How to plan for your move abroad in 2024 including what you need to do before leaving the UK

Are you thinking of making 2024 the year you make your big move?

The last few years have been quite a turbulent and frustrating time for people moving overseas. Many people have been disappointed at having their move cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, now times have changed as travel and migration are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

In fact, there has never been a better time to move abroad. Popular expat destinations around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA are crying out for skilled workers. Also whilst Brexit has made it a bit more difficult to move to Europe, there are still many opportunities to start a new life in the Mediterranean sun. Many Brits are finding ways to start there life in sunny destinations such as Spain, Portugal, France Italy and Cyprus.

If you’ve made the decision to move overseas, now is the perfect time to get started and begin putting your plans into action. We have, therefore, compiled this checklist of things you need to consider as you plan your new life overseas. It is by no means comprehensive, but at least it will get you on your way!

(This is part one, part two can be viewed here). You can also visit our website to get a quote and more information on international removals.

So let’s get going…

Planning to make it happen

1. Make the big decision – this is the year!

Many people take a lot of time to carefully consider the positive and negative aspects of making the decision about whether to move or not. It is completely natural as it’s a big decision which comes with lots of if’s and but’s.

Sometimes the only answer is to just go for it, rather than the risk of regret.

Study your options and see which opportunities are available and what suits your family.

Then make that decision! Don’t let fear and worries hold you back if it is the right move for you and your family.

Remember this Mark Twain quote from our article on inspiring you to get started:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” —Mark Twain

Quote Twain harbor fb

2. Focus On The Positive Reasons For Moving

There are likely to be many push factors leading to you seeking a new life overseas – such as the British weather, negative politics, and perhaps even problems in your personal and professional life. Whilst these can be valid reasons to move abroad, for the most positive outcome, you should focus on the positive aspects of why you are moving and where you are going. What kind of life do you want to create for yourself and your family? Where do you want to be living? What job would you like to be doing? How will you enjoy fitting into the local culture?

3. Be Prepared For the Negative Aspects of Moving

While you will want the pros to outweigh the cons, you’ll need to be prepared for the not-so-good side of where you are moving. Nowhere is perfect, and if you move expecting a utopia, you will be in for a disappointment. Do your research before you move so you are prepared for the downside, whilst still remembering to focus on the positives.

4. Decide where and when you are going and check your eligibility

You will probably have some idea already where you would like to go, but you will need to check if your desire matches your eligibility. Entry requirements have changed a lot recently for many countries.

Don’t be too despondent if your first choice country is not so welcoming – there are many other opportunities for starting a new life overseas, and countries you have not considered may be more ideal than you realised.

5. Planning your visa application

Depending on your country of choice and your type of visa, this can take anything from weeks to months, so it is important to investigate the process carefully and seek expert advice where necessary.

Being prepared and realistic in your expectations can save you much time, aggravation and even money further along the process.

6. What work opportunities are available?

If you are fortunate you already have a job offer, however, for many migrants, you will need to check what opportunities are available in your field. Fortunately, for most popular UK expat destinations and occupations, there are many specialist recruitment consultancies willing to advise you for free.

There is a huge demand for many skilled occupations, including health, education, construction, trade and other professionals.

You can contact PSS and we’ll be happy to pass your details on to relevant recruiters.

7. Where in the country do you want to live?

It is good to be open and flexible, but you should also research which area best suits your family and work preferences. The cost of living, amenities and job opportunities can all vary considerably. You will also want to find the environment that you feel most at home in.

The temptation may be to head for the most popular cities or regions for British migrants, but sometimes a better standard of living and quality of life can be found away from the big cities.

8. Should you make a familiarisation visit?

Although you’ll be surprised how many people we have successfully helped move to a new country in which they have never been set foot in, it is not ideal. A familiarisation visit in the style of the BBC TV series “Wanted Down Under”, could be a great idea for making the transition a smoother process for all your family.

A country can also look very different when you visit it with the express purpose of living there rather than visiting on holiday.

During this visit, you can set up job interviews, check out accommodation possibilities and how different areas suit you.

Planning for leaving the UK

moving goodbye party

There’s a lot more to leaving the UK than arranging your farewell party!

9. Decluttering

Clearing out possessions you no longer need can take longer than you expect, so it is good to plan this so it’s not all a last-minute rush, ending up with you filling up two shipping containers with belongings you are no longer going to need. You can use our international removals cost calculator to give you an idea of much much it will cost to ship different amounts of belongings to your destination.

Everything you sell can also be a useful contribution to your migration fund!

10. Selling your house

This is one of the key things that hold up people’s move overseas, especially if the finances you need to move are locked up in your house. Talk to local estate agents about the state of your local market and the price you can expect or what you may need to accept for a quick sale.

11. Cutting ties

You will need to make a list of all the organisations you need to inform and the services you need to cancel before you leave. This includes everything from banks, insurance, social security, HMRC and transferring your Netflix account.

12. Family, friends and your leaving party!

This may not just be informing them but also making arrangements to take care of any responsibilities you have

You won’t want to arrange your leaving party until you know when you’re going – but don’t leave too late either, as you’ll have so much to do immediately before your departure.

Click here for Part 2 of this article where we will be looking at planning your actual move and also planning for your arrival in your new country.

In the meantime, if you would like a quote, home survey or just some friendly advice about the overseas removal process then give one of our experts a call on 020 8686 7733 or you can a quote online using our free International Removals Cost Calculator or for smaller shipments our International Shipping Cost Calculator.

Plan your move overseas part 2 1