain .
In our new online course, we include lots of information about costa and procedures for starting and running a business in Spain.
When it comes to quality of life, southern Spain tops the charts in just about every category that relates to health, gastronomy, comfort and happiness with its endless sunshine, over 320 days per year! It’s no wonder Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world.
Living in Spain is a dream for many. If you visit inland Costa del Sol, up in the mountains, you will discover the authentic Spanish whitewashed villages with charming cobblestoned narrow streets, lovely shady squares with flamenco music playing in the background, and a great choice of local cafes and fabulous restaurants.
More and more foreigners seem to be moving to inland Costa del Sol. Although many people like the fabulous beaches and nightlife that the coast has to offer, if you move slightly more inland, up into the hills, you get to discovery and enjoy the real Spain, you will seek a way of life that seems almost untouched by tourism, it’s like taking a step back in time.
The valleys scenery is spectacular in all directions. As roads wind their way up the mountains, the views get better and better. The Guadalhorce Valley includes 8 municipalities; Alhaurin de la Torre, Alhaurin el Grande, Almogía, Álora, Cártama, Coín, Pizarra and Valle del Abdalajís. All are within a 30/40 minute drive from the coast, so really not far at all and the road infrastructure is very good making a journey by car a relaxing and enjoyable experience. If you want to be a little bit more adventurous you can branch off from the main road and take any of the many dirt tracks and you will quickly come across herds of goats and sheep and often mules ploughing between the olive trees.
The lifestyle that this part of Spain will offer you is incredibly rewarding in so many ways.
For one, the opportunity to get to know and live within an entirely different culture is something most people never get to experience.
You can spend a lifetime exploring this natural habitat either on foot, bicycle or horseback.
You will be amazed by the quality of life and how cheap it is to live well in this part of Spain.
Water costs are very low, particularly in the inland areas. Homeowners pay a municipal tax that is a fraction of the rate that you would pay in other European countries. Other expenses such as home and car insurance are also much lower.
Eating out is very reasonable. The average price for a full menu del dia (menu of the day), is between 8-10€ available in nearly all bars and restaurants.
In local bars, you pay no more than 1-1.50 € for a beer, glass of wine or a cup of coffee. And for groceries there is a wide choice of supermarkets. The local markets offer cheap fresh produce and a wide range of household necessities.
Another very important factor to take into consideration is the crime rate which is low in this part of Spain. When you compare the crime numbers to other countries, we are quite fortunate to have a lower crime problem.
Aside from the wonderful weather, there is also less pollution in this part of Spain. The major industries are mainly located in the north of the country. This part of Spain relies mainly on agriculture and tourism.
Life here in the mountains runs at a much slower pace. This is something that most foreigners would find strange at first, but this kind of lifestyle is certainly welcomed. This can have a huge impact on your health, as it can significantly reduce stress levels.
Spain prides itself as having a very diverse and rich culture. In these old towns and villages there are a lot of activities that not only serve as a form of entertainment, but also as a means of conserving old traditions and practices. Fiestas and festivals are the perfect example. Residents continue to practice old customs.
For years, the warmth of the people have made it a wonderful tourist attraction. The regions wonderful personality makes visitors feel immediately at home, integrating them into their culture. This joy permeates in the streets, especially in summer and that energy can be contagious. A typical Andalusian is a helpful person, willing to help others, especially visitors, making southern Spain a favourite destination for foreign visitors for years.
Andalucía is the best place in the world for the good life according to The Telegraph and this is not the first time it’s been granted such a popular destination.
Another bonus for people living inland from the Costa del Sol are the seasons. In this part of Spain you can really appreciate the changes of vegetation and enjoy the four seasons of the year and what they have to offer.
Although the climate in Andalucia is characterised by hot and dry summers and mild winters, between seasons you can enjoy the changes in flora and fauna. You will see snow-covered mountain peaks in the winter and lush green pastures in the spring covered with almond blossom and bright yellow endless fields of sunflowers. Autumn brings a palette of dark ochre and green colours that paint the landscapes of Andalucia.
