How British Expatriates Can Make Money Online

Due to an unfortunately limited amount of opportunities in the United Kingdom, many Brits have opted to relocate abroad. A greater amount of jobs on offer in a variety of different fields have led many to view working abroad as a great opportunity to start or sustain a career. However, not everybody working abroad is paid healthily. There are many expatriates who find themselves on lower wages. The solution for these Brits is the internet. Here are a few ways expatriates can make money online.

Content Writing

The internet is a machine that runs on content. From blogs on technology products to articles on football, the internet feeds off writers. While much of the written content online is non-paid and done purely for the love of writing, there are plenty of paid writing opportunities online if you know where to look.

Due to the art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google ranks websites higher due to the amount of quality written content affiliated with the company and the keywords used in the content (amongst other metrics). Therefore, there are a range of companies seeking writers to produce content related to their businesses.

Scour the web for content writing jobs and search employment websites such as Reed for content writing opportunities.

There is also a range of writing opportunities through writing product reviews. ConsumerSearch.com for example pays freelance writers a minimum of $350 per article for reviewing a product. However, you will need good writing skills and thorough researching capabilities.

You will also find more opportunities if you learn how to write in another language. Learning how to write in widely used languages such as Spanish, Arabic or French for example opens up a plethora of additional opportunities. .

Advertising

If you have your own website you’ll probably be aware that by generating a half decent amount of traffic, you could earn quite a few quid. Simply conjure up a traffic generating website and monetize your site (monétisez votre site) by placing other business’s advertisements onto it.

Music

Being a musician may seem like a farfetched pipe dream, but the internet is filled with success stories of music artists who either started off generating a fan base online or actually purely sold records online without the help of a record label.

If you’re a decent music artist, try posting your music unto different indie blogs throughout the web, as well as social media networks such as Twitter and YouTube. Songs can be sold on iTunes, Google Music, AmazonMP3, Spotify and a host of other websites and platforms.

One drawback is that you might actually need to be pretty good or get very lucky.

Stuart Daniels is a British freelance writer and SEO.

Five Things to Consider When Retiring to Spain

1. Don’t Forget the Traveling Family (and Friends)

You may be leaving your country behind, but no matter what distance you go you will not be able to leave behind the memories of your friends and families. The older one gets, the more they appreciate the loved ones in their lives. When choosing a Spanish house to retire in, consider what its location and amenities offer to visiting relatives. Living near an airport will make it easier on your future guests to book trips to come visit you. Does your new town offer eventful things for the younger people in your life to enjoy like museums and swimming pools, or are there nearby natural landscapes to enjoy like the beaches?

2. Know the Annual Climate Changes

Spain has the complete gambit of seasons. While the country is particularly renowned for its warm and temperate summers along its Mediterranean coastline, some regions of Spain can reach uncomfortably hot and humid summer temperatures. Consider different regions of Spain before retiring; the southeast contains more semi-arid areas while the interior can get very cold in the winter. No matter where you end up in Spain, you will likely want to be sure your home has both an air conditioner and heater installed in the main living room and the main bedroom. You won’t be using either all year, but you will find them a boon to have in the peak summer and winter months which exhibit extreme temperatures in both directions.

3. Know the Medical System Inside and Out

While Spain’s public health care system is quite good, as a UK retiree, obtaining health insurance can be a wise option, particularly if you are at all unsure of your ability to become a beneficiary of Spain’s health care. Health insurance will grant you access to the private health sector where the quality and time access to direct health care is better. For those who do not speak Spanish fluently, one is more apt to be able to find English-dominate facilities in the private sector. Your health, if it has not already, will become your number one concern in your retiree years, and as such it is important for you to feel confident in your health care access.

4. Finding Community

For the expat retiring in Spain, this may be the last home you will ever want to buy. Be sure to locate to a place that has more to offer than charms; find yourself a community. In retirement, you will find you suddenly have a ton of time to yourself. Locating a home within an area with a high concentration of English-speaking expats is a great way to easily find yourself in a supportive and interesting group of neighbours. Ask your realtor about local clubs or meet-up groups in prospective neighbourhoods who offer organized outings like day trips or bridge nights.

