Thank you for visiting movabroad – your international relocation specialist.

So you’ve landed the perfect destination for your next big step in life. Congratulations! Now it is time to start planning the big overseas move. As part of our commitment to making the transition as easy as possible for you, we’ve compiled the ultimate international relocation checklist to help you along the way.

In most cases, you know that you’ll be moving at least a month in advance. You may think a week or two will give you plenty time to handle all of your international moving logistics, but we want to urge you to really give yourself a bit more time. Start planning your overseas move at least a month in advance in order to comfortably cross the Ts and dot the Is on your international moving checklist.

Tip: Start planning your move as soon as possible in order to comfortably cross off all the items of your checklist.



It’s a good idea to speak to some of your company’s expats to learn more about their experience before you take the leap. When discussing your relocation package with your employer, be sure to consider the following:
❏ Tax coverage
❏ Payment assistance
❏ Hardship allowances (if applicable)
❏ Company housing / housing allowance
❏ Moving costs
❏ Future expenses
❏ Family and spousal assistance
❏ Immigration assistance
❏ Exchange rate protection
❏ Medical insurance and expenses
❏ Transportation (ie. car lease)

Read our blog post to learn how to negotiate your international relocation package in 4 simple steps.



Give notice to the landlord

Time to pull out and review the lease! Be sure to give sufficient notice to your landlord and to comply with any other obligations that is expected of you in terms of the lease.

Tip: Give as much notice as possible, in the form specified in your lease agreement – usually in writing. Give your free relocation assistant a shout if you need any assistance.

❏ Repair or repaint your home before final walk-through

Your security deposit is dependent on the condition in which you leave the home. In most cases, landlords require walls to be pure white, so if you painted the walls in different colors, you will have to repaint them white. Use this time to address all minor home repairs before you move out and give up the lease. Most rental agreements will stipulate what is expected of you upon moving out. Be sure to review your lease thoroughly and determine your responsibilities in this regard.

You may be required to fill nail holes, deep clean your home, wash the carpets, and paint the walls if needed. If you don’t have time or inclination, movabroad can arrange the required cleaning and handyman services with third parties on your behalf.

Tip: Read 8 Hacks to Fix Common Home Damage Issues and make sure to get your deposit back. You will need that money to enjoy your new life after your overseas move.

Schedule cancellation of utilities and home services

Contact the various utilities and home services companies and request that they discontinue your services. Common services:
❏ Electricity
❏ Water
❏ Natural gas
❏ Gas bottle deliveries
❏ Trash removal
❏ Security systems
❏ Cable TV
❏ Internet
❏ Telephone
❏ AC maintenance
❏ Cleaning services
❏ Pest control
❏ Pool service 
❏ Garden service
❏ Power generator
❏ Bottled water deliveries
❏ Magazine / newspaper subscriptions

Tip: Take photos of your utility meters. Photos will come in handy in case of disputes with your landlord.

 Schedule a final walk-through and claim your deposit

Consider meeting with your landlord before you move out. It is a good opportunity to discuss the dissolution of your lease and find out whether there are any damages, cleaning, or other issues for which you may be charged. This gives you an opportunity to repair whatever problems there are while you are still in a position to secure your deposit. Confirming that you will get your deposit back during this meeting, will be one thing less to worry about after moving day.

Tip: Take as many pictures as possible as you move out of your home, especially of any repairs you have made. You will want to prove what condition your place was in when you moved out. You may want to email these pictures to the landlord as soon as possible, ensuring no damages bill or claim comes after you moved out.



❏ Select a school in your new city

When considering moving overseas with your kids, selecting the right school is an important factor in your decision and probably is item #1 on your priority list. It often dictates the neighborhood in which you will need to live.
❏ Is there a school with the same curriculum they are currently using?
❏ Will it be within my budget?
❏ Is there a waiting list?
❏ What extracurricular options are available for my kids?

Tip: We strongly recommend that you start contacting potential schools as soon as possible. Our local partners can help if you need any assistance in this regard. You may wish to read our blog post Choosing a School Abroad: 3 Considerations that Really Matter to Every Expat Parent

❏ Prepare your admission application

Again, our local partners can assist you with the application and follow up of schools until your children are enrolled. Don’t hesitate to contact us if needed.

