Today, roughly 250 million people live in a different country than where they were born. For some couples, this happens due to jobs, dreams of warmer climates, the thrill of adventure, or family ties. No matter what the reason, leaving your home country is one of the biggest decisions and moves a couple can make. So, it should come as no surprise that the success of this venture depends on planning, and a lot of it. There’s always the obvious basics: setting up a new house and changing your address. However, no matter the reason for becoming an expatriate, moving abroad requires a little more foresight and planning to ensure a smooth transition, especially for couples moving abroad.
After all, nobody wants to find themselves stranded in a foreign land or struggling to get back home. Just like with any move, there will be some hiccups along the way. Thankfully, making a new life abroad is achievable with some good old-fashioned planning and knowledge. Scroll through the following 8 essential tips for couples moving abroad:
Visit First! Before you jump in feet first, make sure you visit the country. This will allow you to get a taste for the local atmosphere, culture, and look around at living conditions. It will give you an idea of what to expect and help you adjust to your new surroundings when you do move. As an added bonus, you can scout out housing, cost of living, and familiarize yourself with the area.
Go Digital! Scan and email yourself ALL important documents, such as: plane tickets, itineraries, marriage certificates, VISA’s, passports, birth certificates, medical records, wills, vaccination records, pet vaccination records, and more. This is an important step, because luggage gets lost, wallets get stolen, and bad things happen. Doing this will ensure that you have access to all personal identification and records from anywhere you can pull up email. This is vital, because if something were to happen to the original you can prove your identity or still have access to records while waiting for replacements. To gain a better understanding of what documents you will need, consider looking at the travel resources and recommendations for living abroad.
Save Your Money. Moving is not cheap, but moving to a new country can be costly. Prepare ahead and save, save, save. Know how much money a visa will cost or if there are other legal clearances you will need to have a better idea of how much capital to set aside. Also, consider travel costs, shipping costs, storage, return trips home, new furniture, vehicle costs, and possible taxes for two different countries. Be prepared to cover the costs of everything before you leave and experts recommend having some money set aside to live on for seven to nine months.
Secure your finances. We live in an age of instant money transactions, but moving abroad can cause delays and disruptions to our banking. It is important that we set up access to your finances in your new country before you move or as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to check into credit or debit cards that can be used in foreign countries. Many cards charge additional fees for international usage or they will freeze your account due to fear your information was stolen Ask for help at your current bank for more information.
Keep the Romance Alive! We all know moving can be stressful, especially if you are long distances away from family and friends. Make sure your partner knows he or she is appreciated, because you might be the only support system available until new friendships are formed. For added thoughtfulness, send bouquets of flowers, write little notes, do special activities, or mark date nights on your calendars.
Take Language Classes Together. Before departing, bond over learning the new language you will be speaking at your new home. Practice together and support each other so you can prevent confusion later down the road. Make sure you both learn basic phrases and words to make the first few days an easier transition.
Be Safe. Life happens and sometimes that involves stolen items, lost luggage, or accidents. Prevent further insult to injury, by planning ahead. Double check your vaccinations and make sure you are protected against common ailments in the new country. Consider taking a few dollars today to purchase traveler’s insurance to prevent major losses or financial setbacks on your journey. By purchasing travel insurance, we can ensure no mishaps ruin our new start. For added precautions, make sure you don’t flash valuables, walk around with expensive jewelry, go into dangerous areas, and be careful who you befriend. Use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
These tips don’t only apply to couples moving abroad so make sure to bookmark this page if you’re planning on starting your own live abroad journey. What tips do you have for moving abroad?