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Blog what to do before moving abroad

Congrats! You have landed your new job abroad but now you have to start thinking about the actual move to the new country. What are you going to bring with you? What do you need to arrange before you can move? Do you need to retrieve certain documents? In this blog I will discuss everything you need to know and do before moving abroad. So you can be prepared and you won´t face any surprises when you arrive!

Make sure you have all the documentation that you need

When moving abroad it is really important to have all of your documentation gathered so that when you arrive you do not have any problems opening a local bank account, signing the contract for your apartment and setting up a phone plan. So before moving abroad it is important to do research about the country that you are moving to and see what documents you are going to need.

Very important documents to have in place are your ID or passport, it is important to have a valid ID/passport otherwise you will not be able to move countries. You are going to need your ID/passport for a lot of different things: getting into the country abroad, signing contracts, opening accounts etc. So before you move abroad check if your ID/passport is still valid when you are going to move and if it is not renew it as soon as possible. 

Make sure you have good healthcare set in place and that you bring documentation of this. It is important to bring this so that in case of an emergency or sickness you are able to go to the hospital and get the help that you need without any extra costs. 

List of important documents:

  • ID/passport
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Marriage certificate 
  • License 
  • Birth certificate
  • Medical records
  • Banking information


Make a copy of all important documentation so that when the original gets lost you always have a backup!

Look for housing

Before moving abroad it is important to look for housing so that you have a place to go when you arrive. You can do 2 things when moving abroad: find permanent housing before the move or arrange housing for the first couple of weeks and start looking for permanent housing when you are in the country. 

Before moving abroad you can start looking for housing on a lot of different online website such as housinganywhere or housingeurope. On these sites you can find apartments/rooms in the place that you are going to move to. Arranging housing this way can be beneficial because you will have the certainty of having a fixed place to stay.

It is also possible to first rent a temporary apartment/room, so that you do have a place to stay for the first couple of nights/weeks, and then when you arrive in the country start looking for something for the long-term. This way of approach has the benefit that there are possibly more options to choose from because you are able to visit all the real estate agencies in person, also the ones that do not offer their apartments online. The disadvantage to this approach is that there is less certainty, because when you do not find an apartment before you have to move out of the short-term apartment, you have no where to go. So this approach can come with more stress and uncertainty.

Decide what to pack

It can be difficult to figure out what you need to pack when moving abroad, and it is really easy to get lost in the chaos. Therefor I would recommend to make a list of everything that you need to take with you and the things that you want to take with you. An important thing to keep in mind when making the list is that important essentials are also available abroad and you do not have to bring those. Examples of these are toothpaste, shampoo, towels and bedsheets. 

Important things that you do need to bring are:

  • Clothes 🡪 before picking out the clothes that you are going to bring, research the weather in the country you are moving to, this way you can see what type of clothing you are going to need.
  • Personal belongings 🡪 bring the things that are important to you or have meaning to you such as pictures, accessories and books.
  • Electronic devices 🡪 do not forget to bring your laptop, phone, iPad etc. Also think about the chargers! 
  • Prescriptions 🡪 when you are using prescripted medication it is important that before you move abroad you take a little stock with you just in case.
    • Important documents 🡪 ID/passport, birth certificate, health    insurance etc.

Think ahead

Make sure you know what is expected from you when you move abroad, do you need to register at the municipality? Open a local bank account? Get a phone plan? Get a work permit? Etc.
When you are prepared you will encounter little to no surprises which will then lead to a great start of your new adventure abroad!
Now you know what you need to do to before moving abroad. I hope these steps will help you be prepared and make sure that your adventure abroad is off to a great start!


Post Author: Kimberly Minnaard