Useful Tips When Planning To Move Abroad

When planning to move abroad the vast number of things to do can be a bit daunting.  We have now made several moves, and with each one we have learned new lessons.  It doesn’t matter where you are moving from, or where you are moving to, since many times you need to go through the same motions.  The core of the moving checklist remains the same, with a few subtle differences regarding the location.  We’d love to share with you some lessons we have learned along the way, after moving countries and homes more than times than we care to count.

Useful Tips When Planning to Move Abroad

First let me run through a couple of things which I wish we could have done better or should have added to that long checklist.  Then we can get into some of our standard checklist items.

Forwarding Mail or Post

When we left our home in the USA and in Spain, we notified the postal service of our move.  They typically will only forward mail within the home country and for a set length of time.  Our biggest learning is that you need a backup for the things that slip through the cracks.  Each time we have moved, mail has arrived many months after our departure.  There is always someplace your forgot to alert of your new address or that just didn’t update their systems.  If you are comfortable, provide your forwarding address to a neighbor or the current occupant.  We made our move from the USA in the summer and we had some tax papers arrive in February.  So it really helps to have others on the look out for you.

Arrange For Someone To Handle Minimal Banking

This was another big lesson learned for us.  Once we left the USA, there were some instances where we left some sort of a deposit, and it needed to be returned to us.  It was not going to benefit us to have a check written in U.S. dollars mailed to us in Spain.  So we made sure that we provided a local address, of a family member, so the check could be sent there.  That family member had deposit slips for our account and was able to deposit the money.  Ideally, this could all be done electronically and then it wouldn’t be an issue at all, but some companies insist on mailing a check in the post.

Moving Your Belongings There

If you’re planning on taking more than a couple of boxes with you it is really worth shopping around for international shipping quotes as you will get quoted all kinds of prices, often thousands of dollars apart. Most companies will offer a door-to-door and packing service which means there’s very little you have to do yourself.

Other Useful Tips When Planning To Move Abroad

Of course when you are doing your research for moving abroad, you will want to check out the cost of living and many other things on the new location.  We have found some of the best resources to be expat sites, cost of living sites,and expat blogs. These resources have proven to be invaluable for us and you can find many which are general or specific to your destination.

We have mentioned it before, but we find Numbeo to be a very reliable and handy resource for cost of living as well.  Please review some of our previous tips and tricks for moving abroad as well.

We hope these tips are helpful for you.  Please feel free to comment and let us know if you have any questions.

This entry was posted in Expat Planning, Tips and Tricks and tagged , by Heidi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

9 thoughts on “Useful Tips When Planning To Move Abroad

  1. It’s normal to be different, because the countries are different, but it’s better to have idea from where to start. Thank you again. Greets!

  2. Thank you for the ’emigration checklist’! It’s very helpful. I’m moving to France in the beginning of the next year and am looking for all kind of useful information for to make my move smooth and less stressful. Thanks for the information and advices you share!

  3. Thank you for the tips! I am really nervous about moving abroad and I am forgetting many important things that I have to do before I go! I find your post really helpful! Greets!

  4. Hi Heidi,
    The ’emigration checklist’ link doesn’t seem to work anymore. It gives me a 404 error.
    I now it’s hard to keep links viable. I hope there is another one that gets you to the same location. Thanks for all your write!

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