So, you’ve set the wheels in motion, booked an international removals firm, and you are moving overseas. Although it’s an exciting time for you, there are so many things which you need to get sorted before you go. Whether you are emigrating through work, relocating to another country to find work or are retiring and moving somewhere sunnier, there are many considerations and things to take into account in addition to the usual stuff before you go.
Although you are already likely to be pretty stressed about the moving process, ensuring you have fulfilled all of your obligations and done what needs to be done will ensure that the rest of your move will be as simple and stress-free as possible.
We have created this moving abroad list to give you an idea of what needs to be done before you go. Whether you have yet to book an international removals company or get your finances sorted out, we have covered lots of ground below.
#1: Actually Visit the Country
Although you probably have already done this (we hope!), you should visit and spend a considerable amount of time in your destination country before deciding to move there! It may not be a necessity, but it will help you a lot.
You cannot get a feel for a country and know whether (or not) you would like to live there if you have not even visited the place. When you do move to another country, you are not just moving to a new house; you are moving to an entirely new culture in an entirely different part of the world, and we can think of nothing worse than arriving at your new home in a strange country and finding out that you don’t like it!
#2: Look at the Cost of Living
You need to know that you are going to be able to afford to live in the new country. If you are from a Western country such as the UK or USA, this is not so much of an issue, but if you come from somewhere known for its relatively cheap cost of living – i.e. Poland or the Czech Republic – you may find yourself in for a shock at how expensive some countries are to live in.
Norway and Switzerland, for example, have very high costs of living and you need to ensure that you are going to be able to afford to live there and enjoy a decent quality of life. Every country is different and has its own cost of living, so it is important to research this properly and make adjustments to your finances or budget accordingly. You may find that some aspects of your life will be cheaper or more expensive in your new home country, and you need to know about these well in advance.
#3: Save Some Money
It helps to be prepared for the worst possible scenario when you do end up moving to another country. At the very least, you should have a nest egg put away in savings before you go – you never know how long it is going to take you to settle into your new home country and find a source of income.
If you are moving abroad for work or to retire, then this doesn’t apply to you as much, but it will still help to have some money put away, which you can access quickly. If you are moving abroad to find work, then this absolutely applies to you – after all, you do not know how long it is going to take you to find a permanent and stable job.
#4: Get Removals Sorted
If you are taking property with you then you need to get the international removals process sorted out. Do not leave this until the last minute; international removals can take a while to arrange and by leaving it to the last minute, you are putting yourself at risk of arriving at your new home without any of your belongings, aside what you can take in a suitcase!
A little due diligence and planning with regard to the removals process are all it takes – start looking at potential companies to handle the removals process for you at least three months in advance, if not more.
#5: Start Downsizing
One way to pull together some much-needed capital is to start downsizing and selling stuff you don’t need. You probably won’t need to take your entire life with you, and you can earn a lot of money by just getting rid of some of the stuff you can live without.
Be as ruthless as possible when it comes to getting rid of your old stuff. The more stuff you take with you, the more it will cost you in removals and the more space you will take up with clutter in your new home. If you are moving to a smaller apartment or house, then you will definitely need to take a long hard look at all of your possessions and figure out which ones you can do without.
You can always buy new stuff when you get to your new country, anyway – just think of the shopping!
#6: See Family & Friends
Moving abroad means you will not get to see close friends and family as often as you are used to, so you should spend a lot of time with them before you leave. Why not throw a big leaving bash just before you go? It’s a great way to get everybody together for one last time before you leave and start your new life abroad.
#7: Get Important Documents Copied
Ensure that you have copies of important documents such as your passport, birth certificates, and qualifications, as you may need to present some of these if you are going to be looking for work. Although the originals are always important to have, copies are your best bet if you are going to be providing them to any third-parties, and they are always good to have just in case you lose or misplace an original and have to wait for it to be replaced.
Keep your copies locked away somewhere safe and separate from your originals, and consider having them transported separately to your destination, too. Pack them in with some of your furniture or other items which are being shipped over – never carry them with your originals!
Moving to a new country permanently is both an exciting and scary time. If you are moving alone, it is normal to feel isolated and uneasy as moving day starts to approach. By ensuring that you have everything sorted and double-checked before you go, you will place yourself in a much better state of mind and will find yourself worrying less about what could go wrong.
These seven considerations are just a few of many things you need to take into account when you decide to move abroad and are ready to get the ball rolling. One of the most important things aside from ensuring you have a place to stay in your new home country is having arrangements in place for your possessions and furniture to be shipped over, and you should do this as early as possible.