The Natural Park, ‘Sierra de las Nieves’, is one of those destinations worth discovering with its authentic white villages and its beautiful natural spaces. It is one of the areas of Malaga, as the name implies, where it can snow in winter.
The villages in the Sierra, with its highest peak Torrecilla of 1.919m, are surrounded by extensive fields of almond trees that are a delight when in pink blossom.
The Guadalhorce Valley, also known as the orchard of Málaga, is where you will find endless fields packed with fruit trees.
No wonder so many northern Europeans travel south in search of their Mediterranean dream home.
If you have not yet visited this part of Spain…what are you waiting for!?
Inland Costa del Sol is waiting for you!
This article was written by Kelly Summerelle of Mediterranean Homes a local family run business. We have worked with Kelly for many years.
If you are thinking of moving to the Malaga area, renting or purchasing a property,
and, together with Kelly, we will find you your ideal inland Costa del Sol property!
We were recently interviewed for the When In Spain podcast, talking about moving to Spain with children. For those readers who follow our blog and social media posts, you will know that we share the truth about living in Spain. The good, the bag and the sometimes downright ugly.
For any newcomers, don’t be afaraid. There is always a solution to every situation. However, research and homework, in adundance, are essential for a successful relocation with or without children!
Pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and remember to send us your questions once you have listened to the interview.
Over to Paul, from th When In Spain podcast …
I talk to Lisa Sadleir who runs the Family Life in Spain blog about the practicalities of moving to Spain with children. Lisa has spent more than 20 years in Spain and has raised her own two children here and she’s also helped many other families make the move.
We examine all of the factors to consider when relocating as a family including which type of school to choose, state, private or bilingual. We run through the Spanish State education system and look at the pros and cons for the different schools available.
Lisa also shares her advice for helping your children integrate into Spanish culture and community and gives some tips for making the transition as stress-free as possible.
Lisa has also written a book called Moving to Spain which you can find on Amazon here. She also runs her own house finder service and relocation consultancy for anyone thinking about moving to the Málaga area of Spain. movetomalaga.com
Listen to the When In Spain podcast episode via the links below…
Apple Podcasts/ iTunes: https://apple.co/2D3wS5P
TuneIn Radio: http://tun.in/tjb2Hn
When in Spain website: http://wheninspain.blubrry.net/
Join the conversation at the When in Spain Facebook group https://bit.ly/2H6YHLr
Follow When in Spain on Instagram to see photography from across Spain. https://bit.ly/2D5p6IJ
Moving overseas can be a fantastic adventure, especially when heading somewhere as beautiful as Spain. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and romance of the prospect. However, if you’re expecting a smooth transition, you may be disappointed. Relocating is hard and complex work. There are many potential complications that could trip you up along the way. The good news is, they can be avoided. With that in mind, here are six critical mistakes to avoid when moving to Spain.
Six Critical Mistakes To Avoid When Moving To Spain
1. Buying Property Too Soon
Falling in love with an area is often the driving force behind a decision to relocate. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t commit to purchasing a particular property before moving to Spain. If you’re able to do so, it’s better to rent a house for a year or two before buying. This gives you enough time to get used to the area and learn whether or not you really want to live there for the rest of your life.
2. Waiting To Find Employment
Although you shouldn’t rush to buy a house, you will need a job right away. After all, you can’t survive on excitement alone. Thankfully, today’s technology means you might be able to keep your current job for a while. With cloud computing, teleconference tools, and remote desktop for Mac, it’s easy to telecommute. When this isn’t possible, start researching jobs in the local area.
3. Picking A Bad Removalist
When you ship your belongings overseas, you need to know they’re in good hands. Many expats make the mistake of choosing the cheapest removal company they can find. You have to be smarter than that. While cost is important, make sure you look into other factors, like past customer reviews. You must also check that the company you choose has the right insurance.
4. Taking Everything With You
The more you take to your new home, the more stressful the move will be. After all, you’ll have more belongings to pack and unpack, which makes the process trickier. The costs will be higher too, as your things might require a larger truck or container. Because of this, you should declutter your home before moving. Many expats also sell most of their furniture and buy new things later.
