Never in the history of humankind was it easier to arrange international moving. And even if moving across the world is no longer exclusively a dream of enthusiastic explorers, it still has its challenges. Leaving your homeland is never easy and getting used to new surroundings and culture is more complicated than you think.
But nostalgia and cultural shock are not all that will make your head spin when it comes to moving overseas. And yes, it never was easier to go from one side of the world to another from a technical perspective. But, in reality, you can’t just buy a ticket and start your journey. Living overseas requires a lot of preparation and sacrifice. But if you follow these tips, your relocation to one of the best places in the world will go smoothly and without much fuss.
Decide Where You Are Relocating and Apply For Visa if Necessary
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Before you start with all the necessary steps, do research and find a state to your liking. Do you wish to relocate to one of the best cities in Europe? It all depends on your taste and reasons to relocate. For example, someone is maybe dying to relocate to Hawaii, but you maybe prefer living in Vancouver or some other place with colder weather. But whatever place you choose to call home, you will have to research all about it and prepare documents. So if you are coming from the USA, you probably don’t need a visa, or you can get one upon your arrival. Either way, you should go to a country of choice’s embassy website and find out how to apply for a visa if you need a visa at all.
Make Sure You Have All the Papers
Aside from visa applications, other paperwork must be in place too. For example, if you are relocating with a dog or maybe relocating with cats. In that case, you will have to make sure they got all the necessary shots against rabies and other diseases, depending on the place you are relocating to. You will have to procure a pet passport as well. Also, check the expiration date on your documents as well. Ask if you have to take some shots too. Here is a list of documents needed for travel abroad:
- Prescriptions for medicine – Some medicines are not allowed in certain countries, so check those regulations too.
- Passports and visas – This will last the longest, so the sooner you apply, the sooner your journey can begin.
- Consent for traveling with a minor – If you travel with kids and without one parent, you will need permission.
- International driver’s license – If you plan to hire a company for overseas vehicle shipping, get an international driver’s license. This way, you will be able to drive right away.
Ask at Least Three Moving Companies for Quotes
When moving abroad, the biggest question is, “Can I just move to another country?” And if yes, “how am I going to manage that?” Well, one thing is for sure – this can not be efficiently done without an international moving company. Search online for overseas movers, ask for a quote from at least three companies, and arrange a meeting with ones you consider to be the best. When meeting with movers starts, make sure you have all questions for them ready. Don’t hesitate to ask about every detail of your relocation. Do they offer a packing service? How do they make their price? Will you be able to store belongings in their storage facilities if necessary? It is essential to know this kind of information in advance to make your budget on time.
Choose Which Shipping Option Is Better for You
Whether you are relocating to the Bahamas or somewhere else, you will want to know what to pack when relocating abroad and how you will transfer those items there. When it comes to moving internationally, two options are usually available. The first one is international moving by air. This option is faster and for a smaller amount of belongings. But if you wish to have all your belongings the same day you arrive, choose this option. On the other hand, more stuff can be transported if you opt for international shipping by sea, but it will last longer.
Best Tips for Organized Moving and Packing
The most significant tip for moving abroad is to be well organized. You can not just start packing your entire life until you think through what you will bring along. For example, if you are relocating to Vancouver, you will need more winter clothes. Bear in mind that getting things through customs is never a simple process. Every state will ask you to complete an inventory list of your belongings, so start making this list when packing. While we’re at packing, the procedure will take much longer if your items are not properly packed, especially if X-raying them isn’t possible. And don’t even think about smuggling something that is not allowed because they have the means to find that out.
Sell Things You Don’t Need and Do Some More Pre-Customs Cleaning Out
One of the things you will have to do is sell or donate some of your belongings because some items can not be shipped, and some probably can not go through customs. For example, if you have tons of food waiting to be eaten, eat everything right away or donate it. Some items like chandeliers will be good to sell. Also, as you may know, shipping guns will probably be very difficult. And if you have some expensive paintings, you should know that without certificates and proof of ownership, they will not be able to go through customs. Believe it or not, it is the same with musical instruments, especially expensive ones. So if you are not sure about some items, leave them with your family or friends and arrange the shipment later on.
Do Your Research – Find Out All About Life and Ways of Living in Your New City of Choice
It doesn’t matter if you are relocating to some of the best places to live with your family or if you are relocating abroad alone. The preparation and research should be the same. Learning as much as possible about the state you travel to is crucial for a smooth transition. Even if you are going to some of the friendliest countries in the world, be prepared for every circumstance. Go online and search throughout the forums to see other people’s experiences. Connect with expat communities through social media or join local groups and ask all the questions you have about the city. Which schools are good? Where are the most affordable housing options? How much do they pay for gas and electricity? That will help you to get a picture of how much money you should save.
Explore Cities and Find Out All About Living Expenses
If you already have an idea where you are relocating to, it’s time to look some more into cities that suit your needs. For instance, if you are relocating to Ottawa, you should explore the Ottawa neighborhoods, the actual cost of living in Ottawa, and generally what living in Ottawa looks like. And all this information you can easily find online. Just type Niche on your browser, and you will get the top-rated neighborhoods for families, young professionals, and more. Another useful source is Numbeo, where you can compare two cities’ life expenditures. Social media, Yelp, Reddit, and Quora, are great for first-hand insights of people who already moved there.
Look Into a Job Market
International moving is a kick to everyone’s budget. That is why it is important to think ahead about steady income. Of course, this doesn’t imply if you have a job or if you’re relocating for one. But there are some relocation questions to ask the employer. For starters, will they cover your overseas moving expenses?
On the other hand, how do you drop things and move across the country? Actually, much easier if you have some job prospects along the way. If possible, search and apply for a job before the relocation but if it’s not, save some money and start searching once you get there.
The greatest job hunting tips are to find the biggest employers in your city of choice and to apply there. Other tips are to apply for every position that interests you and go on every interview on time. Go through the local news and see which company is most appreciated, and start with that one. Search for reviews other employees left to find out what working conditions are there. And last but not least, check on time if your visa allows you to work in the country of choice in the first place.
Things to Do Before Moving Across the World
When relocating, it is important not to leave some things unresolved. If you own a home, it would be good to sell it before the move. Go to your local post office and ask them to forward your mail to your new address or a family member’s home. Talk to the car insurance company about your options. Maybe you will have to sell your car too. If you have some membership fees, like a gym or some club, cancel them all. And if you have some specific medical conditions, it would be good to ask your doctor to share a copy of your medical records.
Close Your Bank Account
Another important thing is to talk with your bank about your account. If you have some credit, you will have to pay it off before your relocation. But if you have a regular account with no debts, you can close it right away. Bear in mind that most countries have a limit on the amount of money you can transfer duty-free. On the other hand, if you have a lot of money on account, talk to your accountant about the available options.
Contact Your Phone Company
Canceling your phone account can also be tricky if your contract is not over yet or if you have some devices bought on credit. If this is the case, you will probably have to pay everything off, but at least ask them to unlock your phone, so you can use it on other networks. Or, if it’s possible, ask them to give you a new international plan to use your number until everything is paid off. Check out this video for more info on international phone plans.
Is Moving to Another Country Worth It?
The answer to this question primarily depends on the goals and expectations you set for yourself. If there is no clear picture of why you are relocating there, you will second guess everything you do, and all accomplishments you made will end up left behind in nostalgia and sadness. And we are not saying you should not feel sad or nostalgic about leaving everything behind – only that if you wish this experience to pay off, you have to know what you’re doing and why. And if you embrace a new city, culture, and people while keeping in touch with your old friends and family, and in time realization will come that you can easily have the most precious things from both worlds.