Most Ibizaphiles would consider moving here at the drop of a hat but once you throw kids into the life mix, those kinds of decisions need a little more structure and a whole lot of guts. Plenty of families have done it, lived to tell the tale and ended up creating the kind of family life city-dwellers only dream of. Making the move is highly recommended but like most big changes, the key is in the preparation.
There are many reasons to move to Ibiza with kids – the paradisiacal weather is up there on the list for northern Europeans but the other enchanting factor is the respect Spanish culture has for childhood. Children are welcomed into adult spaces in a way that is inconceivable in say, London, Paris or even Amsterdam. The inclusion of children in most aspects of life strengthens familial bonds and the relaxed atmosphere helps to create stress-free childhoods. Here are a few tips on how to make the move.
Before you go
Prepping the kids well in advance will provide them with a sense of security. Obviously getting to know the island by taking a few holidays is ideal but when you get home you can reinforce the concept by getting your hands on some of the excellent children’s books set in Ibiza and start bringing the island into your daily lives.
Language is going to be a big concern for the whole family so taking a series of lessons before you make the move will help get things rolling. If kids see their parents putting in the effort to learn the basics they’ll be more likely to get on board with the idea, helping to reinforce the move as a family adventure. Kids are like sponges and it won’t be long before they become the family translator.
Hiring the services of a respected gestoria will relieve a lot of the stress around the bureaucracy of moving to Spain. A gestoria is a cross between an accountant and a fixer. They can help with all the nuances of the Spanish system, smoothing the path for your residency paperwork, school enrolment, health care registration and myriad other things. They’ll also provide advice on taxation and banking ensuring that the financial aspects of your move are above board in both countries.
The Spanish healthcare system is rated as one of the best in Europe. New residents are required to obtain private health insurance but it’s important you find a pediatrician you can trust. There are several private options as well as the excellent doctors working in the public system. Ask around to get some recommendations and remember that you have a right to change doctors at any time.
Schooling is likely to be of concern but moving from the British system to the Spanish one is not as daunting as it might seem from afar. There are plenty of educational options in Ibiza, which we’ll be covering in part two of this series. Stay tuned!
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