Moving overseas is an exciting opportunity and if you’re preparing for an international move, you’re probably eager to get started. In our experience, most people who are getting ready to move overseas have never done so before and encounter situations they didn’t anticipate. There are things about moving to a new country that will greatly differ from a local or long distance move. The best way to prepare is to have a solid, simple plan that takes care of all the basics. This will free up your mind and your time, allowing you to fully focus on adapting to your new home. Here are a few simple steps to get you ready for an overseas move.
Pack Light and Smart
When moving overseas, it’s important to pack lightly, relative to the reason for your move. If you’re relocating for a temporary job reassignment or semester abroad, there’s no need to pack a majority of your belongings, as you’ll be returning home before you know it. Take things that you can’t live without and enough clothes to last you a few weeks at a time.
If you’re looking at a more permanent relocation, it’s important to realistically consider what you should take with you. Take an inventory of what’s in your home now and consider parting with the things that you don’t use on a weekly basis. Decluttering before your move is highly recommended, in order to cut down on moving expenses.
No matter the reason for your move, remember that transporting belongings overseas can be expensive, especially for heavier items like furniture. You could potentially save money by selling furniture and other large items before you move, purchasing new items online and arranging to have them delivered at the time of move in.
Also recognize that going shopping in your new country can help immerse you in the culture and style of your new home. A few good shopping trips can give you an idea of how the locals live, help acclimate you to a new culture and help furnish or decorate your new home.
For advice on how to pack and what materials to use, visit our packing tips page.
Find Out What You Won’t Be Able to Get
It’s true, there will be plenty of exciting opportunities to try new things and replace old ones when you move overseas. However, there will be a few things that you can only get in the U.S. and some of them may be important. For example, many countries have different drug regulations than the U.S., so filling certain prescriptions may be difficult. Research the availability of all important prescriptions in your new country and stock up on what you need. You may also want to do the same for your favorite foods, you might be surprised at how scarce peanut butter is in some parts of Europe.
Give Yourself Time
The less time you spend unpacking, the more time you can devote to experiencing your new country. Before your international move, you should pack a few boxes and suitcases of things that you and your family will need immediately. With your essentials within easy reach, you will be able to take your time unpacking everything else. Getting acquainted with a whole new culture takes time, so make sure you have that time by spending it unpacking.
International moves don’t have to be difficult. If you follow these steps, you’ll have a stress-free move and plenty of time to experience your new home.