Planning a move overseas can feel a bit overwhelming.
Whether you’re relocating for your career or you just want a lifestyle change, there’s a lot to think about and plan when you’re considering uprooting your life.
However, you can easily make this transition easier by taking a long vacation to your new intended home beforehand.
Not only can you familiarize yourself with your new country, but you’ll learn how to “fit in” before you move in.
If you’ve decided that living abroad is right for you but you want to make sure you’re fully prepared, we’ve got some tips on what you can do during a long vacation to prepare yourself and make the most of the next chapter of your life.
Check Out Your Neighborhood
One of the best ways to feel comfortable and welcome in a new place is to familiarize yourself with what will eventually be your neighborhood.
Visit local shops and cafes, and introduce yourself to people in the community. They’ll be your neighbors – and possibly your new friends – before you know it!
If you really want to vet a neighborhood before moving there, try some of the following ideas:
- Visit at different times of day/night;
- Consider nearby real estate activity;
- Look up local history;
- Look up resources online.
If you’ve already settled on a location, you can make your extended vacation feel more like home by having some of your items shipped overseas while you’re there. It might seem like a big expense, but it can cross something off your list now.
By taking over a little at a time, you’ll reduce your risk of straining yourself or getting injured when moving by lifting too much at once.
Plus, if you already have a specific place you know you’ll be staying, taking as much with you as you can now reduce the stress and chaos of having to pack and ship everything later.
Determining the Right Location
Maybe you want to move overseas for a change of pace, but you haven’t fully committed to one location.
If you’re going to be moving with your family, it’s a good idea to bring them along on your extended vacation. It can help you determine if a certain spot is a good fit for you and your kids, or if you should keep looking elsewhere.
Bringing your family with you also provides an opportunity for your kids to understand what their new overseas lifestyle will be like — which can be easier to enjoy if you transition your family into a “digital nomad” lifestyle.
This lifestyle is not only convenient because you won’t have to worry about taking your kids to school overseas since they’ll be learning online, but it will also help them stay connected with friends and family when they’re homesick.
Vacationing somewhere for a long time will also help you and your family to determine if the country is welcoming to ex-pats.
Some of the best countries for ex-pats looking to live abroad are:
- United Arab Emirates;
Whether you’re moving by yourself or with your family, choosing a location that is safe, friendly, and open to inviting new American citizens will always be your best bet.
Don’t be afraid to take a few longer trips until you figure out the best fit for your next chapter.
Make the Move Seamless
Once you’ve decided where to go and you’ve spent some time there on vacation, it’s time to start thinking about officially moving.
The most important thing you can do immediately is to start saving money. Moving tends to be expensive within the country.
When you’re shipping your belongings overseas, it’s going to cost even more. It all depends on the distance, the number of boxes moved, and how many services you’ll require to help.
Second, obtain the right kind of visa from the country you’re moving to. By researching specific requirements and making sure you get the specific visa you need, you’ll speed up the legal process and avoid any delays or complications.
Finally, prepare for the unexpected. It’s essential to plan ahead as much as possible and prepare yourself for a move.
But, let’s face it – you’re moving to a completely different country.
Things can happen that are completely out of your control. Learn to be flexible, don’t let stress get the best of you, and set aside some emergency money for unforeseen expenses.
Planning an overseas move doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Consider taking a long vacation before you officially move to learn more about the location, the culture, and what to expect when you finally make a new country your permanent home.
Doing so will take a lot of stress out of the process and will make it easier to adapt when you finally become a new citizen and start the next exciting chapter of your life.