Being offered a chance to live abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s an exciting new chapter of your life that you’ll surely look forward to. However, the vexing process of moving may be something you are less likely to be enthusiastic about.
Moving can be stressful as it takes you out of your comfort zone. If it’s only possible, you would choose to simply wake up in your new place to find all your things already moved for you. But unfortunately, that’s not possible so what you can do now is face reality and brace yourself for what’s about to happen.
To ensure that your international move goes as smoothly as possible, here’s what you should do.
1. Research about your destination in advance
It’s important to set your expectations on your new place beforehand. As you’ll be relocating to a totally different country, take your research a bit further beyond the normal facts like culture, climate, religion, and people. Did deeper into finding background information on:
- The best places to live
- Cost of living
- Safe areas
- Means of transportation
- School systems
- Standards of living
- Visa requirements
The things listed above are just the tip of the iceberg and once you get there, you’ll still need to learn how the local system works. If you know someone who used to live or is currently living in your new destination, connect with them to gather real-life insights.
2. Ready your finances, documents, and inform service providers
Moving to another country can be quite expensive so save as much money as early as possible. Even if the company will be sponsoring your plane ticket and accommodation expenses, for example, you will still need to think about how much it will cost you to “make it” in the other side of the world. Costs may include but aren’t limited to:
- Visa application
- Moving costs
- Vehicle or transportation
Preparing at least six months’ worth of savings is a good advice when moving abroad. Do take into account the exchange rate and the cost of living in your new place. This way, you can come up with an effective monthly budget plan while also taking into account unanticipated expenses.
Keep a copy of all your important documents.
You will likely need your important documents abroad and it will make your life easier if you can easily access them. You should bring with you copies of the following to your new place:
- Marriage license
- Immunization records
- Birth certificate
Contact all your service providers and inform them about the move.
If you don’t want to continue paying for services you will no longer avail of, make sure to cancel your phone plan and utilities in your old place before the move. Also, contact your banks and post office about your new address so that they can forward your mail to the right place.
3. Hire a removalist and start packing
Unless you have very few belongings to bring with you or are willing to pay for huge baggage fees, hiring an international removalist to help you with your move will make more sense. The process of preparing your documents alone is already exhausting. Letting a professional removalist handle your move instead so that you can focus on other important things is a practical decision.
When you start packing, don’t skimp on the quality of your packaging materials and boxes. Spending more can save you tons in terms of damaged belongings. If you’re unsure as to which items you should take with you abroad, asking these questions may help you with your decision:
- Is the item you’re considering something you will really need abroad?
- Will the cost of taking the item with you be worth it?
While it’s important to consider options such as storing, selling, disposing, or donating your items, also take into account that there are things which can be expensive and difficult to procure in your host country.
The key to a successful international move relies greatly on your preparation. With enough planning and the right removalists working with you, you can lower your stress levels and manage your move easier.
If things get overwhelming during the moving process, simply think back on the reason or motivation behind your move. Focus on the positive things and the opportunities you’ll get once you get through your international move.
Craig Jones is the Managing Director at Aussiemove, Australia’s largest independent moving alliance. Craig is a respected member of the removalist network in Australia, having served in senior positions, including the President of the removal industries governing body, the Australian Furniture Removals Association (AFRA).
December 4, 2018