Moving is always a huge transition, but moving overseas to a new country is even larger – new customs, new neighbors, perhaps even a new language. As you begin planning to move internationally, you’ll need to do a bit more than pack a box and turn in a change-of-address form.
Assemble Your Essentials
Your favorite sweater may feel essential, but these are the paperwork essentials. Before anyone packs anything, create a special case of passports, medical records, dental records, school records, transcripts, diplomas, insurance forms, birth certificates, marriage certificates and child custody paperwork.
Be sure you also have copies of bank accounts, credit card and other financial account numbers and usernames and passwords. If everything else is lost in the move (not that it will, of course), with this stack, you’ll have what you need to start putting your life back together again in your carryon.
Take Care of All Appointments
It’s amazing how many appointments you may need to make in your last weeks in your home country. You’ll need to visit your doctor, your dentist, your stylist, your insurance agent, your school counselor, your accountant and your lawyer. If you have children you’ll have their doctor and dentist visits as well as plenty of school appointments as well.
Get all essential files from those visits while you’re there, of course. Don’t forget your pet – he’ll need a visit to the vet, plenty of immunizations and his own copy of medical records as well. Keep all paperwork organized and on hand at all times. When your appointments are done, every member of your household and your insurance and bank accounts should be in good health and fine form and ready for adventure.
Sell Your Excess
The more you try to move to your new country, the more headaches you’re likely to have. It may be hard to part with all of your things, but do cull your collections a bit to sell items you’re simply not likely to need or things that aren’t worth the hassles of storing. Odd pieces of furniture, old book collections, clothing and accessories you don’t use and extra kitchen items – how many frying pans do you really need to move with you across the ocean?
This is especially true with electronics and appliances. The plugs may be different in your new home, and rather than buying expensive adaptors, it may be best to simply sell one television set and buy another one when you get there. The extra funds generated will be nice to have on hand, but not as much as the extra space and cost savings by having fewer possessions come moving time.
Follow a Checklist
Before you get overwhelmed by all there is to do, make a clear checklist of activities and essentials. There are many checklists and suggestions for international moves provided by specialists in the industry like FN Worldwide. These are an excellent place to start on identifying what needs to be done, but making your own list of specifics is even more important. Once you make your list, you can work and check things off as you go, keeping you on track and helping ensure all valuable jobs get done.