5. Learn the Language

Before retiring to Spain, or any country for that matter, it is very important to consider first learning the language. From visiting the local food market to talking to your neighbour about the weather, being able to communicate with the people around you will become increasingly important. You will not want to simply stay locked behind your front door for fear of non-comprehension. Your retiring years are not your dead years. Get out and learn the language and enjoy the local culture.

About author

Will Vicary writes about expat life, life after retirement and topics such as de-risking and auto enrolment pensions.

How the Recession has Changed Spain’s Property Market

The economic crisis had a huge effect on property markets all over the world, and Spain is no different, with the Mediterranean country suffering significantly as a result of the recession. To find out just how it impacted on Spain and everyone hoping to get on the property ladder in the country, read on.

1. Bursting of the property bubble

A few years ago, the story in Spain was very different. Indeed, immediately after Spain joined the euro, the country experienced a huge surge in housing values. Between 2004 and 2008, prices of property rose by 44 per cent.

However, growth on this scale was not sustainable, and this was particularly noticeable once the economic difficulties hit. When people became unable to afford the steep prices of property, demand for houses dropped and, subsequently, so did real estate values.

Many people who had taken out mortgages on their homes also found that their assets had declined in value despite them still owing a huge amount on their properties. Those who could afford their repayments were therefore left paying for more than their house or flat was now worth, effectively bursting Spain’s property bubble.

2. Values have dropped

As I briefly mentioned, all this activity resulted in a sharp decline in property values, and the reduction in the number of people who could borrow money and get on the market meant that there was little movement.

While the housing situation has slowly been recovering in recent years, Lloyds TSB figures show that typical values in Madrid dropped from £219,465 (€248,900) to £193,451 from 2010 to 2011. This is a decline of 11.85 per cent. Other Spanish cities have also felt a drop in property prices, with Valencia’s values declining by 10.15 per cent and Barcelona’s falling by 9.22 per cent in the same period.

Despite this decline, figures from the bank also reveal that Spain is the ninth most expensive place to buy a property out of 13 nations across the world, with the average price coming in at £170,737. It is therefore pricier to get on the housing ladder here than in Germany, the USA and the United Arab Emirates.

3. Rental market faring better

Spain isn’t just expensive in terms of sale prices, as Lloyds ranks it the tenth most expensive country to rent accommodation in, too. Its typical monthly rental price is £672, with Madrid being the most costly of the Spanish cities in which to be a tenant.

The rental market hasn’t been as badly affected by the recession as sales were, as more people were driven to renting property because they couldn’t afford to buy a home or pay their mortgage fees. As a result of this, there was no change in rental costs in Madrid between 2010 and 2011 (with average costs being £804 per month). There was only a small drop in prices in Valencia and Barcelona, declining by 1.62 per cent and 2.74 per cent over the 12 months respectively.

4. Construction has ceased

Another way the recession affected the property market is that many developers were no longer able to continue with their projects, as they couldn’t afford to finish the work and there were fewer people with the means to pay for the final product.

Construction work stopped, which had a huge impact on the property market, as no new assets were coming into the sector, causing it to stagnate.

5. Wider financial crisis

Of course, the property market collapse had other far-reaching effects; for instance, there were no jobs for construction workers, and those who had mortgages could no longer afford them, meaning a number of people lost their properties.

With unemployment levels at such a high (with half of all people between 18 and 25 years of age out of work), many people cannot afford to get on the housing ladder or pay for the home they have. What’s more, the fall in the number of people who can afford to buy a property will mean that there’ll be a lack of movement in the sector and they’ll be priced out of the market for a considerable amount of time.

For the property industry in Spain to improve, the entire country needs to lift itself out of its economic crisis, and it desperately needs expats to provide a financial boost to the market by buying houses there themselves. The good thing about purchasing a residence there now is that prices for properties are far lower than they were a few years ago.

Why Spain Offers the Ideal Golfing Environment

Every weekend, thousands of British golfers head to their local club in order to renew their regular battle against the course, the conditions, their friends and of course themselves. Anyone who has played golf on a regular basis will know all about the frustrations that this wonderful game can bring, but they will also acknowledge the addictiveness that it holds, a fact that is usually enough to bring them back every seven days or so.

