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!
The sooner you start, the easier it will be to address any surprises or issues that may arise. Start at least six months before your move if possible. Research your destination to gain a better understanding of the culture, customs and laws. Moving is stressful enough, but doing a little research before you pack will help you better understand what to expect when you settle down in a new country.
The sooner you start, the easier it is to deal with unexpected or problems. Start at least six months before moving if you have the time. Research your destination and learn more about its culture, customs and laws. Moving alone can be stressful, but doing your research before you pack will give you a better idea of what to expect when you move to a new country.
When you move abroad, you should have all the documents on hand so you will not have any trouble opening a local bank account, signing your apartment contract, or setting up your phone plan when you arrive. Therefore, it is important to research the destination country and check the required documents before moving abroad.
Make sure your passport is valid
A very important document that you must present is your identification document, this can be your identity card or passport. It is important that you have a valid identification document. Otherwise, you will not be able to travel to other countries. This is required for various purposes such as entering a foreign country, signing contracts, opening a bank account, and much more. So, before you travel abroad, make sure your identification document is still valid at the time of travel. If not, please update as soon as possible. A valid identification document is required to apply for a visa. Some countries require you to hold a valid identification document for at least six months from your final travel date.
Apply for the right VISA if necessary
Getting a visa is probably the most nerve-wracking part of traveling abroad as it can be denied at any time for any reason. To mitigate this risk, check the official website of your destination government for the supporting documents required to submit your application and make sure everything is in place. Most people cannot move to another country on a whim, regardless of what is on TV or in the movies. Unless you are an EU citizen moving to another EU member state.
List of important documents
- Identification document
- Travel and health insurance
- Marriage certificate
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Medical records
- Banking information
* Tip: Make copies the documentations & Consult an Immigration Professional if needed
Before you move abroad, it is important to find an apartment so that you have a place to stay when you arrive. There are two things you can do when moving abroad. Find permanent housing before you move or organize your housing for the first few weeks and start looking for permanent housing once you arrive in the country.
Before you move abroad, you can search for housing on several websites such as Housing Anywhere and Housing Europe. These sites allow you to find an apartment in the place you will be moving to. Arranging housing this way can be advantageous because you have the security of permanent residence.
It is also possible to temporarily rent an apartment first. In this way, you have a place to stay for the first few nights or weeks. Once you arrive in the country, you can start looking for something in the long term. It is more likely that you will have more options to choose from because you can visit the real estate agencies directly. However, the downside of this approach is that it is less secure because if you do not find a temporary apartment before your moving date, you have nowhere to go. Therefore, this approach can come with more stress and uncertainty.
When traveling abroad it can be difficult to figure out what to bring and it is easy to get lost in the chaos. It is recommended to make a list of things you need to take with you. When making your list, it is important that essential supplies are available overseas and you do not have to bring them with you. Examples include toothpaste, shampoo, towels and linens.
Important items to bring are
- Pieces of clothing 🡪 Before choosing what to bring, check the weather in the country you are moving to. This way you will know what kind of clothes you need.
- Personal items🡪 Bring the items that are important to you or meaningful to you, such as photos, accessories, and books.
- Electronic devices 🡪 Do not forget to bring your laptop, cell phone, iPad etc. Also do not forget the chargers!
- Prescriptions 🡪 If you use a prescription refill, it is important to carry a small amount of medication with you before traveling abroad, just in case.
- Important documents 🡪 Valid identification documents, birth certificate, health insurance etc.
Speaking of money, you do not want to move abroad without savings. Unforeseen expenses, accidents and unforeseen complications can quickly throw your finances off track. Also, no one wants to start a new life abroad with credit card debt. An emergency fund can literally save your life. If you are willing to sacrifice a few bucks in the months leading up to your move, having a safety net is worth it.
Then the old advice to save half a year really beats it, but when moving abroad it really should be the minimum. Start by researching exchange rates and living costs in your new home, then work with your income to create a monthly budget that is right for your move. Then, try to budget for six months before you move so you are prepared for the unexpected.
