Ah, Spain. With its sun-soaked beaches, delectable cuisine, and rhythmic flamenco, it’s no wonder many Brits dream of packing up their umbrellas and making the leap to the land of sun, sea, and sand.
Whether you’re a retiree searching for a serene coastal escape, a family yearning for a vibrant cultural change, or a sun-seeker with a holiday home itching for more frequent visits, the question remains: when is the best time to make the move? While you might be inclined to think purely in terms of weather patterns, the decision is more multifaceted than you’d imagine. From the idyllic Mediterranean climate to the intricacies of post-Brexit bureaucracy, this article will guide you through the optimal periods and the most pragmatic considerations for embarking on their Spanish adventure.
Though Spain isn’t a million miles away, it’s a very different place to the UK, and so you need to think carefully about when to make the move. As is the case with any international relocation, there are a variety of things to consider, such as the weather and the cost of moving, both of which can vary hugely.
What Time of Year is Best to Move to Spain?
Spain experiences a diverse climate due to its geographical size. In the southern regions such as Andalusia and the Costa del Sol, you will find mild winters running from December to February, and warm summers from June to August. In contrast, the northern regions like Galicia and the Basque Country have a lot more rainfall and milder summers. Consider your weather preferences when choosing the ideal time to move to Spain, as weather conditions can affect your comfort during the transition.
If you’re not too phased by the heat, moving during the summer months gives you the chance to enjoy the sunshine from the moment that you arrive. If you are looking for more comfortable temperatures, the milder months might be preferable.
Peak Moving Season
In Spain, the months of September and October are often considered to be peak moving seasons. The weather is typically pleasant across most regions during this time, making it a comfortable time to organise a house move. Schools in Spain usually start the second week of September, which means that a move at this time lines up with children starting school, and avoids them having to join a new class midway through the academic year. However, it’s important to keep in mind that peak moving season also means more competition for moving services, such as removals companies, and potential competition for jobs.
Moving to Spain as a Temporary Resident – Brexit Considerations
Before the UK left the EU, UK citizens had the freedom to come and go between the UK and Spain. They could do this whenever they wanted, and they could stay for as long as wanted too. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. If you are not an EU citizen and you don’t have permanent residency in Spain, you are limited by the ’90 Day Rule’.
The ‘90 Day Rule’ means that you are only able to reside in Spain for up to 90 days at a time out of every 180 days, or up to a maximum of around 180 days a year. You can, therefore, only have around two 90 days of living in Spain a year.
This is something to take into account when you’re deciding when is the best time to move. For example, many British ‘swallows’ like to spend the winter months living in Spain so may choose to move in November or December, and then head back to the UK when the weather improves. If you are looking for a way to enjoy sunshine at all times of the year, this could be something to consider.
When you first move, you will need to ensure that you have enough time to arrange all of your affairs and utilities before returning to the UK. However, with a little careful planning, you will be able to make the best of both worlds, moving to and from the UK and Spain, enjoying life in both countries.
Deciding When to Relocate to Spain
If your move to Spain is work-related, research the job market in your field and the specific region where you plan to live. Some industries may have busier hiring periods, and you will want to ensure you are moving at a time when it’s easier to secure a job. If you move during a busy period, you might find the search for a job takes a lot longer, which can add undue stress to your move. A lot of people move to Spain in search of sunshine and beaches, and so they head to coastal regions such as Alicante, Costa Blanca and Costa Del Sol. These areas are at their busiest during the summer holidays, which is when many businesses are in need of new staff. If you are one of the many people that are retiring to Spain, this isn’t something that you will need to worry about.
The Spanish housing market can vary by region and time of year. Prices and availability can fluctuate, so research local property market trends before making your move. Be aware that accommodation prices are often at their highest during the summer months, when many people are moving and holidaying, which could be costly if you end up having to stay in a hotel when you’re in between homes. This is something to consider if you are looking to buy a holiday home, as prices tend to increase in the summer months, as buyers are enticed into making a purchase to make the most of the weather. In the winter and in areas that are less popular with tourists, house prices are lower because fewer people are thinking about buying a holiday home.
Visa and Legal Considerations
If you are moving to Spain on a visa, as most people do, be sure to understand the visa requirements, processing times and any seasonal changes in immigration policies that might affect your plans. Missing the window to enter the country due to visa restrictions can be a significant setback, and could mean that you need to start the application process again. This can be time consuming and expensive. If you are from the UK and you don’t have permission to reside in Spain on a full time basis, you will need to keep the ‘90 Day Rule’ in mind, which restricts how long you can spend in Spain at any one time. Without a visa, you won’t be able to move to Spain like you could do pre-Brexit.
Festivals and Events
Consider if there are specific festivals, events or holidays in Spain that you would like to experience. Planning your move around these times can enhance your cultural immersion and make your transition more enjoyable. If you are hoping to move during a quieter period – for example, if you want to give yourself time to settle into your new life without the hustle and bustle of a festival, crowds and events – you might want to do the opposite, and ensure there is nothing scheduled locally for the same time. If you are planning to move to a holiday destination, especially an area that’s popular with Brits, between May and September is when most festivals and special events take place.
Personal factors such as family commitments, work obligations and other responsibilities will influence your decision about when to move. Consider which factors take priority in your life and align your move accordingly. For example, you are unlikely to want to move at a time that means missing a family wedding or a big celebration, or in the middle of a big work project.
Research and Preparation
Regardless of the time of year, thorough research and preparation are vital before making a move to Spain. Take the time to understand your destination, the healthcare system, education options and other essential aspects of daily life before you do anything else. Proper planning can help reduce potential issues down the line, and it can make the move a more enjoyable and stress-free experience.
Why Wait? Now is the Best Time to Move to Spain
Ultimately, the best time to move to Spain depends on your unique circumstances, preferences, and priorities. While there may be favourable times of the year for various reasons, the most important thing is to take the plunge when you feel ready. Moving to a new country is an exciting journey, and there’s no better time than right now to start your adventure in Spain. After all, why would you want to wait any longer?
Once you’ve decided on the ideal timing for your move, the next step is to organise the logistics. Enlist the help of the United International Removals experts to ensure a smooth transition from A to B. To learn more about our services and how we can assist you with your move to Spain, get in touch with us today.