Tips on preparing for your move
Relocating overseas is an exciting experience, yet the flurry of preparation beforehand can overshadow one crucial consideration – how to give your relocation the best chance of succeeding. If you are planning for your move abroad to be a permanent one there are some steps you can take to give yourself the best possible start. Here are our top ten practical tips to help you prepare for your move.
Time is a luxury that many people don’t have in abundance when it comes to relocating, but the more time you can put aside to do some research, the better. While the thought might be off-putting, it will pay dividends later on and help you to avoid often costly mistakes.
Consider what you would set up if you moved house within the UK, such as a phone line, utilities and council tax, and find out what information you will be required to provide in order to do this in your new location. The team at Crown will be able to offer you advice and point you in the right direction. Alternatively, there is plenty of information available on the internet. Have a read of the 'Where' pages of our own website or check government and service provider sites for more details and legal requirements.
2. Create a ‘to do’ list
Organise a list of actions and give each one a deadline. You will need plenty of time to plan – arranging work opportunities, organising vaccinations and applying for your visa will all need to be done in advance of your move. Closer to your move, you will need to start thinking about your banking and finance arrangements, organise health insurance and review any membership contracts you may have in the UK. The more carefully and further in advance you plan, the less likely you will be to forget something vital and, importantly, you will feel less stressed! If you need help getting your list started try Crown’s 'mymove' tool, which is tailored to your particular destination and relocation date.
3. The documents you need
Be sure to take with you important documents (and backup copies of these) such as passports, visa documents, birth certificates, drivers license and medical records, as well any school/qualification documents. It’s important that these types of documents are kept in a safe place to avoid being packed away or lost. There may be customs forms and insurance documents that you need to fill out before your move, so ensure you find out the specific papers required for the destination you are moving to as each country’s requirements will be different.
4. Learn about your new country
It is perfectly natural to experience culture shock when you arrive so it can be very beneficial to prepare yourself for those differences. You may think that some countries have similar cultures to the UK, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel the effects of culture shock. No matter how alike the countries are, it can often help to take part in an intercultural training course to get a true understanding of the new culture.
The more you know about your new surroundings the better placed you will be to connect with the locals and understand the way the country is governed. If you can, visit your new location before you move as this will also give you an idea of what to expect.
5. Finding local places of interest
Locating places in advance that you will need to visit once you have arrived, such as a supermarket, can be a great time and stress saver. It would be worthwhile marking them on a map so that you can find your way around when you’re out and about. Crucially, it also means you won’t need to rely on the internet when you arrive. After all, it could take some time to organise phone lines and internet access for your new home.
This is also a useful way to help you establish elements of your current lifestyle that you wish to continue, such as going to a gym, cinema or restaurants. Doing the activities that you are used to will help you to avoid feeling homesick. If you do find yourself feeling down or disappointed about the relocation, try to be realistic about the issues you are facing and then get out and about. Find places or hobbies you enjoy and establish routines that will work for you.
6. Explore every opportunity for employment
Whether you’re relocating on your own or with your family, arranging a job from afar can be tricky, but don’t give up hope. The benefits of a stable job are clear. If you are employed in your new location, you will become accustomed to the local area much more quickly. Working will help you to establish a degree of routine and will build upon your personal contacts, while immersing you quickly in the local culture. Try to keep focused on what you would like to do and get in touch with as many companies as possible before your move, so that you have something lined up for when you arrive.
7. Finding the perfect pad
You will feel more settled if you have somewhere to call your own, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy a house! Simply find somewhere that you can use as a permanent base rather than relying on a hotel. If you’re relocating on your own and don’t like the thought of renting a property by yourself, look on reputable websites for potential house shares.
Remember to take into account the local area when choosing your new home. Making sure you pick somewhere that has easy access to your job, suitable schools and the local amenities will allow you to familiarise yourself with the area more quickly and get used to your surroundings.
8. Secure school places
Routines can be very important for children so attending school shortly after you arrive can help both you and your children to establish a routine and settle in. By arranging a school for your child before the relocation, you will avoid a last minute panic to find somewhere suitable when you arrive.
If you have time before your final move to visit schools in the area, you will have a chance to explore the facilities, meet the teachers and get a feel for what kind of school you want your child to attend. This may also play a part in the areas you look at to find your new house or rental property.
Organisation is the key to a smooth move. It’s important that you are organised and allow plenty of time to prepare and de-clutter, and this is a perfect opportunity to have a clear out. You can never start preparing too early, so think about what you really need to take and arrange your possessions according to which room they belong in. Decide which items you want to dispose of, ship or store in advance. Ensure you have spoken to your Move Manager about any prohibited items you’re unable to take with you as this may cause problems later on.
As the time draws closer, set aside all those items that you don’t want to be packed in the shipment. This should include your passport and other important documents (as noted before), medicines, tickets, money and jewellery. Keep these items in a safe place and make sure the packing team know they’re not to be packed.
10. Make it work for you
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Simply put, there's nothing quite like research to set your relocation in the right direction; seek as much assistance as you can to help to ease the burden and get your friends and family involved in the process – they will be more than happy to help you prepare and get the best start you can on your exciting new journey.