Before moving internationally, there are many things to consider that can help you have a smooth move and transition into your new country.
The first thing to determine, which could affect many aspects of your move, is the reason for moving and how long you will stay in your new home. Are you moving indefinitely, temporarily for a job or any other reason? This could help you decide what lengths to go to when moving all of your personal belongings. If moving indefinitely, will it be more cost effective to sell what you can and start over upon arrival? If you will be back in a set amount of time will you store your belongings? Shipping belongings is an option in either scenario, but comes with a price.
The biggest thing to consider when deciding what to ship or bring with you and what to leave or sell is electricity. Many countries do not function with corresponding outlets or hookups. You can buy a converter, but it will probably be more cost effective to buy the item so it is compatible with your new outlets or hookups.
Other important things to consider and plan for before moving can include
Transportation – Does your new city utilize public transportation? Would that be sufficient for your needs? Will you ship your car? Do you know the regulations for obtaining a new license?
Communication – Will you be able to use your current cell phone? Will it be more cost efficient to make your current cell phone plan international or to set up a new plan with a new carrier once you get there?
Health – Are you up to date on your immunizations? Many countries require certain immunizations before traveling or moving there. Make sure you and everyone in your moving party is up to date. Where will you receive health care in your new country? Will it be covered by your current insurance? Will you need new insurance upon arrival? Consult a travel clinic or infectious disease specialist for more personalized information.
Currency and Banking – Do you know the exchange rate? Will you need the currency before you get there or will you plan on using your credit card or other form of payment until you reach your new home? Make sure to notify your credit card company that you will have upcoming international transactions. Where will you bank? Is your bank currently international? Will you need to find a new bank?
Language – Will you have to learn a new language? Is your current language nationally recognized and spoken? If you have to learn a new language, will you try and learn some of it beforehand? Check out classes through your local community or invest in an online language learning course to help prepare.
Weather – What is the current climate in the country you are moving to? Does the country have different weather patterns from your current one? You may need to invest in some new clothing such as coats and scarves. Reversely, you could downsize and get rid of current clothes if you are moving somewhere where they aren’t needed. For example, if you move somewhere warm year round, you may not need your heavy winter coats.
Income and Cost of Living – If you are moving for work, will your pay change? Do you know how much you need to afford to live? How much will the margin change between cost of living and income? Will you need to change other aspects of your budget to afford it?
Passports and Visas – Do you know the regulations for traveling and moving to your new country? Does everyone in your party have proper and current documentation? This is not a step you want to leave for the last minute.
There are many things to consider when moving internationally, and these are only a few of the basic ones. For more information, embassy websites are a great resource.
Once you’ve decided to move, it’s time to start getting moving supplies like tape, bubble wrap, and boxes.
When packing, label each box with its contents and the room where it should be placed inside your next home.
Use packing tape and small plastic bags to attach screws, nuts and bolts to the bottom of furniture that you’re disassembling to prevent losing those small, essential pieces.