5. Avoiding Learning The Language
Only being able to speak English shouldn’t hold you back from seeing the world. However, it might stop you from fully immersing yourself in it. When you can’t speak the local language, you’ll find it difficult to become a part of the local community. That is why you should start learning the language before you plunge into your new life in Spain. Trust us, it really will make a huge difference to your experience of life in Spain!
6. Overlooking The Hidden Costs
Moving house is an expensive process, especially when moving abroad. Many people underestimate just how much it will cost to relocate. These costs, however, will depend on many different factors, so make sure you do your research. Once you have, you can create a budget and start saving up. Make sure you have enough cash to cover any unexpected costs too. For more details on this, and to help you budget, check out our Online Calculator for Moving to Spain
Moving abroad can be tricky, but you’ll find it easier to do if you avoid making the mistakes listed above. Remember, we are here to help!
Contact Us For More Information about Moving To Spain
Do you intend to move to Spain with your family this year, and maybe buy a property? If so, you’ll already be thinking about sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun, with a tall glass of sangria by your side. That said, before you can get working on your tan and enjoy la vida española, you’ll need to sort through some practical things and pay attention to our Currency Exchange Tips.
For example, how can you transfer your money from the UK to your Spanish bank account at a top exchange rate? Well, to ensure you maximise your euro total, and start your new family life in Spain on the best foot, please find below 10 easy tips. Keep these in mind, and exchanging currencies to move to Spain will be ¡muy facil!
Our 10 Currency Exchange Tips:
1. Plan your money transfer well in advance.
Are you thinking about moving to Spain with your family in the next few months? If so, start looking at transferring money to your Spanish bank account now.
This is because, the sooner you look at exchanging currencies, the bigger the window you give yourself for an outstanding exchange rate to become available!
2. Talk to a friendly, professional currency dealer.
Is this your first time transferring a significant sum of money to Spain? If so, speak to a friendly, professional currency dealer.
He or she will explain the process and answer your questions in straightforward language, without any jargon. This way, you can put your mind at ease.
3. Transfer your money with a foreign exchange broker, instead of your bank.
When we transfer money to Spain, it’s tempting to use our local bank. The thing is though, the banks know this, so they offer inferior exchange rates.
Instead, a foreign exchange broker can get you a significantly better currency rate, to make moving to Spain with your family a breeze.
4. Accept a good exchange rate as soon as it arises.
When you exchange currencies, our impulse is often to wait and see how high the exchange rate goes. The thing is though, the foreign exchange market is highly volatile.
Given this, instead of trying to “time the market”, exchange currencies when a good rate arises. This way, you’ll receive the euro total you need!
5. Keep an eye on the foreign exchange rate with Google.
To keep an eye on the foreign exchange rate, and find out when sterling climbs, you can simply use Google.
Just enter “GBPEUR” into the search engine, and Google will return the current exchange rate, as well as a historical exchange rate graph. This way, you can see if the exchange rate is favourable!
6. Don’t exchange currencies at the “low of the day”.
On a given day, the exchange rate fluctuates. Today, for example, the pound to euro interbank exchange rate has moved almost 0.5 cents!
As a result, to lift your euro total when you move to Spain, ensure you don’t exchange currencies at the “low of the day”. This is the point when the exchange rate is lowest!
7. Transfer your money with a currency broker that’s “FCA authorised.”
To make sure that your money is highly secure when you exchange currencies, use a foreign exchange specialist that’s “directly authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA.)”
This means that the currency dealer will adhere to all UK regulations to transfer funds, and protect your money!
8. Avoid banks or currency brokers that charge fees or commission.
In 2018, you can transfer your money to Spain while paying 0% in fees or commission. This way, you save the highest possible amount, to lift your euro total in your Spanish bank account!
So, when you speak to a currency broker, ask them to confirm that they charge 0% fees and commission.
9. Get peace of mind with an International Transfer Receipt (ITR).
When you transfer money abroad, you’ll like to know that your money has arrived safely in your Spanish bank account as soon as possible.