Planning a big move takes a lot of research, even if you know relatively well where you’re going. Consider the following topics for your research.
Culture and language
Before a big move, find out the history of your new home and how its government works today, and familiarize yourself with the culture. Enjoy and learn a few words and phrases in case you are transferring to an area in which you do not speak the language. Exploring and understanding the culture can help offset culture shock and minimize social blunders. If you do not speak the language yet invest in classes, or at least try downloading a language learning app that will help you get used to your new surroundings and make new friends.
Cost of living
Calculating an approximate budget is one of the most important things you need to do before moving to another country. Also, unless you look at the average cost of living, you never know how much your salary and savings will pay for it. Once you know your monthly expenses, record it all on a spreadsheet and compare it to your monthly salary or planned savings. Hopefully you do not fall short! But when you do, the easiest place to cut back is usually housing and food.
Do you drive or use public transport to get to the new location? Knowing where you live can help you figure out how to get around. Is your apartment close to public transport? Or have you chosen to live outside the city center and have to commute? With an international driver’s license, you may be able to drive immediately after landing abroad. But after a few months, many countries require you to apply for a local driver’s license. If you are moving to a country where it snows, it might also be a good idea to invest in driving lessons to learn how to drive safely on icy roads.
Healthcare / health insurance and immunizations
Healthcare varies widely around the world and access to local systems may vary depending on the type of visa you hold. Before you leave, check to see if your current healthcare provider will cover you during your stay abroad. Also, ask your healthcare professional for medical records and get any necessary vaccinations. You should also check whether prescription drugs are approved in the country and whether they are easily available. If not, bring extra supplies or plan to get them another way.
Even if your destination country provides universal health care to the citizens, it does not mean that you will automatically have health insurance in the country you are visiting. Be sure to check with the local authorities of the country you are traveling to regarding your health care rights. It is also important to find out about mental health services that are available after arrival.
Your health insurance may not cover you while traveling abroad. Depending on your destination, it is recommended to consider purchasing medical evacuation and emergency medical insurance. Whether your trip requires a large down payment or is booked months in advance, trip interruption and cancellation insurance can be valuable protection against the unforeseen.
No matter how carefully you plan, moving abroad can always go wrong. Delayed immigration dates, lost luggage, sick jet-lagged bodies, anything can happen that derails your plans. And these challenges can cost you thousands of dollars in flight changes, replacements, and uninsured doctor visits. Before you travel abroad, you need to protect yourself (and your wallet). And travel insurance is the best way to do that.
Say goodbye to friends and family with all your favorite dishes. Enjoy the most unforgettable experience of your life. Then invite them to visit so they too can experience your new home. Yes, it will make you a little sad, but know that only good things are ahead of you that will bring new joy you never dreamed of. Explore a whole new world of possibilities.
The little things
Find out what is expected when moving abroad. Do I need to register with the municipality? Open a local bank account? Get a phone plan? Get a work permit? If you are prepared, you will rarely encounter surprises and you will be off to a great start on your new adventure abroad! But do not forget the little things before you move abroad.
Close utility accounts
Call your phone, internet, or utility company to let them know when you are leaving home. Measurements should be taken on the last day, but this ensures that utilities are shut down. At this point, you should also get a feel for how utility bills will work in your new country and what is likely to be included in your rental agreement and what is not. If you have already moved, now is the time to sort out your internet connection and more.
* Tip: Specify a date one day later. It is extremely frustrating when a power outage occurs when you are looking to have your last cup of coffee or tea.
Contact bank and phone provider
You need a way to access your money. Check with your financial institution to see if they have offices in other countries. If not, consider opening a new account as soon as you arrive. Many financial institutions offer online banking, making it easy to open an account anywhere in the world. And you can easily access your money wherever you are.
Also, check with your current cell phone provider to see if they offer affordable cell service in another country. If not, you can unlock your phone and buy a local SIM card on arrival.
Now you know what to do before moving abroad. We hope these steps will help you prepare and ensure that your adventures abroad are off to a great start!