A simple checklist for moving overseas

women packing for moving overseas with checklist

Opportunities abound when the chance to move overseas presents itself. Whether it’s a career move or simply for a change of pace, moving overseas affords you numerous opportunities to seize adventure. Planning your international move with the right mover can help you focus on those adventures instead of worrying about your move. Take a glance at this simple checklist to get things started on the right foot.

Start early – at least three months in advance

  • Determine a timeline – figure out if everyone is moving at once or if one person is moving ahead of the rest of the family to work.
  • Decide if you will be renting, selling or canceling the lease on your current residence.
  • Research storage costs and determine what you want to keep stateside and what will be moving overseas.
  • Choose an international mover and set the in-home survey appointment as well as the move date and full-service packing date. Be sure to plan early to ensure you get the moving date you need. Often getting dates you want at the last minute will be difficult, particularly in peak months.
  • Gather the original copies of your important documents, (i.e. passports, driving license(s), birth certificate(s), wedding certificate(s), school report(s), work references and medical records).
  • Apply for visas and investigate destination residency requirements and work permits, if applicable.
  • Research and arrange for your temporary lodging between the time when you move and when your belongings arrive.
  • Seek out information about education for your children and obtain any school records you may need for the new school(s).
  • Schedule time to visit the destination so you can find housing and schooling
  • Review pet laws at your new destination and whether you can bring your pets.
  • Determine if you will need private medical insurance at your new destination.
  • Verify that your appliances will work in the new destination. The voltage varies in other countries and can be costly to convert or buy transformers for the bigger appliances.

It should be noted that if you’re working with a licensed and professional international moving company like Suddath®, they can help facilitate your needs.

One month before

  • Notify the U.S. Postal Service of your change of address
  • Update the address for any accounts that you wish to maintain (i.e., credit cards, bank accounts, etc.).
  • Cancel any insurance policies that can’t be used when moving overseas.
  • Arrange to see your doctor and dentist. Obtain original copies of any medical records and supplies of your current medication(s) – (find out the generic name in case you need to purchase medication in the new destination).
  • Ensure you have a few extra pairs of contact lenses or a set of spare glasses.
  • Find out whether your current bank has an overseas branch and if it can handle your needs after moving overseas. You will also want to determine where your paycheck will be deposited after you’ve moved if utilizing a new account.
  • Arrange for a statement of “no-claims bonus” from your vehicle insurer.
  • Start sorting your belongings into what you want to take and what you want to leave behind.
  • Sell or donate things that you don’t need or can’t take with you

Two weeks before

  • Send out a notification of your new address to family and friends.
  • Arrange for the transfer of your bank accounts.
  • Take any pets to the vet for any immunizations or other check-ups they need before traveling.
  • Reconnect with your move coordinator to ensure that your specific move details are arranged, parking permits are booked (If applicable) and building’s elevator is booked (if applicable).

One week before

  • Buy travelers checks or withdraw cash for your travels and the first week in your new location. If you choose to use credit cards, make sure your credit card companies know you’re relocating so your cards aren’t declined.
  • Handle any last-minute things that needs to be picked up or taken back (i.e. dry cleaning, library books, etc.).

Important documents to set aside:

  • Passports
  • Travel documents
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce papers
  • Child custody papers
  • Adoption papers
  • Driving license(s)
  • Record of vehicle “No-Claims Bonus”
  • Medical and dental records, medication and insurance
  • School/University papers
  • Any insurance policies and legal documents (Will, Power of Attorney, Bank Statements, Income Tax Records, etc.)

Important! Do not ask your mover to pack money, jewelry, medication, hazardous items, food or perfume in your shipment. For a full list of Hazardous items, contact your mover.

Regardless of the reason, Suddath is here to help make your experience moving overseas one to remember. Feel free to keep this checklist handy so you can stay on top of everything during your move. View a printable version of this international moving checklist and keep it for reference as you prepare for your next adventure. Our experts will help you every step of the way, so contact us. Safe travels!
Download our International Moving Checklist