With over half a century moving hundreds of thousands of people overseas, we've seen our fair share of challenges. Some are highly specific to the person or family moving, while others are often very common regardless of who is moving.
Here, we examine what we see as five of the most common challenging in moving overseas.
1. Moving your belongings
Whether it's your comfortable sofa, your home entertainment system or even your car, we understand there are certain things you can't part with.
However, we also understand that there are certain items that can seem daunting to move. A precious piece of art, or a particularly beloved antique piece of furniture. That's why our packing teams work to the highest standards. The materials we use to pack, ensuring everything is rigorously inventoried, categorized and packed according to its fragility and the type of item involved is part of this professionalism. For very precious belongings, we advise customized crating, designed to keep these as safe as possible.
If you'd like more information on how we specifically move furniture, then feel free to read more. Do not miss out on our move abroad checklist.
2. Finding a new home
Will you buy or will you rent? Are you familiar with the local housing market for both approaches? Do you need an apartment or a house?
Every destination offers a wide range of accommodation styles to suit the needs, lifestyles, and budgets of everyone. But uncovering the necessary information in a new environment is difficult. That's why we advise all our customers who haven't as yet secured accommodation to work closely with a relocation company who have on-the-ground experts in major destinations who can assist.
While finding your new home can seem initially challenging, from both a logistical and emotional point of view, draw up a list of things you see as indispensable and share these with your move manager. They will then work with you and our experts to find somewhere appropriate. Remember, it's always best to have guidance from people who understand the destination intimately, and that's the principle we work by.
Finding the right home can offer more insight into how this service works, but as with all challenges, remember to start researching early!
3. Can I take my pets?
Nobody wants to leave loved ones behind, this includes your pets. Many people who need to move overseas often see the process involved in moving a pet as far more complicated than it actually is, however. While it's true that you will usually be required to provide certain things in accordance with their move, such as a pet passport and/or proof of vaccination, moving pets is far easier now than it was several decades ago thanks to the harmonization of regulation on this subject.
There's also the physical process of getting your pet to your new home. Many people worry about the quality of care their pet will receive when on a plane for example and that's why it's important to work with a reputable pet relocations partner.
If you'd like to learn more, we have a few key considerations listed on our article about pet relocations that may be of help.
4. The culture gap
This is a topic that comes up again and again in discussions with those moving to a new home, particularly if the culture is significantly different to what one is used to back home.
Challenges include things like acclimating to the new culture, making friends if you don't have a social circle already there and language barriers.
We strongly encourage all those moving overseas, whether it's for a short-term assignment for their work, or permanently for one reason or another, to familiarize themselves with local customs and etiquette. Time constraints might make learning another language impractical, but learning a few key phrases should be an objective, if only to make ordering at restaurants and other such situations smoother.
We offer intercultural training for those who really want to get immersed in the culture and if this is your aim, we'd strongly recommend getting a language tutor too.
5. What will happen to my bank account and finances?
This is perhaps one of the biggest concerners relocators come to us with. Often they and their family haven't received appropriate guidance about how exactly to handle their finances before their move to a new home. Much like with pets however, the situation today is easier and more streamlined than it was in the past owing to the harmonization of financial rules and regulations across different countries.
The best way to tackle this challenge is to, first and foremost, open an international bank account. This means your international transfers will be far easier and less headache prone than if you were attempting to transfer from your domestic bank account. Your bank can assist you on this matter.
You'll also need to consider currency transfer. This is, of course, dependant on the state of the market at the time, but you'll want to work closely with a dependable foreign exchange provider in order to make this happen.
There are other considerations you should also bear in mind. Specifically, the tax policy of your new home and what impact this has on your investments (if any). This in-depth advice is best handled by a professional finance or tax advisor and it is one of those things you should engage with early, well before your move.
If you'd like to learn more, read our article on managing money when moving overseas.