Guest Post: A Moving Abroad Checklist

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Hi there. Life has been very busy for us round these parts lately, so my apologies for not having time to post personally yet this week. However, if you want an update on what I’ve been up to lately, you could read my blog post over at the Overseas Guides Company.

Today I have a useful guest post for you with some general advice about moving abroad. Normal service will resume next week, I promise.

Aqua Beach Club Portimao - I admit to the occasional day off!
Aqua Beach Club Portimao - I admit to the occasional day off!

So you’ve decided to move to a new country? Whether it’s permanent, indefinite or just for a year or two, it means a huge amount of preparation. Here are the things you need to begin thinking about in the months before you move to a different country.

Banking and finance

One of the trickiest things to organise is your bank accounts – in your home country and your old country. Find out if you are able to keep your local accounts open for any transactions (some countries may require you to be resident to keep open a bank account). Setting up an account with an international transfer company like can be a good way of transferring savings into your new bank account. If you can set up an account in your new country before your leave, this will be mean the smoothest transition. If not, make it a priority once you land.

Housing and possessions

This will vary a lot depending on your situation – whether you are an owner or a renter, and if you’re going overseas indefinitely or for a set amount of time. You will need to decide whether you sell or rent your house out, or you may choose to organise a relative or house sitter to look after your home (and this way you won’t have to pack up all your belongings!)

Figuring out what to do with your possessions is possibly the most difficult part of relocating because it’s the least clear-cut. Deciding what to ship and what to store, what to throw away and what to sell can be a long and complicated process. It’s best to start sorting as early as possible, as looking into costs of shipping, storage facilities and who amongst your family and friends has storage space that you can use does take a long time. Having a garage sale or putting things on eBay, Gumtree or Freecycle will help you reduce the amount of things you have to worry about.

eBay - A Godsend to those moving abroad
eBay - A Godsend to those moving abroad

Health and travel insurance

Contact your health insurance provider to arrange to cancel your existing policy or put it on hold (this may be possible if you’re not going to be away for long). You will also need to do careful research into a comprehensive travel and health insurance policy (such as Now Health Worldwide Insurance provide) to have in place before your departure.

Service providers and authorities

Don’t forget to notify all the relevant people that you are leaving the country. It is worth re-directing your mail for a few months to a friend or family member in case you miss anything. Don’t forget things like:

Gas and electricity

Mobile phones


Cable TV


Council/local government authority

Taxation authority

Banking and credit cards

Subscriptions and mailing lists

Keep a master list somewhere reliable – such as within an app that syncs between your phone and computer – so that when you inevitably think of something in the middle of the night you can add it.

Before I sign off, I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of our book. Those who haven’t may be interested to know that Amazon have today decided to drop the price by 10% – so grab it while it’s cheap 🙂

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same

US users can purchase the book on

Another beautiful Portugal sunset
Another beautiful Portugal sunset

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