Over 4 million Brits are considering moving abroad, according to a 2022 survey. There are multiple benefits to relocating overseas, but planning a move can be stressful. It’s difficult enough to relocate around the corner, let alone to execute a move to a different country. If you’re preparing to jet off and start a new life, this guide contains useful tips and tricks to plan a seamless overseas move.
Visit your chosen destination
The first thing to do when considering possible destinations is to visit them in person. Technology is brilliant and it’s a great idea to make use of virtual tours and social media, but nothing compares to going to different places. If you visit a town or city, you can get a feel for different locations and get a better sense of the culture. You can also explore neighbourhoods to see which areas would suit you best. It’s beneficial to gather as much information as possible about destinations on your shortlist before you make a decision. If you base your choice on Instagram feeds or glossy magazines and travel brochures, you may be disappointed.
If you’re looking for a new job rather than relocating with your current job, it’s wise to start your search as soon as you’ve decided where you are going to live. Research opportunities online, network and use your contacts and register with recruitment agencies and websites. Sign up for alerts that match your criteria and spend some time researching to find out more about growing industries, employee benefits and average salaries and living costs. If you don’t find a permanent job or a role that matches your skill set or level of experience and expertise straight away, don’t panic. You can apply for temporary roles or casual work and carry on searching once you get to your chosen location. It’s beneficial to update your CV and tailor your cover letter to each application.
Hire a reputable moving company
Hiring a removal firm is an excellent idea to reduce stress and save time and effort when you move house. If you’re relocating overseas, it’s particularly beneficial to bring in the pros. An experienced, trustworthy international moving company can help you navigate the phases involved in moving abroad and eliminate stress. Search for companies online, read reviews and ask for recommendations. If you don’t know anybody who has moved overseas, use social media and expat forums to get advice. It’s worth taking time to get quotes and compare prices. Focus on the best value offers, rather than the lowest price and check availability in advance. As soon as you have a moving date, start making calls and researching online to avoid disappointment.
Start making friends
One of the best things about new technology is that it enables us to form relationships and get to know people without meeting them in the flesh. Thanks to web forums, social media and virtual events, you can make friends from the comfort of your home. Reach out to expats and join social media groups. If you have connections online, you’ll find it easier to make friends and build a social circle once you’ve moved. As well as striking up friendships, it can be extremely helpful to link up with people who live in your chosen town or city if you have questions about choosing schools, deciding where to live, or how to find a job or open a bank account.
Learn the language
If you are moving to a country where they speak a different language, start learning the basics as soon as possible. Take classes or learn online using courses or apps. Start with the essentials and expand your vocabulary. It’s really useful to practise as much as possible. If you have friends who speak the language, for example, get together and chat. This will help you to build confidence and get used to talking in a new language. It’s also beneficial to research language schools and classes in your chosen destination. If you’ve already got a job, ask your employer if they can recommend teachers or schools or provide tuition as part of the employee benefits or training package.
Learn more about what to expect
Many of us have experiences of travelling abroad and enjoying holidays and city breaks, but moving overseas is very different. When you relocate, your life will involve work and other commitments and you probably won’t get to the beach every day or spend every evening dining out or watching the sunset with an exotic cocktail. Learn more about what to expect when you move. Speak to people who live there, find out more about the culture and try to prepare as best you can for the changes that await. In some cases, there may not be many major differences, but often, living in a different country can represent a culture shock.
Make a list of essential tasks
Moving overseas usually requires working through a substantial list of jobs. Make a list of essential tasks as soon as you have decided where to go and when you’re leaving. This should cover applying for visas, checking passport requirements, making sure you have the relevant documentation to work abroad and finding a place to live. You’ll also need to take care of jobs at home, including changing your address and cancelling contracts, subscriptions or deliveries. Give yourself as much time as possible to get organised to reduce stress and prevent last-minute panic.
Plan a farewell party
Relocating is an exciting opportunity, but for many people, there’s a mixture of emotions. It’s sad to say goodbye to friends, family members and colleagues but moving abroad is a brilliant excuse for a party. Plan a farewell gathering and make the most of every minute you have with loved ones. This will ensure you leave on a high.
Moving abroad has become increasingly popular. If you’re thinking about relocating, the upheaval of an international move may be putting you off. Upping sticks can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you plan ahead, get organised, research locations and get to know locals, life will be much easier.