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What is it really like to live in Spain? After 30 years of coastal living in Spain, here we'll be writing about the weird and wonderful.

The Cons of Spanish Resort Living
25 April 2018

When deciding to move to Spain, many people make choices because they have enjoyed marvellous holidays in the country. Popular resorts such as Marbella, Sitges, Benidorm, and Lloret de Mar are also popular areas with expats, and while not all of those who move to the resorts holidayed before deciding to make the move, a large percentage do. 

However holidaying in a resort and living in said resort, is somewhat different. In my 30 odd years of resort living in Spain on various coasts and locations, and I think I have gained enough experience to give those who are thinking of moving to a resort after holidaying in a town a fair idea of what to expect during your daily lives when you make the move. 

Obviously, when you're holidaying in a resort one of the most pleasant things about your vacation is you do not have to get up to go to work. However, when you live in the same resort if you are of working age and do not have any income you will have to earn a living. 

In a resort, work tends to be seasonal with many businesses closing in the winter and those that remain open having few clients. Because of this, hours are also often extremely long, and you will be expected to work overtime during the busy months. Furthermore, the months where with the heaviest workload also coincides with the highest temperatures, a period when most of us would rather lie on a beach or be in a relaxed shady environment, not sweating in a restaurant kitchen or sat in a traffic jam trying to get from one customer to the next.

Most jobs available in resorts involve the hospitality trade. Hotel, restaurant, and even shop work can be very demanding with low rewards. 

When holidaying in a town you most likely will not be using a car unless you decided to hire a vehicle because your holiday accommodation is somewhat out of town. When holidaying in a resort in a hotel near the beach, you will have no need or likely desire to hire a car. However, when you move to a resort, even if you live in the centre of town and everything is available within walking distance, you will probably at some point decide you do need a vehicle.

The larger and cheaper supermarkets tend to be located on the outskirts of towns and travelling around when you get to Spain is very enjoyable, but not always possible using public transport depending on where you would like to visit. Living in a resort and owning a vehicle is fine until the summer hits.

Parking in a resort in summer is nigh impossible, so expect to park on the outskirts and walk in, or rent or buy a private parking if your building does not have this feature.

Even short journies can take three times as long - not something you need when you are on a 12 hour split shift in the middle of August and trying to get the household shopping done within the short afternoon break.

When you are tourist it's great to meet others who are also on holiday, and very often people will remain in touch via social media and other means after they arrive home, some even remaining friends for life. However when you live in a resort, it must be said, tourists can be tiresome! 

Tourists have all the time in the world they often don't appreciate the others are working and waiting in queues behind them while they chat, take time searching for their money, etc. can be a pain. Even though Spain is nowhere near as cheap as it was 20 years ago for alcohol and cigarettes, is it still cheaper than the UK, and tends to attract a certain type of tourism in some resorts who's main holiday goal is to overindulge which often results in antisocial behaviour. 

Due to the influx of summer tourists, noise levels can be excessive if you need near nightlife or the beach. 

However, having said this, living in a resort on the Mediterranean coast of Spain is fabulous! The benefits (which I'll cover in my next post!) hugely outweigh the cons.

The glorious sunshine, sandy beaches, vast variety of activities, outdoor lifestyle, and quiet laid back winters are not something I am thinking about giving up any time soon.

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