Avoid the biggest mistakes when moving to Spain. Visa, language barriers, job opportunities, financial preparation and more.

Avoid mistakes when moving to Spain

Moving to Spain is a chance to immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of history, art, Spanish culture, and cuisine. Whether you're drawn to the cosmopolitan cities, the vibrant festivals, or the laid-back lifestyle, Spain has a magnetic charm that captivates the hearts of many.
But, like any journey in a foreign country, it comes with its fair share of challenges. In this guide, we will explore the important aspects of moving to Spain and highlight common mistakes you should avoid. And, if you’ve already decided to relocate, find out how our removals to Spain can make your move easier.
Avoid These 7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving to
Spain: A Must-Read Guide

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1. Underestimating the Complexity of Visas and Residency
Moving to Spain as a UK citizen requires careful consideration of the visas and residency process. It is crucial not to underestimate the complexity of the Spanish bureaucracy.
As a UK citizen, you will be required to obtain a visa to reside in Spain after Brexit. Which specific visa you will need may vary depending on factors such as the length of and reasons for your stay. Before starting your visa application process, make sure to consider the various available options such as the Golden Visa, and ensure that you satisfy all the necessary criteria to acquire your visa.
Always make sure to arrange your accommodation before arriving in Spain. Finding accommodation and sorting paperwork can be more time-consuming than you might expect; do your research and find suitable housing ahead of time to prevent any last-minute difficulties and risk of being left without a place to live upon your arrival.

2. Failing to Begin Learning the Language
Although English is widely spoken in Spain, people in smaller towns may not speak it fluently. This language barrier could lead to feelings of isolation from the local community and difficulties in daily life.
By not learning basic Spanish to survive, you may find it challenging to communicate with locals, make friends, or even carry out basic tasks like grocery shopping or going to the doctor.
Palace of Communication, Madrid

Learning the language is not only a practical necessity but also a way to show respect for the local culture and people. It opens doors to new opportunities, allows for meaningful interactions, and helps you feel more integrated into the community.
To avoid this mistake, prioritise learning Spanish before you move to Spain. Take advantage of language courses, online resources, or even language exchange programs to improve your language skills. Even basic knowledge of Spanish can go a long way in making your transition smoother and more enjoyable.
The more you immerse yourself in the language and culture, the easier it will be to connect with the local community, make friends, and make Spain your new home.

3. Assuming You Can Find a Job When You Arrive
Spain is home to a wealth of job opportunities for UK citizens, but it's important to note that the job market can be competitive, especially in certain areas and industries. Depending on your field and qualifications, it may take time and effort to secure employment.
Approach this challenge with a positive mindset. Instead of being discouraged, consider it an opportunity to explore new career paths or enhance your skills. Research the job market in your desired area and gather information about potential employment opportunities. Network with professionals in your field and consider reaching out to recruitment agencies or job boards to increase your chances of finding suitable employment.
By being proactive and adaptable, you can increase your chances of finding a job that aligns with your skills and interests, making your transition to the Spanish job market a successful and fulfilling experience.

4. Not Being Financially Prepared
Moving to Spain without proper financial preparation can lead to unnecessary stress and difficulties. To ensure a smooth transition, it's important to consider the following aspects:

Make a budget plan for the cost of living

The cost of living in Spain differs from the UK in various areas. Before your move, consider looking up the average daily costs in Spain and creating a realistic budget that takes into account expenses such as housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, and healthcare.

Emergency savings

Having a financial safety net is important. This is especially true when relocating to a new country; it’s important that you have savings to cover unexpected expenses that may arise. This can provide peace of mind and help you navigate any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during your move or while settling in Spain.

Choose your bank carefully

Research and choose a reputable bank in Spain that offers services suitable to your needs. Consider factors such as fees, accessibility, and international transactions. Opening a Spanish bank account will make it easier to manage your finances and handle day-to-day expenses.

Budgeting, taxes, bank accounts

Familiarise yourself with the financial regulations and requirements in Spain. This includes understanding the tax system, filing obligations, and any specific financial considerations for expatriates. Proper budgeting and financial planning will help you stay organised and avoid any financial pitfalls.

Do your research on finances in Spain before your move and set yourself up for a stable future.

5. Buying a House Without Getting a Feel for the Area
Before making a long-term commitment, such as buying a house, take the time to get a feel for the surrounding area and understand its characteristics, amenities, and overall atmosphere. This way, you can ensure that the location is right for your lifestyle and preferences.

The best way of doing this is by renting a property in the area first, which will allow you to get a better understanding of the neighbourhood, local amenities, and transportation options. Renting also gives you the flexibility to explore different neighbourhoods and gain first-hand experience of daily life in the area. You may find local beauty spots you want to move closer to, or areas you’d rather avoid that you wouldn’t know about from online research alone.

6. Choosing The Wrong Removals Company
Failing to choose a reliable company can turn the whole process of your relocation into a logistical nightmare, potentially leading to damaged belongings, delays, and unnecessary stress.
When it comes to international moves, expertise is key. You need a removal company that understands the intricacies of moving to Spain, including customs regulations, transportation logistics, and the specific requirements of your relocation.
For a hassle-free experience and to avoid any errors, check out our Removals to Spain service.

7. Misjudging the Cultural Shock
Moving to a new country often involves experiencing cultural differences and potential culture shocks. To help you navigate these challenges successfully, we’ve put together a list of things to be aware of.

Don't restrict yourself to the international community only

While it's comforting to connect with fellow foreigners and expats, don't limit yourself to just the international community. Try to interact with locals, learn about their cultural practices, and embrace the Spanish way of life.

Be aware of Spanish cultural practices

Familiarise yourself with Spain's cultural norms and practices. For example, dinner times tend to be later, greeting with a kiss on the cheek is common, and shops often close during lunchtime. Understanding and respecting these cultural nuances will help you integrate better into the local community.

Embrace the culture shocks to fit in like a local

Instead of resisting cultural differences, embrace them as opportunities for growth and learning. Be open-minded, adaptable, and willing to step out of your comfort zone. Embracing the local culture will not only enhance your experience but also foster meaningful connections with the locals, helping you feel more at home.

In this guide, we have explored the 7 biggest mistakes when moving to Spain. From underestimating the complexity of visas and residency to misjudging cultural shocks, each aspect plays an important role in ensuring your successful relocation.
Partner with Gentlevan Removals for your removals to Spain and embark on a stress-free journey to your new home. Contact us today for a seamless and enjoyable relocation experience.