To get this peace of mind, ask your foreign exchange broker for an International Transfer Receipt (ITR). With this, you’ll receive quick, clear confirmation that your money transfer has been successful.
10. Protect yourself against volatility, with a forward contract.
To guarantee that you get the euro total you need when you move to Spain with your family, you can set up what’s called a forward contract.
With this, you lock in today’s exchange rate, so you know well in advance what euro total you’ll receive in your Spanish bank account. This way, you’re protected against currency volatility!
With these 10 tips in mind, transferring money for your move to Spain will be a cinch. So you’ll enjoy less stress, and more ¡siesta under el sol!
This guest post was written by By Peter Lavelle at foreign exchange broker Pure FX , https://www.purefx.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 1494 671800 Email: email@example.com
No matter how excited you are about moving to Spain, there is very little that can distract you from the daunting process of packing up your whole life to move abroad.
In our article How To Calculate the Cost of Moving to Spain, we provided you with a free online calculator to work out your own personal costs when planning your relocation. In this article, we are going to show you how to save money by using removal companies who will make the packing process a lot less stressful.
This guide of tips compiled by award-winning removal comparison company, Compare My Move. They’ve put together a few hints and tips on what to leave behind, what to donate to charity and how to help the removal company.
Step 1 – Have a Clear Out
Moving to a new house in the UK is a great way to have a thorough clear out of the rubbish you’ve built up over the years – but when you’re moving the items that make up your life overseas, you become brutal with what you must get rid of. Packing up and moving to Spain is the perfect opportunity to go through everything you own from clothes, hats, shoes to books, kitchen appliances and cutlery and decide if you really need it.
Most of your stuff can go to charity shops, be sold on eBay/Gumtree or pass on to a friend or family. You could even have an American style ‘yard sale’ for your neighbours, friends and family to truly give your unwanted items to a good home. Alternatively, any unwanted toiletries, towels or shoes can be put to beneficial use in a local women’s shelter or a homeless organization.
‘Flamingos Vintage Kilo’ in Malaga is an opportunity for you to replace the clothes you donated or sold with the chance to grab some bargains as you’ll be charged per kilo, not per item. ‘La Señora Henderson’ in Valencia is another affordable vintage, second-hand clothing shop.
- TIP – Let the removal company know any additional services you wish to use such as packing services or dismantling/reassembling furniture and the number of items you’re taking, for an accurate quote.
Step 2 – Plan Your Move
It’s highly recommended to hire a removal company to help get your items to Spain quickly and safely. Most companies offer a packing and unpacking service designed to make your life easier.
After you’ve figured out what’s going to charity and what’s coming with you that’s when you can arrange your move to Spain. You can tell the removal company exactly what they can expect to be packing and unpacking. If you don’t choose a dismantling/reassembling service, make sure you dismantle all the furniture you plan on taking abroad.
We understand it can be awkward to take every item of furniture with you. It could be useful to keep some of it in storage, which is a service widely offered by removal companies. The idea could be that these items could be sent over to you in Spain once you’ve settled in, giving you a bit of time to put aside money for the second removal delivery.
If you’re worried about not taking enough furniture with you, then the money you make from donating and selling your unwanted items gives you the opportunity to buy second-hand furniture from charity shops or local upcycling businesses once you’ve moved to Spain.
Like Martha’s Homestore and Cow and Ghost Vintage, both independent shops selling upcycled furniture and vintage homewares in Wales, ‘Mercat del Encants’ in Barcelona offers you the chance to help furnish your new house with over 500 stalls to get stuck into.
- TIP – Don’t surprise the removal company on the day with an extra item you decided to pack, this will only delay the process, cost more money and most likely annoy them.
Step 3 – Hire a Removal Company
A removal company will do most of the hard work for you to ensure you have everything covered for your move to Spain, but you should know in advance if there’s anything they don’t cover.
International movers will pack your items professionally for a safe arrival in Spain, offering high quality and strong packing materials. Most companies also offer a dismantling/reassembling service for your furniture, saving you a lot of work.
