Most of us dream of packing up and living – or moving permanently – abroad. Some of us get the chance, so if you’re about to start a new life overseas, you’ll need to get yourself organised ASAP!
It’s a daunting task, relocating your life, but there’s lots of ways to make it easier. Stop making lists for a few minutes, sit down with a coffee and read on – you’ll thank yourself later.
Sort out your paperwork
If you’re relocating for work then very often your company will take care of all the red tape, but there’s still some things that you have to do for yourself. Is your passport up-to-date and does it have enough years left on it? If not, order a new one, as well as new ones for family members. Make sure that any other documents you and your family need to have are prepared well in advance.
You also need to prepare any documents from your children’s school so that they can transfer to their new one, and you’ll need to inform your doctor and dentist that you’re moving so that they can send your details to your new practitioners.
You should also look into health insurance if your company doesn’t do this for you. Oh, and don’t forget your driving licence!
Be prepared to live without your furniture for a few weeks
You’ll get to your new home before your furniture and appliances do, so look at the option of furniture hire if you’re worried. It’s a cheaper option that staying in a hotel for 4-6 weeks and it’s something that will help you to settle in quicker.
Get your pets ready
If they’re coming with you, they’ll need up-to-date vaccinations and the certificates. Some countries are very strict about letting animals in, so do your homework early here. You should also discuss with your vet ways to make the long journey easier for them.
Set your budget
Relocating can be expensive – most often, your company will pay a lot of the expenses, but things like meals out while you’re in transit, a hotel stay to break up a long car journey and other incidentals will probably fall to you. Make sure you have enough set by to cover it all.
You also need to get advice from your bank and set up an account in your new country, if possible.
Check customs rules
Every country is different – you may not be able to move plants, for example. If you hire an experienced international moving company then they can help you here, but again, be prepared as you may need to find new homes for various items well ahead of moving day.
Speaking of international movers
International relocation can be complex, so don’t skimp – go for the best mover you can afford. Your mover will work out the most efficient and cheapest way to get your belongings to you.
Learn the lingo
Start this process right away! If you can all have a basic conversation and say “please” and thank you” by the time you arrive, you’ll be well on your way.
You should also find out about any cultural no-nos or practices, as this will ease your transition.
Appoint someone back home to tie up loose ends
There’s always something – a missed bill, you forgot to cancel the window cleaner or relocate the plants… Appoint a trusted friend or relative to take care of these tasks. It might be an idea to make this person a signatory on a bank account dedicated for any surprise expenses.