How to Move to Another Country and Start Over

For all the excitement living the expat life brings, you’ll first need to consider the practicalities. A move abroad is a huge undertaking. Moving to another country, even for a short period of time, requires a significant amount of preparation. But once you know how to move to another country and start over, you can make an easy transition to expat life. Find out what you need to know, below.

How to Move to Another Country and Start Over - woman with suitcase boarding ship

CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn how to move to another country and start over so your transition to living abroad is easier. This includes:

Common Reasons to Move to Another Country

Everyone has their own personal reasons for wanting to move to another country. Some of the most popular reasons why people move to another country include:

  • Climate Conditions (Weather)
  • Better Economic or Employment Opportunities
  • Retirement
  • Study Abroad
  • Political Climate
  • To Be Closer to Family

Going to another country to live takes some major consideration and planning, so it’s not usually a decision made lightly. So, it makes sense to hire someone like CBDMovers to come help you out in planning your move.

Whether you plan on returning home after living in another country for a year or will move permanently to another country, the following will get you closer to a new life in another country.

How Much Does it Cost to Move to Another Country?

The first step in learning how to move to another country and start over once you’ve picked your destination is to consider your finances in the grand scheme of things.

First of all, can you afford to do this?

While you may ultimately enjoy cost of living gains by moving to a new country, you might need to make some upfront investments.

This is especially true if you plan to move your worldly goods over with you. The moving costs of relocating to another country can be incredibly costly, so you need to decide now what you plan to take with you, but also what else is essential. 

For example, car transport. Will you move your car overseas?

If so, you can save some money if you do it right. Have a look at this guide on Shiply that shows you how to transport your car properly.

What about your furniture, clothing, and other belongings? Really ask yourself, what do you need to move to another country? If you are truly starting over, you may want to leave just about everything behind. If not, set aside a generous budget for overseas shipping.

Tip: Defray Costs By Selling What You Own

If you’re ready to part with your belongings, you can sell your possessions locally, on Facebook Marketplace, or on Etsy to help fund your move.

For those things that don’t sell, consider re-homing them or donating them to charitable organizations. You can drop off clothing at Good Will or The Salvation Army. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and Big Brother association will schedule pick ups for certain household items. And, you can drop off larger household items with St. Vincent de Paul. While you may not get cash, you will get a tax write-off for the donations.

How to Move to Another Country and Start Over - sell your house

If you own any property, you’ll want to take the steps to sell your home as early as possible. Keep in mind you may need to make some investments in repairs and home renovations to maximize your profit. 

If you’ve lived in your home for many years and phases of life, you might need to rent a dumpster or a Bagster. Be sure to compare the costs carefully. Even though renting a dumpster might seem like a larger initial investment, the Bagster removal costs can add up, especially if you end up needing more than one. 

Tip: Account for Travel Related Expenses

Of course, you’ll need to account for travel costs, such as airfare and additional baggage fees.

To find the best low cost airfares, you can use these online tools for flight deals, or even subscribe to Matt’s Flights, a flight deal newsletter. Alternatively, you might enlist the service of a travel agent, who may save you both time and money.

You may even want to take an extended vacation to “try on” the destination before moving to a new country permanently.

Include the cost of renting a flat while you get to know the lay of the land and look for a more permanent living arrangement, and build in extra savings for the unexpected expenses.

Additionally, expect to encounter a wide variety of costs, from medical checks, insurance, and citizenship tests. They can really add up, so set aside a buffer for unexpected fees.

Tip: Save for Your Living Expenses

Finally, you also should think about savings and other assets when you’re considering how to move to a different country.

Will you have enough of a buffer in your bank account to start over and sustain you while you move abroad?

A good rule of thumb when you’re moving to a different country is to have six-months’ living expenses tucked away.

Be sure to know the rate of exchange and come up with a good monthly budget to truly assess if this will work for you.

Make Sure You Meet the Country’s Criteria

Next, in learning how to move abroad and start over is to examine whether you meet the country’s criteria.

If you want to move abroad to a country permanently, you’ll need to uncover the pathway towards this goal. It will take some research on your part, since there are so many different types of visas which vary by country of origin and destination. 

