Moving Checklist April 17, 2021

The Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist for All Expats

Steven Rogers

Apart from sharing Captain America's name, our freelance writer Steven is also a big fan of moving, history, and geography.

The relocation is always stressful, and we all want to make it effortless and less painful. If you’re thinking about relocating overseas, you should create an ultimate American moving abroad checklist for this complex task. It’s essential to have a good plan and go step by step, so you don’t miss anything important, and the whole adventure of relocating across international borders will go smoothly.

No matter if you plan this relocation for a new job opportunity or you’re moving for love, or you want to find the best place for your family, the first thing you need to ask yourself is what do I need to do before moving abroad. With a checklist prepared months before, missing any crucial step of this exciting event is minimal, and your work is half done. In this text, we’ll go through some things you shouldn’t omit from your travel list.

The First Thing On Your Checklist for Moving Abroad Should Be Finances – Plan Wise

How much money should I save before moving abroad is one of the first questions you ask once you decide to relocate. When you figure out your financial possibilities, it will be much easier to plan every step of relocation. It all depends if you’re traveling alone or with family and pets. Put everything on paper, like how high is the cost of living in the country you’re relocating to and the apartment fee.

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Helpful Tip – Don’t Forget to Notify Important Institutions About Your Relocation

Another question might come up, like who do I need to notify when I move abroad? In fact, on that list should be many people and institutions. Among them are banks. So, inform your bank about the relocation and consult with a bank manager to open another bank account in your destination country. It might be easier and save you money. Watch the video below to get a clear picture of how to open an expat bank account.

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Finding a Place to Stay Comes Next on Your Moving Abroad Checklist

It doesn’t matter if you’re staying for three months or one year, finding a home to live in is the first thing your list should have when moving internationally. If you still don’t know where to relocate, you could make a list of the best places to live abroad and it will be much easier to decide where your new home will be. Find out a housing budget and check if the budgets meet. Then start researching for the perfect house by reading different online blogs, guides, and newspapers. If you know people who are living in the country you want to move to, don’t hesitate and check with them for everything you want to know. It doesn’t make much difference if you’re relocating abroad alone, you need to find the best place for living abroad. Watch a video for some places you could consider.

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Gather All the Documents from International Moving Checklist

Don’t forget essential documents and papers needed for overseas relocation. Inform yourself precisely what documents you need and start gathering them a few months before. Here’s a list of documents you’ll need:

  • Valid passport – make sure it’s valid because you don’t want to realize on the border your passport is expired,
  • Travel visa – check if a country you are headed to requires a visa. US citizens can look for information on the website of the US Department of State or perform a quick check online,
  • Birth and marriage certificates,
  • Driver’s license – if you’re planning on using overseas vehicle shipping services, don’t forget your driver’s license,
  • International driving permit – many countries require IDP, so you should prepare it on time,
  • Work permit – you’ll maybe need to apply for a work permit,
  • Medical records – don’t forget the doctor’s note on the medication prescription.

For a more detailed list of documentation, check out the video below.

YouTube video

Explore the Options for Expat Health Care in the New Country

Don’t forget your healthcare because it’s very important, and it’s better to figure it out in advance. Having international health insurance might be an excellent option for you when relocating to a new country. That way, you don’t have to do endless research on health care insurance available to you. On the other hand, if you’re relocating to a new country for work, ask your new employer if he can help you with health care insurance and coverage.

Moving Abroad Checklist is Longer if You’re an American Relocating With Pet

If you’re relocating with dogs or you’re making a relocation with a cat, the first thing you should do is take them to their veterinarian and see if they can handle the travel. Most countries require an identification microchip and vaccines that can vary from animal to animal. The rabies shots are mandatory, but you should also check with airline companies and their terms and policies for pets transportation. Once you establish that a pet can travel, don’t forget to gather all the updated documents needed.

Dog in a suitcase
Don't forget the pet's insurance, too, and plan safe travel with your pet

Moving Abroad Packing Checklist – Helpful Tips and Hacks

When it comes to packing your things, the best way to start is by creating a moving abroad packing list. Then comes the decluttering part. Don’t waste time asking yourself what to bring when moving countries but start packing. The biggest mistake is to leave the whole packing process for the last day.
Start on time and purge room by room. Give away or sell everything you don’t need anymore. That way, you can pack much easier and quicker. You can also ask your friends for help, if you work together your home will be packed in no time.

Be sure you have enough packing supplies and boxes. If you can’t do it yourself, you can call a professional international moving company and ask them to take care of packing services and of course storage services. Once all is packed, you’ll have to think about transportation. Is it going to be international relocating by sea or international relocating by air? It is up to you, so ask the professional company for a free quote and begin your packing.

preparing boxes for the move
Get help if you can't do it on your own - it's the best way to pack things

You as an Expat in a New Country – What to Expect and How to Adapt to Life Overseas

Life after relocation can be challenging. Try to adapt, go online to read about that place, watch videos, and see how the place looks from the perspective of people who have recently relocated. There you can find helpful tips on how to start your new life in that place.
When you finally relocate, you can start being a part of local events and happenings, where you can meet many people and make new friendships, but don’t forget to keep in touch with your friends after moving overseas.

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