“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go-“ but are you really? Moving abroad is a big step that must not be rushed. In order to ensure a pleasant stay, the move must be carefully thought and planned. A move away from your home country could mean a new start, a new life but it could also mean that you are chasing a dream, that would lead to a higher quality of living. In addition, the move could be triggered by education: changing countries for study purposes and increase job opportunities. Whatever the reason for the move, there are a couple of things that must be done beforehand get your checklist ready.
Before anything else, check your requirements – is your passport expired? Do you need to renew it? A number of countries only accept passports that are valid for at least six or twelve months beyond your final travel date. Do you need to apply for a visa or any documentation ahead of your trip? Will you be driving when you move? Do you need to renew your driving license? It is fairly important to go check these months before your departure, and not be left until the last minute.
Know your new area
Once you have chosen your next destination, research the area and familiarise yourself with it. Pick out a few spots that may be of an interest to you – perhaps a place by the sea or a river, or a cafeteria where you could spend some time for yourself or mingling with residents. If you have found a new home, look at its surroundings and research the neighbourhood. It is a good idea to have some general knowledge about the area, about the closest shopping points and groceries. Moreover, read on the country’s weather, the economy and any work opportunities you may need. The more information you know, the better
Think about your health
The country’s health care system is critical to check out. Check with your current health care provider to see if any expenses will be covered by them and make sure to take any required vaccinations. If you need any medications, ask around to see how easily accessible these will be in your new home – if it will be a tricky task, stock up and take a couple with you. In addition, speak with your medical adviser or doctor to give you any needed prescriptions that will last your stay.
Get travel insurance
Apart from health insurance, consider also applying for travel insurance. This is quite inexpensive but will surely cover you in any unfortunate event that may happen when you travel and live abroad. Flight delays cancellations and property loss will be covered as well.
Save, save, save
The saving process would have started much earlier. It is important to have saved up for this new chapter in your life. The amount saved should depend on the lifestyle you are chasing. Your job, family status, lifestyle, the current exchange rate are all factors to consider in the money saving process. Think about the costs that you will face once you are moved – groceries, nights out, activities and perhaps rent – set budgets and allocate funds to help plan your stay better. Additionally, you could make some right investments to help secure your financial future – whether it is a retirement plan or other. The right choices will give you a financial boost to enrich your portfolio and your stay in your new home. Setting saving goals will also help you control your budget. Furthermore, inform the bank about your move abroad. If you will be using credit cards abroad, your bank needs to be notified as it will be tracking your costs due to security. We advise you to call the bank rather than sending an e-mail, as it would avoid any miscommunication. If the last step is skipped, you could find your credit cards frozen or locked for a period of time during your first few weeks in the new country until the issues is resolved, and is there anything worse than that?
Your life abroad
What do you plan on doing once you arrive? Will you be looking for work? Update your CV and start looking up any vacancies that are currently available to test the market. Since you are not familiar to the area, you may want to contact a requirement agency that would know the local job market better, to guide you to a job. If you have not landed a job yet, but would like to earn money until you find a vacancy that is in your line of work, English language teaching is a good temporary job. Of course, there are courses to undergo before you start such a job – so you would want to think ahead!
The fun part: packing
Get your suitcase ready and once again, prepare a checklist of your preferences. Think of the items you essentially need and cannot buy once abroad. Consider taking with you an adapter, especially if you are not sure of the type of sockets the country uses. A portable battery pack may also come useful during your travel, to charge any of your devices. Pack your favourite clothes, keeping in mind the country’s general climate. A similar thought process should be made for accessories and shoes – think of the last time you wore it and whether the item will be practical in your new surroundings.
Do not forget home
Pack your sentimental belongings and take them with you. It may be a new life that you will be starting, but there will never be a place like home. You can unframe pictures and take them with you – they are not space-consuming so it will make no big difference. Also, polaroid pictures hanging on the wall is a pretty cool way of how to decorate your new home.
Consider the future
Do you plan on staying in the new country or do you plan to come back? Are you willing to sell your currents belongings to help sustain your financial wealth? Selling electronics and furniture could easily boost your finances. However, you do also have the option to you rent your house during your time abroad. Ask yourself these questions and do not rush into decisions without being confident of your choice.
The world is your oyster. Tick everything off your checklist and you are good to go.