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    Moving Abroad Checklist

    When moving abroad, there are many tasks to complete to ensure nothing goes wrong with your overseas move. Find out what you will need to do, and when you will need to do it, with our Moving Abroad Checklist.

    Moving Abroad Checklist

    As soon as possible

    • Contact a conveyancing solicitor if you are selling your home or contact a lettings agent if you are renting out your home

    • Ensure you understand how the property laws work in your chosen country

    • Arrange accommodation in your destination country

    • Arrange the relevant Visas and work permits

    • Look at schooling options if you are taking children

    • If you haven’t already arranged employment, look into opportunities for work in your chosen country

    • Learn some essential phrases in the language of your destination and research your new area

    • Ensure you have original copies of all official documents – passport, driving licence, birth certificate

    • Obtain copies of your medical and dental records

    • If you're looking to transfer money overseas we can help you find bank-beating rates, with no transfer fees and ability to trade online or by phone. Compare exchange rates now.

    • Check if your driving licence is valid in your chosen destination

    • If you are planning on taking your car, check the vehicle regulations for your chosen county

    • Check the customs regulations for importing your vehicle to your destination

    • Investigate the medical system at your destination, arrange private healthcare if necessary

    • If you are thinking of taking a pet abroad, check the customs restrictions on importing animals to your chosen your destination and arrange a pet passport

    • Decide on what items you will be taking with you so you can make a list of everything you need to clear out

    • Purchase a journal or diary to keep a record of moving documents, contact numbers and important notes


    Get a international moving quote from reallymoving.com.


    6 weeks prior to move

    • Get quotes for your International Removal. Ensure the removals firm visits your property to provide a comprehensive quote

    • Clear the house of any unwanted items. For help with clearing out your unwanted items, take a look at our five easy ways to purge your possessions

    • Arrange flights 

    • Check luggage allowances for flights

    • If you are relocated due to a job move, find out what your employers will cover and organise

    • If you are renting give notice to your landlord 

    • Advise all authorities of your moving date i.e. council, hmrc, schools etc.

    • Check the voltages of the country you are moving to – find out if you will be able to use your current appliances there

    • Check parking restrictions at your current and new home – find out if any permits will be required for the removals vehicle

    • If you are taking a pet, contact a specialist pet relocations firm and arrange a quote

    1 month prior to move

    • Book the removal date with your chosen international removals firm

    • Book temporary accommodation for the period between removal and flights

    • Inform service providers of move date i.e. gas, electricity, broadband etc.

    • Decide how you will move any valuables as these cannot be packed in your container i.e. jewellery, bonds etc.

    • Get all required customs forms from your chosen international removals firm

    • Complete and return customs forms along with any copies of official documents required i.e. passport, work permit etc.

    • Check restrictions on moving liquids and alcohol with your chosen international removals firm; now is a good time to start using these up or safely dispose of them

    • Clear out any restricted or prohibited items as advised by your removal company e.g. alcohol, hazardous liquids (petrol in your lawn mower), glues, pressurised goods, batteries

    • If you are taking a pet contact your chosen pet relocations company and arrange for collection of your animal

    • Check you have provided your international removals company with all the relevant information for your marine insurance i.e. valued inventory pictures etc.

    • Ensure that what you are taking with you as luggage when flying is the right weight or that it fits in your car if you are driving

    • If you are taking your car abroad, check the requirements for shipping – some destinations require the vehicle to be steam cleaned. You will need to book this prior to your car being shipped

    • Arrange a date to take your car to the removals depot. This will need to arrive before your household items for a condition report and to empty the fuel tank. Try to keep as little fuel as possible in the car before you drop it off

    • Advise your chosen removal company of your arrival date at your destination. This is important for customs reasons

    2 weeks prior to move

    • Ensure you are up to date on all prescription medications and check with your removals firm the customs regulations for taking these with you. It is best that you take any medicines with your person as these are restricted for going into your shipment. Make sure you have any prescriptions or doctors notes required by the customs regulations

    • Starting dividing up items to go and items that you will leave behind and go into storage

    • Arrange immunizations and confirm travel documents for pets

    • Arrange vaccinations for yourself if necessary for your destination

    • Cancel local services you receive, such as milk or paper deliveries

    • Run down all perishables and freezer food – making a meal plan is a good way to do this

    1 week prior to move

    • Finish packing personal luggage and separate anything out that will be going in your airfreight shipment if you have arranged one

    • Steam clean any outdoor equipment or clothing that you will be taking, i.e. riding/walking gear, garden furniture etc. 