If you ask most UK players about their experiences, the chances are the inclement and unpredictable weather conditions will feature prominently in many of their stories. For many, there’s nothing more unpleasant than being out on the course in the middle of a sudden downpour of heavy rain, especially when it’s accompanied by a mad scramble to find their waterproofs at the bottom of their bags.

This is one of the reasons why golf in Spain has become so popular among the expatriate community, as well as travelling Brits who are on the lookout for the finest golfing holiday locations. In most areas of Spain, the weather is kind enough all year round to make that regular Sunday four-ball a constant pleasure. Playing with the sun on your back week in week out is almost unimaginable for UK-based players.

In recent decades, the Spanish golfing scene has changed beyond all recognition, undoubtedly spurred on by the international success of players such as Sergio Garcia, José María Olazábal and of course the finest and most enigmatic of them all, the late great Severiano Ballesteros. The country is now rightly regarded as a major player in world golf, and it has the venues to prove it.

Power or placement?

For newcomers to Spanish courses, there are several immediately noticeable differences from the more traditional British venues. For example, most UK courses, especially the parkland and heathland varieties, generally feature tight, narrow fairways, but a sizable number of Spanish tracks tend to be more open. However, this doesn’t therefore mean they are any easier.

Standing on the tee-box, especially an elevated one, a new visitor could be forgiven for thinking all he or she has to do is open the shoulders and go for glory. On many courses in Spain, the inclusion of strategically-placed bunkers, ditches and water hazards means that accuracy is just as important, perhaps even more so, than power. As always, a little care can go a long way towards registering a good score.

And once you’ve managed to get your ball onto the putting surface, you should avoid any thoughts that you’ve already done the hard part. Thanks to hard ground and a baking sun, the greens are generally very firm and exceptionally quick. Many first-time visitors find their putts fly past the hole during the early part of their rounds, as they become accustomed to the pace. You have been warned!

David Rice is a UK golfer who always enjoys playing on continental Europe. He works for comparecarhire.co.uk.

Expats in Spain Choose Pets over In-Laws for Christmas Company

If you’d rather spend this Christmas with your dog than your mother-in-law, don’t worry you’re not alone. 8 out of 10 expats feel the same way according to a survey from pet sitting website TrustedHousesitters.com

That statistic looks at expats worldwide. In fact when you look at the figures for the expats in Spain that were surveyed, the results were even funnier. 100% of expats living in Spain admitted to choosing a Christmas relaxing with their pets over topping up their father-in-law’s brandy glass.

If you’re thinking about your own particular in-laws and nodding your head in agreement, remember there’s another possible conclusion and that’s that expats in Spain simply love their pets. So much so that they’re willing to forgo the company of their lovely extended family in order to get some quality time with their dog. Well if you can believe that you can believe anything!

The reality of course is that we expats really do love our pets. The survey went on to show that 72% of us expats will be buying a present for our pets and almost half of us will be cooking a special Christmas dinner for our pets this year.

While the amount most people were expecting to spend on their pets wasn’t going to break the bank by any means (around twenty Euros) it’s certainly more than the average stocking filler costs and it’s probably more than a lot of in-laws can expect to be spent on them.

Interestingly, the majority of those who took part in the survey (83%) said that they wouldn’t let the economic crisis play a part in how much they spend on their pets. A small but notable 8% even confessed that they would be spending 60 Euros or more on their pets this Christmas.

Trusted Housesitters’ owner Andy Peck commented on the survey saying:

“I can’t say I’m surprised at the results. Judging from some of the calls for pet sitters we get from expats in Spain, it’s obvious that there are a lot of people out there who really do love their pets. It’s good to see that even though things have been bad economically, the pets can expect a good – if not better – Christmas than previous years”.

Sporting Holidays to Spain

Many people now days are looking to not going on holiday but maybe partake in a particular activity or sport whilst they are away. This is becoming increasingly popular with people and a country like Spain has lots to offer the modern discerning sporting tourist as well as also having very reasonable prices as well. Whatever it is that you want to do while you are on holiday in the sun you will be able to find it in Spain and have a great holiday and also enjoy doing something that you love.

Sports on offer

There are many sports that are on offer in Spain which you can enjoy when you go on holiday.