❏ Inform the current school that you are moving abroad

You should inform your children’s school that you will be moving abroad.

Order transcripts, transfer certificates & other relevant docs

Ask for transfer certificates and any information that is relevant to your move.

Tip: Remember to contact the new school for guidance on which documents they will require. They may have very specific requests regarding the documents you must obtain from your kids’ previous schools.



If you have not yet chosen your area or neighborhood, now is the time to do so!

❏ Plan a look and see trip

If your company covers it, it should be a no-brainer. A look and see trip will give you and your family a much deeper understanding of your new city than days of googling. We have populated a list of must-do tasks to complete during your look and see trip, which should help you make the most out of getting to know the new city.

❏ Research the cost of living, including housing, food prices, and other costs.
❏ Research job opportunities, if you don’t have a job yet.
❏ If you have a job, visit your new company to learn more about the company culture, the job expectations, and the people.
❏ Attempt to create a provisional monthly budget to see how your new salary will hold up against your new cost of living.
❏ Research transportation options, especially if you won’t have a car or a while. It might be a good idea to use that form of transport while you’re visiting to travel to your new workplace, schools and to the neighborhood you hope to move to.
❏ Talk to locals about recommended neighborhoods, schools, places of worship, medical facilities, and recreational activities.
❏ Read the local newspapers to get a feel for the area and read the letters to the editor. You will discover the issues people are talking about.
❏ If you’ve been speaking to realtors via movabroad, this is a good opportunity to meet with them and check out houses.
❏ Visit gyms, parks and recreational facilities that may become a part of your daily routine.
❏ Visit the local library and city planning office.

Tip: Read our 6 Tips to Make the Most of Your Look-and-See Trip  blog post and prepare your look and see trip. Take advantage of your trip to search for a home intensively. It will give you an early understanding of the market, allow for renegotiation of housing allowance if needed (happens all the time!), and will let you be much more effective by the time you start looking for a home effectively. Securing housing early is also one of our 12 tips to save money on your relocation package.

❏ Choose your neighborhood

They are a tons of resources online to do so. Proximity to school, work, grocery stores, rental prices – depending on your family requirements – are all important factors to consider to choose the right neighborhood.

❏ Google Maps is a fantastic resource for visiting many neighborhoods at the same time.
❏ Use a country-specific online tool to view demographic information, reports on schools, and city comparisons.
❏ Use local law enforcement websites view crime statistics.
❏ Use property sites to research changes in home values and rental prices over the last 10 years.
❏ Areas with higher home values tend to have better schools. Visit the school district’s website to get a better understanding about whether there is a local school that will provide a good fit for your child.
❏ Learn about the new neighborhood by visiting and interacting with locals and expats who can answer your questions about the culture, attractions and atmosphere.

Tip: Our Guide to choosing the right neighborhood abroad should give you a few hints to help you in the process. Also ask your relocation assistant to arrange a custom look-and-see trip to help you find the perfect neighborhood for your family.



❏ Arrange temporary accommodation

Depending on your destination, temporary accommodation could be a real weight on your budget. Do not hesitate to compare all options before you settle for one. Hotels, serviced apartments, airbnb rentals – there are many options for you to chose from.

❏ Take advantage of corporate housing if your company makes an offer.
❏ Inquire about extended-stay hotels if you have to stay for longer than a week. Your movabroad international relocation assistant can assist in finding the perfect option.
❏ Serviced apartments also are a common option to be considered

Tip: You might want to join some Facebook groups of your destination (search “expats in [your destination city]” to see some of available groups) and post in those. You will be surprised by the amount of insight and option you will get.

❏ Find a home!

Whether you are renting or buying a new home abroad, you should be requesting the help of an independent international relocation professional. It will give you access to ALL agents and properties locally. You will receive first-hand information on properties that are usually snatched before they even make it to online property listings. These properties are often passed on from expats to expats. This is also a good way to get independent and honest insights into the real estate market, gain access to translators, lawyers and other real estate professionals. Chat with us if you need help finding an international relocation professional.

