couple unpacking clothes during relocation

Moving abroad checklist for expats

People move abroad for many reasons: to find a better job, to find love, to be closer to their family, etc. Whatever the reason for the move may be, the sooner you realize that moving is a complicated and stressful process, the better. It is a process that will require not only a lot of money, but also a lot of time, energy, and nerves. But, do not worry –the earlier you start with your international moving preparations, the easier it will be. We are also here to help you out! Thus, if you are interested in some helpful tips and tricks, here is our Moving abroad checklist for expats. Keep on reading. 

Familiarize Yourself with the New Rules and Regulations 

Before you start packing your bags and researching some outstanding moving and packing tips, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the country you are moving to. Check everything – from visa requirements to driver’s license and utility transfer. There is a big chance that many things, regarding laws, rules, and regulations, will be a lot different from the ones you are used to. And, only by checking them on time will you be able to see whether you can actually move. 

Moreover, by researching the new country’s rules and regulations, you will prepare yourself emotionally. That is, you will know what to expect once you move. Experiencing a cultural shock will be much easier that way!

 A woman looking at her laptop, searching for a moving abroad checklist for expats.
As soon as you decide to move abroad, familiarize yourself with the new country’s regulations.

Sort Out Your Living Situation 

This may be the most challenging part of moving abroad. Sorting out a living situation is never easy. It is something that, again, requires a lot of one’s time and effort. We advise you to start looking for your new home before moving. That way, you will know exactly where to go once you move, and you will save a lot of money that you would otherwise spend on hotels and storage units. If you are not sure how to tackle this step alone, consider hiring a real estate agent. He or she will definitely help you find your dream home in no time. Your only job would be to make a list of priorities and to decide on your budget.

Sorting out your living situation also applies to your current home. If you are an owner, figure out what you want to do with your home. If you’re going to sell it, again, hire a real estate agent. If you’re going to keep it, talk to your family about it. And, if you are a renter, tell your landlord that you plan on moving soon.

Hire a Moving Agency 

Moving abroad will be very stressful and complex, as previously mentioned. Thus, if your budget allows it, hire a moving agency. Professional movers will do all those moving-related tasks like packing, disassembling furniture, heavy lifting, loading the truck, shipping your belongings, etc., and of course, making sure all of your belongings arrive in one piece to your new address. 

So, if you arelooking to leave the US and move somewhere abroad, looking for that perfect moving agency is something you should also do ahead of time. Why? Because the sooner you start looking for one, the more money you will save and the more reliable moving agency you will find

A man taping a box.
Hiring professional movers is one of the first points on the moving abroad checklist for expats.

Declutter Your Home Before the Movers Come 

Now, it is time for decluttering! We know you hate that part; we all do. But, it is something that must be done before the movers come. Keep in mind that movers charge by the number of items you plan on relocating. And, they calculate the cost of the shipping by the weight of your cargo. So, the more things you plan on relocating, the more expensive your move will be.

Also, if you plan on relocating all of your possessions without decluttering first, you will sure crowd your new living space and prolong the process of moving in. And, that is something you should not do when moving into a new home. Thus, a couple of weeks before the moving day, start decluttering. Go over everything. If you have some belongings in good shape, but you never use them, consider either donating them or selling them online. You can even organize a yard/garage sale for some ‘quick’ cash. 

A man and a woman packing boxes.
 Before you start packing, make sure you have decluttered!

Assemble Your ‘Essentials Bag’ on Time

This is a step most people forget when moving, but it has made its way onto the moving abroad checklist for expats for a good reason. Assembling your essentials bag is of key importance even when moving just around the corner! So, what is an essentials bag? It is a bag that contains all the essential things you might need when moving. For instance: 

  • All your and your family’s documents 
  • A moving contract  
  • Passports and visas 
  • Health and dentist records and medications 
  • Your pet’s vet record and medications 
  • All your electronics (phones, laptops, tablets, headphones, etc.) and chargers 
  • Food for the road
  • Extra clothing and shoes 
  • Your children’s toys and books 

These are just some of the most important things that you should have in your essentials bag. Of course, what you will put there depends on your needs. The important thing is to remember to put in that bag anything you think you might need during the process of moving. Be sure that this will help you ease the process of moving and reduce stress when moving with your kids. So, start thinking about the things you will put in this bag ahead of time. Talk to your family, and see what they need for the road too. 

Moving abroad checklist – checked

Now that you know all the steps you must take when relocating to another country, consider putting it all on a piece of paper. Create your own moving abroad checklist. The satisfaction you will feel every time you cross something off the list will be incredible. With every tick, you will be one step closer to enjoying the next chapter of your life.