When moving to new countries, the work begins well before you arrive. A little organization and planning can go a long way towards a smooth transition into your new life. 

From maintaining your bank account to buying health insurance to exploring the new culture, this high-level essentials checklist is divided by category to help you stay organized every step of the way. 

Orbit is an international moving company with trained workers, cutting-edge technology, and reliable services that make every move an easy one.

map on table with camera, passport, money and magnifying glass

Money Matters

Moving abroad, whether to a foreign country or a place you’ve visited, requires a lot of financial planning:

Budgeting for the Long Haul

Set a workable budget for at least the first three to six months post-move to ensure you’ll have enough money. Don’t forget to take exchange rates and cost of living into account when setting this budget. Include items, such as rental security deposits (including first and last months’ rent), the move itself, an emergency fund, and some funds for sightseeing a bit when you arrive.

Saving for the Trip 

Prior to living abroad, it’s often recommended to have close to six months of savings set aside with an emergency fund of at least three months of living expenses in savings. Include the cost of your flight, temporary accommodation, and the shipment of your items in your budget. Flights are said to be least expensive between four months to three weeks before the departure date. 

Pack Like a Pro

Figure out what you need to pack, buy, sell, gift, or donate before your move to save money on shipping and storage. This includes whether you’ll be taking a vehicle with you, buying one there, or relying on public transportation.

Get Your Financials in Order

Have banking and credit card options that will work in your new country. Setting up banking and credit card accounts in your new country should also be a priority once you arrive. 

Exchange Some Cash

Cash is king. Before you leave, secure at least a couple of hundred dollars in the currency of your new country, so it’s easily available for small purchases and emergencies.

global map with international currency

Pay Your Bills Before You Go, Keep Your Old Bank Account, Get a Phone 

It’s recommended that you keep your current country’s bank account open to pay errant bills and maintain your credit score. As you approach your moving date, pay off and close old utility accounts. Find out what paperwork you’ll need to open a new bank account in your new country and bring it with you. 

Research cell phone options that are affordable and will work in your new home country when you arrive. When moving abroad to a foreign country, the cell phone is your greatest lifeline in an emergency. At the same time, you can arrange for an internet provider and landline.

Medical Care & Insurance

Before you leave, visit your local doctor and dentist to get any required work done and your prescriptions renewed and refilled. Ask your doctor about any vaccines you may need before you leave and make sure to get them in time. (i.e., rabies or typhoid vaccine, depending on where you’re travelling). Find out whether or not you’ll need proof of these vaccinations and obtain them. 

Additionally, have your pets see their vet and update their medical care as well. 

You will need to research the healthcare system in your new country in case you need additional documents. Secure health insurance from a reputable company. If you have any health issues while living abroad, you can rest assured that you are covered and cared for without draining your savings. 

Important Documentation & Contacts

Before moving abroad, prepare these documents for yourself and any additional people moving with you:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Letter of Employment
  • Immunization Records

Before you leave, make a copy of these items and give them to a trusted friend or family member who can send them to you electronically in case you lose the documents. 

If you have a friend or family member in your new home country, connect with them before you leave and get their most recent contact information so that you can use them as your emergency contact while you settle in. 

Make a trip to the post office to have your mail forwarded to your new address.

two people filling out documents

The Official Paperwork 

These documents make living abroad possible, so make sure you know where they are at all times during the move:

  • Apply for or renew your passport
  • Know your visa requirements of your new country of residence and apply for an appropriate visa. If you are moving for a work opportunity, your employer may be able to help you with the work visa process

Need help moving from Canada to Australia? Orbit movers are an experienced team who ensure your move hassle-free.

Secure Housing

While a short-term rental, hotel, hostel, or aunt’s couch might be a good option for the first few days or weeks after your move, and essential to book, it’s not a permanent solution. Consider looking for a local rental broker or real estate agent to help you find a home that meets your budget and needs (i.e., close to your new place of employment).

Outside the Dubai Mall after going up the Burj Khalifa

Explore the Culture

To fit in with the locals, find out where they shop for groceries, clothes, and housewares. As you mingle, you can also ask about the best local cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Consider turning to local sports clubs, hobbyists, or expats groups to meet new people outside of your place of employment. 

If you don’t speak the official language of your new country, consider learning in the months leading up to your move. Keep practicing when you arrive. 

Learn local customs, find out if there are any specific expressions, gestures, or practices that are offensive to avoid them. Observe the proper way to greet people and how to respectfully share a meal with others. 

Research local holidays to be aware of shop closures, celebrations, and community get-togethers. 

Moving to Dubai from Canada? Orbit has helped so many individuals move abroad to and from a variety of countries, including India, New Zealand, Europe, and Canada. We can help you organize your move and provide advice.  

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. 

Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart:

  • Our customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small. From health insurance to the cost of living to what you can expect upon arrival, we’re happy to help!
  • Our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. 

To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.