Moving is complicated as it is. It has lots of variables and challenges for you to consider. Moving abroad can be even more complicated if you don’t know the drill. That is why you need to do your research and be prepared for the process. Maybe you got a job in another country. But perhaps you are just after your dream job, but not quite there yet. Whatever is the case, you should start preparations on time. Consider that the optimal time for interstate moving preparations is about two months. How much time do you need to prepare yourself for moving abroad? Well, it depends on the situation. Do you already have a job in the other country or not? Do you have where to stay, or you need to find the place? Are planning to move for a limited or unlimited period of time? Think about everything.

Steps for moving abroad

Man on steps - moving abroad

Find out the basic steps to take when moving abroad

There is a lot more to think about when you are moving abroad than an interstate. Mainly because there is a lot more stuff that you know nothing about. Or maybe know something about but not enough. When you plan to move to another city of the same country you already know the basics. You know the language, culture, policies, cost of living and probably some people. But when you plan to live abroad, all of this can be unfamiliar to you. Or some parts, at least. That is why you should make sure to learn as much as possible about the country you are moving into before the moving day. Good preparation for long distance relocation will make your life abroad so much easier. So don’t hesitate to search the answers to your questions wherever you can find them.

Five steps to take when moving abroad:

  1. Do the research,
  2. Prepare the budget,
  3. Find a place to stay,
  4. Figure out what to do with your belongings and pack smart,
  5. Get familiar with the surrounding and register with STEP.

Maybe it looks like a lot of stuff to do, but guess what – there is a lot of stuff to do before moving abroad. It’s not an easy task, but it can be done rather stressless if you make sure to follow these steps.

Do the research

As we said it numerous times, research is really essential. You shouldn’t even plan on moving abroad before doing the full research of the place you are going to. If you are moving to a big city, find out the pros and cons of that, so you could use it in the best possible way. And if you are moving to a smaller city, search for stuff to do and visit while you are not working.

You have to know at least basic words of a new language if you want to be able to communicate with people as soon as you arrive. Do not expect everyone to speak English. Be familiar with the legislation to know what are your rights and what is forbidden behavior in the country you are moving to. Also, make sure to find out what are the documents that you will be needing for health insurance, bank accounts, mobile and Internet accounts and everything else.

Laptop, Google front page and a  cup of coffee

Find out as much as possible about the country you are relocating to

Prepare the budget

Moving can be expensive. And if we are talking about moving abroad, you should prepare an even bigger budget. Try to save as much money as possible before you get into the whole process. Make sure to think about all cost aspects in order to calculate the final cost of your upcoming move. Take into consideration the costs of visa application, plane tickets, and international shipment if necessary. Of course, don’t forget about the housing costs. When you put them all on paper, you will see how big budget you need. Nevertheless, make sure to set some money aside for emergencies and unplanned costs. Also, aside from the cost of applying for a visa, remember to apply for a passport or renew the one you have. If you are going to drive in your new country, don’t forget to apply for an International Driver’s Permit.

Find a place to stay

The best case scenario is that you already have some good friends or, preferably, family in the country you are relocating to. Because moving abroad can be even more difficult if you don’t know anyone there. Not only to have someone you can socialize with. It can be helpful to have a place to stay when you first move. Finding housing is easier if you look for it while there, and not long distance.

Of course, if you’re moving abroad for a job, often the company you will be working for provides you with housing. Whether it’s the hotel or an apartment renting for some time, it can make your life easier. If that’s not the case, you will be left with the long-distance house hunting. A long-distance house hunting always comes hand in hand with a long distance relocation. And for a long distance relocation, one thing you must have are reputable movers. So, consider visiting and hiring a good international moving company. And having professionals help you is the safest way to relocate your belongings.

House and a green lawn

It is great if you can stay with friends or family until you find your own place

Figure out what to do with your belongings

When moving abroad, you can’t expect to take all of your belongings with you. That would increase your moving costs by far. That is why you need to figure out what to do with the non-essential stuff. Maybe you can rent out your house equipped, and not have to cancel utilities. Or perhaps you can sell some of the stuff. Also, you can rent storage for short term purposes only if your family will take the stuff later, for example. And maybe sell them or keep them for themselves. You will be happy to have less stuff for packing, for sure. Because you need to be smart when the time for packing comes. You do want to save money, not splurge, right?

Get familiar with the surrounding and register with STEP

After you come to the final destination you still have some stuff to handle. But the preparations you made for moving abroad will be of big help. Firstly, you will be happy to have your moving day survival kit with you whether you’re at your relatives or in your own place. That way, you will be set for the next few days, while you investigate the surroundings. Make sure to register with STEP (US Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) to get the most up-to-date information about your new country’s safety conditions. Meet new people and discover new places and you will soon get to love your new home.