Complete Moving Abroad Checklist – How to Plan International Relocation

Posted How-to / June 8, 2021
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

If you’ve decided to move overseas, a detailed moving abroad checklist will make everything easier. Moving internationally isn’t very simple, and you might get lost in all of the tasks that have to be done. In order to do everything right and on time, use our checklist for moving abroad and be prepared.

It might sound nerdy, but learning everything and getting ready ahead of time will help you with the stress that accumulates when relocating. If you don’t have this habit, it’s perfect timing for a change. Instead of procrastinating and stressing, take this list and see how to make this event less daunting and nerve-racking.

The First Thing on Your Moving Abroad Checklist Is to Decide If the Timing Is Right

This might be a no-brainer, but before you start getting ready for the move, you have to be sure that you’ve chosen the right time. Starting a life in a new country is a huge change, so be sure that you can actually do it without having a mental breakdown. There are many reasons for going overseas, but check one more time if there are more pros than cons. Some people can’t handle the emotional and mental pressure, and they cannot leave everything behind. That results in them coming back home in a few months with a very bad experience. If the timing is right, pursue your dreams, do what you’ve always wanted, and relocate to the place you always desired. Don’t be discouraged by those who doubt you – relocating across the world is easily doable with good organization. It just takes some time to prepare.

One of the Things That Will Be Helpful for Your Plan of Relocating Overseas Is to Do a Thorough Research

No matter if you’re relocating to another country for love, or you’ve figured out how to get a job in Europe as an American, you have to research the location you plan to move to. Make sure there’s nothing to surprise you once you move. Get familiar with their laws, tax system, housing options, work ethics, and other. If there’s a need for breaking the language barrier, try out some of the best tips for learning a new language to master it quickly. In case you’re relocating with kids, choose one of the best places to live abroad with family. All of this will make your adjusting to a new country much easier and faster.

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Get the Hang of the Cost of Living You Will Have in That Country as an Expat

The prices in another county might be very different from the one you’re used to. You can check that info online (Numbeo is one of the good websites for that) or contact someone from the expat communities there. If you have friends or family that already live where you plan to move, get all the information from them. That would be the most reliable source.

Contact the Embassy and Apply for a Visa

This process can sometimes last for more than six months, so it’s important to do it on time. If you’re reading this because you’re interested in the American moving abroad checklist, you’d be happy to know that you don’t require a visa to visit the Schengen Area countries in Europe. However, if you plan on staying more than 90 days, you’ll have to apply for a residency permit. There are different programs you can select, such as temporary working visas or sponsored employment visas. The best way to figure out how to move to another country (for example to some of the best European countries to live in or some other friendliest countries in the world) is to go to the website of their embassy in the US and to see what are the requirements. In any case, be ready for a lot of paperwork and administration.

Start Saving Money as Soon as Possible

Have you been wondering how much money should I save before moving abroad? Keep in mind that moving abroad can be very expensive, so if you’re doing it on a budget, start saving from the moment you’re entirely sure that you’re relocating. It’s not just the airplane ticket – you’ll have to have enough for the rent, utilities, food, health care, insurance, and so much more. If you plan on purchasing real estate, the costs will be even higher. Having enough money to start with will significantly lower your relocation stress.

Making an Emergency Stash of Money in Case Something Goes Wrong Is Very Helpful

You can never know what might happen once you move. To avoid being trapped in a foreign place with no escape, try to have as much money in your emergency fund. If an emergency happens, you’ll know that you have a few bucks you can count on to save you from that situation. Have a look at the following video to learn some useful tips on how to save money fast.

Find a Job to Have a Stable Source of Income

There are plenty of jobs for Americans in Europe and vice versa. If you’re planning on working in Europe as an American or somewhere else, try to land a job before you move. This can even lower your costs of relocating if the company is willing to pay for the travel. Preparing the essential relocation questions to ask the employer should be on your international moving checklist, as well.

If you’re not relocating for work, start networking ASAP with the people and companies in the place you’re going to. Use Linkedin, Craigslist, Indeed, and other popular websites to find something you’d like to do. Update your CV, and don’t forget to mention when you will relocate to that place. In case you’re in a hurry to find work, you can even accept offers that aren’t exactly perfect for you but bring enough money. After that, you can continue searching for your dream job in your new home country.

Preparing Your Documents Is a Crucial Answer to What Do I Need to Do Before Moving Abroad

Don’t forget to verify that your passport is valid and make copies of your important documents. Bring the originals as well, and keep them all in one place, so that nothing gets misplaced during packing and relocating. Here’s a list of all the documents needed to travel abroad you should bring with you:

  • Passport,
  • Driver’s license,
  • Birth certificate,
  • Marriage certificate,
  • Medical and dental records.

Since you’re about to travel abroad during covid-19, find out what the situation is with Corona and whether you’re required to have a negative test with you. Do the same for your family members and check if you have to translate your documents before relocating.

If You Have a Pet, Add Their Documents and Check-Ups on Your Moving Abroad Checklist

In case you’ve decided that you’re taking your pet with you, be sure to have them prepared as well. If the vet said that the animal could handle the trip, see if there are any specific regulations in the place you’re going to, and if there are, get familiar with them. Here’s what you should do before you put your pet in a transporter:

  • Have them microchipped,
  • See if it had all the necessary vaccinations,
  • Bring their medications,
  • Gather important documents, and make copies.

Figure Out Your New Accommodation

Even if you choose to move to one of the best cities to live in Europe, you still have to arrange where you will reside once you arrive. It’s also recommended to go and visit the place you’re relocating to, if possible. You can stay in a hotel until you find a perfect home to rent, in case you’re not able to see the apartment in person before moving in. Also, don’t buy real estate unless you already know what it’s like to live there because it can be a premature decision.

Who Do I Need to Notify When I Move Abroad?

The list of institutions you have to notify isn’t short, and it will take some time. Since you’re moving overseas and starting a new life abroad, you’ll have to have all the same things you have now. That means that you’ll have to notify your bank, health insurance company, utility provider, and cancel everything. Unless your bank and other providers cover the country you’re going to, you’ll have to research your options and choose new providers. You’ll also have to forward the mail once you have a new address.

When it comes to less formal things, you’ll also have to notify your friends and family. Choose the best timing, and learn how to keep in touch with friends so that you don’t lose contact with the people you love and care about.

What to Bring When Moving Countries?

This part is only up to you, and it depends on the way you decided to live in another country. If you wish to move into an empty home and to bring your current furniture, you’ll need assistance from a professional international moving company. After you decide what to pack, create your moving abroad packing checklist and pack at least three weeks ahead of the move. A reputable overseas shipping company will base their quote on your moving abroad packing list, and you will know exactly how much the international moving costs will be.

Shipping overseas isn’t cheap, and you should be aware of that when making your budget. The price will also depend on whether you want international moving by air or by sea, will you get overseas vehicle shipping and professional packing services, or do you maybe require custom crating for breakable stuff or oversized freight for large and heavy items. The overseas moving company team will use only the best boxes and moving supplies and offer you a storage unit for your belongings until you find the perfect place to stay at. Overseas shipping should be done perfectly if you want a great start in a new location, so be sure you hire a good company.

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