It doesn’t matter which airline you travel with, your luggage allowance is always going to seem miserly when you try to pack for a whole new life in Spain.
We spoke to some seasoned veterans about the definitive Survival Kit – what’s essential to take with you to Spain and what you can leave behind.
ONE: Number one on most people’s list was an adaptor. If you want to recharge your mobile, your laptop or your MP3 player, you’re going to need to connect to the Spanish mains supply, and a two-pin adaptor is the only way you can do this. Don’t leave home without one!
TWO: Second in our top 10 of must-have items was a laptop. Not only can you store all your essentials and watch DVDs on it, but you can access your e-mail and Skype when you’ve found a new home for yourself.
THREE: Surprisingly, reading material came in at number three. No matter where you choose to live in Spain, reading material in English is going to be hard to come by so it’s as well to stock up with as many books as you think you’ll need to tide you over till your Christmas visit home.
FOUR: Winter woolies! Ignore popular myths and get it into your head that Spanish winters are cold too! You’ll need a winter coat, some pullovers, scarves and gloves, just like at home (but possibly for a shorter period of time!). Otherwise, you’ll have to fork out for these items when you get here! We even have some recommendations to get in you in the mood for your new life in Spain. Click HERE!
FIVE: Number 5 on the list was “bits and pieces from home”. Even the least sentimental among us will appreciate photos of family and friends, and perhaps a few postcards or a calendar from home to add a familiar touch to our new living quarters.
SIX: Basic medicines. It will take you a while to become familiar with the local health care system and the brand names of Spanish medicines. You may wish to pack a few of the most basics such as aspirin, lemsip, sticking plasters and cough syrup for emergencies.
SEVEN: While there’s no substitute for having a good level of spoken Spanish, if your Spanish is below par, a phrase book and a good dictionary will help you get through most situations in the early days.
EIGHT: This will surprise you: a Swiss army knife! These things are great; the best ones have can-openers, scissors, eating utensils, .. you name it! It’s the ideal tool to get you through those few days while you’re staying in a hostel and looking for long-term accommodation.
NINE: Once you’ve sorted out somewhere to live, you may be surprised to discover that it can take a day or two to have the electricity supply turned on (usually turned off since the last tenant left). A torch/flashlight will suddenly become your most treasured possession!
TEN: You tell us!
If you have a suggestion about what people should be cramming into their suitcases, please pass it on!