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Skiing
  • Running
  • Extreme Sports

There are lots of sports which require specialist equipment and there are also sports which require very little equipment at all other than a swimming suit or a pair of running shoes. For sports that require specialist equipment, you will find that you can hire the required equipment at usually very reasonable rates while you are on your holiday. You may wish to just run along a beach once a day or bomb down the Pyrenees on a pair of skis, do some research on the internet before booking your holiday cheap holiday in Spain so that you can choose a destination that offers what you are looking for.

Get on your bike

Hiring a bicycle is a great way to get some exercise while you are on holiday and also an excellent way to see the country you are visiting, away from all of the tourist traps and hotels. Hiring bikes is very reasonable and there are also companies which will offer you a set tour and supplying everything that is needed including safety equipment. These tours can cater every level of cyclist from the super fit to the unsteady and unfit. You can choose a route which is going to suit your proficiency and also your fitness levels and is a great way for a whole family to have a fun filled day. Remember to always drink plenty of water and take regular rests in order not to dehydrate in the hot sun. Most routes will have a number of places where you can stop on the way for a break and refreshments so as long as you have plenty of sun block on, you will be fine.

Beach activities

There are also plenty of things that you can do on a Spanish beach that are good fun and also good for you. From playing football or volleyball on the beach to actually going swimming in the sea, there is plenty to do to keep you occupied. You can hire a Sea Kayak and go for a paddle along the coast or even go for something a bit more adrenaline filled such as kite surfing or windsurfing. As with the bikes, equipment can be hired easily and you may also get some lessons if you are a complete novice as well. Yu may just want to go for a run along the beach r even a walk which is also very good for you. Then when you are finished you can relax on the beach for a while and soak up the sun and the atmosphere. Maybe even enjoy some food or drinks as a reward for your hard work for the day!

Something more traditional

You may just wish to do a more traditional workout in a gym and a lot of hotels and apartments will offer these facilities to their guests. One benefit with this is during the hotter summer months, you will be able to use your treadmill, bike or weights in the comfort of an air conditioned room making it a lot easier for you. A lot of hotels offer excursions for tourists to see the local sites but they can also offer the hiring of equipment, or tell you where you would be best to go to. Making sure that we keep active and healthy during our holiday is a great way to stop from feeling guilty for all of the great food and drink you will consume while you are away. It is also very good for you and will help make sure you can enjoy your holidays for years to come.

This article was written by Ted Hunter on behalf of Travel Republic. Travel Republic offers some of the best cheap holidays in Spain. Ted is a seasoned traveller having visited many of the world’s travel destinations and enjoys submersing himself in the local culture to gain the true experience of the country he visits.

Could Catalonia Survive Outside of Spain?

It looks like battle lines have been drawn, as Catalan independence seekers gave victory to separatist parties in a regional election on the 25th November 2012. Catalonia is Spain’s most powerful economic region, and if the various separatist parties can reach some sort of agreement it could hold an independence referendum that will not be sanctioned by the Spanish government in Madrid.

Yet, while some of their politicians seem desperate to leave Spain, not all Catalans are convinced. Many are happy enough to speak a different language and leave it at that.

Economically, there are serious questions about whether the region would survive on its own. Just like the rest of Spain it has high unemployment. At the of September 2012 the rate was 22.56% compared with just over 25% for the whole of Spain, so it isn’t as though Catalonia is an economic powerhouse right now.

There’s a good chance that the rest of Spain would turn its back on Catalonia as far as buying goods is concerned, and that could result in some businesses leaving and relocating to other parts of Spain.

Independence would mean the population of Spain decreasing from its present 44 million people to around 36.5 million.

Bear in mind too that dropping out of the EU is something Catalonia wouldn’t really want to do. The Spanish are generally considered ‘good’ Europeans.

It’s true that places like Barcelona enjoy a big tourist industry, but unfortunately it’ll take more than the income derived from tourists to keep the economy in Catalonia afloat.

Maybe they just stick to the rivalry of the two major football clubs in Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona, and forget any thoughts of independence!

Things You Need To Know When Emigrating

Perhaps it is a new job opportunity or you simply need a change, immigrating to a new country is literally a life changing time for you and your family. During the process of moving your mind is on a million things and there are more lists that you have minutes in the day. So how do you make the move while staying sane and ensuring you cover all your basis?

