Living Abroad Guides

Are you thinking about moving abroad? Then I’ve got you covered! In these living abroad guides, you’ll find everything about moving abroad and expat living.

Moving abroad is an exciting adventure with lots of advantages and learnings along the way – whether you learn a new language, learn how to be more independent or get to know yourself.

However, it’s essential to consider a few things before becoming an expat. If you’re wondering what expat means, it simply means a person who has moved from their home country to a different one. 

Many people believe expats are only elderly or retired people looking to buy a house abroad, but this isn’t the case. You can be an expat at any age!

The following guides include everything you need to know about living abroad – from the pros and cons of moving abroad to insightful tips to help you move to Spain.

✈️ Moving to Spain guides

📝 General guides about moving abroad

So, what things do you need to consider before moving abroad?

a view from Mijas Pueblo viewpoint at sunset
  1. Destination. Do you like a warm or cold place? Do you love city life or the countryside? What activities do you want to find in your new city? These are questions to ask yourself before choosing a destination.
  2. Budget. Estimate the budget you have to move abroad. Moving abroad isn’t cheap because of flights, moving your stuff, finding a house, etc. Have a look at Numbeo to know the cost of living in the destination you want to move to, and then decide if it’s affordable for you.
  3. Visa and legal documents. Depending on the country you move to, you may have a visa or other legal documents to work and live. Check the legal requirements for the place you want to move to as soon as possible. Remember that bureaucracy can be a slow process.
  4. Relationships. No relationship should stop you from moving abroad. However, if family and friends are very important to you, it may be more difficult for you to move overseas. Also, if you have children, you must ensure they’ll have a smooth transition.
  5. Language. Are you planning to move to somewhere where your mother language isn’t spoken? In this scenario, start learning the language basics, take online lessons or attend language exchanges before you move. Even if English is widely spoken, not everyone will know English, and as a future resident, you really need to make an effort with the language to show appreciation.
  6. Work. Unless you work for yourself or remotely for a company, you need to look at how employment is in the country you’d like to move in and what type of jobs you can find there. 
  7. Healthcare. Is it paid or public? This can be quite important, especially if you have a pre-existing condition or are likely to need healthcare access.

Tips for first-time expats

  • Check your passport expiry date.
  • Sort out any bureaucracy you can do online before moving.
  • Research the best and worst areas to live in your destination.
  • Cancel any subscriptions you may have at home.
  • Book your flights in advance.
  • Take any necessary medication with you.
  • Join expat Facebook groups in your destination.
  • Look for language exchanges.
  • Learn the basics of the language (if applicable).
  • Plan your trip from the airport to your new home.
  • Don’t overpack! Sometimes, you can buy cheaper things in your new place.
a view of the town of frigiliana in spain

Insurance for expats

Before moving abroad is recommendable to purchase expat insurance to cover you in different scenarios.

This is important when you move to a place for the first time because you probably don’t know how to deal with certain things or have access to healthcare and other essential services.

Insurance for expats is even more important if you take care of other people that are dependent on you (i.e. children), you have a mortgage, or just if you want to have peace of mind.