However, when getting a quote for your move, it’s essential you check the optional add-ons the company provides. International Removals Insurance is a specialist type of insurance that will cover your belongings during transit when moving from one country to another. It’s vital you have this insurance as it covers any damages your items could face travelling via sea freight etc.
Questions to Ask –
- Communicate with the removal company on what exactly you can and can’t take, this will make packing easier for both you and the removal firm.
- If you’re planning on taking your pet with you, find out if the removal company will provide a service for this.
- Find out exactly what you’re paying for. Ask how much each additional service is and avoid any hidden fees.
Step 4 – Leave Behind
- Toaster, kettle, microwave, TV etc. Don’t take up space by packing kitchen appliances that could likely already be in your new house in Spain if it’s furnished.
- Furniture. You can sell most of your furniture and start fresh in Spain with new items.
- Consider putting items into storage such as wardrobe, bed, sofa, heavy and bulky furniture, photo albums/personal keepsakes.
- Books, DVDs, old birthday cards that you’ve kept over the years shouldn’t all be coming with you to Spain.
Step 5 – Don’t Forget to Pack
Important Documents – driving licence, birth certificate, marriage certificate, tax documents, payslips, details for your new home, a map of the area in Spain, passport, credit and debit cards, mixture of pounds and euros.
- TIP – These should all be kept together in one folder and in your hand luggage in case they get misplaced during the move.
Essentials – tablets or medication, sun cream, plug adapters until you sort out appliances and sunglasses.
- TIP – Don’t worry about packing toiletries like shower gel, shampoo or soap. These are all things that are widely available in most shops in Spain and will take up unnecessary room.
Travel Bag – deodorant, face and body wipes, toothbrush, tissues, pain killers, phone and laptop along with the chargers, and all the important documents stated above.
- TIP – It’s always a good idea to pack a travel bag separate from your items that are with the removal company to reassure yourself you know where they are if you need easy access.
Clothes – moving abroad is a good chance to donate a lot of your unworn clothes to charity.
- TIP – vacuum pack the clothes you wish to take to Spain so you’re not taking up too much space.
Furniture – if your personal belongings are moving via airfreight, your items need to be professionally packed.
- TIP – Don’t forget to dismantle furniture if you’re not opting for a dismantling/reassembling service
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This guest post was written by Martha Lott. Martha is a content writer for UK house removal comparison website Compare My Move. Last year, Compare My Move helped more than 65,000 movers save time and money on their house removals costs.
Many people dream of buying in Spain – flights are generally economical and take a little more than two hours, the quality of life (and the wine!) is very good, plus property prices are very reasonable compared to much of the UK. But while some dream, others turn it into a reality. You may be surprised to find that a second home in sun-drenched Spain could be within your reach.
While living the UK has its high points, the weather and the warm beer aren’t among them. This could explain why there are more than 2.5 million online searches for property in Spain from British residents each and every month, according to Rightmove’s research. These property seekers are looking for a balance between affordable plane fares and short flight times so they can enjoy a long weekend away or a permanent move but be able to head back to the UK at short notice for work or to see family and friends.
The top destination for British property-seekers is – sunny Spain! The average price of property these bargain-hunting Brits are seeking is €156,940, which won’t get you much – if anything at all – in many parts of the UK. Rightmove has also found that the most popular locations for Brits seeking holiday homes abroad tend to be in the top holiday hotspots too. So which is the most popular destination? Alicante and the Costa Blanca resorts of course.
Alicante has the most of those 2,513,374 enquiries a month with people searching for an average price per property of €126,054. Mallorca is second with an average price search of €397,813 while Malaga comes in third where the average enquiry price is €191,830.
What’s so attractive about Alicante?
With about 320 days of sun each year and an average temperature of 29oC in August and 11o in January, it’s no wonder the Alicante region is so appealing. Plus many budget airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, Monarch and Norwegian fly into Alicante airport, which is the fifth busiest airport in Spain, so it’s easy to get to.
