Upping sticks and moving to Spain is an incredibly exciting decision! Nonetheless, you would be forgiven for feeling a little nervous. Follow these top tips and you’ll feel at home in no time.

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1. Start the prep work early

Planning ahead will give you the best start when you move to Spain. Along with researching the essentials like utilities, look into what your local area offers. What are the shops like? Is there a market? Where are the best beaches?

The good thing about Spain is that there are lots of expat groups and organisations that you can join and use to gain insight into your new home. The U3A is a particularly well known international organisation – and gives you the opportunity to meet those who have already been in the same position as you.

Taking a few Spanish lessons before you move is also a good idea. Having a few keywords and phrases in your pocket when you first arrive will prove invaluable.

2. On arrival, pause and explore your new area

When you first arrive, try not to get too caught up in the logistics and ‘boring’ things like unpacking and organising. Make sure you take some time out to go out and explore your new area. One thing we recommend is to find a local coffee shop that you can visit regularly – it is a great way to meet other locals and expats who may also visit frequently.

3. Join a club

Were you a keen dancer, tennis player or actor before you moved to Spain? If so, there’s no need to give it all up now you’ve moved – why not see if there are any local clubs offering your favourite hobby, or even try something completely new? It’s a great way to keep fit while also meeting people with similar interests.

Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday in Spain by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family

4. Don’t hide away

It is so, so important to not hide away when you first move to Spain, no matter how much you might feel like it! Try and make conversation with your neighbours or the local shop assistant, even if it’s just a simple ‘hola’ or ‘adios’.

Continue with your Spanish learning journey by enrolling in a class in Spain. This is another great way to meet people like yourself while also moving towards a richer quality of life in Spain.

5. Get a Spanish mobile number

This last one may seem a little strange, but getting a Spanish mobile number is another way to integrate into Spanish life. It will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to communicating with locals and Spanish companies such as utility organisations.

There are several mobile companies that you can choose from, such as Movistar, Orange and Vodafone.

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