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Five top tips for future expats

If you’re planning to spread your wings and explore the possibility of packing up and moving abroad, it can be a hugely exciting time. Taking on the expat lifestyle allows you to mix up your life by settling into a new home overseas, which in turn provides you the opportunity to discover new nations and cultures. It might be something you want to jump head first into, however, properly planning your move is essential, otherwise your dream trip could turn into a nightmare. Here’s our five step checklist for a stress-free move abroad.

Get a visa

Many countries don’t allow you to apply for a work visa once you’re in the country, so you should apply for your visa before you leave the UK. Just about every country requires a you to have one and, if you just head over and plan to work without one, your trip could soon turn into a nightmare. They’re usually not difficult to obtain, nor should they be particularly expensive.

Shipping and packing

For those items that you truly can’t be without, you’ll need a professional relocation expert. Moving home is tough enough, and even when you’re just moving within the UK, it’s vitally important that your worldly possessions are carefully in tow. When you’re moving abroad however, it’s even more crucial, as your everyday items will help provide a homely feel to your new residence, and can play a large part in helping you to settle in abroad.  If you’re heading abroad and want an experienced removals firm to ensure your possessions are in capable hands, head to our dedicated overseas moving page.

Sort your mail

One problem many people have when moving abroad is the struggle to receive mail at their new foreign address. Whilst many imagine it’s a tough task for mail to be forwarded to another country, it’s actually relatively simple to arrange. The Post Office offer a Royal Mail redirection service to any other UK or overseas address and, upon submitting an application, they aim to have your service up-and-running within five working days. With redirection services starting from just £24.99, moving abroad doesn’t mean missing out on your important mail.

Sort items into storage

Another major stress when moving abroad is finding a suitable place to put all your stuff. However, that’s where storage services come in, which are generally cheap, secure, and conveniently located.  Relocating to a new country in also the chance to starting afresh and escape any hoarding tendencies you might have. So, have a big clear out, go to a car boot sale, put any essential items into storage, and only take the things with you that will be absolute necessities when it comes to setting up in your new home.

Final checks

As obvious as it sounds, tying up loose ends is a really important stage of moving overseas. So that means you need to make sure all friends and family are aware of your impending move, and you’ll need to  make sure everyone has your new address. Make sure that all of your home service providers, such as telephone, TV, gas and electric have been notified, and also make sure your bank details are all set up ahead of the move. The last thing you need is to miss any credit card payments or forget to cancel any direct debits. If you’re not going to be driving your car for a while then you will probably need to make a SORN declaration too.

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