Moving Overseas Guide For First Time & Future Expats

Moving Overseas: A Guide for First Time & Future Expats

Did you know that roughly 8.7 million Americans have left their homeland and are living abroad? The reasons for this move include love, better job opportunities, a desire for change, or to be closer to family.


As technology in airplanes and shipping becomes more developed, the world seems smaller and this encourages people to make the move they had been dreaming of. 



While moving to another country can be very exciting, it is also a daunting thing that many people are unsure of how to approach. Read this guide about moving overseas to learn what to expect and how you can best prepare for this new journey. 


How Should I Pack?


When preparing to move, the temptation may be to pack everything that you can fit into your luggage. However, the best strategy is to pack a minimal amount if you do not plan to stay indefinitely. For example, if you only are moving for less than a year, bringing a few suitcases may be sufficient to start you off. 



That dress you have not worn in three years? Do not bring it. Those shoes that are too small, but just so cute? Leave them behind. Deciding what your ‘essentials’ are is a great way to organize your packing. 



Start by making a list of the types of clothes and shoes that you will need, depending on the climate of where you are moving. Start filling in those needs by bringing a few of your favorite dress pants, jeans, sweaters, and so on. 



The reality is that you will probably fall in love with the fashions of your new home, and be tempted to add to your collection. Allow yourself the space to do this by packing reasonably. 




Is a Budget Helpful?



One of the biggest issues that people run into when moving abroad is not properly planning their finances. The allure of trying out a new restaurant each night, or traveling every weekend, can be tempting and cause your savings to drain quickly. The best way to mitigate this is to create a plan and stick to it.



What should be on your budget? Start with what you know. Things like rent, insurance, and transportation costs will probably be fixed expenses that you can count on each month. Look into what groceries cost for your local area and plan for that. Factor in any necessary travel, and allocate funds for exploring your new area. 



Creating a budget does not mean that you must limit yourself and live frugally. It simply means that you plan for your expenses so that you may enjoy yourself, and not be met with unexpected bills.



Educate yourself about your new country’s exchange rate before you leave. This will help you understand how much purchasing power the American dollar has. 



How Will Health Care Work?



It is likely that you will need to see a doctor at some point in your time abroad. This is something you will need to plan for in advance. Reach out to healthcare providers to get all of your current records, and be sure that you are up to date with all necessary immunizations. 



Contact your current health care provider to learn if they will continue to cover you while you are abroad. If not, you may need to purchase health care from the country in which you will be living.



Some countries that provide free healthcare for their citizens may cover expatriates, and others may have you purchase your own. This is why it is important to research your medical needs beforehand.



What Is the Best Way to Ship Things?



Moving your belongings from one country to another can be daunting. This is especially true if you are established in your career and have acquired a lot of things.



Hiring a relocation company may be your best bet to have a seamless move of your valuable items. International shipping may take anywhere from weeks to months, so this aspect of the move abroad is something you want to sort out as early on as possible.



UPakWeShip is an industry leader in providing top-of-the-line moving services. Learn about them to find if they may be a great company for your moving needs.



Will My Bank And Phone Work?



Contacting your bank and phone carrier is another thing to check off the list before you move! It is wise to notify your bank that you will be leaving. Otherwise, they may turn off your account if they suspect that foreign purchases are fraudulent activity.



In terms of the phone, call your phone provider and ask them about international plans. Certain companies have international use included, and others allow this option with additional fees. A more affordable option can be getting a new SIM card from a phone company in your new home country.



What Travel Documents Do I Need to Prepare?



Check your passport before you go! If you already have one, make sure that it will not expire during your stay overseas. You will also want to bring your license as identification for the airport.



With the Visa, make sure that you have applied for it and have all documentation complete well before you leave. This is crucial and is a very important document to have with you. 




General Tips For Moving Overseas



First, have an open mind. A lot of things will be different from what you are used to at home. How the workday is structured or the food available at the grocery store may look different, so it is important to remember what you are there for and to stay positive. 



It can also be really helpful to ease into your transition, rather than diving into a different lifestyle head first. Eat some foods that you are comfortable with, make a friend from your home country, and do anything that gives you a sense of comfort and familiarity. 



Best of Luck With Your New Adventure!



Moving overseas can be one of the most exciting and challenging chapters of your life. Being well prepared and knowing what to expect will help you to succeed in this new adventure. 




Your friends at UPakWeShip would love to help you in this journey with your moving needs. Check out our website to view our services to get your valued belongings safely to their next destination. We wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.



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