They say that moving house is the most stressful situation you can impose upon yourself, and when that move also includes another country it can feel a little overwhelming to say the least! When I moved abroad to London from Australia back in 2006 I felt like there were a million things to do in a very short time frame, and there was nothing that helped me more than a good old fashioned list!
Here’s my thorough Moving Abroad Checklist!
12-3 Months Before You Leave
- Start to de-clutter your life. Throw out things you don’t use or wear and resist the temptation to buy new things – no, you don’t need that collection of 110 steak knives that cut through cans.
- If you require a removalist, start getting quotes early to find the best deal.
- If you are flying to your new home shop around for a cheap airfare with a carrier that allows a decent luggage allowance. Call them up and see if you can negotiate any flexibility. If you have a lot of luggage it may end up cheaper to fly business class, so take this into account when searching for fares.
- Apply for any necessary visas or permits required for your move.
- If you have a car, or pets start planning what you’re going to do with them when you leave. Yes, if you have children you will have to take them with you.
- Start reading about your destination and figuring out where you might like to live, as well as the best places to party and hang with all the cool people.
2 Months Before You Leave
- If you have not yet found a house of flat to live in when you arrive, book a hotel/hostel for a few days to help you find your feet.
- Confirm your removal with removal company, if required.
- Have a garage sale, get selling on eBay or just throw it out – now it’s time to start being ruthless with that embarrassing 80’s record collection!
- Resign from your job in a spectacular fashion, depending on your relationship with your boss. Don’t burn too many bridges though, you never know when you’ll be back!
- Visit your doctor and get any necessary prescriptions or vaccinations before your move.
- Purchase travel insurance for your trip, and depending on your destination, for the length of your stay in your new country.
1 Month Before You Leave
- Arrange for a postal re-direction service to a relatives address, or your new address, if known.
- Contact everyone you know to let them know you’re leaving and that they better come to your going away party!
- Throw a massive going away party, give an impromptu drunken speech and generally make a fool of yourself – it doesn’t matter, pretty soon you’ll be outta there!
- Start packing – throw what you know you don’t need, and put any documents and all you’re taking with you to one side.
- Cancel your bills and any monthly direct debits.
- Notify your bank that you’re leaving. If you pay hefty monthly fees you may want to consider closing it until you return.
- Double check you have all the documents you need and ensure they are in a safe place until your departure.
1 Week Before You Leave
- Book a cleaner for the day before you leave if you have new tenants moving in.
- Eat whatever food you have left, and the rest feed to your (lucky) dog or give to a friend.
- Order any foreign currency/travellers cheques, if required.
- Do some last minute washing so all of your clothes are clean for the big moving day.
- Pack your suitcases and whatever’s going with you, and do the obligatory check and re-check 50 times before you leave.
1 Day Before You Leave
- Confirm your flight and check in.
- Double check your luggage to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
- Order a taxi to the airport, or any transfers needed.
- Relax, put your feet up and crack some bubbly - you’ve almost made it!
- Celebrate, you’re MOVING ABROAD today!!!!
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