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The Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist for Newbie Expats – the 2021 Edition

Anastasia Hill May 5, 2021
Posted May 5, 2021 In Auto Transport, Living Abroad, Moving Tips&Tricks,
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

If you’re about to set sail for your new home in another country, you’re probably overwhelmed as there are so many things to think about simultaneously. But, a moving abroad checklist can help you beat stress and start getting things done. Piling up ideas in your head can make you feel exhausted, but getting them on paper or your computer can have the exact opposite effect. Stick around to see what newbie expats should know.

You know how in movies they decide on the spur of the moment that they’re out of the door and the new world is waiting for them, no visas, no to-do lists, sheer willpower. We don’t mean to spoil the fun, yet in case you’re not a character from fiction, we highly recommend you to think about the practical matters unless you want to turn your life into an art form full of suspense. These are the basics you should include.

What Do I Need to Do Before Moving Abroad – First Things First

Living overseas is an adventure, but before you rediscover or find the missing pieces of your soul, you should provide yourself with the basics. Until lower motives are satisfied, you can’t go to higher or more advanced ones, so focus on the core components of most people’s existence first.

Check Housing Options

Buying or renting is nerve-wracking in your own place, so imagine what it’s like when you’re moving across the world. So, make it easy on yourself and start in advance. You can browse through sites and try to compare the prices or join groups that you believe have the important info. If you know the language, the better, as you’ll have more exposure to ads.

Still, if hunting from afar doesn’t do the trick, the best thing you can do is book Airbnb or another temporary option and dwell there until you figure it out. Being at the scene of the action can reduce your moving stress as you might be able to visit the potential homes and ask real people about general conditions.

Plan Out What Happens With Your Career

Career matters are significant for most people, though some are less aware of it than others. Perhaps your old home wasn’t ready for your breakthrough, financially or on another level, or there was something completely different going on. Maybe you’re just desiring adventures and going to challenge yourself. Or you’ll be working for the same company and you’ve come up with the best relocation questions to ask your employer.

Whatever the case, you should have some kind of a plan laid down. If you can’t land the job of your dreams from the word go, consider bridge jobs and industries that are always hiring to give you a push and help you in the beginning. Establishing a name as a newcomer can take time, but the first steps, be they small or big, determine the course of the future.

Buy a Plane Ticket

If you can’t apparate, have no floo powder, or a portkey, you should think about getting a plane ticket on time. Moving overseas can unfold quickly and you can get lost in the speed, so doing this early on will save you not only money but also nerves. You know how it goes with dates you want, prices and layovers, so do yourself a favor and choose while you can.

Plan Out the Money Matters

If your vault at Gringotts isn’t bursting at the seams, don’t splurge and hope for the best or float and devise a plan as you go by. The crucial part of how to live in another country is to adapt to the prices and the way money is perceived societally while maintaining a financial balance on your account and peace of mind. Yes, as easy as 1,2,3. Still, these two tactics can give you a headstart.

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Take a Look at Prices in the New Country and Make a Strategy Accordingly

The best places to live abroad are usually those that can help us maintain work and free-time balance and not live paycheck to paycheck. Still, there is organization and it does help. If you cast a glance at Numbeo or its kin Expatistan, you can see approximately what the prices in the new place are and you can get a kind of a picture. The next step is to create plans that fit your individual circumstances and answer the question – how much money should I save before moving abroad.

Familiarize Yourself With the Banking System

If you want to know how to live abroad, check out where you can open a bank account and what the contract provisions are. You should settle this early on so that you can pay using different methods and withdraw your money without a glitch.

Take Care of the Papers and Other Administrative Issues

Documents needed to travel abroad, as well as visas, residence permits, and health insurance cards, must be accounted for too. Each country has a different policy on these, and it depends on the political climate and whether the aim is to attract or repel immigrants. Still, you might even transfer some of the benefits you had in the homeland to the new home (EU is a prime example) and enjoy the less red tape. These are some handy suggestions in this regard.

