Moving Abroad Checklist

Moving Abroad Checklist: The essentials and the hard to find items

Getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Deciding to pack up and leave your home country is a big step, and you should be buzzing, and probably nervous, by the packing stage. But what are the important items you need to bring, and what might you find difficult to buy out there? Use this moving abroad checklist to make sure your relocation goes as smooth as possible.

Flying over Moscow on the way to my new home in Shanghai

Moving Abroad Checklist:

1) Original Documents

If you are moving abroad, and especially if you plan to work while away, you should definitely bring along your important original documents. This includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Passport with at least 6 months validity (good luck not taking that one)
  • University degree
  • Certificates for any qualifications needed in your field
  • Criminal background check
  • Medical records
  • TEFL certificate if you plan to teach
  • Passport photos

You will most likely need these for any working visa you apply for and its a pain to have them sent out. Photocopies of these also won’t hurt. 

2) Banking details

Bring a bank statement and have the phone numbers for your bank in your phone before you leave. You may want to move money internationally to your home bank account so you will need your international bank account number (IBAN), international bank identifier code (BIC) and your bank’s address. This information can usually be found on your bank statement. 

mix of currencies
Money money money!

3) Medications 

It’s a good idea to stock up on any medications and contact lenses you need before leaving your home country. While its possible you can get them in your adopted country, its best to take a good supply with you to start. Some medications may be illegal in your new country of residence so check that out before you travel.

4) Electronics

Taking all your electronic devices with your home country’s electric plug means you need to bring enough travel adapters to get by. Consider buying an external hard drive to back up your files and also to carry some movies, so you have stuff to watch while setting up your new home. As for your mobile phone, make sure it is unlocked so you can buy and use a local sim card right away. 

5) Cosmetics

If you have a certain brand of cosmetics that you just can’t live without, its probably best to bring a supply. I have found that good quality foundation was hard to come by in some Asian countries, and also blond hair dye!

6) Suncream

If you are moving somewhere hot and sunny, lucky you! But be sure to pack some suncream. Suncream isn’t easy to find in some places, for example, I struggled to buy a good reliable suncream in Vietnam. 

7) Tampons

Again, in some countries, this won’t be a problem. However, in some, you can’t find them for love nor money, and in some countries, they will break the bank. So bring a good supply ladies! 


If you are interested in teaching abroad check out my guide to getting a job in Vietnam by clicking here

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