Cost of Moving to Spain

The Cost of Moving in Spain from Taiwan

Living abroad brings a new perspective to your life; the dynamic of cultural experience is much deeper than just spending a short period. 

Moving to Spain is my second overseas move as a multicultural family. Individually, I have nearly ten moving experiences crossing the borders and continents for half of my life. Culture shock, reverse culture shocks, and relocating is part of me. Undoubtedly, moving to Spain is undoubtly the most challenging one. 

My family comes with a package of two multicultural kids and a mid-size Shiba Inu dog. Increased family size causes an increase in stress, cost, and effort.

Moving to Spain from Taiwan


I began to consider moving to a city where it is suitable for multicultural kids after my daughters join me in life. I knew Barcelona would be an excellent place for us to embrace multiculturalism and diversity. Most importantly to help my biracial children to develop self-identity by understanding and respect the differences. 

While feeling excited about planning a brand new chapter in Spain, how much does it cost for a multicultural family for an international move from Taiwan to Spain? Moving abroad is a significant movement; undoubtedly, financial structures play a vital role in our decision.

We wanted to make sure not to overspend. Still, on the other hand, we would also like to guarantee a smooth transition for all members, which means our financial control has proceeded with an acceptable comfort but not a tight budget method. 

I want to share some of those hidden costs we often omitted, and they always sum up becoming a significant expense.

Cost of Moving to Spain

Living Abroad Changes Your Life

Moving to Spain was a life-changing event, and we took every step carefully. Waiting for the right moment was critical, and these are a few things we considered. 

Stage One:  Preparation & Decision

Family members

We would like to ensure all family members are ready for the move, which means my younger daughter turns at least one year old to complete a one-year vaccination in Taiwan. Also, to ensure I have enough conversation and time to handle the changes with my parents.

Find time to say a proper goodbye to family and friends.

Financially prepared

Financially must be prepared for an apparent reason, enough saving for overseas moving. Again, we are moving with two toddlers and a pet. Minimizing unwanted problems was our goal too.

Revisit the City

We have traveled to Barcelona several times and with our multicultural kids once to check how they feel about the environment. During our visits, we reconnect with the local family and friends. Speak with the local authority to understand the government system, such as healthcare, education, job market, and the potential for a multicultural family.


I began working on the Spanish marriage certificate before moving to Spain. Luckily, the most critical process was completed one year before moving to Barcelona.

Cost of Moving to Spain

Stage Two: Before the move!

International moving company

Quotation depends on the shipment’s size, shipment distance, and how you would like to be delivered. In general, sea freight is cheaper than airfreight!

Some families may hire a one-stop-shop international mover that provides the service from packing and transport to unpacking; Some families may prefer moving with the maximum airline baggage allowance.

There are two types of “door-to-door” delivery services in Spain; Door to “at your front door” service vs. Door to “inside your house” service! If you plan to live in an apartment or without extra hands, you may want to hire a service that sends all the boxes into your house.

Shipping supplies and packing materials such as tapes, foam paper, and bubble wraps are part of the hidden packing expense. 

My quotation from Taiwan to Barcelona, door to full delivery, was around €2000 at a minimum of 100 ft³ (3 m³), pallet, boxes, gas, customs fees, movers, loading, documents, etc., all included. The quotation does not include insurance, duty tax, or warehouse storage fees.

Keep in mind that after your belongings arrive in the new country, if the delivery address and the documents cannot be present for the customs clearance in time, your belongings will remain at the warehouse, which will incur storage fees.

Booking flights

The airfare or train tickets will depend on the destination and demand.

Plan to move during the low season and buy the tickets as early as possible because tickets are generally cheaper if purchased well in advance. It is also helpful to check on credit card rewards or airline mileage. You may save some expenses from here. 

We monitored the ticket price for about two months and purchased the tickets six months in advance using airline mileages.

Make sure you are mentally and physically ready! Whenever I move to a new place, it feels like a clock starts ticking from when I receive airline ticket confirmation. Mentality shifts to an action mode instantly and hopes the journey will sail smoothly to the other side of the world! 

Pet travel

Pet fees are divided into two main parts: airline fees and pet travel agents.

Make your pet’s flying arrangement via airline customer service and speak to an agent directly to ensure all the requirements are met. 