❏ Negotiate the lease

Always negotiate the lease. Many landlords and property managers are open to negotiation with long-term expat renters. You will be surprised at how often the owner agrees. A security deposit is required in most countries. In certain cases, you may have to pay 6 or 12 rents upfront.

❏ Schedule your move in walk-through

Appearances can be deceiving as the saying goes… This applies particularly well to housing so make sure to check out the property thoroughly and sign a move in walk through checklist. Make sure to take pictures of the property, date them and attach them to your move-in checklist.

❏ Print a copy of the movabroad walkthrough checklist and take it along with you to the inspection.
❏ Make a list of items that require repairs before you move in.
❏ Don’t rush the walk-through. Take your time. A proper walk-through can take up to three hours.
❏ Inspect both the inside of the home, crawl-spaces, attics, basements, the garage, and the yard thoroughly.
❏ Never close on the purchase until you are satisfied that the issues have been repaired.
❏ Consider hiring a local professional home inspection expert who knows the area.

Tip: Contact us for a template walkthrough checklist applicable to your country (bilingual if needed) or read our blog post about how to complete a final walktrough.

❏ Setup utilities

Depending on the country, setting up utilities can be as simple as picking up the phone or paying services online. In some countries though, establishing fresh utilities accounts is simply Kafkaesque, and sometimes impossible… In those cases, it is pretty common for utilities bills to remain under the name of the landlord during the rental.

Electricity Water Natural gas Gas bottle deliveries
Trash removal ❏ …

Tip: In certain countries, we have partners who can set up your utilities for free. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need concierge services to get your utilities up and running.

❏ Plug-in home services

Your international relocation may reveal some major differences in how plug-in home services work. From differences in the type of electrical adapters we use to different types of subscriptions, there’s a lot to get used to. Your movabroad international relocation assistant can help you find the information you need to settle in.

Security systems Cable TV Internet Telephone
Pool service AC maintenance Cleaning services Pest control
❏ …

Tip: In certain countries, we have partners that can set up your new services. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need concierge services for any of the above.

❏ Prepare your home for move-in

So you’ve chosen your new home and you’re ready to settle in. However, there are some things to take care of before you move in.

❏ book a professional house cleaning.
❏ arrange with a locksmith to change the locks on all the exterior doors.
❏ arrange for the walls and ceilings to be painted.
❏ have window treatments (blinds or mechanical curtains) installed.
❏ arrange for your flat screen televisions to be mounted.
❏ ask a plumber to install your refrigerator, ice-maker, washing machine and dishwasher.



❏ Prepare all important documents

Compile a file with all of the following relevant documents and any related information that may be important. Try to keep it on you at all times. Be sure to check the documentation requirements for the country you are moving to. Many countries require that official paperwork is certified before it can be accepted.

Where to find information about the documentation you need? Read our blog post about visa and permit requirements.

❏ Birth certificates for all family members
❏ Passports for all family members (Ensure that they are valid for at least an additional six months from the date of travel) and foreign passports for dual citizens
❏ Driver’s licenses and International Driving Permits
❏ Marriage certificates
❏ Divorce papers and custody agreements
❏ Legal adoption documents
❏ Proof of relationship to your children as well as consent forms from any non-accompanying parent
❏ Recent photos of all family members, in the event of extreme emergency.
❏ Health insurance cards for all family members
❏ Immunization records for all family members
❏ Key medical records for all family members, particularly for individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses or those who have undergone major surgery that may be relevant to future medical care).
❏ Contact details for the nearest Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin.
❏ Copies of all moving abroad-related documents, photos and videos mentioned in this guide.
❏ Your vehicle’s original documents
❏ Vet records for your pet
❏ Copies of lease/homeowners insurance policies
❏ Prepare a power of attorney. Make sure you have certified copies of all important documents ready to hand over to the person you will be leaving in charge of your affairs while you are away.

Tip: Keep a copy of all these documents as well as your credit card numbers and phone numbers to cancel the credit cards in a separate place, along with digital copies on a password protected USB drive.

❏ Obtain Your Visas & Permits

Ensure that your visas and permits are up-to-date and that they meet the requirements of your new country. Read our post Where to find information about visa requirements.

