For millions of people, the thought of moving to Spain is a dream and a goal because of the natural beauty, the amazing beaches, and the endless sunshine.
There are certain things you must know before moving to Spain and this article outlines the top 10 tips to make the transition run smoother while eliminating any potential issues and explains the differences in culture.
1. Have all Paperwork Ready
When you begin the process of moving to Spain be sure to have all the paperwork that you will need.
It is suggested that you bring every form of paperwork you may need.
Be sure to double check your documents and check to ensure that you have not missed anything.
A good idea is to even photocopy important documents and scan them to ensure correct account numbers, dates, names and other necessities are correct before accepting them, or using them.
2. Tip Local Help
The people who help you throughout your day sometimes known as the butanero should be tipped when they offer you service.
This may include taxi cab drivers, people who carry your goods up flights of stairs to your home, help you with language barriers or any other form of service.
3. Birthday Parties
Unlike most places in the world, when it is your birthday you are expected to treat friends, family members and colleagues with gifts and celebration.
In Spain, if it is your birthday you are expected to throw a celebration for those you are close with.
If you have children, it is courtesy to send your child to school with a large bag of candies to share with their schoolmates.
4. The Busy Season
In August, it seems like most Spaniards head to the beaches with their families in large droves.
It is suggested to avoid spending time in August at the beach to avoid large crowds and issues with finding needed things like restaurants or beach area hotels.
5. Morning Delays
Another interesting fact about Spanish culture is that white collar and blue collar type businesses and organisations are generally understaffed between 9:30 am and 11 am.
In Spain, these hours are reserved for a Segundo Desayuno known as a second breakfast.
Take this time to relax and enjoy some coffee or food and wait until after this time to get tasks accomplished.
6. Children are a Top Priority in Society
Inside Spain, it is common that children rule the attention and admiration of everyone.
Children are treated like royalty and are known to stay up as late as their parents in the summertime and are given privileged social status in this country.
Be aware that children are treated incredibly well and to treat them accordingly.
7. How to Get Attention
If you are inside a busy lounge or social club, you may be used to being polite and raising a finger to get attention for your needs to be addressed.
In Spain however, you have to let go of social politeness and be ready to yell, ¡Oiga! which means, (listen, person whom I do not know).
Or if you really need assistance and are more assertive you can yell, ¡Oye! which translates as, (Listen, person who I do not know, but will talk to as if I do).
Remember to smile, be polite and you will fit in.
8. Time is Different
In Spain, there are three main times of day.
La mañana is until 2 pm and the afternoon follows which is known as La tarde and it lasts until night.
The early hours of the day have the unique name la madrugada.
It is interesting that there is no word or name for night time in this country.
9. The August Shut Down
As stated earlier inside this article, in August most of the country seems to go on holiday.
Having tasks completed during this month can be frustrating and challenging as many people head to the beaches, slowing down life and being able to get things done.
If you are able to try to delay needed tasks or other required duties to either September or accomplish them during any other time of the year.
10. Understand the Varied Languages
In Spain, there are three dialects that are spoken in different areas.
They are known as Catalan, Valenciano, as well as Gallego.
They are their own specific languages and are official languages of the country under the official Castellano language grouping.
Be aware that they are different from each other.