Number One – Check Your Passports

The first thing you need to organise is your passports, if you have children you need to decide on whose passport they will travel under. Remember you need to plan ahead, the home affairs department gives you a guideline on the time frame it will take to get your passports, but there is no certainty in it.

Therefore, apply for your vista a minimum of six months ahead of time, that way you ensure that you passports will arrive on time and there will be no additional stress and drama placed on your family.

Number Two – A Place To Stay

Once you have made the decision to move and have got your passport application process under way, it is time to focus on living accommodation, you do not want to find yourself in the process of having to find accommodation when you arrive in the new country.

Another thing you need to take into consideration is the season in which you move. For instance, it is an easier process to move during the summer months as you do not need to contend with the rain, wind and snow when unpacking – there is nothing worse than having to sleep on damp mattresses or couches.

Number Three – Your Children

Moving effects your children more than you think, you need to reassure them during the moving process and ensure that they have a school to attend early on so that they do not miss out on important school work. Remember your child will be leaving their friends and everything that keeps them feeling secure. Setup a Skype or email account that your child can contact their friends from, this will help ease their stress levels and ensure they do not feel completely isolated.

Number Four – The Lingo and The Rules

A big hurdle in moving is the language barrier. Ensure that you read up on the lingo of the new country. Another thing you need to take into consideration is the rules and regulations of the country that you are emigrating to. For instance, is there a dress code men and women need to adhere to.

To conclude, use these four steps to ensure that you make the transition into your new life an easy one. Moving is an exciting time and should be treated as such, ensure that you plan ahead and minimize the stress of the move.


 

I am Greg Jones, a water delivery agent for a bottled water delivery company. In my line of work I often see people moving into new homes and over the years I have heard about the stresses of moving. This article is my way of helping those moving during this time with a four step plan to make the move a little easier.

Flying this Winter? Here’s How to Arrive Looking Fabulous…

Have you ever tried to stay relaxed and looking good on a bumpy, cramped night flight? Hard, isn’t it? Here’s the situation. You’re halfway to LA, and your plane suddenly begins to exhibit signs that it’s in the middle of a hurricane. “Think of something relaxing,” your other half says, already blissfully half asleep. However, despite thinking of kittens, Great Yarmouth holidays, Peter Rabbit and old episodes of Grange Hill, you cannot fall asleep – and arrive in LA looked like you’ve been living outdoors for the past month.

Making sure you look good when you leave your flight is hard work; anyone who thinks it’s as simple as settling down with a good book is sadly mistaken. Here’s how to make sure you leave the plane refreshed and raring to go…

Make sure you’re feeding yourself the right foods – and that you’ve got plenty of bottled water to drink during the flight. “But it’s so expensive!” we hear you shout. “Not as expensive as buying a decent sandwich on the plane!” we retort. Bite the bullet – run to M&S after you pass through security, or anywhere else that sells decent food, and stock up for your journey. This means that you’ll be feeling much better after eating, and you can do away with that filthy plane food.

Drink – and avoid drink. Sorry, we’ll elaborate; stay hydrated by drinking mineral water, but steer clear of the heavy stuff, even if you’re a nervous flier (there are other ways to combat nerves that we’ll talk about later). Hydration is the name of the game; this is one of the main things that’ll ensure you don’t disembark feeling terrible. Moisturise your face and your hands. Use eye drops. Don’t forget to slather on some lip balm at every opportunity, and don’t drink booze. Have you got that? Good. Don’t. Drink. Booze.

One of the reasons that you feel so dreadful at the end of a flight are the cramped conditions you’ve been living in. Take off your shoes, and make sure that every hour you do some foot and neck exercises to keep your circulation going, and invest in some flight socks to avoid DVT (that’s deep vein thrombosis to you and me). Even just getting up, going to the toilet and stretching out your calf and foot muscles can make a difference to how you feel. This is a great reason to take the aisle seat, even though your elbows will get banged every time the trolley comes past, and you’ll be the first in line to get barged if small children start running amok.