Alicante province includes the attractive Costa Blanca resorts with hundreds of kilometres of sandy beaches to soak up the sun or try watersports. This is a fabulous area for sports such as:
- cycling along the same routes you’ve seen in the Vuelta de España
- sailing in the same waters as the Volvo Ocean Race round-the-world yacht teams
- playing tennis on the same courts as David Ferrer
- playing golf on competition courses
- or simply sampling yoga on the beach; horse-riding in the mountains; paragliding; rock climbing; stand-up paddle and so much more.
It’s a paradise for food lovers too. You can visit the markets to buy the finest selection of fresh shellfish and fish, such as the special Denia red prawn, or head to the restaurants to sample some of the many rice dishes including paella and arroz a banda (rice cooked in fish stock).
With vast beaches, super theme parks, great nightlife, glorious mountains, traditional little Spanish villages and bustling cities, there are so many reasons to buy property in Alicante.
What’s magnificent about Malaga?
Malaga is Spain’s fourth busiest airport since it serves the city and the entire Costa del Sol resorts. It’s another favourite with budget airlines so you can enjoy an affordable flight to your chosen destination. The Costa del Sol is a long favourite with British expats and holidaymakers who can choose from the `fun in the sun’ resort of Fuengirola to the chic Marbella resorts and everything in between.
With endless sunny days, an average temperature of 26oC in August and a lovely 12oC in January, it’s no wonder that so many people head to the Costa del Sol throughout the year. As well as topping up the tan, people love the region for its countless golf courses to test all handicaps as well as amazing water sports facilities, particularly around Marbella and the swanky Puerto Banus.
Many people are also fascinated to learn there are impressive ski resorts in the region. It takes about 90 minutes to drive to the Sierra Nevada for skiing or snowboarding. It seems incredible that you could be skiing in the snow in the morning and then one hour later be having lunch on the beach – but it’s absolutely true!
Food lovers can sample fresh fish or shellfood straight from the sea; or try the cold gazpacho or salmorejo soups to beat the summer heat; migas made with bread, garlic and olive oil; or rabo de toro (oxtail). Simply delicious!
With its selection of beach resorts, mountains, white villages, historic cities, culture and friendly welcome, it’s no wonder so many people are looking for property in Malaga and its surrounding district.
Your next move?
If you are looking for property in Malaga or Alicante, please take a look at the Move to Malaga website for further information. Our contact details are there so you can get in touch to let us help you make your move to Spain.
Tell me how you can help me save time and money on my purchase …
New Series: What Is The Real Cost of living in Spain?
Welcome to our new series of posts looking at the cost of living in Spain. In this introductory post, we will inform you of general costs and provide you with great sources of information that you can use to calculate your own budget.
Your own personal cost of living in Spain will depend on the size of your family, your chosen destination and, of course, your expected standard of living. The information we provide serves as a guideline and it is up to you, to be honest when making your own calculations. A “Tapas in Malaga” kind of lifestyle budget will be nowhere near a “Popstar in Marbella” kind of lifestyle budget 😉
When talking about why they made the move to Spain, many expats will say the quality of life is one good reason while others point to the sun which seems to be constantly beaming down from the sky. Great food, endless fiestas and friendly environment are also major attractions.
Pensioners find their money goes further in Spain than in the UK and other north European countries, despite the poorer exchange rate compared to a few years ago. However, workers, unless they are self-employed with most of their income earned from outside Spain, will find the wages to be disappointingly low. That said, it is still fair to say your money goes a long way. For most people, the cost of living in Spain is generally lower than in their home country.
As we mentioned, in future articles we will be looking in detail at the cost of living in the top Spanish destinations for expats but now we are going to give a general overview of how much you need to live in Spain.
Living costs vary between the regions and from resort to resort – the top cities of Madrid and Barcelona are expensive but Spain’s third largest city of Valencia is surprisingly cheap. Likewise, the Balearic islands and swanky resorts such as Marbella will cost more than living in Torrevieja or Malaga. It’s worth bearing that in mind if you are still unsure of where to move to in Spain. You will find that some of the most expensive Spanish cities also have the highest incomes. For example, the cost of living in Barcelona is 30.17% higher than the national average, San Sebastian is 27.85% higher and Madrid is 22.72%. However, while. the average salary in Spain is about €23,000, in Madrid, it is €36,000, €33,000 in Barcelona and €29,000 in San Sebastian. Figures also show the cost of living in Madrid or Barcelona is still 40% cheaper than London.
