In today’s globalized world, an increasing number of people are moving away from home.
Whether they are moving for work, or for love, the fact remains that there are many expats out there. When preparing for a big move, there are a number of things that you can do to make life easier.

Being prepared makes moving less stressful

If you are moving out of your house in your home country, you need to make some arrangements. If possible, get important mail sent to your parents or a close friend. While many official communications are now sent online, you may still receive some important documents by post. Changing your address will save all sorts of hassle down the line.

For people that are planning to be away for a while, it may also be important to register to vote at a different address. Anyone with an interest in exercising their right to vote should register with their local authority at their parents’ home, or the home of a close friend.
Another important point for those that are moving for a number of years is to maintain a small utility bill in your name. In many situations you will be asked to provide proof that you have bills in your name.

While you might not think that this is important when you are living abroad, it could get you into some difficulty if you decide to move home. Getting the cheapest SIM-only phone contract registered to an address is a good way of doing this. You might not be using any of the calls or texts when you are abroad, but the bills will maintain an official record of your presence in the country.

Check your finances

It is also incredibly important to check that your financial products are the best ones that you can have for your new life. Check how much your debit and credit cards charge you for using them abroad, and switch to the best provider available.

You should also make sure to take at least two cards with you whenever you are abroad. One can be your primary card, and the other can be kept in reserve in case you have any problems withdrawing money.

Anyone moving abroad for a substantial length of time would be wise to renew their credit and debit cards before they go. Getting new cards will mean that they have a longer expiry date, and save you the hassle of shipping new cards out to your new home.

Looking ahead to your new life

Now that you have covered your bases at home, it’s time to think about your new destination. If you will be applying for jobs or leasing property, look up which documents you will be required to provide. Print out copies of these documents and email them to yourself for easy access.

Visas can also be an issue in some countries. Always apply for the correct visa before you travel, and check how long you will be allowed to remain in the country. You may find that there are different requirements for different visas, and it’s important to apply for the right one to avoid any problems further down the line.

Research is key for a successful move, and that applies to many different areas. If you need a place to rent, contact local estate agents and sign up to Facebook groups which offer rooms.

Signing up to sites like Couchsurfing can help you to meet people in your new city, even if you don’t plan to sleep on their sofa. For those of you that are moving to be with a partner, be aware that meeting people outside of their family and friends is incredibly important if your relationship is to last.

As with most things in life, preparation is key. Getting a place to live ready and scheduling some social events to attend will help you start your new life on the front foot. While this may not be an option in every country, it certainly pays off if you can manage to do it.
One of the best ways to do this is to find a community of people from your country that already live in your next destination. You might not want to stick with the expat community forever, preferring to integrate into the local culture, but the help of people that have already done what you are trying to do could be invaluable at the beginning.