To-Do List For Moving Overseas

to do list for moving overseas

Having started the 'BIG SHIFT' recently, I know now the stresses of moving overseas. Trying to remember everything, keeping the bags under the weight allowance, sorting out your entire life before you leave... Yep, great fun! Being a list-oholic, I have created a list to keep everything flowing nicely to plan, and to make sure nothing gets forgotten! There’s a lot to consider when making a huge life change like shifting country, so here’s my complete to-do list for moving overseas… Plus, you can download the list so that you can keep it and use it prior to your own big moves!

To-Do list for moving overseas:

  • Sort a visa for your destination. I used ‘Visa4UK’ and they were great. Simple instructions and a speedy turnover. Make sure you check out all the requirements well and give yourself ample enough time to get everything done.

  • Make sure your passport will be valid - there has to be enough free pages in it and it can’t obviously be

    about to expire. Go check it!

  • Sort out any debt. I have a student loan, with which the interest will begin to be added after I am out of New Zealand for 186 days. I need to make sure it will be paid off, on time, with the correct amounts as due. Clear credit cards, close any accounts you won’t need and get a fee-free account. Stash some emergency money in it just in case.

  • Get mail redirected. Or cancel as many things as you can - go for paperless statements, unsubscribe to all the junk mail you get. Your parents or the new tenants in your old house don't want to sort through your crap!

  • Sell your car if you won’t be using it - or put the rego on hold and store it somewhere safe.

  • Sell everything that you can - it is much better to not come back to junk ‘that you just couldn’t bear to part with’. Get rid of as much as you can - the only things I’m keeping are the clothes I want when I’m back and my trinkets that will fit in my handmade glory box. (Note: this didn't turn out quite as planned. There's so much stuff to find homes for! I ended up filling the storage boxes in my old bedroom, but tried to un-hoard as much as possible. I feel for you - this part is super hard!).

  • Have a garage sale for all the house stuff. Get ready early - people will we waiting to pilfer through your stuff from 6am! Or, do what we did and give your stuff to the second hand shops or charity. You'll get a feel-good buzz and hopefully help out some people needier than you :)

  • Have copies of all your prescriptions - medications, glasses etc. It will make it easier once you are overseas and need repeats.

  • Get a full health check before you go. Go to the doctor, and especially go to the dentist. You don't want to be there for a week and then find yourself forking over triple the amount for a dentist trip - most of the time you won’t be covered by the national insurance body and some travel insurances companies won’t cover it. Get it sorted before you leave! Chicks - get your contraception sorted and get your yearly checks done too.

  • Look into vaccinations - some countries require you to have an extensive amount of travel vaccinations. Try to do this as early as possible as some vaccinations need boosters weeks apart - not ideal if you have just booked a last minute flight to a country that requires you to be vaccinated or medicated. For example, if you are booking flights to Malaysia you will need to have your measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, chickenpox vaccine, polio vaccine and your yearly influenza vaccine as well as the possibility of weeks of anti-malaria medication. This isn't even a complete list! Check out this website for more information on what you may need. Also, be prepared for the costs - some of these medications aren't cheap!

  • Plan to buy tickets early - 8 weeks prior to your departure date is usually cheapest. Shop through sites and airlines, we found our cheapest and most suitable flight was on

  • Get travel insurance. No if’s or but’s, you do not want to get caught out without it. No one plans on getting hurt or sick or have all their stuff stolen or lost, but it could happen. Get good insurance to be safe! I bought mine through

  • SAVE. What happens if you can’t get a job once you are there? You need a safety net that will tide you over until you can get employment. You will be busy doing stuff, seeing sights and buying the things you need in your new home. You will need cash, so make sure you have enough!

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  • Find a new home for any pets you have. As sucky as this part is, you need a new forever home for them. I hate   to think about the fact I’m leaving behind my cat Cairo, but I want him to settle into his new place without feeling unsure of his future (I don't know whether I’m anthropomorphising him a bit too much, but hey! He’s special).
  • Pack your bags. Then re-pack them at least two more times and eliminate all the unnecessary items that you really actually don't need. 

  • Cancel all your bills - gym memberships, internet connections, power bills, contents and car insurance (assuming you aren't keeping either your house or your car), medical policies if no longer applicable, cell phone contracts, subscriptions.

  • Give as many details of your plans as you can to your family members - phone numbers and addresses, itineraries etc so that they can follow along and know that you are alright. Keep them updated so that if anything untoward was to happen, they can contact somebody and check. Also, if something happened to you and no one knew what you were up to - no one would know to look. Just think of the movie 127 hours - if the hiker had told his family he was going hiking in the canyons that day they may have searched for him earlier when he didn't come home as early as planned and he wouldn't have had to amputate his own arm! (An extreme example but you get my point). There are online platforms that you can enter your travel plans into (eg Safe Travel Registration NZ), or apps like Glympse where you can send your family notifications of your whereabouts.

  • Sort out your overseas money - get money exchanged (while the dollar is good if you can!) or sort out an international money card. There are credit and debit cards specifically for travel available now, but watch out for the fees on the debit cards. They look great and very handy and safe, but you don't to pay to use your own money! Some credit card companies offer rewards (for example Air Points) that you can use towards flights or accommodation. Make sure you are budget savvy though! If you are going to use your bank card - let your bank know! They will lock accounts that have transactions popping up in different countries.

  • Get healthy! Eat up and stock up on vitamins, and eat good clean food before you are going to travel. (Lots of fruit and veges!). It will help you stay well while traveling and you will be less likely to catch a bug from the plane or temperature changes.

These are all the things I did when preparing for our overseas trip. I hope it serves you well! You may think of a few more things to add to the list - comment below and let me know :) Also, don't forget to download my checklist either so you definitely can't forget anything! 

To-do List for Moving Overseas

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