    • Order any foreign currency/travellers cheques required

    • Make sure your neighbours are aware that you will be having a container arrive at your property and that there may be disruption for a few hours on loading day

    • Label items for move day, i.e. air, sea, do not pack etc.

    • Arrange for unplumbing of washing machines and dishwashers. These will need to dry thoroughly before packing. You will also need the restraining bolts for your washing machine as without them the drum can become damaged

    • Defrost the fridge and freezer

    • Arrange for any dismantling of flatpack furniture if your removals firm is not providing this service

    • Gather together keys for the current property

    • Return any items you have borrowed from the library, friends or family

    • Give away any plants and flowers, as you will not be able to take these with you abroad

    • Double check any parking suspensions/arrangements for move day if you have had to book these

    • Confirm all the details of your move with your international removals firm, i.e. times, dates, emergency telephone numbers etc.

    • Ensure you have enough money for your last week in the country and you can access your money at your destination

    Get a international moving quote from reallymoving.com.


    1 day prior to move

    • Make sure your international removals company has all your contact details for while you are in transit and for your destination

    • Make sure you have any contact details for your agent or removals office at your destination

    • Keep your phone charged up and a spare charger available

    On moving day

    • Make sure you put all important items like keys, passports, luggage etc. out of the way so they don’t get packed by accident. The bath or shower can be a good location to put them as they will not be near any items for packing

    • Arrange for children and pets to be out of the way before the removals team arrives

    • Ensure that a responsible person is available when the moving crew arrive to walk round the property before packing to find out how the day will proceed and a be able to ask any questions 

    • Once packing and loading is complete make sure you walk round the property with a member of the packing crew to ensure everything nothing is left behind. It can be expensive and time consuming to get items collected and moved after your shipment has left 

    • Make sure you receive a copy of your signed packing list

    • Record your utility meter readings and check they are switched off

    • Leave keys as arranged with the new owner

    On arrival

    • Once you shipment has left and you have arrived at your destination contact your agent or removals office in your new location so they can advise you when your shipment has arrived and cleared customs. Some destinations require you to be in the country prior to your shipment arriving

    • Make sure you are free for any customs clearance that may have to be done in person upon your shipment’s arrival. Your international removals firm will advise you if this is necessary

    • Ensure you register with any necessary local authorities – in some locations you need to have a residence and be registered with the local government to be able to customs clear your goods

    • Check with the pet relocation company when you can expect to be able to collect your animal. Some countries may require a quarantine period

    • When your shipment has cleared and is ready for delivery, arrange a suitable date with your removals firm. Alternatively, if you are not ready to take delivery arrange for storage to avoid port charges

    • Make sure you have arranged for your utilities to be connected at your new address

    • Contact schools to check the start dates for children

    • Register with doctors, dentists etc.

    • Make sure you have all important documents with you in one place

    • Check that all keys to your new house work

    • Settle younger children in a room with some treats and favourite toys and allow older children to organise their own rooms

    • Do a quick clean and tidy of your home. Make the beds and add homely touches to your bedroom

    • Use the boiler and heating to ensure you know how to use it

    • Re-charge mobile phones and connect telephones

    • Make a note of emergency contact numbers e.g. out of hours doctors, taxi numbers, vets, local hospitals etc.

    • Talk to your neighbours – if you leave this for too long you will quickly feel isolated

    When shipment has cleared customs

    • Offer your international removal company refreshments

    • Arrange for any third party services such as reassembly of furniture with your removals company

    • Ensure your new address has no parking restrictions or regulations regarding travel of heavy vehicles (some European cities will not allow large trucks within the city limits during peak hours)

    • Communicate any special instructions for where to unload the items

    • When your shipment is delivered ensure that you check off items from your inventory, to spot if anything is missing or has been left in the container/truck, as it may take you a while to finish unpacking everything

    • If you notice any damages report these straight away if possible and ensure they are noted on the removals firm’s job sheets for insurance purposes

    • When unloading has completed, walk round the property and ensure that you are satisfied before signing off the removals firm’s job sheets

    After delivery

    • Contact your removals firm to see if they would like to collect your boxes or packing materials. Most companies will reuse these as part of their green policy

    • Relax and enjoy your new home in your new location!

    • Don’t forget to leave feedback for your international removals company


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