Thinking About Moving Overseas? Take These Small Steps Before Your Big Leap!

I have moved a few times over the last few years and for some reason it’s always new countries I am moving too instead of new towns. I don’t know why, maybe I’m just difficult that way.

That being said, there are a few things I have picked up over the years that I wish someone had told me to be aware of when moving.

So, I thought I’d help you out if you are a planner, like me, and like to know what you’re getting yourself into before you actually get into it.

Los geht’s!

[firstly, here’s a little disclaimer saying that bla, bla, bla, this relates mainly to USA, Germany and Australia, as these are the countries that I have lived in/am moving to. And also, that as time passes, maybe laws are being passed or something and things are changing constantly, so please do some more research to make sure what I’m saying (typing) is still actually valid. Danke!]

So, you’re moving. That’s dope! For’real. Good on ya, mate. It’s the best, but can also be a pain in the ass if, after you’ve already settled down, and feel like you got your stuff together, that there is some little housekeeping items that you didn’t take care of yet.

Here’s where to get started:

Have Money Saved:

I mean it. It will save you a lot of stress and pain if you have a little cushion to live off of when you arrive in your destination. I have seen that most people recommend having at least 5k before you go to pay for a few month accommodation and food until you get settled. I would say that is the bare minimum for me.

That amount worries me since I tend to end up in pricier places. For Germany and Australis, I would definitely recommend having at least 10. That is the number that puts my anxiety at ease, but obviously is not feasible for everyone. I am risk averse, so I like to have more than I think I need JUST IN CASE.

When I went to South America for 6 months, I busted my ass and saved 12k (how?? I have no bloody idea!) and I only ended up needing about 4. I over-shot, but it made me feel secure knowing I could stay at a nicer place every now-and-then if I needed/wanted too.

Look For Jobs Ahead Of Time:

If you’re planning on staying in one area for a while, go ahead and send out some resumes/cvs before you get there. It’s never too soon to find a job or at least get your name out there. It makes things run much smoother if you arrive with a contract. That way, once you have a place to stay, you can go ahead and start the visa process.

Even if you don’t want to apply right away, go ahead and start looking. If you see there is a need out there, then you can go ahead and learn a few skills and maybe take up a side job to learn something new before you get there.

For example, in Australia, there is a shortage of Chefs and child-care workers. If you know that ahead of time, you can pick up a quick job where you are and start learning to cook or go ahead and start baby-sitting to make you that much more desirable to employers.

Know the country you are going to and what they need. Then, you can become a valuable asset.

Print Out Important Documents

Passports, birth certificates, your degree and ID

Have these items scanned onto one of your devices and have a copy printed.

These are all important items to have spare copies of before a move. I have a folder and it has multiple copies of everything I might need. This is handy in multiple ways. If something is lost or stolen, it helps authorities of you have documentation of what was lost and all the necessary numbers and when applying for jobs, you can show up to the interview with all the papers they will eventually ask for anyway. This smooths out the process of starting the job. If you have everything ready to go, you could start immediately and not have to dig into savings so soon.


If you haven’t already, go ahead and look for a possible place you might stay. If you don’t have a place, but are going to be staying in an Air-bnb or a hostel, go ahead and book a few days, so that you have an address to put on your immigration paperwork when you arrive. Again, this makes things run much smoother.

In Germany, I found a family from an au pair site that, later, let me stay with them rent-free while I was working a normal job. I simply worked with the kids 11 hours per week on their english but, otherwise my time was mine.

As my friends started coming back to Germany, I found that there are actually a lot of families with kids who don’t need that much help, just an extra pair of hands every now and then and they happen to also have spare rooms or at least a bed. This could save you tons of money and also give you a secure place to call your home base while you visit other areas.

Thank you for reading! Have you moved internationally before or are just starting out?

Where have you been and where are you going next? I’d love to hear! And of course, give me all the recommendations. Holidays will be here before we know it ;D


  1. Great list, I’d add that often it’s a great idea to connect with other expats in advance. There are usually lots of online resources like blogs and Facebook groups and by joining them you can often get a lot of really helpful information before you even get on the plane.

    Liked by 1 person

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