We may be able to assist with your visas and permits. Speak to your relocation assistant about availability.

❏ Notify relevant companies and individuals of your change of address

❏ Verify your new address with the realtor or landlord.
❏ Fill out a mail forwarding request with your old postal service.

Include the following companies and institutions in your change of address notifications:

❏ government bodies (health and tax systems, consulates, electoral administration)
❏ banks & credit cards
❏ loyalty programs
❏ doctors and dentists
❏ utility companies (phone, gas, electrical)
❏ charities and non-profit
❏ political, professional and social organizations

Tip: Remember to cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

❏ Cancel/transfer insurance policies


❏ Sort out driving license

In some countries, you may require an International Driver’s License. Speak to your international relocation assistant to find out if your driver’s license needs to be exchanged for an IDP in your new country. movabroad can help!

❏ Close your bank account

Most expats close their bank accounts back home before relocating overseas, however, some people recommend keeping a bank account or credit card open for the following reasons:
● It’s easier to deal with existing bills and unexpected expenses back home.
● It helps you to maintain your credit history.
● It provides you easy access to money for visits in your home country.
● It gives you one less thing to worry about in the event that you have to move back.
However, keeping a bank account open will attract additional fees.

❏ Cancel cellphone contracts



Assess your current financial situation and plan for your life in your new country:

❏ Plan living costs (housing, transportation, medical, schooling, food, insurance, savings, entertainment, etc.)
❏ Research tax implications of moving abroad.
❏ Close your previous bank account (*optional) – If you keep your bank account, ensure that you have internet banking to ensure you can manage your accounts remotely.
❏ Choose a new bank.
❏ Increase your credit card limit in preparation for financial emergencies.



You can never be too careful with your family’s health. Take time to visit your doctors and complete the following aspects of your international move checklist.

❏ Obtain medical records

Get your relationship with your new doctor off to the best possible start by requesting copies of your family’s medical records from your doctor back home. This will ensure the quickest possible decisions and the best possible treatment in case of emergencies. Request your records and those of your family before moving abroad, as doctors may only release this with patient consent.

Obtain records from:

❏ general practitioners
❏ specialists
❏ dentists
❏ orthodontists
❏ hospitals
❏ pharmacists

❏ Book medical checkups

In the last three months before your international relocation, visit your GP for a final check up and to:

● Undergo a full medical examination
● Ensure you are up-to-date with all injections and mandatory vaccines, such as malaria and yellow fever
● Find out if there are any issues with obtaining prescriptions in your new country.

❏ Visit your dentist to diagnose any potential oral health concerns.
❏ Pick up new prescriptions for chronic medications a week before you travel overseas.
❏ Visit your optometrist and order new contact lenses

❏ Compare Health Insurance and Medical Cover

Be sure to find out how medical care works in your new country. In some countries, you may have access to free emergency treatment in public hospitals. In countries with costly medical care, consider taking out private medical insurance.

Speak to your relocation assistant about obtaining free medical insurance quotes to compare and choose your new medical cover.

Time to Get Packing!


International relocation offers a great opportunity for you to get rid of clutter and start over. International shipping is a significant expense and it is charged by weight and volume, so it is important to take only the most essential items – items that are sentimental or too expensive to replace.

❏ Save money by keeping your move as small as possible

In addition to saving on moving costs, you can also turn unused items into much-needed cash. Sometimes, it costs more to ship an old item than to buy a new one. By selling everything you no longer need or want, you free up some cash to buy new items in your new country. With online shopping, you can pretty much buy whatever you need and have it delivered to your door within less than a week.

❏ Motivate your children to get rid of their old toys by telling them you will buy new ones when you’ve moved into your new home.
❏ Research online shops in your new country – electronics might be cheaper there!

Visit our blog post Don’t use it? Don’t move it. Top ways to reduce your volume before moving to learn how to make the most of your decluttering exercise.

❏ Buy products you need and items that are cheaper in your country of origin

Expats in third world countries often have a hard time finding certain electronics or good toys for children’s birthdays. Plan ahead for upcoming birthdays by buying these items in your country of origin.

