Check, Check, and Check Again: Your Complete Checklist for International Relocation

Cid Titulaer

May 27, 2024

Check, Check, and Check Again: Your Complete Checklist for International Relocation

Cid Titulaer

May 27, 2024

Check, Check, and Check Again: Your Complete Checklist for International Relocation

Cid Titulaer

May 27, 2024

From tying up loose ends in your home country to adapting to a new culture, each step is crucial in this intricate process. To help you with your upcoming international relocation, this international moving checklist will guide you through the most essential tasks, making sure no detail is overlooked. Follow this checklist:

  • Research, research, and some more research

  • Organizing your finances

  • Packing and shipping

  • Connecting and disconnecting services

  • Cultural preparation

  • Family matters

  • The logistics of the move

  • Arrival and settling in

  • Closing thoughts

Research, research, and some more research

The foundation of a successful international relocation lies in the depth of your research. From visa regulations to local customs, gaining a solid understanding of your destination can alleviate potential challenges. To start, consider the following areas of research:

  • Visa requirements: Ensure you have the right visa and understand the process for obtaining it. Different countries have different rules for work, study, or residency visas. You may need to apply for your visa well in advance of your move, so don’t procrastinate!

  • Government regulations: Be familiar with the laws and regulations of your destination regarding residency, employment, healthcare, and more.

  • Cost of living: Get a sense of how far your money will go in your new destination. Research prices for housing, transportation, groceries, and other essentials to create a budget.

  • Housing: Start looking for a new home as early as possible to secure accommodations before you arrive. Leverage local real estate websites, expat forums, and agencies for information and assistance.

  • Transportation: Familiarize yourself with public transportation systems or the process of purchasing or leasing a vehicle in your new location.

  • Education for children: If applicable, research schools or educational programs for your children. This includes public, private, and international schools, and the admissions requirements and process.

  • Healthcare: Understand the healthcare system of your new country, including health insurance options and necessary vaccinations for you and your family.

Organizing your finances

Managing your finances during an international relocation calls for a strategic approach.

  • Banking: Research international banking options or services that allow you to transfer funds between your home country and your new location with ease. Notify your bank of your move to avoid any unexpected holds on your account.

  • Taxes: Understand the tax obligations of your move, including any dual taxation agreements. Consult with a tax professional for the most up-to-date information and advice.

  • Currency exchange: Monitor exchange rates and plan your currency conversions wisely to maximize your money’s value.

  • Savings and investments: Consider the impact of your relocation on your existing savings and investments. Make decisions on what to keep, what to transfer, and what to close or sell.

  • Budgeting: Create a detailed budget factor in all costs associated with your move and the initial period of adjustment.

Packing and shipping

Packing for an international move is a process that requires careful consideration and organization.

  • Declutter: Start early and go room by room to decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to donate or discard.

  • Shipping options: Research international shipping services for your belongings. Obtain quotes, and understand the terms and conditions, including customs clearance procedures.

  • Pack for your lifestyle: The items you choose to take should reflect the climate, culture, and activities of your new location. For instance, a move to a tropical location may require fewer heavy items and more lightweight clothing.

  • Important documents: Ensure all vital documents — such as passports, visas, diplomas, and medical records — are packed securely and easily accessible during your move.

  • Electronics: Check voltage and plug type compatibility for your devices at your destination. Consider if you need a converter or new electronics to suit local standards.

Connecting and disconnecting services

Before you leave, take care of the logistics related to your current place of residence.

  • Disconnections: Plan for the termination of utilities, internet, and other services at your current home.

  • Mail forwarding: Set up mail forwarding with your postal service or make arrangements for someone to manage your mail in your absence.

  • Notifying contacts: Inform friends, family, and business contacts about your move and share your new contact information.

  • Subscriptions and memberships: Cancel or transfer any subscriptions, memberships, or services you won’t be able to use in your new location.

Cultural preparation

Familiarizing yourself with the culture and language of your destination country can help ease the transition.

  • Language learning: Start learning the local language or brushing up on your language skills. There are many online resources and language classes available.

  • Cultural norms: Learn about the customs, traditions, and social norms of your new country. Local etiquette can be vastly different from what you're used to, and understanding these subtleties is key to fitting in.

  • Networking: Connect with expat communities or locals through social media, forums, and meetups to build a support system and gather insider tips.

Family matters

If you’re relocating with family, ensuring their well-being is an additional layer of preparation.

  • Children: Involve your children in the move as much as possible. Talk to them about expectations, new experiences, and any concerns they might have.

  • Pets: If you’re bringing pets, look into the pet import requirements of your new country and find a trustworthy veterinary service for health certificates and permits.

  • Partners: Discuss the relocation with your partner and make joint decisions about important matters, such as work plans and home options.

The logistics of the move

The practical aspects of moving overseas can be vast and varied, from booking flights to securing temporary housing on arrival.

  • Flights and accommodations: Book your flights and temporary accommodations for when you first land in your new country. Consider staying in an extended stay hotel or serviced apartment during the initial stages of your move.

  • Shipping documents: Ensure all necessary paperwork for your household goods and any other items you’re bringing is in order, like passports and child custody papers.

  • Moving company deadlines: Stay on top of any deadlines set by your relocation company to avoid delays in your move.

  • International moving companies: Choose a trusted international moving company by seeking recommendations, comparing quotes, and checking credentials to ensure a smooth move abroad.

  • Emergency plan: Have a contingency plan in place for any unexpected travel or relocation challenges that may arise.

Arrival and settling in

The day has finally arrived. Here's what you can do to ensure a smooth transition on arrival.

  • Welcome packet: Many expat-friendly towns and cities offer welcome packets with useful information about local services and amenities. Inquire about and pick up such a packet if available.

  • Local orientation: Take a tour of your new neighborhood to become familiar with important places such as the nearest hospital, fire station, grocery store, and bank.

  • Setting up: Begin the process of settlig in by opening a local bank account, getting a local sim card, and setting up public utility services in your new home.

  • Local community: Start building relationships with your neighbors and the local community. This can help you feel at home, make you understand local customs and provide valuable insights into your host country.

Closing thoughts

International relocation is a significant life event that can open doors to a world of opportunities. By following this detailed checklist, you can approach your move with confidence and readiness. Remember to be patient and flexible, as unexpected challenges are par for the course in any major transition. Bon voyage, and best wishes on your international adventure!


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