Sleeping (or being relaxed) is a huge part of getting off that flight and feeling fabulous. Drinking is a bad idea for numerous reasons – it’s expensive, you’ll smell, you’ll get a killer hangover, and you’ll need the loo the whole time. If you’re a really nervous flier, you’re better off asking your doctor for some diazepam and beta blockers, which will take the edge off your fears without leaving you with gin breath. If you’d rather avoid taking strong medication, Rescue Remedy make a range of pastilles and sprays which will calm you down, and there are plenty of essential oils that have the same effect. Book yourself an appointment with an aromatherapist if you’re keen to chill out the natural way. Don’t forget a flight pillow and an eye mask – and some relaxing tunes on your iPod.

Take some make-up on board with you, and just before you land, give yourself a fresh lick of paint. Yes, you may feel tired – but you’ll look tired as well unless you sort yourself out. It’s even worth popping to the toilet to brush your teeth, and give your hair a quick spritz of dry shampoo. Don’t forget that a bit of mouthwash works wonders after breathing stale air for hours, and chewing gum is de rigeur if you’re planning on kissing anyone in the arrivals lounge.

5 Ways Of Getting The Best Of Your Time In Spain

ladies walking in spainThere must have been an instance when you have read in the newspapers that a tourist was mugged and in the process, he or she lost all the valuables in his or her possession. If your holiday time is here in Spain and you want to visit the famous land of the Catalan giants, you need not worry, just read below and you will find simple things that will make your visit safe and secure.

1. Avoid conmen

Conmen are always prowling for the ignorant tourist. The time to be most vigilant is when anyone approaches you while on the street and asks for simple things like directions, change and any stranger asking to help carry your luggage. Being wary of these will prevent you from losing your luggage and small valuables, which are a favourite to the conmen. When it comes to that point where you need help with luggage, it is safer to get a taxi as you can follow up with the taxi company in case of anything.

2. Do not ‘advertise’ that you are a tourist

You most likely have heard of the saying, ‘When you go to Rome, do as the Romans do’ and this is a great piece of advice to follow when in Spain or any other tourist destination. We do some things while on a strange land that tells everyone that we are not native and the most common tell-tale is our way of dressing. If you walk in the streets wearing a t-shirt that proudly declares ‘University of Buckingham’, then you tell all and sundry that you are new and makes you a potential target.

3. Maps

Sometimes, the travel appliances we have on our hands are the giveaway signs. For example, rather than travel with a map which will tell potential thieves that you are new, enter a coffee shop, look at the map keenly and memorize the directions to the place you want to go. If very complex, which can be when you are in a new land, note the directions in a paper or notebook and as you refer to them, no one will know that you have just used common sense not to offer yourself as a target to be robbed.

4. Volume of speech

You may wonder how this will give you away but read on. Pickpockets know the difference between a Spaniard and a tourist based on the volume of their speech. This is because when one has been born and raised in Spain, then the natural language they speak is Spanish.

You on the other hand probably know very little local lingua. When you converse loudly in English, all people around you know you are not one of them and you suddenly become a target. Even when you need to ask for directions, keep your voice as natural as possible and you will have no one following you, hoping to get what your pocket is hiding.

5. Renting a villa

Most tourists make arrangements of where to stay before they arrive but sometimes you may opt to do a physical booking. Villas are plenty in Spain and in addition to getting good service, the below are two things you can do to make sure that you are safe and secure.

  • Pay in cash – Cash is a widely accepted payment mode and it is better as no one will get to know your credit card details and run a scam on you. When cash is not readily available, then you can use traveller’s cheques, as they are also safe.
  • Inspect the rooms – This is important when the villa is in the countryside or in a remote place. Check to see that the windows and doors are well reinforced to deny access to anyone from the outside. While doing this inspection, check the fencing system as well as a very secure one will give you peace of mind.

This article would not be complete without telling you the best way to convert your currency. Banks in Spain deal with majority of the world currencies and they are the safest place to do the exchange. However, the exchange rate used in banks is almost the same as that of the ATM machines. What makes the ATM a better choice is that most Spanish banks close at about 3pm while ATMs are operational for 24 hours. All you need to do is use an ATM that is located at a secure place, as next to a bank building and you will avoid the hustle of standing in a bank queue for half an hour of time that would be spent visiting interesting places.

Eden Spielberg is a travel blogger whose blog has a wide fan following base throughout the world. For more information on the same you can visit the website of Optima Villas Lanzarote and get to know more.