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Tips for moving overseas as a family

Are you getting organised to move overseas? Are you taking action or do you wait till all your ducks are in a row? 
Many people like to be totally organised before they do anything. Not I, I believe sometimes we need to take a leap of faith and jump in before we’re ready. When we do this we may end up on shore upstream but at least we’ve started and progressed forward.
My husband and I have travelled to live overseas multiple times and each time we’d set a date and know things would work out.  Yes, we need to organise lots of things before we move but moving overseas to live is not difficult to organize. You just need a plan.

Reasons for moving overseas to live.

There are many reasons people move overseas to live. When I first left home it was for the experience of working in a different country. When we moved to Australia, it was for my husband to learn English and to live in a warmer climate. And, of course, we fell in love with Australia after travelling here. It is such an awesome place to live and bring up a family.

People migrate for a multitude of reasons like;

  • Family
  • Employment
  • Retiring Abroad
  • Cost of living
  • Weather
  • Politics

There is some planning required when you move overseas.

Tip. Recommended is visiting the country you want to move to prior to moving there. Take a holiday there. Try to go to places that are not touristy to experience it like a local.

5 essential tips to help you with preparing to move overseas.

5 Things to consider when moving overseas to live.

Getting organized for an overseas move is not similar to planning for a trip.  It takes more than just packing a few personal items.

Packing your belongings.

The first time we moved overseas, we had to sell some house furniture and gave out some items to a few friends, neighbours who would make use of them and to charity. The reason we chose to sell our items was to condense what we were taking with us overseas.

When shipping a complete household for 3- 4 people the dollars quickly add up. If you plan to ship your complete household, get some quotes on shipping only and door to door services.
We found the door to door service extremely useful as it freed up lots of time. Time to focus on other arrangements. With door to door, the company will tailor a package for you which can include packing your items and writing your inventory list which is required for international moves.

Having moved between Switzerland, Australia and Jersey quite a few times, we soon discovered what was important to us to pack and ship and what to let go of.
When Carsten and I moved to Australia the first time, we came with only a few belongs in our backpacks. When we left Australia to return to Switzerland with a child in tow, we shipped our complete household. Having yo-yoed between the countries we soon learnt the value of memories and what items to take for the flight and what items to ship or leave behind.
Practice makes perfect and we’ve moved plenty of times.

Tip: Check the country you are moving from and to for requirements as you can not take certain items into some countries. Using a reliable packing and shipping service is one way to pack and list every item being shipped.

It is up to you to know the requirements of what can be exported and imported from the countries your travelling between. Therefore, doing your research on moving to a new country is important.

Rental arrangements, abroad and at home.

This is one of the most important items in any moving abroad checklist. We had to find out who will acquire our home. How he or she will be paying and with the same breath,  find affordable housing in the new country.
Moving or relocating is not similar to visiting or touring a new country.  In moving you must find a place where you and your family will stay and this entails a home, not a hotel where you can spend a few days.

When it comes to finding a new place to call home, we have always stayed with people we know or in holiday accommodation until we’ve found a home suitable.  Naturally, we’d search online for rentals in the area we were moving too. We also built relationships with the real estates prior to moving.

Tip: Take written rental referrals with you. Many countries don’t enquire overseas, a written referral may help.

If you are renting ensure to give the correct notice of termination or accept the payout fees. If you move into a rental in a new country, discuss a short term lease prior to committing to a long term lease in case the area is not where you wish to settle.

Arranging your passports and other travel documents.

This is by far one of the most important tips on things to do before moving overseas.
When travelling to an overseas country, it is vital to ensure that you get all your travel documents in order.

  • If you have never had a passport before, allow plenty of time to apply prior to travelling.
  • Arrange any working Visa and other documents that would guarantee entry into the country your moving to.
  • Check if you need health insurance. Depending on your reason for moving overseas or even your age, you may need health insurance.

Be a smart traveller by researching living overseas. What you need, safety and tips that will help you before, during and after your travel. Make sure that you check out the requirements of entering into a new country and get all the documents before moving. Some countries require that your passport is valid for at least 6 months prior to commencing travelling. Your passport also needs to be valid for a certain period of time after your return date too. Check all this out with your passport office or consulate.

Organizing your flights.

Different airlines offer different packages. If flying long distance, check how long the wait is for connecting flights. Also, check your landing time is suitable for you. Find out the baggage allowance and how much it is for excess baggage.
If you already have a job to start, plan to arrive a week earlier than the job start date. This way, you can find somewhere to live, by a car or find your way around prior to jugging a job.
Book your flights and then plan towards meeting the date of departure.
Planning ahead of time will ensure that everything works out well. If travelling with children, ensure you book any special requirements like food, travel cot and have some of your child’s favourite toys with you for the flight.  

Related post: 7 tips on flying long haul flights with a baby, with children.

Organizing jobs and schools for the family.

You must have a plan on what you are going to do in order to live and sustain your family in the country you are about to move to. You need also to plan on where your kids will be going to school. This calls for research on the available job openings and good schools for your children.

On our third trip back to Australia, we knew which area we were going to be moving too. We were, however, unsure of the suburb to look for accommodation and schooling in.  Although we had done some research online with reference to schools in the area, we were not 100% certain. How could we be, we hadn’t lived here before.
On arrival to the Central Coast, Australia, we visited a local family restaurant and asked families “If you could send your child to any public school in the area, which one would you send them too?” Most families gave the same answer.  Now we knew the school, we went to the real estate and asked to view rentals that were zoned to that school. In Australia, houses are zoned to schools, but once you’ve commenced in a school, if you move house, you can remain in the school.

Tip: Ensure to check if you need to live within a certain area for the school you would like your children to attend.

Taking action to move abroad.

Moving abroad is not an easy thing. We never waited to tick all the boxes one side of the world before moving. We took action on what we could do to move towards the goal and the destination. If we had waited till all the ducks were aligned and swimming together we’d never have experienced life the way we have.

  • Organize the packing of your belongings.
  • Sort out your current and future accommodation.
  • Arrange your travel documents.
  • Look into and book your flights.
  • Research jobs and schools.
  • Have a safe and fun time abroad.

Travelling to be closer to family or to our chosen home in Australia was always important to us. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way.

Lifestyle Anytime

Angie blogs about setting goals and mastering habits as well as productivity and living abroad. She started blogging while learning the skills to start an online business. Her goal to work online came about due to wanting to see overseas family and travel around Australia. Her mission is to help others succeed with their goals. Angie often shares tips and tricks while walking the beaches or near the lake on the Central Coast NSW Australia. 

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