Dreaming of something different? Perhaps a family gap year in Spain is what you need? Does this sound like you?
There you are living a wonderful life with both parents working and the kids are in school. Your afternoons and evenings are spent running around from activity to event and driving from one location to another. Sometimes you need to have a quick meal out, as there just isn’t enough time to cook a meal at home. Once you arrive home, it is time to do a bit of cleaning, have the kids finish their homework, and have a little bit of time together as a family. Time to go to bed and start it all again tomorrow.
Our life in America
Does this sound like your life? It is the American dream and we were living it once too. We were very successful, owned a beautiful home, as well as many possessions. Then that little voice in us wanted an adventure. We wanted something more than the standard hamster wheel, the same thing day-in and day-out. Our desire was to have our kids experience culture, diversity, and learn a new language. This wasn’t easy to accomplish with just 3 one week vacations each year. There wasn’t enough time for them to fully experience another culture.
That is when we decided to make a move and take a gap year in Spain. Now as you know from reading our blog, our gap year has now turned into 6+ years and our kids will now likely attend university in Europe. Don’t worry about that, as one year is plenty of time to absorb and experience it all. If you have more time available, that is great to solidify the language immersion portion. Are you wondering if it is possible to live a year in Spain?
It is possible! You can have a gap year in Spain!
We found the process of our adventure took us through several phases and we want to help you get through these phases too.
- Dream Phase (Wouldn’t it be nice if…)
- Research / Assessment Phase (What would it take, fear, research from A-Z)
- Expenses / Saving Phase (Saving for the rainy day, living a more simple life)
- Acceptance / Commitment Phase (OMG we are going to do this!)
- Management / Planning Phase (Red Tape, Getting All of Your Ducks in a Row)
- It’s Real / Action Phase (Put your Plan into Action, Make it Real)
- Now Let’s Tell / Sharing Phase (When to Tell Others)
- Gone / Living it Phase (Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor!)
What is a gap year?
A gap year is pretty common terminology in Europe and traditionally was when a student took a year off to travel (typically after finishing high school and prior to starting university). With the new digital world, a gap year now has an entirely new meaning and reaches out to people of all ages and locations, especially families.
Why not a family sabbatical or family gap year?
A gap year can now mean a family can travel or immerse in a new culture for a year. It could mean that your family can live a year in Spain! It’s just one year to take a break from your normal day-to-day life, to experience something completely different. Try new foods, a new language, new routines, a different way of doing things. It is the perfect way to give the gift of experience, culture, and the world to your kids.
How much does it cost to live a year in Spain?
While we can’t help you with your finances, we can share with you all of our costs for our first 18 months living in Spain. Keep in mind, we moved to Spain in 2012, but our expenses haven’t changed much from that time. The only thing that has changed is the exchange rate euros to dollars. In fact, now the exchange rate is so much better we can actually spend more euros and fewer dollars! Review our expenses as a data point for you to estimate your year in Spain.
- Curious about our Budget and Spend our first 4 months
- Cost of Living in Spain Budget – Actual Spend (Months 8,9 & 10)
- Way Over the Monthly Budget! – Actual Spend (Months 11,12 & 13)
- Our Budget And Actual Spend (Months 14,15 & 16) – Living In Spain
- How Much Did It Cost To Live In Spain For 1 Year? (2013)
- 2019 Cost of living in Spain. We share all of the details with you on the costs of everyday things and what our expenses are. This is all just data to help you determine what you might expect to spend.
What about working in Spain?
This is the part you will need to figure out on your own. Some people ask their current employer if they can work remotely from Spain for a year. Other people take a sabbatical from work and have a year off. It all depends on how creative you can get, but you need to figure this part out.
We share with you a few ways we have made money over the years, to keep us living in Spain!
Why spend a year in Spain?
Live in the moment with your family. Experiencing new things, watch each other emotionally grow and open up to the world. Have hundreds (or even thousands!) of years of history and culture at your fingertips. A chance to temporarily design a new lifestyle and test it out.
