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Stormy seas of time-consuming paperwork on the forecast? Torrential downpours of damaged belongings, ill-fitting furniture, and pesky language barriers raining on your parade? If so, seek shelter and avoid the lightning bolt that is culture shock.

 A little preparation before you depart for your adventure abroad can reduce the stress you’ll feel when you land.  With these six steps and a savings-oriented mindset, relocating to another country overseas will be smooth sailing.

Schedule auto shipping services in advance

Don’t wait until the last minute to arrange for an auto shipping company like Guardian Auto Transport to bring your vehicle over to your new home. Ensuring your car or truck is ready and waiting for you after your relocation can make all the difference.

Having your vehicle available right away means not having to spend your first hours abroad learning the local public transportation system. Not to mention, recruiting the professionals to ship your vehicle saves on additional mileage and maintenance.

Organize a home before you arrive

Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, make sure that you have a place to rest your head before you flee the safety and comfort of your old home. Search for local area guides to accommodations online before you start packing.

That place you arrange for when you land may look like:

- Booking a hotel room

- Crashing on a friend’s sofa

- Renting a short-term space

- Closing on a home purchase.

While jet lag and pre-relocation preparations may leave your body begging for a cat nap, there will be a lot to do when you move to your new city or town. Having a secure place to store your belongings and a temporary physical address for mail forwarding will ensure your relocation goes off without a hitch.

Prepare passports and paperwork

One of the essential pieces that need to fall into place before you move overseas is ensuring all passports in your household are up-to-date. Certain countries will mandate that expats’ passports are valid for at least six months before their arrival.

With a valid passport and any supporting documents like letters from a university for students, you can then begin to apply for any visas or travel permits the new country requires.

Do your research

Depending on the country you’re moving to, cultural differences can range from minor to core-shaking. That said, talk to people you know who already live there and absorb information like a sponge.


Are you bringing a pet? To enter a country with a pet, you’ll often need to meet specific health requirements. As a testament to your canine companion’s good health, many countries require letters from the animal’s veterinarian.

Culture and language

Read about the area if you’re unfamiliar with it. If the language spoken isn’t one you’re fluent in, learn a few common phrases and the responses to those phrases, which will help to minimize culture shock as much as possible.

Tell Everyone

Okay, maybe not everyone, but there are many companies and officials federally and locally that need to know you’re moving overseas.

Think about who needs your new address. Start with agencies like:

- Your bank

- Mail services

- Tax agencies like the IRS

- Doctor’s office

- Schools

- Employers

Get a doctor and health insurance

Before leaving your home country, speak with your doctor or physician and ensure that every member of your family will have comprehensive coverage during this insurance limbo.

As part of the acclimation process, research what is required to receive healthcare in your new home. Many countries will offer low-cost public healthcare to everyone, even tourists, which may come with long waiting times, unlike private healthcare options.

Start looking for a job

Unless you’re moving because of a job or becoming a full-time student, it’s crucial to start looking for employment before you land. Check online, network with friends, and request job-hunting tips from the locals.

Before you go

Researching your new home country in-depth, knowing who to contact, and scheduling steps in advance are the keys to making a relocation a breeze. In the face of uncertainty, don’t be afraid to talk to family and friends for advice. After all, the ultimate parting gift is a few final words of wisdom.

Moving Overseas?: 6 Steps for Ensuring Your Relocation is Smooth Sailing
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