Moving Must-haves April 3, 2021

The Complete Moving Abroad Checklist for Future US Expats

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Having a moving abroad checklist by your side will make any move less nerve-racking, especially if you’re going far away from your usual emotional support system or what you’re used to culturally. We recommend making one first, considering that relocating overseas takes more than just booking a plane ticket and finding a new place to stay. The period leading up to the big day is where it’s tricky and messy for future expats, so we decided to make a thorough checklist that will come in handy in a challenging time like this.

What Do I Need to Do Before Moving Abroad?

We all share an innate desire to explore the unknown, wander and discover the world around us. Moving across the world is an extensive process and perplexing life project that will shake your routine up, whatever your reasons for traveling are. To help you stay on track, we recommend organizing and breaking your plan down into smaller, actionable steps and tasks.

Research Best Housing Options for Expats

Do your homework and research housing options abroad. Get to know what to expect when you’re there, as it will make apartment hunting so much easier. Even renting in your own country can be rough, so imagine what happens when you add different customs and languages to the mix. Even breaking the language barrier won’t do if you go offhanded. So, help yourself and at least have a plan B with platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo. They can be useful for short-term accommodation while looking for something more permanent.

Book a Flight

It is time to prepare for the flight to your new home, which may get pricier the more you wait, considering that all last-minute tickets usually are quite steep. So, even though you might not grab a window seat, we heartily recommend waiting for the right moment. In case you didn’t know, it’s often cheaper to book your luggage as well when booking a flight. This will be a great moment to double-check your packing list.

Moving to Another Country? FREE ESTIMATE

Pro Tip for Relocating Your Soon-to-be-Expat Pet

Of course, you’ll want to take your furry friend with you when moving internationally. So, check the unique rules every country has on them, from transportation to vaccinations and all the necessary documentation.

Banking in a New Country

Get in touch with your bank and discuss relocating overseas. Find out if there are any foreign transaction fees and ask for advice for your bank account because your bank may offer special fee-free services.

Check out the following video for more detailed info on opening a bank account as an expat.

Papers, Please

Make sure you added all the documents needed to travel abroad to your international moving checklist:

●     Passport,

  • Visa,

●     Birth and marriage certificate,

●     Proof of citizenship,

●     Health records, including insurance policies and prescriptions,

●     Academic records,

●     Driving license,

●     Financial records,

●     Proof of residence or work permit.

Apply for the Right Visa

The most crucial step in your international move is looking into your visa options and ensuring you have everything you need to apply for the right one. Not every country has the same visa requirements, so it’s essential to understand the difference between your home and the desired destination. Even the friendliest countries in the world have their specific, strict rules and customs. Keep in mind that the visa application process can take up to six months, sometimes longer, and start preparing early enough.

Documents are among the essentials you'll need when going abroad

Research Your New Country

Adjusting to a new country means learning and adapting to a new culture, but finding out about it before leaving might be of great help. Joining expat groups and forums and reading their blogs will give you space to plan better and to make your living overseas a bit more familiar. If you wish to take some time to approximate your monthly expenses, sites like Numbeo and Expatistan are great starting points. What also hides there is the answer to your big question: How much money should I save before moving abroad?

Before relocating to a new country, always look for more information

It’s Time to Move – Contact International Moving Companies

An international moving company will be your crucial coordinator and the main helper throughout the process. Whether you need exceptional international shipping services in order to ship a car overseas or you’re looking for professional packing to ease the pain of leaving your home, don’t hesitate to contact them.

What to Bring When Moving Countries?

When it comes to a moving abroad packing list, yes, we all possess an almost empty decade-old perfume bottle and many other memories that could quickly bring tears to our eyes. But if you’re asking yourself what to pack when moving abroad, and you decide on getting all your sentimental possessions – you’ll be needing two airplanes and, almost surely, two new houses.

Store, Sell or Donate But Get Rid of The Things You Don’t Need

Decluttering before transitioning might sound like an exhausting task, even if you are going abroad alone. Try not to wait until the last minute to work on your checklist to eliminate non-essentials. Finding suitable storage services for a significant period will save your days or weeks even thinking about what to do with all the things you’re so emotionally attached to.

There are different ways to help you declutter efficiently when going abroad

Doctor Checkup

Even if getting your visa doesn’t require special medical checkups, scheduling and attending doctor’s appointments should also be on your international moving checklist. When starting anew, getting medications and refilling your prescriptions is one of the most critical steps to take, especially if you have a chronic health condition.

Rule of a thumb is to pack extra medication you might need from your home country

Who Do I Need to Notify When I Move Abroad?

Whatever the reason you’re going overseas, one of many things you should not forget is to update a few institutions about it before you go, besides your friends and family:

●     The US Postal Service,

●     The United States Embassy,

●     Utility companies (electric, gas, solar),

●     Social Security Administration,

●     Tax agencies,

●     Insurance providers.


Hosting a Farewell Party Before You Go Might Be Helpful

Hitting a finish line without this one is a definite no-no for an American moving abroad checklist. After all the time spent on planning and organizing, a going-away party should be a part of your plan. And don’t be discouraged if the question like how to keep in touch with friends comes up – give yourself some time and you’ll definitely find a way.

friends celebrating
While waiting for your flight, make some room to have fun

An Expat Moving Abroad Checklist – Done!

Dear expats, this is a pre-boarding announcement for a flight to your future homes. The checklist for moving abroad is now officially done. Say goodbye to your friends and family, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

What are you moving?

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