How to Prepare for Moving Overseas

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Moving across town can be a hassle, but moving overseas can be a stress-inducing nightmare if you don’t know how to prepare. Follow a few simple tips to make the process easier.

Find an Apartment

If you have relocated overseas but still need to find an apartment, wor with an information center set up for foreign residents, or contact your country’s embassy abroad. If possible, visit the country ahead of time so you can tour properties, set up payments and find an apartment that works for you.

The Cost of Moving

The cost of moving overseas is outrageous because of shipping costs. A storage facility could cost around $600 a year, but shipping costs overseas range from almost $60 for a small box to several thousand dollars for large boxes. Shipping by boat is much cheaper than shipping by air, but you’ll be without your items for a period of several weeks. To minimize costs, carefully look over your belongings to decide what you do and do not use or really want, and only ship items you need (but not immediately) by boat.

Sort Your Belongings

Start sorting your belongings as much as a month prior to your move. Ask a friend or family member to store some items of sentimental value or items you’ll need once you move back, if they have the space. Otherwise, consider a storage facility. Hold a garage sale or donate items you can do without in order to make your new life easier. Know What to Leave Behind

It’s easier to rent a car or take advantage of public transportation (which is often much more reliable and convenient in Europe and Asia than in the US) overseas than to ship your car. Likewise, renting or purchasing used furniture is more convenient than taking your own. Many electrical devices work differently when moving overseas, so don’t bother taking them with. However, do take a laptop and computer accessories with you, as they’re most often cheaper in the US and can be easily adapted to foreign use with new electrical cords.

Know What to Take

Pack a medium-sized wardrobe (enough to mix and match for a week or two) and a few toiletries to last you the first few days of your arrival (you can easily pick up toiletries once you’re there). Pack a few items of entertainment, like books and games, but not the whole bookshelf. Make copies of important documents (birth certificate, taxes, etc.) and bring them with you, but keep the originals stored away.

Set Up Your Bank Account and Automatic Payments

Moving overseas means you have to set up a bank account overseas and make sure that all your debts are taken care of back home. Speak with your bank about opening an account at a foreign bank with enough money for you to make payments on your apartment and purchase groceries and other necessities for at least a few months. If you still have outstanding debts at home, set up automatic payments and make sure you keep the accounts with enough funds to cover all payments. Moving overseas is a daunting but worthwhile task. Tackle the enormity of the task one step at a time and you’ll soon be making memories abroad that will last a lifetime.

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