Top 10 tips to help lessen the stress of moving abroad
Moving abroad is hardly an everyday event. There’s loads to do, plenty to plan, and life still goes on in the mean time! A sure fire way to take the stress out of your big move is to take up these ten tips to ensure you are fully prepared a smooth move.
Here are my top 10 tips to help lesson the stress of moving abroad:
1. Do your research
Make sure you’re up to date on the country you’re moving to! More importantly, have a look at the local towns you’ll be living near; after all, you’ll soon be seeing them every day. Any cultural quirks or unusual laws are definitely worth reading up on so you don’t get off to two wrong feet when it comes to adjusting to your new home. It may also help to look into the best moving & shipping companies to use in your big move. Remember to read the reviews!
If you’re moving for business find out everything about your relocation package; what your shipping allowance is, if you are given accommodation (or a budget for accommodation), if you have medical insurance covered etc.
Search the internet for any expat blogs about living in the country you are moving to. You are almost certainly not the first person to relocate to your chosen country and there are thousands of expat bloggers around these days! You will get a true and unbiased insight into what expat life is like where you are going! Get in touch with them, you can’t have too many contacts when you move to a new country!
2. Make a list
Rule one of anything that requires packing is make a list. Then make a list of the list. Then make a list of all the lists you’ve listed! Start by writing down all the things you can possibly think of to take with you – that includes everything: passport, pants, toothbrush, potato peeler, the lot. Once you’ve done that you can divide them into relevant groups like bathroom, bedding, and utensils. It’s far easier to tick an item off a list than find yourself knee deep in a box looking for the ladle.
3. Pack all but the essentials!
Pack all the big things two nights before you leave for example, clothes, books; everything that you don’t still need to use. Essentials like toothbrushes, the shoes and clothes you need to wear over the next couple of days, a couple of your kids favourite toys and keys will be needed on the big day so leave them to be packed at the last minute.
Many expats (myself included!) sell many of their ‘big things’ before going abroad to save the cost of shipping or storage. Having done your research you’ll know what is available to buy there and if your new house will be furnished so this will help with your decisions here!
4. Take mini breaks
Planning a move is stressful enough but moving abroad comes with lots of additional problems. Remember to take a break at least once a day whilst you’re organising planning and packing. Try to go for a walk, make a cup of coffee or just sit down and think about something else. Any problems you’re struggling with will be better come at with a fresh head.
5. Finance and Legal matters
Nobody enjoys the small print, loopholes and devilish detail of legal and financial matters, but it’s an important part of moving abroad. If accountancy and international law isn’t your forte, seek out guidance from a professional who can help you through the more complicated procedures. Any money spent on professional help will be worth it to make sure you have all the right assets to set up comfortably.
6. Give yourself time
Don’t leave everything to the last minute! Once you’ve decided to move abroad you’ll likely be thinking about it a lot and you can never start planning early enough. Giving yourself enough time for things like giving notice in at your job, moving the kids to their new school, and saying goodbye to friends and family is all just as important as booking tickets and finding a home in your new country.
7. Go compare
Have a look around the market to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. Things like flight prices, rent rates, and local transport can peak or ebb at different times of the year. Decide when you’re likely to get the best deal without compromising where you want to live. All moves abroad are expensive but some are more expensive than others!
There’s loads to do, but you can’t do it all in one day! Decide which things are most urgent and which can be left till later. You’re less likely to overlook one aspect, or forget something if your attention is split over multiple tasks. Time to consult those helpful lists again!
9. Bubble days
These are the days when nothing has gone to plan: you’ve got ten things on the go, plus you had a hard day at work, the kids need feeding and nothing has been packed yet! It’s a day to just accept the stress and blow some bubbles, or have a bubble bath, or pop some bubble wrap. Surrender to the stress instead of fighting, of course moving abroad is stressful. Allow yourself to feel overwhelmed from time to time.
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10. Remember why you’re going there
Why did you decide on that particular country? With all the commotion and conundrums of moving, it’s essential you keep in mind all the good things waiting for you when you get there. Have a look at pictures of your new country; look up some of the local things to do. And look forward to it! Remember, you’re moving there for a reason.
If moving abroad were a blissful easy task, we’d all be doing it. You are being one of the brave people, up and leaving to pastures new. So give yourself a break! Remember to plan effectively and enjoy the time with family and friends before you take the leap.
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