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Relocating to a new country isn't just a move; it can be a complete leap into the unknown. As an international moving company born in the hustle and bustle of NYC and seasoned with decades of global experience, we understand the intricacies and challenges of making such a big change. That's why we've put together the definitive international moving checklist. It's designed not just to help you move your belongings, but to ensure you land on your feet, ready to embrace your new life abroad with confidence and ease

Introduction - What to Consider When Moving to Another Country

The world of international relocation is as varied as the countries themselves. Every move –  whether it's to a neighboring country in North America or a far off destination overseas – comes with its unique set of challenges and adventures. The key to a seamless transition lies in meticulous planning. To guide you through this complex process, we've curated a list of 10 essential items for your relocation checklist. Make sure to tick these off before you embark on your journey, ensuring a smooth and stress-free move to your new home.

Tip 1: Do Your Homework First-Hand

No matter your destination country, it will take some readjusting. So contact those distant family members and expat friends, dig out that passport, book that ticket, and go explore. You don’t necessarily need to be fluent in the language just yet, but you absolutely must get to know your new home country in person. Because having at least a general idea about the local laws, customs, tax system, and day-to-day culture is essential when moving abroad. And knowing a trustworthy local (or three) — especially some fellow expats — will also prove vital as you get settled in.

Tip 2: Budget Wisely

Gathering first-hand knowledge will also give you a good idea of travel costs, moving costs, shipping costs, and your overall new cost of living. Because actually moving countries is by no means cheap — even if you’re moving to a cheaper place. So check those bank accounts (and currency conversion rates), get those spreadsheets ready, and prepare for some heavy-duty international math.

Tip 3: Stay Diligent

The World Wide Web is a great resource for all sorts of info about your new home. Doing your research, talking to people, and exploring first-hand will also give you a good sense of what not to do. For example, many major cities in Europe — such as Lisbon, Rome, etc. — are rampant with housing scams preying on tourists and expats who don’t know the lay of the land.  So make sure you learn the proper channels, and trust your instincts.

Stay Diligent

Tip 4: Sort Your Paperwork

This is perhaps the most tedious but also most important step. Because whatever the reason for your move, it’s gonna require the proper documentation. At the very least — a valid passport and an itinerary. But you may also need school records, medical records, and social security cards. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and new driver’s licenses. Visas, travel insurance, and work permits. And so on. In short, be prepared for a whole array of legal fun stuff you may have never even heard of. Fortunately, the American government — and the official government websites of your destination country —  can help.

Tip 5: Prioritize Your Health

Along with all the important documents above, you’ll also want to make sure you’re in good hands when it comes to healthcare. Plenty of companies online offer international health insurance. However, each country will obviously also have its own unique health insurance policies and providers — often much cheaper than those in the U.S. of A. So consult your doctor, do a thorough check-up, fill those prescriptions, and get the proper immunizations. Do your medical homework, and try to keep those stress levels down while at it.

Tip 6: Don’t Forget Your Pet(s)

Speaking of immunizations, know that transporting your furry friends is no small feat either. Luckily, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help your pets (and/or plants) arrive safe and sound too.

Tip 7: Tie Up Loose Ends

Once your paperwork, health, and pets (and/or plants) are sorted, it’s time to start saying goodbye. Cancel those magazine subscriptions. Reach out to your postal service with your new forwarding address. Make sure your cell phone is ready to travel too (i.e., you’ll likely have a new phone number once abroad). Talk to your landlord, neighbors, bank, boss, friends, family, and whoever else needs to know that you’re starting a new life. And note that it’s always a good call to have an emergency contact or two back in the States as well.

Tip 8: Pack Wisely

Now that you’re almost an expat, it’s time to pack up your home. Research and compare various methods of overseas transport — such as shipping containers, air freights, and so on. If you don’t plan to be playing your piano on your first day abroad, consider putting it in storage. Pack light, and get rid of anything that feels like extra weight — your neighbors and friends will thank you. Remember that you’ll also likely be able to get most basic household goods abroad. But you will want to have a carry-on with all your essentials — such as medications, travel documents, your keys, extra clothes, and some cash.

Pack Wisely

Tip 9: Find The Right Movers

While moving next door can be a DIY project, moving abroad is definitely not. Oz Moving is a one-stop shop for your international move. From bespoke packing and crating to customs clearance, we’ve got every detail covered. It can be tempting to cut corners with freight forwarders or to let third-party agents take control of the process, but our experience shows that the potential issues present too much risk. Why put your precious belongings in the hands of anyone other than an experienced mover who will stand with you every step of the way?

Tip 10: Have Fun! 

And, finally — after you’ve done all your last-minute checks — prepare for the adventure of a life-time. Moving abroad is a game-changer in every sense of the word. And while it’s by no means a walk in the park, it can end up being one of the best moves of your life. So try to enjoy every second of it — before, after, and even during the moving day itself!


How can I estimate the cost of my international move?

Your overall costs will depend on a whole array of factors. How far you’re going, how much time and stuff you have, what services you’re paying for, insurance, customs and taxes, and so on. Overall, moving from the U.S. can cost as little as $1,000 or upwards of $10,000. And relocating a studio to Canada will obviously be cheaper than moving a house to Australia or Japan. So your best bet is to just get out that calculator and plan way ahead.

How far in advance should I start planning my international move?

And to plan way ahead, we recommend you give yourself at least six months before your actual move date. But more if you can. That is — to visit your new home, pack up your old one, finalize your paperwork, and give yourself some breathing room between countries too.

What are the key documents required for an international move?

You’ll definitely need your passport. And if you’re living abroad for more than six months — a visa, work permit, and much much more. Check out Tip 4 above for an idea, but double-check with your destination country’s specific requirements too.

How to pack efficiently for an international move?

And, finally, packing for a move efficiently — be it local or international — is one of OZ’+s many areas of expertise. So think big, give yourself plenty of time, and then check out our Ultimate Guide to Packing for A Move. It will help guarantee that you’ll feel right at home in no time — no matter what part of the globe you’re heading to. 

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