37% of people would be willing to relocate globally if it meant a better career.
Whether you’re moving abroad for professional reasons or you’re lured by international love or need a change of pace, it can all seem like a fairytale in the beginning.
Then, real life hits you and you realize you have to think about visas, packing and finding a new home in a foreign language.
Lucky for you, we’ve gathered up some of the best relocation tips according to people who have made international moves just like you.
Once you know you’re going to be relocating, it’s important to get the ball rolling straight away.
If you’re relocating abroad, then start by looking into the visa requirements needed to move to your new country. Oftentimes, visas can take up to a few months to process and receive. Start getting your paperwork ready ASAP!
Having this list will help ensure you don’t forget anything. It will also serve as a motivator when you’re faced with the desire to put things off.
Visit Before Moving
Just because you spent one glorious weekend in Barcelona during your study abroad year in college doesn’t mean you’re ready to move there. Before relocating, it’s important to visit a place several times if possible.
This might not be as important if you’re only relocating temporarily. However, even then it’s important to scope out different neighborhoods where you’re going to start looking for an apartment.
If you don’t have time to visit, it’s smart to rent an Airbnb for a couple of weeks in order to search for an apartment when you get there.
Join Local Social Media Groups for Relocation Tips
If you’re considering moving somewhere, the best way to get a feel of the expat life there is to join local Facebook groups.
There are expat groups in pretty much every city around the world nowadays, and the people in these groups will be able to give you tips on how to relocate to that specific place.
Forums are an invaluable way to get answers to super specific questions and even accomplish tasks like finding housing.
Pro tip: You’ll also likely find people offering their Cabify and Uber codes in these groups. They’ll probably be offering other local discounts that can make your transition much easier and cheaper.
Decide What to Do with Your Home
Are you going to rent or sell your home? There’s no right answer. It’s up to you.
Do some research into your local housing market. If it’s hot, then you might want to sell and use that money as an investment into property in your new country.
If you’re not sure you’re going to be living abroad for a long time, however, then renting out your home is a great investment idea as well.
Regardless of what you do, it’s important to decide early on. Selling a home can take a long time, and you don’t want to be in the middle of the process while you’re abroad.
Packing is one of the hardest parts of moving anywhere, even if you’re just moving cross country.
Learning how to relocate is actually just as much of an art as the moving itself. This is why experts at The Spruce suggest packing for a home move in a very organized manner. Start by:
- Making a packing supply list. Purchase everything together and have it ready for when you’re ready to start.
- Organize what you’re going to take. It’s tempting to take everything from your current home with you on your adventure abroad. However, it’s going to be costly to pay for heavy boxes.
- Host a garage sale to get all of the junk and unnecessary items out of your home. This helps to avoid temptation when you’re packing and see that sweater from your freshman year of college you simply can’t live without.
- Pack the house room by room. This avoids confusion when you’re unpacking at the new place.
Still have leftover items that you love and cherish? Don’t shy away from investing in storage space. It’ll still be here when you get back.
Get a Shipping Quote
Whether you’re looking into how to move across the country or you need actual quotes for shipping large items such as a car or heavy boxes, it’s important to shop around for ship freight quotes.
Sea freight is usually cheaper than air freight, and it also ensures your personal belongings will arrive at your new home safely.
Companies that ship large freight overseas usually offer other services you can take advantage of as well. These might include door-to-door services or packing assistance.
Open an International Bank Account
If you’re moving abroad for a new job, your company will probably help you set this up. If you’re moving abroad independently, this is something you’ll want to do yourself as soon as you arrive.
This is a little tricky, as you’ll need some form of identification. That can be hard if you don’t have a visa just yet.
In Madrid, for example, some locations of a certain bank won’t allow you to open a bank account with a passport. If you go to another location of the same bank a few streets over, they’ll do it for you.
This means that you’re going to have to be persistent in your efforts.
If all else fails, it’s worth checking out internationally-optimized credit cards before your trip. Chase and Citi Bank are both well-known in international communities for having no international transaction fees.
Enjoy the Adventure
Moving is a great way to start fresh. If you’re moving abroad, it can be even more exciting as you’ll be immersing yourself in a new culture and learning a new language.
This means that one of the most important relocation tips is to take time out of the moving process to truly appreciate the adventure.
If you’ve been organized and on top of all of the paperwork, then you’ll be just fine! You might even have time to browse our travel section to look for your first getaway in your new country.