❏ Do an inventory of items you are taking with you

Be ruthless in your decluttering efforts. Organize everything into four piles –

❏ Throw away
❏ Donate
❏ Sell
❏ Take with

Tip: Split the “take with” pile into two sub-piles – one pile to go along with the main shipment, and only the essentials you have to take along in your luggage.

❏ Do an inventory of items you wish to put into storage

movabroad can help arrange storage options, should you need assistance in this regard. 

❏ Assess if excess luggage is a good option for you

Find out if your airline will allow you to take some small items as excess luggage. This usually works out cheaper than sending the same amount of goods by AIR with a moving company.

❏ Decide what appliances to take with you

If your country of origin uses a different type of adapter, it may be cumbersome and costly to convert the plugs of all your appliances, in which case it may be better to sell them and buy new ones.

Scour online stores in your new country to see whether it is cheaper to ship your appliances or buy new ones. In most cases, it is practical to give away old appliances and sell newer appliances and replace them once you reach your destination.

❏ Sell/donate things

Many people have successful emigration sales on Facebook these days. However, if you want to save time on meeting people individually, you might want to organize a moving out sale.



❏ Compare moving options

Find a good deal on your international removal costs. Your movabroad international relocation assistant can help you obtain moving quotes from various international removal companies. Always read the moving contract before you sign it to avoid hidden charges.

Once you have narrowed down the items you wish to take with you, it is time to obtain some moving quotes. Speak to your free international relocation assistant to get the best possible deals out of your city. We will get our partners to compete over your move and provide free international removals quotes.

❏ Hire a moving company

Review at least three moving quotes from three different international moving companies before making your decision. movabroad professionally vets all our partners to ensure you only deal with reputable moving companies. Get in touch with us today to arrange your moving quotes.

❏ Request an advance delivery of packing material

Packing up your home is never easy. Some people prefer to do their own packing, while some rely on the moving company to do the majority of the packing. Either way, you will want to pack up your own personal items. Request that the moving company delivers your packing materials in advance, and read our blog posts to get tried and true packing tips to make the process flow as smoothly as possible.

❏ Arrange care for pets and kids for move day

Moving is one of the most stressful events for adults, so just imagine how difficult it is for children and pets. Avoid meltdowns and disruptions by arranging a babysitter or family member to take care of your children and pets on moving day.

❏ Check if any authorization is needed for movers

Most moving day mishaps happen because clients don’t disclose every aspect to their movers. Save on moving costs and move day frustrations by finding out and disclosing any information that may disrupt the process:

❏ Obtain parking permits
❏ Obtain authorization to use the elevator
❏ Ensure access to the compound
❏ Notify the movers ahead of time if there are stairs

If furniture is too big to fit through the front door, or if it can’t be moved via the stairway, it may have to be hoisted up over a balcony. If parking is far from the unit, movers will have to bring along dollies. These are some of the examples in which additional tools and equipment will be needed. Prepare your movers by disclosing the information to make move day run smoothly. Let your movabroad relocation assistant take care of this task for you for free!

❏ Prepare your appliances for the move

❏ Empty your refrigerator and defrost it for at least 24 hours before shipping it.
❏ Follow your moving company’s recommendations on how to pack the drawers and shelving.
❏ Tape the door securely shut.

❏ Clean your dishwasher thoroughly.
❏ Follow your moving company’s recommendations on how to pack the drawers and shelving.
❏ Tape the door securely shut.

Washer and dryer
❏ Consult the owner’s manual of your washer and dryer for information on disconnecting it.
❏ Pack the hoses separately.
❏ Secure the drum.
❏ Tape the door securely shut.

❏ Perform a final walkthrough before movers leave

When the moving company leaves, do a final walkthrough of the house, outbuildings and yard to ensure that everything has been removed and that the house is clean. Follow the landlord / realtor’s suggestions on turning off utilities and take photos of the meters.

For more information on completing this task, read our blog post Your final walkthrough checklist.



Check quarantine laws and requirements for pet relocations
Take pet to the vet and obtain the required travel documents
Compare pet relocation quotes and compare different options
Book your pet relocation company

movabroad is committed to making the process as easy and comfortable as possible for you and your fur child alike.We have specialists who can handle every aspect of your pet relocation requirements. Get in touch with your relocation assistant to discuss pet relocation quotes and options today.



