You’ve done it. You’ve decided to make that big move to the country of your dreams and it’s a few days before the departure date.
You’re running over and over your checklists of things you have to do before you go, sure you’ve forgotten something both important and obvious. You scour the internet looking for essential checklists: perhaps this is how you found this article.
This is by no means a definitive list, merely a little checklist of the few things that might not have even crossed your mind as the weeks and days tick away until Departure Day.
The last thing you want to happen when you’ve arrived abroad is to realise you’re still being billed for services that you should have cancelled before you left.
Gym memberships usually expect a few months notice when you cancel so it’s important to make sure you’re on the ball and get this one done as soon as you know you’re moving abroad.
Phone contracts have similar rules; you’re expected to pay off an entire contract if you want to cancel it. Any other subscriptions such as magazine and TV subscriptions, milk deliveries or window cleaning services should be cancelled as well. You can get advice on your consumer rights on the Citizen’s Advice website.
Medical Documents and Prescriptions
It might seem like a given but so many people forget to register for their European Health Insurance Card EHIC) These cards are absolutely free of charge and give you the right to free or reduced-cost medical care in any country which is a member of the European Economic Area (plus Switzerland).
You’re unlikely to have found a GP in the time before moving to your new country, so it’s also a good idea to stock up on any necessary prescriptions (contraceptives, allergy pills, insulin for diabetics and so on) until you’re able to sort out getting a GP abroad.
You arrive at your new home abroad after hours of travelling. You lug your suitcases into your new sitting room and take a step back and observe your new surroundings. You then pull out your phone charger to charge your phone so you can let your family back in the UK know that you’ve arrived safe and sound — only to find that the electrical sockets aren’t the same as the UK ones. Cue a frantic rush to the nearest electrical store and way more money spent than if you’d thought to purchase them before your move.
If you’re moving your entire family and life abroad, then you’re likely to be taking a lot of your electrical products along with you. You can pick up travel adaptors online and in supermarkets for mere pounds and save yourself the anxiety when you arrive and realise that you can’t straighten your hair for your job interview the next day. An inconvenience which could be easily avoided.
Pro tip: Take a couple of UK extension leads too, that way you can plug in several devices with just one travel adaptor!
If you’re moving to a country outside of Europe, chances are you’ll need to get vaccinations to protect yourself from foreign bodies. These should be done weeks before you jet off, to make sure they’ve entered your system properly, but how far in advance depends on where exactly you’re going and what you’re being immunised against. You can find out more information on the NHS website.
If you’re taking your pets with you, they’ll definitely need to have vaccinations or face long periods of time in quarantine upon arrival. I can’t think of anything worse than having to leave my pet alone when I’ve just arrived in a new place, so think ahead and make sure your pets are safely vaccinated before you set foot on a plane.
Moving abroad and leaving the comforts that you’re used to is bound to be tough. You can make things slightly easier for yourself by taking a few home comforts along for the ride with you...just enough to tide you over until you work out whether you can purchase them in your new home or not.
Waking up in the morning gasping for a cup of tea is made much easier if you packed a decent supply of your beloved Yorkshire tea (and a pack or three of chocolate digestives) in your suitcase.
Other little home comforts, such as your child’s favourite magazine or sweets, and even silly things such as sachets of salad cream ease that longing for something familiar.
Moving abroad is an amazing, overwhelming experience and if you forget something, remember that it’s not the end of the world. Things can be bought locally, documents can be posted overseas by family members and the world will continue turning, but reducing stress ultimately allows for a happier move.
Why not start as you mean to go on in your new life? Happy and stress-free, with all the things you need in your life.
Posted in Expat Resources on Jun 8 2017