Moving abroad can be an exciting adventure but getting there is usually quite the opposite. For expats, it can be nothing short of a necessary evil as they juggle winding down their life ‘here’ while winding it up ‘there’. It’s geographical, logistical, physical, and let’s not forget, emotional. Having a good checklist driven by a reasonable timeline can significantly reduce the stress, among a few other really good moving guidelines.
A GOOD CHECKLIST AND TIMELINE:
A good checklist will break any monstrous task into bite-size, edible chunks. There are common, obvious elements that every good moving checklist should have, and then there are those un-obvious items that tend to be overlooked. Many great checklists can be found online, such as this one.
Here are some of the more obvious items on a good checklist:
CONTACT EMBASSY / CONSULATE:
They will guide you through all documentation requirements, such as: visas, passports, permits, vaccines, insurances, duties and custom charges for shipments, and rules governing pets. It is ideal to start this process no later than 90 to 60 days before departure.
Notify all utilities, cell phone carriers, subscription services (from internet to magazines), financial institutions, and the post office of how and when you want items handled while you are abroad. Arrange cut off dates and final bills. Bank and credit cards will have to be activated for international use or changed all together. Establish overseas banking if needed and arrange cash (in both currencies) while travelling. Get extra cash. Explore mobile phone coverage options with your carrier as well as options where you are relocating to.
Copies of relevant records should be gathered no less than 60 days from departure. Consider including any children’s school papers, report cards, etc., along with all medical records, marriage and birth certificates, and proof of citizenship.
Contracting with a reliable shipper is high priority. Identify items to be shipped versus what is to be carried with you. Plan how and when the packing will be done. Book flights, accommodations and transportation. Don’t forget, as a Baymac member you have access to our international shipping insurance!
Look out for our Part 2 Guideline with some of our more un-obvious checklist items!