You will most likely be paying the pet flying fee at the airport during check-in. KLM Airlines informed us to submit pet information and crate size to reserve a pet’s space in advance. Again, seek a professional if you are unsure about the proper procedure. 

One month before departure, expenses include vaccinations, flea pills, heartworm medicine, pet microchip, and grooming.

Check with the agent if the flight-approved crate is included in the service. If not, ask for an appropriate crate size for your pet. 


In general, moving abroad requires a large number of official papers. Many of them demand signatures and are notarized from official government units. In some countries, the price of notarizing official documents and applying for a new passport can be high. 

The translation fee is a significant portion of the document fee since it is presented in different languages. Moving to Spain means to localized all the documents to Spanish; materials that need to be translated by a certified official translator are birth certificates, marriage certificates, criminal records, medical records, etc. 

Have your legal and financial documents ready and in order. The incomplete or insufficient material will impact the process of receiving a formal ID in the new country. You will spend time and money on international mailing, communicating with different parties, signing power of attorney (if there is anyone), scheduling with the consulate, and so forth. 


Will you be breaking the lease if you are currently renting an apartment? 

The costs of selling a current property can be high if you own a property. 

Move out fees such as rubbish removal, furniture removal, maintenance, and repair. 


Spain offers local public schools, private schools, and international schools. We have decided to attend an international nursery school, where our multicultural kids can receive enough diverse exposure. The application and registration fee were paid to secure the position before moving to Spain. 

Outstanding bills

Clear all the outstanding bills such as phone, internet, cable, utilities, insurance, credit card, and medication bills.

Leave with no debt! Clear out government tax and fine!


Prepaid SIM card, commute arrangement to the airport, medication expenses such as vaccinations updates, and body checkups.  

Cost of Moving to Spain

Stage Three: Post-Moving

Health insurance

Spain provides public health care. However, this category may be very different if you are on your way to the USA. Although the Spanish health care system is well planned, it requires foreigners to obtain private health insurance before applying for a local residence permit. 

Short-term apartment rental

Instead of renting an apartment from Taiwan, worrying about not seeing the site first, not knowing the neighborhood, connecting the utilities, buying a mattress, and basic needs on our first day. In some cities, you will need a proper local ID, job proof, and local bank information to rent a long-term apartment. We have decided to start with a short-term rental first for a few weeks after moving to Spain

Short-term leasing is usually higher. But it guarantees your family a single place to rest and allow yourself to take a deep breath before starting another brand new stage. 

Long-term Apartment rental

Long-term apartment rental in Barcelona requires a security deposit, usually equivalent to 2-3 months of rental. Don’t forget the broker fee if there’s any. 

Move-in fees are furniture, wifi setup, changing the locks, fixing the damage, unit inspections, apartment cleanup, and condo fee if applicable. 

Transportation cost

Transportation cost doesn’t stop just because you have arrived in the new city. We arrived in Barcelona with two adults, two toddlers, one mid-size dog inside a crate, with four large pieces of luggage at midnight! We have prearranged a driver pickup before leaving Taiwan to avoid wandering around the airport.

Barcelona is relatively easy to navigate around by public transportation. Public transportation and walking are the cheapest way to get around the new city. The only time we had to arrange another taxi was to move all our belongings from the short-term rental to our new long-term apartment. 

Immigration Attorney

An immigration lawyer is the best option to deal with bureaucracy based on our experiences, and you may feel expensive to hire one. But the lawyer can provide professional knowledge, speed up the process, and most likely save you money from the mistakes; Residence permits are usually granted with access to the labor market. It takes time to apply one. Obtaining work authorization as soon as possible is crucial if you are a double-income family. 


Before school, parents will usually be asked to prepare a few things in advance, such as kid-size mattresses, bedsheets, school uniforms, school bags, water bottles, and more. Parents will pay monthly or annual tuition after entering the school. 

Everyday essentials

Basic needs, new phone numbers, food, and beverages. Children’s food, milk, and supply. 

Total moving oversea costs can range from €5,000 to €15,000 for a family of four and a pet. The most important tip for an international moving with toddlers and a pet is to take time planning. Be prepared. Fewer mistakes during the process mean fewer unnecessary expenses


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