Whether you’re planning a move to the UK, where things are at least somewhat similar to what you’re used to in the U.S., or you’re going farther afield, being prepared for an international move is vital. No matter how similar the country might seem, there will be some stark differences. The following 10 things should help make your move more successful.
1. Prepare for Culture Differences
Even between two countries that are as seemingly similar as the U.S. and England, there are stark cultural differences. When you consider the differences between the US and Portugal, or somewhere like Estonia or Thailand, they become even greater. Prepare for these differences by reading about your soon-to-be home.
2. Learn the Lingo
If you’re moving to a country where English is not the primary language, consider taking language lessons before you leave.
3. Update Your Medical Records
Make sure that your medical records are up to date. The same goes for your children if they will be going with you.
4. Choose an Established Expert
You will need professional help moving internationally. Choose a company with plenty of experience and that handles lots of international moves each year, including personal moves and business relocations.
5. Plan Excursions
Moving to another country (as opposed to taking a vacation) often means neglecting looking for things to see and do. Don’t do that. Plan a quick trip to a couple of sites or head to a nearby beach. Take a break and really appreciate your new country.
6. Get Travel Documents Early
You will need a passport to get into your new place of residence. Make sure you have all your travel documents in hand well ahead of time.
7. Know the Layout
Get a map of the city in which you’ll be living and study it. Learn the layout. Tools like Google Maps and Google Street View can also be invaluable tools.
8. Dining Concerns
Find out what the local cuisine is like and plan to try it out. Know where you can go to get a taste of home as well, even if it’s just a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza.
9. Locate the U.S. Consulate
Make sure you know where to find the U.S. consulate/embassy and the phone number, as well as the names of crucial staffers.
10. Money Matters
More important than knowing the exchange rate, you need a banking solution in your new home that works with your needs.
Planning for an international move does not have to be frightening or stressful. These 10 tips should give you a good foundation.