International Moving Tips

June 13, 2018

Moving is never easy and moving to, from or within a foreign country can be even tougher to handle. Fortunately, we’ve got your back. Below are some tips to help you make that move no matter where you are. 


​Settle on a Moving Company at least 2-4 weeks before move.
Selecting a moving company is a very important part of the process, the company you choose will determine the success of you move. You have to be sure that the company will take care of your needs from A to Z. Make sure to ask the following questions of your prospect moving company: Are they insured? Do they have reviews online? What do their rates actually include? How many packers of the packing crew will be on the job? How long will the job take? 

Add pages to passport
When traveling internationally, especially countries like China that require visas, you will need to use the pages in the back of your passport. After living abroad for a little while you will be surprised how quickly your passport can fill up. Add pages to your passport before you leave to avoid the headache of having to schedule an appointment at your country’s busy embassy or consulate. 

Make sure all visa requirements are met
This might sound obvious but make sure to have all of your visa requirment “ducks” in a row. Arriving to your destination with the wrong visa can be an unpleasant and unnerving surprise. 

Change Address Ahead of time
This tip applies more to those who are moving within one city or within a country. Nonetheless, it makes sense to notify your post office of your change of address so that you receive all of your mail. 

Plan Grocery Shopping
To avoid waste plan your grocery shopping to ensure that by the time of your move you have little or no perishable food left in your refrigerator. 

Make digital copies of important documents
Digitize all of your important documents to ensure that you will have that information regardless of loss or damage during your travels. Scan, take a picture, etc.

Maintain a home country bank account
When you arrive you will will want to create an account but during the meantime have your original bank account handy in case there are any bumps on the road to creating a new account in your new host country. 

Pack “overnight” or “week” bag
Make sure to pack a bag with all the essentials for your travels. This included clothes, cosmetics, medications, and other items that you will need to use immediately upon arrival. 

Download transportation/translation apps
Technology makes life a lot easier if you take advantage of it. Search your smartphone or tablet’s store for apps that may make your transition to China easier. There are plenty of translation, transportation and expat oriented apps to help you hit the ground running. 



Register with local authorities
You’ve arrived. What to do next? Firstly, register with your local authorities. In Shanghai it is required that within 24 hours of your arrival that you register with your local police station. This step is neccessary when applying for any residence permits or other visas.

Get mobile phone/SIM card/compatibility
You might not know anyone yet at your new country but make sure to keep connected by purchasing a mobile phone or SIM card if you already have a phone that you’d like to use. Also check to make sure that the phone you plan to use is compatible not only with local networks but also with networks at home. This way you can use that phone when you return to your home country. 

Get lost (becoming familiar)
Get yourself out there and just explore. Try to get lost within your own city, this is the most effective way to become familiar with your new home.

Sign up for language classes
If you do not already speak the language of the country that you are moving to, sign up for language classes. It would be a shame to waste the opportunity to add to your language arsenal!

Locate your nearest international hospital
You do not want to experience needing a hopsital for emergencies, but are unable to locate one that adheres to international standards. Make sure to search expat blog websites like ShanghaiExpat or CityWeekend to see reviews for the international hospitals.

Find your nearest import grocery store
No matter how open-minded you are to new things and cuisines. You will miss food from home. Do some research to see if your city has any international grocery stores like City Shop or Carrefour.

Find ways to become a part of the community
Whether it is the expat or local communities make sure to be active. Find people to interact with. Moving to a new country is not easy and having a support group will help make the transition a smooth one.