❏ To ship or not to ship?

Deciding on what you wish to do with your vehicle when you’re moving overseas is not easy. For most people, it comes down to costs. If that is important for you, compare the following:

● How much would you get for selling your vehicle in your current country?
● How much does a similar vehicle cost in your new country?
● How much would it cost to ship your vehicle?

When you consider shipping your car, also consider additional costs, such as:
❏ car rental while your vehicle is in transit
❏ shipping insurance
❏ port of entry taxes

Will you be shipping your car to your new country?
Compare vehicle shipping quotes and options
Request a no-claim bonus from your insurer to help negotiate a better rate with your new insurer
Hire a vehicle shipping company
Prepare your vehicle for shipping
Register your vehicle at your destination

moveabroad can put you in contact with service providers who can help you to simplify the process of vehicle shipping. Speak to your relocation assistant about vehicle shipping quotes and options today.

❏ Vehicle Shipping: RORO, Air, or Container?

When shipping your car overseas, you must consider:

● price
● schedules
● destinations
● security
● insurance

❏ Air freight is the most expensive option, but will get your car to its destination quickest.
❏ Roll-On-Roll-Off is the cheapest of the three options, but offers less security.
❏ Container shipping is cost effective and secure.

TIP: In some cases, it may be possible to ship your vehicle in a container, along with your household goods, which saves costs all round. Speak to your movabroad relocation specialist about your vehicle shipping options.

❏ How to prepare your vehicle for shipping

❏ Remove all valuables from your car (radio, CDs, portable DVD players, loose items in trunk and glove department)
❏ Empty the tank to 1/4
❏ Turn off the alarm
❏ Remove the antennae
❏ Fold back the mirrors
❏ Ensure the battery is charged
❏ Check that fluids are not leaking
❏ Inflate the tires properly
❏ Give one set of keys to the shipping company
❏ Keep one set of keys with your valuables – preferably on your person.
❏ Take photos and videos of the car, noting exterior damages along with the date and provide a copy to the shipping agent.



❏ Book flight tickets

Book your flight tickets well in advance to ensure you can travel on your chosen date, and so that you can arrange everything else around that. Get a good deal on your flight tickets by booking through:

❏ Pack your suitcases

Pack everything you need in the short term in the check-in luggage that will fly with you:

❏ Check your maximum baggage allowance (usually two pieces per person)
❏ Find out what will be available at your temporary accommodation and pack accordingly (clothes iron, hair dryer, coffee machine)
❏ Remember to pack toiletries
❏ Use vacuum bags to save space – they really do work!
❏ Use all the pockets in your cases.
❏ Spread items across the bags instead of keeping all bottoms in one bag and all tops in another and place a set of toiletries in both bags – in case one goes missing.
❏ Attach address labels with flight and destination to your luggage, and keep another set of details inside, in case it goes missing.
❏ Mark your cases to make them easily recognizable on the conveyor belt.
❏ Lock everything to ensure that it is covered by insurance.
❏ Carry valuables such as laptops and phones in your hand luggage.
❏ Pack special items that won’t fit in a box and ask a friend to bring it along when they visit in a few months’ time.

Tip: Pack enough essentials for one weekend in one case to avoid undoing all your work in the first night!

❏ Arrange temporary accommodation (if needed).

❏ Arrange transfers to and from airports and accommodation.


❏ Arrange foreign exchange


❏ Let your bank know that you will be using your credit card abroad, or else they may block transactions.


❏ Obtain estimated delivery times from shipping companies.



❏ Say goodbye to your friends back home by arranging a farewell party.
❏ Learn the language – Many free apps, such as allow you to learn languages from all around the world.
❏ Connect with locals – Up to 6 months before your move, find and talk to locals and expats online so that you won’t feel like a stranger in a strange city.
❏ Read up about the customs – Google or visit your library to read up as much as you can about the customs in your new country or city.
❏ Buy maps / GPS – Knowing how to get around is the best way to get to know your new city.
❏ Check in early on the day of the flight. Arriving late may still get you on the flight, but your bags probably won’t make it.
❏ Take lots of photos, relax, and clink a glass on your new life!