Cost of living in Spain: Day to Day Expenses
These data are based on 26070 entries in the past 18 months from 2114 different contributors.
Last update: March, 2017 Source: Numbeo.com
Tips for reducing your own cost of living in Spain: Food shopping
It goes without saying that you’ll also need to adapt to your new life in Spain, particularly when doing the weekly grocery shopping. Buying everything in one large supermarket is often not the best option.
In Spain, the indoor markets are great for buying fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. This is simply because you can buy as much or as little as you want – no pre-packed stuff there!
Each supermarket has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Lidl can be great for meat, frozen and fresh veg, and fruit while Mercadona is a favourite for toiletries and bread. Other top supermarkets in Spain are Carrefour, Consum, Dia, Supercor and Aldi. (Click on the supermarket’s names to access their websites and compare prices)
Take your time with the food shopping. Visit new places and embrace the change. And it goes without saying, that you should always try to buy fresh products that are in season.
The best idea is to be versatile – as a Spanish teacher advised: “If chicken is expensive then eat fish. If potatoes are dear, eat rice instead.”
What you will find, in almost all parts of Spain, is that it’s much more affordable to go out to eat – and a that is a great way to start integrating.
Internet and mobile phones:
Cost of internet packages vary along with the speeds but, thankfully, fibre optic is making a breakthrough in many areas. The best deals are with Movistar, Orange and Vodafone, although you’ll need to check what their coverage is like in your area. You may also find firms in your area offering packages too.
If you think your children would benefit from being taught in English or following the British curriculum, you will find many private international schools in Spain. There is more information in our articles about international schools in Malaga and Alicante.
A litre of petrol is currently about €1.28. Use this website to check current petrol and diesel costs in your chosen destination: https://www.elpreciodelagasolina.com/
The results show you the location of petrol stations near to where you are …
Cost of Living in Spain: Monthly Expenses
Rent can be anything from about €450 to over €5000 (subject to your requirements) and location. For researching rental prices in different areas, the best online sites are Kyero, ThinkSpain and Idealista.
This article will help you to decide on the best location for you: http://movetomalagaspain.com/property-finder-malaga/where-to-live-in-malaga/
This article explains how to use portals to check out specific rental properties in different destinations: http://movetomalagaspain.com/how-to-find-your-ideal-long-term-rental-in-spain/
Use this table to calculate the rent in your chosen area: http://www.fotocasa.es/indice-alquiler-inmobiliario__fotocasa.asp
TIP: Rent prices are rising and good rental properties are difficult to find. Be ready to act quickly as soon as you find something you like!
Here is a breakdown that serves as a guideline as to where your money will go
Cost of Living in Spain: Annual Expenses
You will also need to factor in annual expenses such as:
- car insurance (average of €600 a year)
- house insurance (contents and building is from €129 with Linea Direct)
- travel insurance (from €70)
- health insurance if not eligible for SIP card (from €40 a month for a 30-year-old male)
Check out our article on how to save money on insurance in Spain
- car tax (€90 for a four-year-old family car)
- municipal taxes (about €125)
- IBI tax as a homeowner (depends on property value but from €200 to €800)
You should budget for a further €1,800 to cover these annual bills.
If you run a business, you will have to pay:
- tax on earnings
- IVA (the equivalent of VAT) of 21% which you collect from your customers
- any insurance needed such as public liability insurance.
You can read more in our articles about the costs of setting up a business in Spain as a freelance and whether it is such a good idea or not.
As you can see, many costs are fairly low in Spain, especially the fun ones such as having an after-work drink or dining out. When you add the other benefits of living in Spain such as the sheer beauty of the country, the crazy fiestas and the attitude of the locals, it’s worth every penny!
Take the first step towards living in MALAGA or ALICANTE. Contact us now!