Whether they move for work, for retirement, to be with family, for a better climate, or simply because they’ve fallen in love with another country, there are millions of British expatriates who have chosen to live abroad.
While Australia remains the top destination for British expats, many chose to stay in Europe: Spain, Ireland, France, Portugal, Germany, and Italy are the most common countries to move to, and Hungary and Cyprus are two places that are rapidly growing in popularity.
Given the ease of online banking, transferring money online, and making international payments, it’s easier now than ever to move abroad.
Here are the reasons these countries are so popular with British expats:
British Expatriates Love Weather in Spain in Autumn
The Mediterranean climate and relaxed lifestyle here are the main reasons Spain is such a draw for expats, not to mention the delicious local food culture.
Whilst those living in the UK often dread the start of autumn and the slow, dark and dismal plunge into winter, those who live in the more southerly parts of Europe – including Spain – can still usually count on being blessed with very warm weather.
Rainfall in the UK during autumn can be significant, owing to excess condensation levels in the atmosphere. Wind speeds can also soar due to Atlantic depressions. The weather situation in Spain and other southern European countries, however, paints quite a different picture.
Average temperatures in some parts of Spain in October can be as high as 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Even an Indian summer in the UK generally boasts only around 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides, for those who had been hoping for an Indian summer in the UK, this year has brought nothing but disappointment.
The sharp divide between the two weather systems has not, however, been lost on many British citizens looking to take a break during the half-term holiday.
Excessive Rain Sends Brits to Spain
According to car hire comparison site, Comparecarhire.co.uk, the unusually wet and stormy weather experienced in the UK during September led many more in the UK to take an autumn half-term break in countries such as Spain rather than staying in the UK.
Andy Hemmington, of Comparecarhire.co.uk, said that bookings for breaks abroad during half-term have been higher this year when compared with those made in 2011.
Hemmington also claimed that many holidaymakers have further been encouraged by the availability of cheap flights to Spain and other southern European destinations. He said:
“For some families the September storms have dampened spirits and driven Brits to book a break in the sun for half term. The weather is still warm in Europe’s most popular holiday destinations in October, particularly when compared with the weather in the UK, so it still remains a busy period for the travel industry. However, this doesn’t mean prices need to be high – there are some great deals out there to be had by holidaymakers.”
Hemmington went on to say that the availability of such cheap flights to Spain and other regions in the area is largely down to the fact that holiday companies are not able to command rates for holiday travel in autumn as high as they can during the peak summer months – when demand is traditionally much higher.
“Popping next door” is a popular choice with British expats, and although there a similarities between Ireland and England, (language, climate, pubs,) many find Ireland to be more friendly and more affordable.
Home to vineyards and beautiful cities — the south of France is the most popular destination for it’s sunny climate.
Expats raising children often cite France’s stellar education system as a motivation for moving.
Sunny skies and beautiful beaches are a draw for retirees.
If you’re not ready to stop working though, expect that your salary may not be as high in the UK. The good news? The cost of living isn’t generally as high, so things will likely balance out.
Many move to Germany for work and stay for the lifestyle and education for their children.
German cities may have a higher cost of living, but also have a higher quality of living, and salaries here often accommodate it.
With classic culture and unbeatable cuisine, it’s no wonder expats would chose to live here.
From Tuscan villas to Roman sublets, there’s no shortage of Brits living “la dolce vita.”
It’s the mix of East and West that makes Hungary an attractive destination, especially in bustling Budapest.
The driving laws are tricky and the language is famously difficult to learn, but the history and culture here more than make up for these hassles.
With high unemployment and a bailout plan that affects even expats, it’s wise to understand the financial situation before making the move to Cyprus.
For those who can manage it, living on this lovely Mediterranean island is its own reward.
Our guide to dinning out in Cyprus