Choosing to bask in the Spanish sun while relatives endure the UK's frosty winters is appealing to many Brits who buy a home abroad, but such a step also involves leaving loved ones and close friends behind for extended periods of time.

Indeed, while everyone would like to finance an all-expenses paid trip that enables their nearest and dearest to join them as they spend half the year on the continent, it's simply not an option for anyone who doesn't boast a salary that could match up to that of a Premiership footballer.

So considering that people who do decide to move overseas may initially face a slight fall in the number of social gatherings that they attend, one expert suggests that learning the basics of the native language is a good way to make friends and integrate with the locals.

"If you are moving to a country where they speak a different language, in order for you to fully enjoy the experience it is important to be able to speak the language, even if not fluently," said Lindsay de Feliz, marketing manager at Expat Focus.

"Wherever you are in the world, the local people will always appreciate someone who is making the effort to speak in their language."

While there are a whole host of factors to consider when moving abroad - ranging from securing the necessary mortgage finance to finding appropriate second home insurance cover - language may sometimes drop down the list of priorities.

But given that there are a whole host of benefits of speaking the native tongue that include improved sociability, better communication with neighbours and a good level of integration, it seems that people would do well to at least pick up the basics before taking the plunge and moving overseas.

"Not only will your experience of the country be richer, you will make friends more quickly and enjoy being part of a new culture," Ms de Feliz added.