The process of change is difficult for many people to adapt to, but experience this big change as a family creates a bond like no other. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be all smiles and roses. Each person in the family will adjust to change differently and there will be some frustrating and tough moments. The beauty is you will all navigate it together and get through the change with memories to last a lifetime.
Time to make the dream a reality!
Your research is complete and you now know how you will finance your gap year in Spain. You are closer to making it a reality, but now you need to figure out how to obtain residency, in addition to the practical information needed to make it happen. It’s time to dig in and start the process for visas, finding a place to live, understanding what the subtle changes in your life will be. Finding the right location, activities, schools and more.
This can all be very overwhelming, but we are here to help you with the process. We offer relocation packages for your move to Spain. Our expert tips and advice will help you through the process, while saving you hours and days of research and time sifting through mounds of information on the internet. We provide several ebooks as well as consulting to hold your hand the entire way.
Live a year in Spain Costa Tropical Package
If you are interested in moving to the Costa Tropical Spain, we had can help you every step of the way. Not only can we guide you through the visa process and prep-work before moving to Spain, we will be right here to greet you when you arrive.
Move to Spain packages. The Costa Tropical gap year will be a customized package, based on your needs.
We would be able to help you with school registration, banks, residency, finding a place to live and more. Our clients moving to Costa Tropical also tap into our expert knowledge of the area for things to do, activities for the kids, clubs, camps, favorite places to eat and detailed information about neighborhoods.
Since you are just planning to have one year in Spain, we can also share with you the school calendars and suggest locations to travel for school holidays. It doesn’t get any easier than this, we can take so much of the confusion, worry and stress out of your move. We are here to make your transition be as smooth as possible.
Costa Tropical Consulting Services Available
- Residency assistance and guidance – EU & Non-EU citizens
- Driving – rental cars, license
- Housing – viewing, searching, neighborhoods
- Schools – registration
- Social groups, clubs, activities, sports
- Local holidays
- Ideas for getaways over school breaks
- Private Health Insurance Spain recommendations
- Tax advisor recommendations
- Tours of local area
- Meet & greet once you arrive
- and much more
Planning on a different location for your gap year in Spain?
Don’t worry, we can still help you with your family sabbatical!
Our move to Spain packages.
“When planning our family move to Spain on the non-lucrative visa, the best money I spent was on the Wagoners’ e-book as well as hiring Alan’s consulting services to review our application package. Their web site has a ton of tips, but the book is really the key; it sums up everything you need to successfully navigate the Spanish bureaucracy. Which is saying something, let me tell you.” – P.C.
“Our family followed the Wagoners Abroad blog and it helped us decided on Spain for our one year sabbatical. We then bought a small consulting package to make sure we got approved in a timely manner. Using their awesome materials saved me a lot of time, and their knowledge and responsiveness made our process a lot easier/better. So happy to recommend them.” – R.C.
“Heidi and Alan helped us plan our sabbatical year in Spain. We hadn’t visited Spain from the US prior to our trip, so we really needed someone who knew the area. Their professionalism and follow-through, local knowledge and expertise, and personal experience were integral to our wonderful experience in Spain. They went above and beyond to help us create memories that will be part of our family story forever. Thank you, Wagoners!” – M.H.
“Heidi and Alan were very helpful in our move to Almuñécar. They also were invaluable in helping us to find a home to rent and to register our kids for school before we came. It would have been a much more stressful process without their help and investing in their support was worth every penny!” – M.W.B.
“The Wagoners are a wealth of information if you’re considering a move to Spain.
We did a ton of research ourselves before our move, but when we came across their website, we felt like our “dream” was validated. We purchased a relocation package tailored to our needs. The info Heidi & Alan provided us really streamlined our plans. We were moving to Almuñécar sight unseen. They looked at some rental apartments we were interested in & sent videos with commentary. This turned out to be the most valuable part of the package for us, as we were saved from living in a neighborhood which was a far uphill walk from town. Whether you’re moving to the Costa Tropical or anywhere else in Spain, check out Wagoner’s Abroad!” -E&J