my first holiday, im thinking Spain??

Travel Forums Europe my first holiday, im thinking Spain??

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1. Posted by lucky2720 (Budding Member 7 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hey everyone this is my first post. Im planing my very first overseas trip, and im wondering how do you survive, i read about people who go for over a year???? obviously they would have to work while over there. I want to base my trip around Spain, i am facinated by the history and culture there, has anyone been there for a long period of time? i also want to go to other parts of europe but spain is the main destination. im assuming ill have to get a working visa for spain? what kind of jobs can i get??

any help will be awesome!!!!


2. Posted by casaianda (Budding Member 47 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi Lucky

You would certainly need a work visa if you are from the USA.

I don´t want to dampen your enthusiasm but getting work here in Spain for a non-EU national is VERY difficult. Spain currently has one of the highest native unemployment rates so legal jobs for non-Spaniards are few and far between.

Do you speak Spanish? Speaking fluent Spanish is a priority and may give you an edge over the lazy Europeans here who never learn the language.

You would probably find bar work BUT these jobs are seldom legal so you have no security of employment and are constantly at risk of the Police asking to see your non-existent contract.

Spanish wages are VERY low by European and US standards and accommodation costs quite high - one of the reasons so many Spanish Professionals fgo to work in the UK rather than at home - so this needs to be taken into account.

Also, for someone who has never travelled abroad, a year is a long time to be away. I would seriously suggest you come over on say a months holiday first to look at job prospects, accommodation costs etc. and see how homesick you feel.

I don´t want to seem to be being negative - just realistic.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help.

Good Luck,


3. Posted by lucky2720 (Budding Member 7 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hey Brenda

thanks! your info is exactly what i need. i need people to tell me the hard truth :)

i have only jsut began to research things, i want to go somewhere for a while though because i feel there isn't nothing here for me at the moment, i recently finished high school and im not into going to uni for years and years jsut to get a job ill have for the rest of my life, all i can think about is travelling, seeing and experiencing different cultures. i jsut dont know where to begin??

4. Posted by LeisureZon (Full Member 8 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

How LUCKY you are to be young and have the opportunity and interest in travelling the world. Too many people seem to be content in their own little space - there is a HUGE world out there - see it while you can!

I left the UK in 2002 and started a new life in mainland Spain where I stayed for 18 months, then I moved to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands for another 18 months, and then again to Fuerteventura where I have been for the last 3 years.

The main thing about visiting a "foreign" country is definitely to learn the native language - yes you will get it wrong, but the fact you are trying is appreciated and respected by locals, who will then do their best to help you out. I would advise mixing with the locals rather than falling into the all-to-often trap of sticking solely with little ex-pat groups.

Yes, Spanish wages are absolutely dire, but you can always find cheap accommodation if you are willing to share. PROPER jobs go to those with fluent Spanish, with work contracts, insurance and medical care. There are jobs available for foreigners but they tend to be within your particular community - german bakeries, irish bars etc etc. Working within these communities you can still get work contracts etc, just make sure that the company you work for is legally registered, then they are duty bound to give you a contract after a certain period.

However, there are many foreigners working illegally - not having registered with the Spanish tax system, who will employ you and pay cash, but be warned you will have no job security or rights to national health care etc. You can of course register yourself under the Spanish system as a self-employed person, paying tax etc then you will be entitled to national health care etc - you would then "bill" your employer for your wages. (It IS quite complicated!)

The world is a big place just waiting to be explored. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and make them happen!:)

5. Posted by Atherinton (Inactive 32 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hi lucky.. i have some encouragement for you. i have a friend who has been living in spain/canary islands for years. he is from canada and has survived quite well working under the table at different bars. he claims it is very easy in spain.

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Check out thIs link in regards to Working Holiday Visas available to Australians:

Also see
Spanish Embassy in Canberra

and the Spanish Immigration regulation act:

I strongly discourage you from working illegally in Spain. If you are interested in learning Spanish, get a Working Holiday Visa for Chile. Once you are fluent in Spanish, try again finding a job in Spain - you'll have much better chances then of doing it legally.

Also consider getting a student visa - AFAIK students are allowed to work part-time on a student visa.

Getting caught working illegally in Spain can have consequences for your travel plans in all of Europe. Since you are an Aussie it is much better for you to get a Working Holiday Visa for one of the countries who offers one - why work illegal in Spain when you can do it legally in Germany, the UK or France?

7. Posted by lucky2720 (Budding Member 7 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

thanks for all the help!! ill check those links out :)

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 18, 2008, at 9:02 PM by lucky2720 ]