You have achieved greatness: You have successfully received your visa!
You need two things: Plane ticket to Spain and a place to crash! I have bought my plane tickets (as well as tickets to other countries once in Spain) from this price checker site. Skyscanner is super helpful when it comes to comparing dates of when to travel. You can literally search one destination for a whole entire year and see when it is the cheapest! I also know that other people have check STA travel, which is mostly for students, and you need to purchase their card. If you are willing to pay for the student card (only good up to 26 years of age), you can also use this card to guarantee yourself the student price at many tourist attractions around the world. I honestly just continue to use my college ID…
Sadly, finally a room or apartment, un piso, is a little bit more difficult than buying your plane ticket. Even after three years, of apartment searching I still get stressed out. Luckily for me, I have been able to search while still in Spain so I can look online and then go meet with the landlord/landlady, dueño/a, in person to see the piso. Step 1: The two websites I have used to look at pisos online are: easypiso and milanuncios. Now warning, these websites are in Spanish (GREAT PRACTICE!), and both semi-free. Easypiso lets you create an account, but you can only look at ads and communicate with others who are “premium” members (AKA people who have paid). I’ve paid one time and I guess its worth it. This last time around I didn’t and made sure to check for a cell number or email on the ad. Milanuncios is free and is another place for ads, but there aren’t pictures of the rooms or pisos. I personally prefer easypiso because it provides more information and pictures.
Which brings me to step 2: a great app that everyone uses in Spain, WHATSAPP. Most likely the person advertising their room/apartment will state they have whatsapp, so you can communicate through that. Definitely communicate with the person in the ad, also ask them to send different pictures of the place if possible. Now step 3: If you like the piso and want to take the next step, ask what the deposit would be and how they would like you to take care of it. I am not a fan of putting a deposit on a piso, but if you want to secure your spot ask if you could put half a months rent. NEVER SENT A FULL DEPOSIT OF TWO MONTHS RENT. That’s how people get scammed, and look dumb.
Step 4: Como se dice…..? Here are some questions and vocabulary that will come in handy:
butano: Butane-this is literally the bane of my existence. Both of my pisos use butane to heat the water, and of course there will be showers that are icey cold. Ask your landlord/lady if they are willing to bring you to the gas station to refill your tanks, or better yet bring them to you! There is also the butano guy who will drive around your neighborhood, like the ice cream man, playing a song to announce his arrival. Sadly for me, I was always at school when he came around. When I lived in Bollullos del Condado, I had to call him the day before and put out my tank and the money underneath it (he only came to my side of town Mondays and Wendesdays). A tank of butano cost me anywhere from 16-18 euros, and one tank would last us about two-three weeks.
aquilar: to rent.
fianza: deposit- I always ask, BEFORE I put money down, if my deposit can be used towards my last months rent.
las communidades: Water and light. Ask if they are included or separate from your monthly rent.
cosas rotas: Broken things-while reading the massive contract, contracto, ask where it states who has to pay for things if they break. I had a landlady that tried to get us to pay for our broken water heater, when it stated in the contact that she would pay for broken appliances.
Puedo llamar si…?: Can I call if…? Do not be afraid to ask if you can call them about anything. I seriously expect my landlord/lady to be like my family. So that means, yes I will call them when I can’t figure out what wattage the lightbulbs are or when my bed broke the first weekend I was in Spain…that’s another story.
Buenas suerte with your search! Remember it does take some time, but you will be able to find a place!