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The Essential Guide to Moving Abroad Stress-Free

Updated: Jul 5

Moving to a new country can be both daunting and exciting. One of the things that can really help make your relocation a lot easier, smoother and stress-free is ensuring you're prepared in advance. That requires immaculate planning and preparation.

Before you start freaking out, we're here to help! Our comprehensive moving guide will put you on the right track to organize, plan and be ready to settle into your new home from start to finish!

Plane moving overseas

What you'll find in this guide:

Preparing to Move Abroad

Create a Timeline

To get organized before your move, start by creating a timeline or a list of questions to answer. Create a timeline for your international move, even if it's still 6-12 months away. This will help you see all the important things you need to think about.

If you know when you're moving, begin searching for the top international moving companies in your area. Get all necessary documents ready and ensure that everyone is prepared for moving day. An early start can be super effective for the following reasons, too:

  • Give you room to make mistakes and start over.

  • Identify the tasks that require completion and establish a timeline for each task.

  • Work on personal goals as well as family goals.

Research your Destination Country

Do you have a destination in mind or are you open to relocating anywhere? If you are looking for the best countries to move to, you can find helpful information for expats here.

The website provides a lot of useful information for expats who are still deciding where to move. You can use this resource to research different countries and make an informed decision. You can also check our blog post on the Cheapest Countries to Live in 2024 for Digital Nomads or our moving guide to Germany and Australia to give you a better understanding of possible locations to move to.

Once you set your destination, it's time to get to work and begin the research! Here's a few extra research tips:

  • Country's culture, customs and traditions

  • Weather conditions

  • Language and communication

  • Best neighborhoods

  • Schools and universities

  • Health insurance

Prepare Necessary Documents

Each country has a different immigration process, rules and requirements as well as regulations and customs. That's why research is key to helping you determine whether you'll need a visa, residency requirements or even vaccinations. While this step can be daunting, you can easily get the assistance and guidance you need by contacting our support team here.

Compare the Cost of Living

Being financially prepared for the move will help ease your mind. Not only that, but setting a budget will also help you understand the cost of living in your new location. You can easily compare the cost of living between any country here.

  • Get housing prices for rentals and buying options.

  • Get a fair estimate on daily expenses.

  • Compare school tuition fees.

  • Determine if you're getting paid fairly.

Get Familiar with International Moving Companies

Just because you're moving to a new country, it doesn't mean you have to leave everything behind. Why not take your furniture and personal belongings with you and create a comfort zone within your new home that feels safe and familiar?

Getting the Paperwork Ready

Preparing paperwork for international relocation

It's never too early to get a headstart on paperwork and documentation when travelling abroad. Here's an idea of some of the documentation you might need to prepare in advance:

  • Renew or issue passports

  • Apply for a visa

  • Make copies of birth certificates

  • Make copies of marriage certificates if applicable

  • Retrieve school records

  • Ask for a copy of your medical records

Pro tip: keep important documents handy and with you at all times while traveling.

How to Budget for Your International Relocation

budgeting for moving abroad

It's not easy to allocate a budget, especially when moving to an entirely new country you know nothing about. If you're moving to work abroad, your company will probably offer a relocation budget as part of the package. Otherwise, there are a few things you can do to prepare your finances and budget correctly for your move abroad. You can also find tips on how to save money on your overseas relocation here.

Compare Prices of Air and Sea Freight Costs

Setting a budget when shipping internationally is important. This will help you determine the costs involved.

When you get quotes from moving costs, you'll find quite a difference between air freight and sea shipping. If you're prepared to wait a little longer, you could save up a great deal shipping by sea. Be sure to ask about cost, duration, and insurance fees.

Save money tip: Compare quotes from different moving companies to find any hidden costs they may not have disclosed.

Consider Passport and Visa Expenses

You'd be surprised that many people tend to forget to factor in documentation fees. It might not be much if it's just for one person, but for a family, it can definitely add up.

Add the Cost of Flights and Temporary Accommodation

Planning ahead can lead to significant savings on travel expenses, particularly for flights. Start by looking on Skyscanner to get an idea and search for temporary accommodation for a month at least if that isn't already included in your relocation package.

Have an Emergency Fund

You never know what might go wrong when travelling abroad, but it's always best to prepare for the absolute worst. It's important to have money saved for unexpected situations like missed flights, medical emergencies, or needing to extend temporary housing.

Prepare for Your Arrival

Happy couple who have just moved abroad

Embrace technology

When living abroad, technology can be a magical tool to utilize. Here are a few ways to leverage technology for a smooth move:

  • Find your way with navigation apps

  • Get recommendations for food and entertainment in your area

  • Stay connected with loved ones

  • Meet locals

  • Stay organized with Trello or Evernote

  • Use a currency converter to stay on top of finances

Allow yourself to be emotional

Know that it's ok to feel homesick, to miss your loved ones or even your favorite coffee shop around the corner. Be kind to yourself and explore new places, create new memories, and go on an exciting adventure. Feeling out of place or experiencing culture shock is common, especially if you're not familiar with the language. But soon enough, you'll start to adapt and make this new place feel like home.

Final thoughts

A stress-free move abroad is all about planning and being prepared. With this guide and expert tips and advice, you'll be able to foresee any challenges that come with international relocation. Remember that discovering a new country can be super exciting and requires time and patience to adapt. However, with the right mindset, you'll be calling this new destination home in no time.

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