While moving to a new country marks an exciting new beginning, the often complex logistics and planning involved can make the whole process extremely challenging and time-consuming. Rather than letting the stress get on top of you in what should be one of the most positive and productive periods of your life, try to stay calm and make use of this handy guide to preparing for your first week living abroad:   

Before Leaving:

Do your research

Whichever country you’ll be calling home, you must conduct thorough research before embarking on the move. At a bare minimum, this should include getting to grips with the local language, culture and customs of your chosen destination – if you’ll be working abroad, it may also be helpful to check out the local labor market and employment opportunities. Most importantly, make sure that you’re familiar with any legal processes you’ll need to undertake in order to facilitate the move. 


While it’s always better to ensure that you’ve secured a permanent residence before making the move, this may not always be possible. If you’re planning on uprooting to another country without a lease, rental or mortgage agreement (or you’re yet to finalize an ongoing property deal), you’ll need to make sure that you have somewhere to stay, even if it’s just a hotel or other temporary accommodation.   

Ensure that your passport and documents are in order

As part of your pre-move planning, double-check that your passport is in date and valid for travel. Depending on your country of choice, you may also have to request visas and other paperwork to ensure safe passage and legal residency – make sure that any paperwork is in order well in advance of the big day.  

Upon arrival:

Set up your phone and SIM card 

Once you’ve touched down in your new home, one of the first steps to take is setting up your phone and SIM card for service in the new country. You’ll likely need to update or replace your existing contract and SIM plan when you move abroad, so ensure that this is done as quickly as possible to ensure you can communicate as necessary. 

Make the necessary transport arrangements

If you’re planning on taking your UK vehicle with you on the move abroad and keeping it for 12 months or more, you’ll need to have notified the DVLA of a permanent export and made the necessary arrangements for shipping or transportation to the new location. If you decide to make do with a rental car or leased vehicle in your new country, you may need to apply for temporary car insurance to ensure that you’re safe and legal on the road. 

Set up a bank account

You’ll likely need to set up a bank account in the new country, especially if you’ll be receiving wages or seeking employment during your stay. To make this process as smooth as possible, ensure that your financial affairs are in order at home and that you’re well-armed with any beneficial paperwork that could come in handy when applying for a new account.  

Find your locals

Once all the necessary paperwork, checks and arrangements have been made, it’s time to start getting settled in. A great way to gain familiarity in a new country is by getting to grips with the services, shops, restaurants and facilities in your local area – by getting into the thick of it straight away, you could make friends in your new home quicker than you think!