An international move can be exciting — and intimidating. Relocating to another state or within the same country is daunting enough. Add in international rules and regulations, visas, potentially another language, leaving family behind — and more, oh my! While no move can be entirely smooth, consider these tips and tricks for navigating your international move.
7 Tips and Tricks for a Smooth International Move
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We all know how stressful and chaotic moving can be – just imagine a move abroad! We agree that there’s a lot that needs to be handled and the stress can pile on pretty quickly. We also believe that a smooth and calm moving process is possible.
Before you roll your eyes, take a look at our 7 valuable tips and tricks to ensure that no stone is left unturned, and your international move goes off without a hitch. You’ll soon realize that thorough planning and careful thought are all it takes!
Research and Planning
First of all, we all know that doing your research and planning ahead is essential for any big life change. Before you jump into anything, make sure you’ve done all the necessary research.
Learn more about your destination country, find out about visa requirements, research what documents and paperwork you might need, consider your insurance policies, think about housing and accommodation, and all the other relevant information that will help guide your moving process. It’s also a good idea to plan a short trip to your new home so you can get a better idea of the lifestyle and areas you like. Ensure you have the best travel insurance, even for quick, impromptu trips like this!
Getting all your documents together is one thing, keeping them organized and ready to use is another. During your planning phase, take the time to research factors like health and life insurance policies and any permits you might need in your new country. Gather these documents along with your medical records, academic transcripts, travel and visa docs, etc.
Keep all your physical copies in a binder (organized by tabs), and make sure to scan each one so you have a digital copy stored on your devices.
Visa and Immigration Preparation
Immigration is a serious process, and getting your ducks in a row can take longer (and more effort) than you might expect. Once you’ve decided to move abroad, this is really the first thing you should tackle.
Getting in touch with a visa agent is the best step to take. This resource is your best as they’ll know everything you need to do, depending on your destination country and the method you want to use to get there. You’ll need to apply, fill in various forms, and even attend interviews, and the process can be long and frustrating.
Packing and Downsizing
The more stuff you try to move, the more frustrating it can be. If you don’t take the time to downsize, you’ll cause your future self a lot of headaches. Some choose to sell all their belongings and start fresh in a new country, but if you’d prefer to ship your possessions, start with a declutter.
Think carefully about what you really need and want, and create a list as you go of all the things you’re packing – so that you can be sure of what you own and what you don’t!
Hiring Professional Movers
You might be fully capable of handling a move on your own within your city or even your own country. However, taking on an international move without professional assistance is borderline impossible.
Getting the right help from a reliable moving company is important for the safety of your belongings, as well as your peace of mind. Do some research on your options, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from anyone you know who might have chosen a similar path. Movers will help make the entire process easier and lighten your load when it comes to the actual move itself.
Unless you’re lucky, you’ll likely have a period of time before accessing to your permanent housing once you’ve moved. Organizing temporary housing for this time is essential so that you have somewhere to lay your head at night.
Ask yourself — how long will you need accommodations? Consider hotel rooms, Airbnbs, or short-term apartment rentals. This is a great option for those unable to lease an apartment before moving and still need to organize permanent housing.
Moving Your Finances
Not only do you need to pay for your travel, but you’ll need to be able to pay for things once you arrive! Making sure that you’ll have access to your money once you’ve reached the other side of the world is essential.
Make sure you do your research (because your options will differ from place to place) well ahead of time. In this way, you’ll ensure that you don’t run into trouble paying for things when you land. After that flight, you’re probably going to want some easy takeout and a few hours to rest, so make sure you’re able to pay for it!