Moving abroad will bring you a plethora of incredible experiences. You can explore breathtaking landscapes, try different foods, learn about new cultures, meet people from around the world, and – most importantly – have a whole load of fun along the way.

Despite all the excitement, upending your life and moving to a different country can come with its stresses. So, to help you make a smooth transition to your new country, we’re here to tell you the seven top problems to watch out for.

Is the cost of moving your stuff abroad already starting to make you a bit anxious? Try not to worry – we can make the whole process more affordable and less stressful for you.

Simply tell us a few details about where you’re moving your things to and from, and we’ll do the hard work. Once we pass on your information to our professional suppliers, they’ll get in touch with free shipping quotes for you to compare.

1. Fitting in as an expat

This can be quite easy to overlook in the run-up to moving abroad, but it could make or break your experience.

Want to avoid this worry? Once you’ve settled into your new home, go and get stuck in with local sports clubs, online expat groups/apps, work events, and any social groups in the area.

Making friends isn’t always easy, but it can make a world of difference when you’re living in a new country – particularly if you find a community with fellow expats.

2. Budgeting your move abroad

When it comes to the cost of moving abroad, the little things mount up.

The average cost of shipping a container abroad is about £3,000 – although, the price will come down to how far you’re travelling and how much stuff you have, amongst other things. If you want to find out how much a shipping container will cost you on your move, try our custom-built comparison tool to compare free quotes tailored to your move.

On top of the big things – like shipping, visa payments, and vaccinations – you’ll also have to remember the small expenses, like buying tickets to the airport, COVID-19 PCR tests, and packaging materials.

But if you budget your costs wisely, there’ll be no nasty surprises along the way.

Not sure where to begin? We recommend creating a moving checklist to get you started with your budgeting.

Happy family moving house

You too could be this stress-free, if you keep an eye out for these problems

3. Culture shock

Culture shock is something that nearly every expat goes through – though, everyone experiences different levels of it.

If you’re moving from an English-speaking country, for example, and are travelling to somewhere that doesn’t use English as an official language, you might struggle to go about your day-to-day life at first. Or perhaps you won’t quite get used to the food or local etiquette straight away.

It might take a bit of time to settle in – the first two weeks are usually the most intense – but this is just a short-term issue. The longer you’re there, the more you’ll get used to the culture.

In the meantime, there are a lot of helpful apps out there that can help you adjust to your new home.

Google Translate, for starters, can be your very own pocket-sized personal translator. There are also a lot of great language-learning apps out there, which can help you pick up the local lingo.

4. Bringing a pet abroad

Bringing a pet abroad isn’t a problem, per se, just a bit of an inconvenience – but it’s worth it for our furry friends.

For starters, there’s a lot to sort out when it comes to moving your pet abroad.

Get things kicked off by making an appointment with your vet to see which vaccines your pet should get. It’s also important to check whether you can actually take your pet abroad with you, since some breeds of animals are banned in certain countries.

To avoid getting sent home at the border, make sure you have all the right documents, including evidence of your pet:

  • Being microchipped
  • Having a rabies vaccination
  • Receiving tapeworm treatment for dogs (if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, or Malta)

Depending on where you’re heading, your pal might even need to be quarantined for a few weeks upon arrival – so make sure to do your research before hopping on the plane.

5. Finding the right place to live

When it comes to finding your ideal place to live, there are a number of things to consider: Do you want a hot or cold climate? Would you suit an inner-city area or the slow-paced countryside life? Will you feel comfortable living in a place where people don’t speak English?

These choices will not only impact your overall experience but are also likely to determine things like property prices and living costs.

You’ll also need to figure out whether you want to rent or buy property. Most people tend to buy their property abroad, but if you’re a first-time mover, or you haven’t visited your new location before, play it safe and rent for at least the first six months – just in case.

Not sure where you want to live just yet? Get a little inspiration from the map below, which outlines the most popular destinations around the world for British expats.

6. Getting a job

Finding a job in another country can sometimes feel like a “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” scenario. You might need a job offer before you get a visa, or you might need a visa first before you can get a job – it depends on where you’re moving to.

So, if you’re part of the 58% of expats moving abroad for work, it's worth checking whether you need to apply for jobs before you arrive, or once you’ve gotten settled in.

Some helpful job boards to check out include:

Covid vaccine passports

Before you leave, check whether you need a COVID-vaccine certificate to get across the border

7. COVID-19’s impact on your move

COVID-19 is well and truly integrated into the travel industry now.

Before you move abroad, start off by checking whether your new home is allowing people across its borders, or if there are COVID-19-related regulations.

It’s also a good idea to keep up to date on how many COVID cases your new country is experiencing, as well as any new restrictions put in place by the government there. This way, you can make sure to pack enough masks and keep your distance from people once you arrive – if you need to.

COVID-19 has also added a new expense to travelling, which you should take into account before you begin your journey. Depending on where you go, you’ll have to take PCR tests, which can cost between £75-£140, depending on which provider you go for and how fast it needs to be done.

Some countries are using COVID vaccine passports too, which means you’ll only be allowed across the border if you’ve received both doses – so make sure you bring the appropriate evidence.

Summary

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to moving abroad, but if you plan in advance and do lots of research, you’ll be prepared for anything.

Want to speed up the process of moving to another country? We can help you get your belongings overseas with our hassle-free form. All you have to do is tell us a bit about your journey, and we’ll put you in touch with our shipping suppliers, who’ll come back to you with their best prices.