One short-cut is to speak to a migration agent to check that you are eligible to move to the country you have in mind. Migration officers like Shiva’s can show you the quickest and easiest way to gain entry to the country. Some of these may come with limitations that could cost you more money, but it’s good to know your options.

How to Prepare to Move to Another Country

Now that you have decided that you definitely want to live in another country, there is a lot of admin to complete from this point. Try not to get overwhelmed by it; just take it one step at a time

You’ll want to give yourself a timeline, say 3 months or more, to tend to all the details. Living in a different country takes a lot of preparation.

One key to your success will be to spend a lot of time asking the appropriate questions. This is the most important piece of the puzzle, because you’ll need to conduct the relevant research as it relates to the country you’ll be moving to. You can go to social media groups and view services that others recommend for this information.

Also, be sure that you are organized

You’ll want to create a moving checklist for the country you’re going to so you can work through every step, guaranteeing that you will set up your new life in the best possible way.

For certain, make sure you have copies or original documents of important papers with you before moving to a foreign country. This includes:

  • Birth certificate
  • Adoption/Child Custody paper
  • Passport)
  • Driver’s License
  • Social Security Card
  • Marriage/Divorce Certificate
  • Financial Records and Bank Statements
  • “No-Claims Bonus” (NCB) record for car insurance
  • Medical and Dental Records, including Prescriptions
  • School Transcripts/Degrees
  • Financial Records
  • If you are bringing a pet, Immunization Records and Health Certification

Be Ready For An Emotional Roller-Coaster

Moving to another country to start over carries a lot of emotional weight. Whether this move is for the long term, such as to retire abroad, or for the shorter term, expect to process some heavy emotions.

Not only are you leaving your former life and familiar places behind to begin a new life with potentially many unknowns, but you might be thousands of miles away from loved ones and friends.

As excited as you may be for living in another country and embracing a new life, this may also mean an emotional departure from elderly parents, adult children and grandchildren, and your besties. 

How to Move to Another Country and Start Over - man hugs goodbye to woman

All relationships take work and commitment. Fortunately in this day and age, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch. Do some thinking about how you will maintain those connections, such as weekly video-conferencing or phone calls, plans for visits home, or accepting visitors where you will be staying. 

Having a plan to stay in touch helps turn “good-bye” into “see you later,” which is a much easier sentiment to process.

Your emotions may range from elation and excitement, to fear and anxiety, to worry and guilt, to joy and hopefulness, uncertainty, and beyond. Understand that these are natural feelings with such a big change in your life.

Try to work through them and remain focused on the reason(s) you are moving and why it’s important to you. You will ultimately make peace with these feelings once you are settled into your new destination.

Make the Move Happen

When it’s finally time to move out of the country, you’ll want to let people and organizations know that you are going. If you’re moving from the US, this list might include: 

  • Banking Institutions
  • Your utility and insurance companies
  • Social Security Administration
  • The IRS and tax agencies abroad
  • Local tax authorities
  • US Post Office
  • US Embassy

If you still have possessions that you will not be taking with you, you’ll need to put them into storage now.

Or, if you’ll be moving possessions, consider enlisting the help of an international moving company, who can streamline the process and let you know if there are things you won’t be able to take with you.

You’ll also want to make sure you have enough cash on hand or travelers checks to get you started.

And, let your credit card company know you’re moving.

Finally, confirm your flight and movers, and take care of any last minute details that are still lingering.

The time has come to move!

Pack your bags, plan your travel outfit, and have a final toast to beginning your new life!

How to Move to Another Country and Start Over - a champagne toast for 3

The final detail? Unlock your phone and get a sim card once you’ve moved to another country, so you can affordably stay in contact with your loved ones.

Final Thoughts on How to Move to Another Country and Start Over

So, how difficult is it to move to another country? Clearly, it’s certainly not the easiest thing.

But with any luck, you now have a much better understanding of how to move to another country and start over. For many people–and maybe for you–moving to another country will be a dream come true!

Would you ever move from your country of origin to another country? Have you ever lived abroad? How was it for you? Let us know any tips you have in the comments below!


This article is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.

Photo Credits: Woman with suitcase – Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels); Home for sale – Paul Brennan, Hugs – Gennaro Leonardi, Champagne Toast: Rosalia Ricotta (Pixabay).

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.