Whether young or old, student, professional or retiree, more and more people are looking to spend their time in other countries and are thinking about living abroad.
Motivations for an international move can vary from better job prospects or pay, to an improved social life or a better climate. With close to 800,000 British citizens living abroad, there’s obviously a lot of attraction to a change of location, pace and culture, but what should you consider before your international move? And how can you make the most of the experience once you arrive?
International Removals – What to Consider
The pre-move necessities are really all about organisation and planning. Once you arrive in your destination country, full of hope and high expectations, ready to enjoy the advantages of working abroad or simply the better climate, you don’t want to be regretting not getting everything in order.
Communication in Another Country
One of the first things to consider is how you will communicate when you are there. Both in terms of language skills and also mobile phone arrangements. It’s definitely worth trying to pick up some basic language abilities if your destination isn’t English speaking, as it will make your first few days so much less stressful. It will also give you a chance to make a better impression than being that expat who hasn’t learned a word of the local language.
For your mobile, you should do some research and find out whether your sim card will work in the country. If not then have a look at what the best company seems to be there, and make a note to pick up a new sim card when you arrive. The last thing you want is to arrive and have no way to call home, or Google an address.
Arranging Documents and Bank Accounts From Overseas
You should also think about what documentation you might need. Things like birth certificates and driving licences can be tough to replace if you are in another country, so it’s worth making photocopies or getting hold of original documents before you leave.
You need to make sure you’ll be able to access your bank account abroad, as getting stuck with no money is most people’s nightmare. Plenty of bank cards will work in every country, but not all, so find out what actions you might need to take.
There are several international virtual banks that are great for being able to access your money wherever you go, look at the likes of Monzo, Monese or Revolut. You should also look into insurance to remove any worries about exorbitant medical costs.
Weird Food Obsessions From Home
You might not think it matters, but after a few months of not being able to find peanut butter or that specific type of shampoo that you love, it can get really frustrating. You’re already taking a huge leap into the unknown by moving abroad, so there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a few home comforts.
Most things will be easy to find, but if you have something you can’t live without, don’t take the risk and bring some with you just in case. You might think it’s silly, but after a few months, you will agree that it’s absolutely something to put on the list of what to consider for moving abroad.
Travelling & How to Move Your Belongings
The next thing to think about might be how you will transfer all your belongings to your new country. A professional moving company can make the move much easier, removing all the stress and hassle of transporting a lot of suitcases and boxes through airports and public transport.
A final check before you get on the plane is to make sure you understand the visa requirements for your stay there. Do you need to apply for a longer term visa? Will you need to fulfil any conditions regarding visas while you are there? Do you need to be a resident? All questions that need answers before you get on the plane. We have various destination guides on our blog that can help you answer these questions.
Voting From Overseas as an Expat
Now that people can submit postal votes, casting your opinion on national issues is easier than ever. If you don’t register before you leave, it is a simple form you need to fill out and send to your local authority to either request a postal vote or a proxy vote. Being abroad doesn’t mean you can’t have your say on political issues that could seriously affect you.
You’ve Arrived! Now What?
Where To Live?
Finding a house is one of the biggest concerns that expats have when they move abroad, and it can have a huge impact on your time away. A great house in a good location can be the making of an experience. Just as importantly, a bad house in a worse location can ruin an amazing year.
You should never sign a contract for a house before seeing it, even if the deal seems amazing. Like most things, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is. Look for houses with good quality pictures and honest people who are clear about costs, requirements and paperwork. If people are looking to do things under the table, try to avoid being tempted by lower prices, as it often leads to much bigger problems further down the line.
If you don’t have a job yet, some may ask for a few months’ payment upfront, it can be frustrating and is definitely something you can negotiate, but you may have to bite the bullet – it’s worth checking as in some countries banks can hold the money as a guarantee if you are worried about handing over a large amount.
How Will You Meet People?
Another thing to consider before moving abroad is your social life. Once you are settled in your new house, you should try to join a few clubs or groups, as these can be a great starting point for building a social circle in your new city. Sports are often one of the best ways as people are doing something they enjoy, in a relaxed environment. There are often drinks and dinners after training or competitions, and it’s one of the easiest environments to enter without pressure or fear. Equally, there are expat networks, such as Internations and Expat.com which could be organising events near you.
Get Your Bearings
Go for a wander around your neighbourhood and find where all the basic things are. You’ll need a local shop where you can grab milk on a Sunday morning, as well as the nearest supermarket for bigger shops. You’ll need to know where the best bus stop for a city centre run is, as well as how long you need to allow for the journey. Getting to grips with some basic geography will make your life easier in the long run, as well as help you feel a bit more like a local.
Any move abroad will run into unforeseen problems, unexpected joys and everything else in between. Careful preparation is the best way to avoid the worst of the bad bits and make the most of the good.
If you have your sights set on international removals out of the UK, make your move pain-free and quick with 1st Move International; a professional moving business that knows how to help start a new life in another country. Get a free quote with us today.