Moving to a new city or a whole new country can be one of life’s most exciting adventures. It can also quickly devolve into a logistics nightmare if you leave important things until the last minute. To enjoy your new life abroad from the get-go, here are 16 tips that can help ease the transition while ensuring you don’t get weighed down by the nitty gritty of planning the move.
Send the Heavy Stuff in Advance
You’ll find moving to a new place much easier and stress free if you aren’t busy lugging around all your heavy furniture and baggage by yourself. Plan ahead for international removals with the help of a popular movers and packers service such as 1st Move International, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned international removals companies. They ensure faster sailing and arrival times as compared to other movers, and secure shipping with minimal handling by intermediaries.
Check Your Visa
You want to ensure your long-stay visa is in place before you start shopping and planning in anticipation of your move! This might entail a temporary residency, or a work, business, education or tourist visa.” If you are moving to Canada, you may also get a visa for spousal sponsorship, if your partner is a Canadian citizen. You can read more about how to sponsor a spouse in Canada (Plus d’informations sur le parrainage d’un conjoint au Canada) if you are interested in this visa type.
Ensure Your Passport is Valid
It’s a good idea to check your passport to see when it expires. If it is soon, get a new one. This way, you’ll be able to save both time and money involved in either travelling all the way back home to renew it or paying more to get it done much faster when you’re already abroad.
Cancel Unnecessary Local Subscriptions
Do you get a newspaper or magazine delivered to your home? Or a regular food service? Make sure you cancel all regular deliveries and subscriptions before you leave. You might not think it’s a large amount in the short term, but it adds up over time and can burn a sizable hole in your pocket. Similarly, ensure you look for and close all unrequired leases, phone plans, gym memberships and club passes.
Set Up a Mailbox
Look for an alternate home for all your mail. Maybe your parents’ house, or a sibling or friend’s house? If you don’t wish to impose upon your inner circle, look for a mailbox that can hold your mail and deliveries for a small fee. Some mailbox services also offer to photocopy the receipts of all your deliveries and then email the scanned copies to you. This way, you know exactly what kind and how much mail you have.
Revisit Your Cash, Cheque and Card System
Get your finances and banking needs sorted before you leave. You want to carry enough cash and cheques to help you in the first few weeks. A good travel or international debit or credit card is also a great help in the early days before you open a local bank account in your new domicile.
Watch Your Expenses and Start Saving
Moving can get costly really quickly if you don’t keep a tight rein on your expenses. For starters, you’ll likely chuck away a lot of your existing stuff, only to have to buy newer stuff wherever you move. You can save on such purchases by shipping some of your existing good-quality belongings in advance. Try to cut down on impulse purchases and instead, save the money to fund your move later.
Rent Out Your Existing Home
If you own your home, it’s a good idea to put it up for rent in your absence, since it can be a good secondary income. Put up ads for the house or ask around to see if you can find a good candidate to rent your home. If you yourself are renting currently, find out what you need to do to exit your rental accommodation as inexpensively as possible. On a related note, research about the property and accommodation options in the new country also. It might be a good idea to stay in a hotel or rent for the first few weeks, so you get the time to know the city you are going to live in. If you want to, buy a house only once you know the place better.
Study the Culture
You don’t want to inadvertently cause offence in your new country simply because you didn’t do your research before moving. It’s worth reading up about the culture and expectations of behaviour in the country you’re intending to move to.
Get Your Important Documents Ready
File all your important documents together in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to get copies of these documents and store them separately. You can keep copies of your passport, visa/work permit, driver’s licence, birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, immunisation and vaccination records, etc.
Look Up Expat Forums
Expat forums can help you get in touch with people from your corner of the world and help you feel less home sick. They’re also a great way to unearth information such as common pitfalls to avoid when you’re moving to a new country, help with local services in the new country etc.
Sort Out Your Transportation
Research if you need to sell your current car and buy a new one when you move. Or see if you can ship your car there. Find out the pros and cons of both. Also, look into the procedure for a driving permit in the new country. You can also plan for and get an international driving permit (IDP) in advance before you move.
Look Up Healthcare
Check if your current healthcare professionals can give you your medical records. Also, check if you can carry extra prescription medication in advance, if you need one. As well as this, check if your particular medication is allowed in the country you are moving too. Find out about the healthcare system in the new country.
Look Up Laws Regarding Pets
Some pet breeds are banned in certain countries. Look up pet care information in your new country. You want to look for vaccination requirements and regulations, species or breeds that are not allowed, pet import costs, quarantine etc. Only take information from government websites and other reliable places.
Get Your Taxes in Order
It might possibly be the least fun activity you do when you’re planning to move abroad, but it’s probably one of the most important. Do all your taxes in your current country and find out how those tax laws work once you leave. Also, look up the tax laws in the country you’re moving to. You can look at expat forums to get more information.
Meet Your Friends and Family
It’s a good idea to meet up with your friends and family before you leave, since you won’t get a chance to meet them for some time. Throw a party and invite them if you’re running out of time to meet them all up individually. Exchange information for staying in touch. It will help you feel less home-sick once you are away.
With these tips, you can get your ducks in a row so that moving to a new country will be much less stressful. By planning ahead for all eventualities, you’ll be able to focus on the joy that the move will bring you, instead of getting weighed down by all the things you need to do. Happy moving!