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7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving to Spain

28 Mar 2023

7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving to Spain
There are so many reasons to emigrate to Spain; the sun, food and people being just a few.

Ultimately, making the decision to move overseas is both exciting and nerve-wracking. In order to help you prepare for moving overseas, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 biggest mistakes when moving to Spain so you don’t have to make them.

If you've already committed to the move, our removals to Spain will help get you there. 

Steps painted with the Spanish flag leading through an old town

1. Not trying to learn the language

Although there’s no expectation that you will be fluent in Spanish before moving to Spain, learning the basics before you go is a good idea. With only 27% of the population being able to express themselves in English, being able to say a few phrases in Spanish will help you settle in.  Once you’ve made the decision to move, try enrolling on a short course to get you started. 

2. Buying before visiting 

Like any other country, there is a lot of differentiation between regions. Trying to buy without knowing which area you want to live in can lead you to wonder, “Is moving to Spain a good idea?”. 

People who have already made the move suggest visiting many regions to get a real feel for what you like and renting at first. If you want to buy in Spain, it’s a good idea to visit at different times of the year to get a real feel of the place. Some places in Spain differ between summer to winter, which can be shocking if you've only ever visited in the summer.

3. Under-preparing for the cultural differences

A cafe serving drinks to customers on a street full of blue plant pots and white buildings

The laid-back culture is part of the charm and may be a reason you are choosing to move to Spain. However, if you are unprepared for it, it can feel like a shock, especially in the first few months while you are trying to get banks, paperwork, and visas in order. You may find that the opening times are shorter than in the UK and that people aren't in a rush. Being prepared to change your plans and going with the flow will help you settle into a slower pace of life.

4. Not joining an expat community

This mistake is especially important if you are still learning Spanish. There are plenty of expats in Spain, and a good way to find these communities is online. Just finding a few people to help you settle in and having someone to ask questions to can help make moving to Spain go as smoothly as possible.

5. Over-packing

Before moving, it would be a good idea to consider what you want to pack and take with you. You are not going to need to take everything you own so try to declutter before packing. If you don’t want to get rid of some items or are keeping your home in the UK, using a self-storage unit might be a good option. For the items you definitely want for your new life in Spain, book a moving service to get your furniture and items to your new home. 

6. Delaying paperwork

One of the biggest mistakes people make when moving to Spain is not starting paperwork quickly enough. When you first move, there will be complex government paperwork that you need to fill out and appointments that you need to attend. Some institutions are walk-in only, which can leave you queuing for a while to be told you haven't brought the right information or they need something additional from you. Our advice is to do your research and get started on this as soon as possible.

Stacks of paperwork marked with post-it notes

7. Expecting life to be like a holiday

Moving to Spain can be an exciting adventure, but some people make the mistake of expecting their life there to be a non-stop holiday. Although Spain offers beautiful weather, plenty of fun and relaxation, daily life there is not without the responsibilities and challenges that you face at home. It's important to have a realistic mindset and be willing to adjust to a new culture and way of life. By embracing the differences, you can make the most of your experience in Spain.