Moving internationally is one of the most exhilarating, and potentially, stressful things that a family can do. It’s a move that can take you out of your comfort zone, but also lend a fresh perspective with people to meet and areas to explore that can make moving abroad feel more like an extended vacation. More than ever, a professional mover will be helpful during the planning process, on moving day, and even after arrival. Here’s our top 8 tips for a successful move abroad.
- Take What You Need:When moving internationally, you can reduce moving expenses by packing lightly. Take your key valuables with you but consider leaving behind perishable food and replaceable toiletries with friends or family who can use them. Also, take fresh look at your inventory and downsize where you can. For example, if you are headed somewhere warm, donate or sell your winter clothing.
- Have Your Important Documents In Order: Make sure to get extra copies of important documents when possible. Scan them online into cloud storage for electronic retrieval just in case. Hiring a work with an expert for your visa paperwork is essential. They will ensure you have any other documentation you may need to travel. Also, consider registering with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Bank Wisely: Research banks in your new home country, and make sure you speak with an advisor or banker about any differences in banking and finance regulations. Unless you are planning on permanently relocating, we suggest maintaining an American bank. This will make it easier for you to make transactions with friends and family back home while still being able to meet your financial needs abroad.
- Stay Connected: Although you are moving internationally, make sure you have ways to stay connected to those in your home country. Leverage social media and texting apps like Whatsapp and Facebook to stay in touch with those you hold dear from home. This will make your adjustment to your new home that much easier.
- Learn the Language: Over 800 million people in the world speak English, with an additional 600 million who have learned it as a foreign language. If you’re moving from the U.S., that will aid your transition to your new home. However, one of the best parts of living abroad is the opportunity to immerse yourself culturally, as well as linguistically. Take advantage of your time and challenge yourself to speak the native language. You won’t regret it!
- Go For An Extended Visit: Before you move, we highly recommend taking a trip to visit your new location. An organized tour can give you a chance to learn about the culture, try new foods, appreciate new art and music, and maybe even meet your potential neighbors. Although seeing the sites is great, be sure and take care of the business end as well by checking out things such as gyms, schools, and churches.
- Get Your Checkups: Before you leave, do some research about the healthcare options available to you in your new country. If an employer is moving you, talk to your human resources manager to learn about medical, dental, and vision benefits while overseas. Also, make sure that you have refilled any prescriptions that you may have before your departure date.
- Make Your New Home Yours: You’ll want to bring your favorite pictures, mementos, and decorations. These small touches will make your new country seem less, well, foreign. This can be especially important for children, adjusting to a new environment is easier with a little bit of familiarity. If you have precious heirlooms, beautiful works of art, or even grandfather clocks that have been passed down generations, work with a specialty mover to protect your belongings.