5 Often Overlooked To-Dos Before Moving Overseas


Sometimes opportunity doesn’t knock, it calls long distance. If you’re facing your first international move, knowing where to start can be tough. Take the time to jot down everything you need to accomplish on home soil. While spending time with family and deciding what to pack will be at the top of your list, here are 5 things to add to your to-dos before moving abroad.

There can be lots of paperwork to do before you leave, and not all countries have the same requirements. It’s best not to leave any documentation or visas until you’re at the airport overseas. Take time to research everything you’ll need filed in order to work and reside in your new country. The last thing you want to happen is to be denied entry. For peace of mind, use a professional international moving company to help you sort through the paperwork. They will work with you to ensure all the proper documentation is in place for a smooth transition.

Book a Professional Mover

Once you’ve figured out where you’re moving and when, it’s time to figure out how much stuff to take with you. If you’re planning on taking more than a suitcase, a good idea would be to get the help of a professional international mover. They have the resources to take care of the complex logistics of moving your belongings overseas so you can focus on the rest of your to-do list.

Setup an in-home estimate with a professional international mover to get an idea of how your belongings will be moved and your costs. If you’re moving for work, you may be able to negotiate your moving expenses into your offer.

Similar to the paperwork needed to enter the country, your belongings will also take specific documentation to import and export your things. An international move expert will work with you to ensure all documents are completed for an easy entry and to avoid any unnecessary delays.

If you’re uncertain about where you’ll be living when you get to your new country or if you don’t want to bring everything you own with you, an international mover can also help you with your storage options.

Health and Travel Insurance

If you’re moving abroad for a job, make sure health care coverage is offered by your new employer. Depending on the country you’re relocating to, it may not be a staple employee benefit. If it wasn’t included in the initial offer, consider negotiating it into your contract.

Health care coverage may not be extended to you during a probation period. It’s a good idea to buy medical or travel insurance to cover you from the minute you leave to when your coverage kicks in.

Get an International Driving Permit

If you’re planning to drive in your new country of residence, applying for an international driver’s permit while you’re still in Canada can save you time and the headache. As long as you possess a valid driver’s licenses, an international Driver’s Permit (IDP) allows Canadian drivers to drive in other countries without further tests or applications for one year from the date of issue. If you’re planning on staying longer than a year, it’s easy to reapply for a new one. To apply, visit the Canadian Automobile Association.

Before hitting the roads of your new home, orient yourself with the regulations of the roads and the various signs. You may need to become accustom to new rules like driving on the opposite side of the road or roundabouts if you’ve never previously encountered them. The best resource for traffic rules and conventions is your local driver’s license authority.

Before hitting the road abroad, it’s a good idea to contact your insurance company to know what you’re coverage is.

Unlock your phone

Don’t get stuck without a phone in a foreign place. Before boarding the plane, make sure you will be able to use your mobile phone at your destination. Local sim cards are quite easy to get in most countries. If you’re current device is tied to a Canadian carrier, you will want to unlock your phone before moving overseas. There are many independent tech companies that offer this service. Most telecommunication providers are happy to do this on your behalf.

Moving internationally is both an exciting and scary time. Give yourself time to get yourself in order and don’t be afraid to ask for help. With the proper preparation and support, it can be a smooth, even fun, experience.