Spain is a major destination point for expats from all over the world, and it’s easy to see why. There is of course the attraction of the favourable weather and climate, not to mention everything else Spain has to offer, from the culture, the history and cuisine. In this post, we’re detailing some of the most important things you should consider before relocating. The better prepared you are, the better chance you have of making a successful move to Spain.

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1. Learn the language

If you don’t speak fluent Spanish, you will struggle with your day to day life in Spain. You may be able to get by only knowing basic phrases in shops, bars and restaurants, but not understanding the native tongue will leave you feeling isolated, and unable to communicate when it is most necessary, for example when visiting your doctor, and integrating within your local community will be difficult. If you’re planning to relocate to Spain, immerse yourself in Spanish culture, read and communicate in Spanish. As well, take classes to be taught.

2. Apply for your NIE and social security number

If you plan on living and working on a permanent basis in Spain, you will be required to apply for your NIE and request a social security number, both of which are legal requirements. Your NIE is a tax identification number, and you can request an application for one at the local police station. You can also pay a Gestor to apply for your NIE on your behalf, if for whatever reason you are unable to do so. Your social security number is needed for when you are applying for jobs, and also grants you access to things like healthcare. You can apply for your Spanish social security number at your local Tesorería de la Seguridad Social.

3. Ship your luggage ahead

One of the biggest hurdles to face when it comes to relocating anywhere in the world, is how to transport your personal belongings to your new home overseas. There are a number of ways you can do this, for example by checking a number of pieces of luggage onto your flight, or by hiring an international removals company. However, these options can be expensive and leave you substantially out of pocket – not ideal for starting a new life somewhere new and unfamiliar. Thankfully, luggage shipping companies offer a welcomed alternative to this problem. You can simply ship your luggage ahead to your destination.

4. Explore

When it comes to relocating anywhere in the world, you need to be sure you are doing so for the right reasons. It may be worthwhile taking preliminary trips ahead of moving, so that you can explore different surroundings to get a feel for which part of Spain is best for you. Spain is a big country, and its different regions has different things to offer in terms of climate, traditions and more. Make decisions about your relocation based on your own perspective.

5. Rent a home

Opting for a rental property instead of buying a home outright as soon as you touch down in Spain is the best way to get a feel for your new life there. Relocating is unquestionably exciting, there’s nothing quite like starting a brand new chapter of your life somewhere new. However, there are some cases where it just doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, and that’s okay. Renting a home for one year, six months or even month-to-month if the landlord allows it means you’re free from the commitment, and you can truly gauge months down the line whether or not life in Spain really is for you. If not, you won’t be tied down by a house.