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Relocating abroad: Your checklist before leaving

Moving abroad can be daunting, particularly if you are doing it for the first time and even more so if you are having to uproot your entire family. Fear not though, there are several measures you can take before setting off to ensure a smooth, hassle-free move.

Health checks for the family
First and foremost, what is more important than your health? Quite frankly, nothing. So this is definitely the most important thing to take care of before relocating. Make sure that you and your family have received a full health check and that you are provided with first-class advice on what injections you might need, whether you will need to take malaria tablets and so on. Then of course, get yourself booked in for those injections. No one likes needles but it’s so important to ensure that you receive the correct treatment.

Health care systems

Ensure that you are familiar with all there is to know about the health care available in your chosen country. Not knowing is like walking into a minefield blindfolded – you’re asking for some sort of disaster to unfold.

Cultural mistakes to avoid

Don’t forget to learn everything there is to know about the country’s culture to avoid insulting the locals, for example, in Asia it is considered extremely disrespectful to show the soles of your feet, whilst other countries find pointing or “the thumbs up” to be highly offensive. Even the go-to compliment that you give could backfire – for instance, in the Western world, complimenting someone on a painting they own is nothing out of the ordinary, but in some parts of Africa the owner of said painting may feel obliged to give it to you if you do  – slightly awkward for all involved!

Know the law
We’re all law abiding citizens’ right? Maybe where you live yes, but these laws do not necessarily translate across borders. For example, some prescription or over the counter medicines available in the UK such as codeine (often prescribed for back pain), is actually considered to be a controlled substance in the United Arab Emirates and carrying this may lead to a prison sentence. Even if the UAE is not your final destination and you are only there for a connecting flight, you are still in their country and therefore these same rules still apply.

Read, research and read

Invest in travel guide books, because whilst not everything in the book may be relevant to relocating abroad, some things remain pertinent. Be sure to also read online forums, read the news and don’t stop there! Learn everything there is to know about the country and what dangers you may face. This could be anywhere from getting ripped off at the airport by the ‘friendly’ taxi driver who insists their taxi fare is the most affordable option. Oh, what was that? You have to stop off at three different jewellery stores and two fabric stores before reaching your destination several hours later? We’ve all been there, but please, don’t be fooled! On a more serious note however, theft is rife in several big cities and this could really put a damper on things if this is what you first encounter on your arrival to your new home. So be sure to keep your belongings extra close to you and never leave your bags, even if it is with a member of staff.


Photo Credit: Unsplash

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