There are lots of reasons people think about moving abroad, and often a big factor is that they’re after a better life for their family.
Spain is a very family orientated country, and a great place to bring up children. It’s 18 months since we moved from the UK to Spain and we haven’t looked back – it was definitely the best decision we ever made!
So if you are wondering why life in Spain is so great, here are 10 things you’ll love about living in Spain as a family…
You’ll notice that on most of our blog posts ‘the weather’ always features on a list of great things about living in Spain!
It really is such a game changer having sun almost everyday. And here on the Costa Blanca you get an average of 320 days of sun a year, so I’m not exaggerating.
Knowing that you can plan adventures for the weekend and after school without them getting rained off is great. You don’t have to worry about getting wet on the school run, and of course, sunny days put everyone in a much better mood!
More time outside
As parents we all want our kids to spend less time on screens and more time out in the fresh air, but when you’re stuck in a country where it rains a lot it can be difficult to find other ways to keep them occupied without having to be a full time entertainer.
This is one reason why living in Spain as a family is so good – the weather is always nice enough to be outside. In the summer you’ll spend most of your time at the pool or down the beach, and even in the middle of winter it’s warm enough to go for a walk or to the park.
As well as less screen time, you get more vitamin D, more exercise, and more time spent together as a family.
Cheaper family days out
One thing that still amazes us is how much you can do in Spain for free. Obviously you have the beaches and parks which are free in the UK too, but in Spain you hardly ever have the added costs of parking. We used to pay £15 for a few hours parking at the beach in the summer in the UK, here you can easily park within walking distance for free.
There’s also free parking at shopping malls and in most towns, unless of course you’re in a busy city.
Most museums and galleries are free, and even those that do charge usually only ask for a couple of euros. Even the cinema is much cheaper, last time we went to see a film we bought 3 tickets for €15 – it used to cost us £26 for 3 in the UK!
Now you’re probably thinking this is a strange thing to add to the list, who likes kids’ parties? Well in Spain children’s birthday parties go on for hours and the parents basically all sit and have a drink and a chat while the kids play. They can often still be sat there at 11pm when the party started at 7pm, making more of a social event for the parents.
And if it’s at a soft play or someone’s house you’ll usually drop them off and be told to come back ‘around 9 or 10pm’. That’s a lot of child-free time!
Presents are easier too, usually one mum will volunteer to collect €5 or €10 off each parent and give the collection to the birthday child’s parents, so you don’t have to buy gifts either.
In Spain it’s acceptable to take children to any bars and restaurants whatever the time of day or night. In the summer when it’s too hot to be inside, you can find kids running around at midnight while the parents socialise. This is great if you’re worried about not having babysitters when you move away from family!
When you move to Spain you will definitely enjoy some great food. There is so much local produce that you can be guaranteed lots of fresh fruit and veg, whether on the menu or at your local market. Eating out in Spain is much cheaper than in the UK, so you will have plenty of opportunities to try some amazing local dishes. You may also find local fiestas offering free paella and cheap tapas which is great for both you and the kids to try new things.
Everyone is just so laid back in Spain. There’s no rushing around, people take their time and get things done when they’re ready. Sometimes this does cause stress in itself, but you soon adopt the ‘mañana’ attitude yourself and learn to stop hurrying around.
I’m sure life in Madrid or Barcelona would be quite different, but here in our quiet area we haven’t seen a traffic jam since we moved here. When you’re used to sitting in traffic for 40 minutes twice a day just to travel the 5 miles between work and home, that’s quite a big thing!
There’s no really early starts either as most places don’t get going until 9 or 10 am, so there’s no need to get up at the crack of dawn to get ready for work.
New places to explore
Between the coast, the mountains, and the different towns and cities, you will have so many new places to get out and explore. You could spend every weekend for years going somewhere new, and not even have to travel very far from home.
Better quality of life
Living in Spain as a family could also give you a much better quality of life. Between the excellent healthcare system, fresh food, and more time outdoors, Spain is considered one of the healthiest countries in the world. Who wouldn’t want to bring their children up in a country at the top of a list like that? (The UK was 19th on that list!)
One of our favourite parts of life in Spain is the fiestas. There is always a celebration of some kind going on, and the Spanish really know how to party. There will usually be music, fireworks, free food and drink, and everything is family friendly. You’ll also usually get a day off work and school for any local or national fiesta. You can find out more about Spanish fiestas and holidays here.
So, if you were wondering if living in Spain as a family is a good idea, I think you have your answer!
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