Moving Abroad: 34 Things you Should Definitely be Preparing

Here you will find the ultimate list of tips on moving abroad -perfect if you’ve decided that you’re moving to a different country. There is a lot to think about when moving abroad, so here are 34 essential things to prepare before your move: what you should be doing and when you should be doing it.


Make sure that you try and get these things done as soon as possible:

  1. Passports: Make sure that your passport is up-to-date, you can’t exactly move abroad without this!
  2. Visa: Make sure that you have researched what kind of visa you need in the country you’re moving to and that you have everything ready before your move.
  3. Finalise moving date: Deciding what day to move will make your move abroad become more of a reality, it will give you something to aim towards.
  4. Your Existing Home: Contact agents, arrange for it to be looked after until sold or let – employ an agent to manage it as it’s possibly your greatest asset. If letting you’ll need to tell your mortgage company what your plans are. If renting check out if you can terminate the tenancy so don’t have to keep paying rent.
  5. Research removal companies: It’s best to do some research into which moving company can provide you with the services that you want for your budget. Why not look at our top 10 international removals page for an idea on which companies can help you move country.
  6. Learn the local language: Moving to a different country may mean that you’re moving somewhere where they don’t speak English. Why not try out some language lessons before you leave?

Moving Abroad

Moving Country in 6 weeks

Once you’ve taken care of the first steps of organising your move abroad, you can begin to do these:

  1. Measure the Volume of your move: If you are planning on moving your furniture abroad, calculating the volume you want to move can save you time when requesting quotes from removal companies.
  2. Request removal quotes: Moving to a different country with all of your belongings can be expensive, which is why it’s so important to compare quotes! Use our quick and easy form to receive up to 5 free removal quotes.
  3. Obtain your medical records: Let your dentist and doctor know that you’re moving abroad.
  4. Notify your local council: Let your local council know that you’re moving abroad so that you don’t get taxed twice.
  5. Check travel arrangements for yourself: Book your flights, ferry, train etc.

4 weeks until moving abroad

With one month to go before your international move, it’s time to get these things organised:

  1. Prepare your car: If you’re taking your car or other vehicle with you, make sure that your driving license and insurance covers you in your new country and that your MOT is up-to-date
  2. Insurance cover: One of the biggest tips on our moving abroad checklist! Most removal companies will include basic insurance within their price, however, to avoid any nasty surprises, we suggest that you take out extra insurance.
  3. Make a list: Write down what you want to take with you, what you want to be put in storage and what you want to throw away!
  4. Sort out your mail and subscriptions: Cancel club memberships and arrange for your mail to be redirected.

moving abroad

2 weeks until the move abroad

The day is getting closer and closer! Don’t forget to:

  1. Contact your electoral office: As this is a ‘moving abroad checklist’, we can’t forget that you will still be eligible to vote in UK elections whilst living abroad. Remember to ask your electoral office about getting postal voting forms.
  2. Dismantle large items of furniture: This will make it easier on moving day to load items into the removal vans.
  3. Get your bank accounts in order: Let your banks know that you’re moving abroad. You may choose to close your bank accounts within the UK and transfer your money abroad. Look at our page for the best international experts on moving money abroad.
  4. Clean soiled items like outside furniture: This will reduce the risk of fumigation/quarantine charges at your destination.

1 week to go!

Now that it’s only a week left, you should have most of your furniture ready to be shipped. There are a few important things to take care of:

  1. Collect all important documents: Make sure that they are ready to carry them with you on your move. Make photocopies and put these in a safe place.
  2. Exchange some money for foreign currency: This will be handy to have on your arrival.
  3. Organise your furniture: Label furniture and draw up a plan of your new home so you’re your moving company can see where everything will go. Check out our moving tips to make moving abroad easier.
  4. Pack luggage for your journey: Once you’ve packed the majority of your furniture, you can start to pack the clothes you want to take with you and other items.
  5. Call up your removal company: Check that everything is in place, all the services that you have requested and that the moving date is in place.

1-3 days Before

These are very last minute things that will help you make leaving your home easier:

  1. Start to empty and defrost your fridge and freezer: It’s best if they don’t leak in the removals van.
  2. Let your neighbours know you’re moving: Make sure there is space outside of your house for the removal vans.
  3. Pack items that you’re travelling with: Travel Documents, Passports, clothes, currency, medicines in your car or hand luggage

Moving Abroad

Moving Day!

The day is here! Now all you have to do is:

  1. Double check all your rooms: Check cupboards, loft, shed etc. Make sure you haven’t forgotten anything!
  2. Verify Delivery Plans: When your removal company comes to pick up your belongings, double check the delivery date and go through the inventory list with them.
  3. Last minute: If no one is moving into your old home, turn off the power and drain/turn off the water supply, lock up and hand over the keys to your estate agents

After the Move

After all the months and weeks of planning, you’ve finally moved! Here are some tips on how to settle in:

  1. Register: Once you’ve moved it’s best to register with your local municipality as soon as you can. This will let the government know you have moved there and they can provide you with everything you need in order to get paid if you’re working.
  2. Open a bank account: If you haven’t already organised to transfer your money over, then definitely open up a bank account!
  3. Get Health Insurance: It may be mandatory to get health insurance when you’ve moved, so make sure that you do this and then register with your local doctors practice.
  4. Look at expat groups: Moving to a completely new country can be difficult, which is why finding other expats within your area can help! Why not read someone’s experience on moving to Lisbon from the UK and starting a new life.