Read Official Sources and Helpful Expat Blogs

The government sites are source number one as they detail all the requirements on various documents as well as steps to complete in order to finish your application. Still, there are no tips on navigating the complex novel system there, so googling expat communities and their experiences can add to the final impression and help you see whether you’re going in the right direction.

Don’t Forget to Research What Your Pet Needs

If you’re moving with dogs, cats, or another pet, you should find out how to prepare their papers as well. These little or not so little bundles are not welcome without question, so you should see what the official sites have to say on their passports, vaccination, and the like. Even plane tickets and policies vary from airline to airline depending on the type of pet, so find what will be the most relieving and tranquil option for your friend.

Who Do I Need to Notify When I Move Abroad?

Before you start thinking about how to keep in touch with friends and get in the realm of feelings, notify the non-friends group so that you can leave with a clean slate. The institutions that should know of your departure are as follows:

  • Banks – You should cancel or transfer your accounts,
  • Postal system,
  • Tax agencies,
  • Utility providers,
  • Local authorities.

Check Corona Requirements if the Pandemic Is Still Raging and Google Things You Should Know

The corona outbreak has changed the face of relocating as we know it, and many countries altered their policies to protect their citizens from new forms of the disease. If you’re reading this article while the crisis is still relevant, forever or so, you should definitely cast a glance at whether you can enter the country of your choice, whether you must have a PCR test or a vaccine and what health checkups and quarantine terms apply.

You Can Get Down to Making a Moving Abroad Packing Checklist

With all the major issues out of the way, you’re ready to embrace everyone’s favorite task, and that is packing. Compiling a moving abroad packing list is a lengthy task, so buckle up and devote enough time to it.

How to Pack Wisely?

Check the weather forecast for the best countries to live in if that’s how you made the cut, and don’t pack what you won’t use. The classical method is to create piles: throw, donate, keep, and it can really help you get started. In case you’re too snowed under to think or would benefit from professional help, booking superb packing services from an established international moving company might work wonders as well.

And in case you do want to take some portion of your belongings that you’ve absolutely no idea where you’ll be keeping, storage services may be the thing you need.

Don’t Forget Helpful Tips on Language and Culture While Moving Overseas

If you’re about to start in a place where another language is spoken or where culture and ethnicity different from your own are predominant, you should prepare for that as well. Culture and language are unfathomable, and their mystery is boundless. Still, it doesn’t mean you should quit and pretend to be voiceless. With some basic knowledge, you can feel much better equipped for challenges to come.

Learn Basic Phrases Prior to Moving

You needn’t and probably can’t be able to recite the country’s epic poets from day one, but you can learn how to ask for directions on the street, greet people, and the like. With numerous language learning apps available, that can be achieved quicker than ever, and you can be on your way to mastering more complex material even before you move.

This is crucial as you won’t feel out of your depth as you’re fresh off the boat. As time passes, you’ll be gaining more and more confidence and learning a language abroad will give you the benefit of immersion, but getting ready to start speaking is never a minus, especially if the new language is worlds apart from English. Being in some of the friendliest countries in the world will encourage you to continue to practice, but most people in all cultures are glad to see someone making an effort.

Don’t Forget Customs and Gestures

Perceiving culture only in terms of these is simplistic, to say the least, but before you grasp the nuances and subcultures as well as meanings, it can help you avoid awkward moments and unpleasant experiences.

For example, if you’re moving internationally to China or another Asian country, such as South Korea, doing a “come here” hand gesture can be considered highly offensive as it is reserved for animals in the Asian value system. Thumbs up is another highly contested action, and you should look it up prior to showing it off too. Moving to Bangkok may sound exotic, but local laws are something to be taken very seriously. Finally, though customs and things like this range from urban to rural, class, sex, age, and numerous other parameters, you can’t go wrong if you educate yourself a bit. Breaking the language barrier is crucial, but you don’t want to come off as crossly arrogant or rude either.

Professional Services Can Be the Finale

Your international moving checklist is finished and you’re ready to take the new place by storm. Having this kind of reminder of all the tasks may be handy, and in case you need professional assistance, an overseas shipping company with services such as international moving by sea or in another case by moving by air, supplemented with car shipping services can come to the rescue.



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