Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Moving abroad and settling down in a new country can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life, but there are some common mistakes you should certainly avoid to make the relocation a stress-free process.
Over the years we’ve seen plenty of common mistakes made by expats moving abroad. To help you avoid these mishaps and to make your move as stress free as possible we’ve put together our list of the five most common mistakes with tips on how to avoid them.
1. Not hiring the right international removal company
The safety of your belongings is crucial when you are moving abroad, so take time to research all potential international removal companies
. As your belongings will be shipped far away, it is essential that you choose an experienced and professional moving company. Make sure to arrange all the formalities with the movers on time, to find out what services they offer and what you will have to arrange yourself. Many people are tempted to choose the cheapest relocation agent available, however be wary of companies providing unrealistically low estimates. Also make sure that your chosen removal company is fully insured and licensed, and ensure that your belongings are fully insured before the move.
2. Not planning the move
Moving abroad takes planning and preparation. Organisation is crucial to make your move as hassle-free as possible. Before you start packing you should create detailed lists of everything you need to do before you move. Once you’ve made this list you can start planning a schedule of what needs to be done. This will ensure that you don’t have to do everything at the last minute and that you can stay on top of everything at all times.
3. Not researching your destination
make the mistake of not knowing their destination well enough to decide if they genuinely want to move there. Have you spent a two-week vacation in a foreign country and decided that this is where you want to live? This is certainly not the best way to find an expat
destination, as you will almost definitely be unrealistic about your expectations. Whether you are moving to France
, with relatively similar cultures or to China
, where you’re likely to encounter vast cultural differences, it is essential that you know your new country’s culture, living conditions, and the city where you are planning to move. The internet is a great source of information to get to know you new country better, and it’s also a good idea to visit the country a few times before moving there. These trips shouldn’t be holidays though, they should be research trips that will allow you to understand what to expect when you actually move there.
4. Not making financial calculations
make the mistake of underestimating their financial needs when moving abroad. Estimating how much the actual move will cost is relatively easy based on the removal quote you get from your chosen company. But you will also have to think of all the initial costs in your new country, such as renting or buying a house, buying essentials like furniture and cooking equipment, as well as every day living costs
. While you’re still planning your move you need to make sure you research how much all this will cost. You don’t want to end up in your new country and be broke straight away.
5. Moving for the wrong reason
Moving abroad will unsettle your normal life and that of your family’s, so you need to think properly about why you want to leave before you go. Relocation can certainly be an amazing life experience, but settling down is often hard work, and you’re not very likely to find your place if you’ve just moved abroad to escape from something else. If you have a passion for your new country’s culture, or if you are sure that your professional opportunities or living conditions will be improved, you’ll find the whole moving process much easier, and you are unlikely to decide after a couple of months that the whole relocation was a mistake.
Are you an expat? If so, what do you think are some of the hardest things about moving to a new country? Let us know by leaving a comment below.