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7 Mistakes People Make When Moving Abroad

Are you planning a move abroad? Are you sure you have made all the necessary arrangements and preparations for such a huge commitment?

You may think so, but there are some very common mistakes that many people make when moving to a new country, and we want to pass them on to you.

Our list of other people’s mistakes below will help to make sure you are fully prepared and do not find yourself in the same situation!


  1. Shipping your belongings abroad

Are you planning on taking some or all of your belongings with you from your current home? Don’t fall victim to these common mistakes people make when shipping their possessions.

Do you know when your possessions will arrive? Often your items may arrive before you do. Make sure you have made the necessary arrangements for your belongings at the other end. How will they be stored? Does the shipping company know when you will be arriving?

You must also make sure that what you are packing is what has been agreed with your shipping company. If you have decided to pack more than agreed, this may cause an issue with space that the company has booked for your items and would increase the cost.

Shipping can be very expensive and many people will book the cheapest option for this reason, but this isn’t wise. Instead of looking just at price, look at customer reviews and insurance levels too.


  1. Not budgeting enough

Another big mistake regularly made is not budgeting properly for such a big move. 

As well as shipping and travel costs, you may need to pay upfront costs for your rent or accommodation. 

Do you have enough money to cover the time before your first pay packet? If you are taking pets you will need to budget for the required documentation, vaccination and insurance.  

Do you have the correct expat medical insurance for the place you are moving to?  

Also, be very careful when you arrive at your new destination with regards to spending money. You must not spend your money in the same way that you would if you were on holiday. If there is something you wouldn't do or buy at home, make sure you don’t do it there either!


  1. Assuming it’s like going on holiday

Unfortunately, moving abroad is very different to holidaying abroad. The daily worries and stresses will still exist, work is still working, and you will still have to clean your own toilet! 

Initially, you may find it harder than expected whilst you adjust to a new way of living, but keeping things like this in mind with help with the adjustment.


  1. Not doing enough research on your chosen destination

Every new country comes with its own set of laws, customs and taxes. Make sure you are fully educated in all of these things before moving. 

If you are taking or thinking about having children, you should look into the education system and make sure it is what you want for your children.  

Healthcare is something you must be fully aware of and what treatment, if any, you are entitled to or if you need to arrive with your own expat private medical health insurance.  


  1. Buying a property too soon

You may see renting as a waste of money, but so is spending large sums on money in fees on a property that you wish you had waited to buy!

It would be ideal to wait and rent for a year. Make sure you like the neighbourhood all year round and that is doesn’t get too busy in the peak season, or that it may flood in a wet season. 


  1. Assuming your current furniture will fit

There would be nothing more annoying than paying out all that money to ship your furniture to your new home and it doesn’t fit.

Properties vary in size all over the world and this is a really common mistake for many.

Also be aware that warm or humid climates may damage items, particularly wood and artwork.



  1. Assuming your electronics will work

It isn’t just the plug sockets that may change when you move abroad, the entire power supply may be different.  

You must be very careful when using your electronics abroad as you may blow out the entire property or the product if you do not adjust the voltage. Check ahead and look into adapters or replacing these items completely.


Paying attention to these common mistakes will make your transition that little bit easier in what could be one of the most stressful times of your life.

We want to make sure that you are safe when you are away from home, that is why we have put together a range of different medical healthcare package options, specifically for expatriates. If you would like more information on our private expatriate medical insurance policies, please click here: