The Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist

Moving Abroad Packing

So you’ve decided to move abroad? Congratulations! You’re in for an amazing experience that you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. Even though you’re preparing for the journey of a lifetime, it’s still going to be time-consuming, stressful, and you’ll have a million different things to do before you even begin packing your beautiful suitcases for this amazing adventure.

With that said, please take a look at this comprehensive list of things you need to consider before moving abroad. Take what applies to you and get those specific tasks or events squared away before moving on to the next leg of your life’s journey. First, make Plan For A Trip, then start making it happen.

Moving Abroad Checklist

Taking Care of the Paperwork
  • Make sure you have a valid passport
  • A place to live
  • Buy tickets for your flight and acquire transportation to the airport
  • Find tenants if you’re renting/subletting your apartment or house
  • Get your visa in order
  • Talk to a doctor about potential vaccinations
  • Create a physical and virtual copy of your important documents
  • Get health insurance in your ex-pat country
  • Let your bank, credit card companies, etc. know about your change of address
  • Let your bank know about your move abroad
  • Set up an Internet bank account
  • Call the power company to let them know about the move
  • Get copies of your medical and dental records
  • Sell anything you no longer need
  • Research utility, phone, and TV companies in your ex-pat country

Prepare to Make a Cultural Shift
  • Research local healthcare
  • Have a complete understanding of local currency
  • Have enough local currency to get by for a short while
  • Understand basic phrases and word pronunciations in the local language
  • Research cultural differences and etiquette (include business etiquette)
  • Use Google maps to learn the location of local schools, doctors, shops, etc.

Personal Checklist
  • Make the big announcement to family members, friends, and coworkers
  • Say goodbye to your loved ones
  • Put in a change of address notice with the post office
  • Collect the contact details of those closest to you
  • Put together a repatriation plan
  • Get a complete checkup from your doctor
  • Put together a moving plan

Packing Your Belongings
  • Stock up on prescription medication if unavailable in your host country
  • Keep your essential items in your suitcase because your shipped belonging might take time to arrive
  • Find an international moving company or storage space
  • Purchase packing materials
  • Make a list of everything you’ve packed, take photos, and determine the value of everything on your list
  • Determine if there are any travel restrictions in your host country
  • Buy a new compatible phone for your host country
  • Clean out your refrigerator and defrost it
  • Clean your house
  • Take meter readings, lock the windows and doors, make sure the stove is turned off on your last day

Moving Abroad with Children and Pets
  • Get appropriate transfer documents from your children’s school
  • Determine the new school(s) for your children
  • Pick appropriate children’s toys to bring along on the journey
  • Give your children pictures, games, and books that will teach them about their new country
  • Make sure your pet’s breed is legal in your new country
  • Discover if there are any pet-related quarantine rules
  • Determine if your pet needs vaccinations
  • Make arrangements to have your pet transported to your new country

  • Determine if you plan to move to your host country permanently
  • If not, decide on a return date to go home
  • Make plans for family emergencies
  • Determine if you’ll stay in your new country even if your situation changes
  • Get appropriate medical insurance when moving abroad

If you’ve definitely decided to move abroad, you should begin the planning phase at least 90 days in advance. This way you’ll give yourself enough time to complete this checklist before moving to your host country.

Wendy Dessler
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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