How to Prepare for an International Move
So, you and your family have made a big decision (or are considering this big decision) to make an international move. This is an exciting and often stressful process, but being prepared will make things go smoothly, which is what you need to enter this new phase of your life with tranquility and purpose.
Determine what country you’re moving to.
If the decision has yet to be made, know your statistics when deciding. Knowledge is power–you don’t want to find out unfortunate facts after you’ve already moved and it’s harder to do anything about it. Buy travel books, read local websites and ask around on forums any questions you may have about the location and living conditions. Pilot Guides is a resource site for adventure travelers, but it is useful for researching different countries—featuring forums, information and downloadable videos.
Research international moving companies.
Plan out finances and what features you want help with from your moving company. Some companies offer extended services like the United Van Lines moving service that includes insurance and help with packing. Help packing could be a huge help if you need to move quickly for a sudden job transfer. Insurance, of course, helps protect your valuables, particularly one-of-a-kind items like that family heirloom from your great grandmother.
Take a trip ahead of time.
Go visit the country you’ve decided on if you’ve never been there. You can get a first-hand feel of the culture, language and living conditions. Scope out different areas. Test the popular cuisine. Make it a fun vacation and, if possible, bring your family along to enjoy it as well. This will make adjusting much easier on everyone involved.
Know the local law.
Laws may be quite different than what you are used to. It is your responsibility to research and make your family aware of what the new laws will be. You also don’t want to show up with prohibited items, which may not have been illegal back home.
Get your documents in order.
Not only will your family need their passports and identification, but you will also want copies of your medical records, transcripts and other important pieces of information. Organize them for each family member and keep them somewhere safe.
Do your health care homework.
Certain countries may have vaccination requirements. What kind of health care does this country offer? Is it socialized? What will you have to pay to follow up on medical needs. This is particularly important for those who have chronic health conditions or take maintenance medications. You may want to get a long-term supply ordered before you make the move, just to be on the safe side.
Get your finances in order.
You may need to transfer funds to the new location, close out bank accounts or cash in on stocks and bonds. Research the currency conversion and, if at all possible, have a large safety net for unexpected expenses. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of moving, down payments on living arrangements, and other living expenses. It will take a little more time and planning than moving to another city.
If you plan accordingly, your move will go much smoother and there will be less room for mishaps.