Moving isn’t something you do every day. Uprooting your life and moving to another country is even more stressful than moving to another city. So, we put together this list of tips to show you how to move abroad with as little hassle as possible.
The first thing you should do is to thoroughly research the country you’ve decided to move to. You need to understand the culture as much as possible, especially any quirks or potentially unusual laws that could lead to problems if you aren’t aware of them.
You should also learn as much as you can about the city you will be living in to get an idea of the best areas. For example, all Blueground rentals are located in the best parts of the city to ensure that you are within reach of everything you might need, such as public transport, stores, cultural offerings, and more. Best of all they are bookable before you arrive and can be reserved with a deposit (instead of a standard credit score rating). If you’re moving for a new job or for business purposes, make sure to have a close look at your relocation package. Know what allowance you have for shipping and if you will be provided with accommodation or a budget for a place to live. Also, if you will be provided with medical insurance, visitors insurance, and so on.
While doing your due diligence, read blogs written by experienced expats who are already living in the country you will be moving to. They are in the best position to advise you on how to move with as little hassle as possible. Also, they will provide you with objective insights into what life is like at your destination. America Josh, for example, is a great source for people moving to the United States, with a stock of great resources.
Online forums, where expats congregate, are another great option, especially since you can make new connections. It never hurts to already have a few contacts in the country you’re relocating to. For instance, ExpatForum.com and Expat.com are two great sources, regardless of where in the world you’re moving, because they have subforums dedicated to every continent and most countries.
While legal and financial matters might not be fun, getting everything sorted out in advance is a vital part of moving to a new country. So, if you aren’t familiar with international law or how finances work in the destination country, it’s definitely worth getting help from an expert. They can advise and guide you through the more complicated financial and legal aspects of moving abroad.
It will be an additional expense, but any money you spend on a professional service will be more than worth it, especially if it means you don’t encounter any problems once you’ve moved.
While packing to go on vacation or a short business trip might not be a big deal, this time you’re moving your whole life. Therefore, it’s imperative that you make lists. You need to create a list of what you’ll be taking with you, what you will be shipping, and what you will sell.
Lists will make your life far easier, especially when you’re in the middle of packing and can’t remember if you’ve taken the spare charger for your phone. Instead of having to dig through tons of boxes, you can just check your list to see if you’ve already ticked the item off.
You can also break down your To-Do lists and rank items by urgency. Perhaps finding a local SIM card may be crucial in your first week, while looking for volunteer opportunities can happen in your third month.
When creating your lists, consider all the items you’re taking with you and whether you really need them or not. Depending on the distance you’re traveling, luggage shipping can get expensive. So, with some items (especially the big ones) you might be better off putting them in storage or selling them and just replacing the items at your destination.
Since you’ve already done your research, you’ll know what items you can easily purchase at your destination. That will make it easier for you to decide what you can leave behind.
For example, an American moving to Malta might mistakenly have the impression that they’re moving out to a remote island and they won’t be able to buy high-end electronics. Well, that’s a complete fallacy because Malta is a first-world country where you can buy anything you like, including that important 64” 4K Ultra HD smart TV. That same American might have paid a ridiculous amount to have their TV shipped whereas they could have spent much less purchasing a completely new one in Malta.
Don’t wait until the night before you leave to start packing. You should pack all the big items you will be taking with you at least a few days in advance, while only leaving the essentials for the day before.
Pack everything other than toothbrushes, the clothes that you’ll be wearing over the next few days, a few of your children’s favorite toys, and so on. Everything else should be packed away and ready to go. This way, you’ll be under a lot less stress, which will make the move far more pleasant.
When packing, set aside a box to fill with things you will absolutely need for the first few days. Things like essential clothes, a coffee pot, fresh sheets, towels and so on.
You’ll be tired after traveling and you won’t be in the mood to start unpacking right away, which is why it’s a great idea to have a box for at least the first night. Make sure to mark the box appropriately so that you can find it easily among everything else.
Most international shipping firms provide insurance, but you might want to purchase an extra policy, which many firms provide. Of course, before you do, find out what your shipping company does cover. If they cover everything and the amount is sufficient enough to replace whatever may be damaged, then you won’t need additional insurance. Otherwise, consider an additional policy to ensure that your personal belongings will be protected regardless of what might happen.