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4 Smart Ideas To Make Moving Overseas Easier for You (and Your Pet)

Published on: February 1, 2023  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

Girl holding gray cat

Moving overseas is an emotional experience. You’re excited about the adventure – so many new things to see and do and learn (and eat)! You’re looking forward to starting your new job – or doing your work in a different environment. But you’re also anxious – what will those new things be like? Will you fit in? Where will your kids go to school? And your dog or cat play?

On top of all that, there’s the emotional stress of moving itself. Nobody likes moving, and if you’re headed overseas you’ll have to make some serious downsizing decisions. Even if your employer is paying to ship your belongings, you can’t take everything with you. It’s too expensive, and chances are you’ll be living in smaller quarters.

You do have a place to live nailed down, yes? And your pets have permission to reside there as well? That is Priority Number One – not only for your peace of mind but because it makes planning your move easier,

1. Get started right now

Make lists of everything you need to do – and use a calendar to track the timing. The time will pass faster than you think, and you’re leaving the country. It’s not like you can just deal with it later.

2. Deciding what to pack

When it comes to your belongings, you have to make four decisions:

  • What to jettison (sorry).
  • What to put into long-term storage. Is this a permanent move, or do you expect to return to your current home in the future? If you’ll be back at some point, this can be a cost-effective option.
  • What to have the movers pack for shipping overseas (ask your international moving company for advice).
  • What to take with you in your luggage and carry-ons. Valuables such as jewelry and vital personal papers belong here. And here’s a tip: pack them in vacuum-sealed bags, and you’ll be amazed at how much more you can fit. Beware of checked-baggage weight limits, though. 

What will make this easier? Get a friend to help. Other people aren’t as emotionally invested in your stuff as you are, so they can be dispassionate about what should stay or go.

Plus, there’s an upside – by starting early, you won’t have to simply give it all away at the last minute. Charitable donations are a good thing, but you can also sell items on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, to friends and relatives, at a garage sale, etc. Use the money you earn as a “new home stash” to purchase locally-appropriate clothing or items for your new home.

Don’t you feel cheerier already?

3. Get your paperwork in order

From passports and visas to updates on your family’s immunizations, you’ll need current documentation to move overseas. It is critical to start the paperwork process early if you’re moving with pets. Every country has different animal import requirements, and they can be both extensive and confusing. 

What will make this easier? Hiring an experienced professional pet transport company to handle the details. You already have more than enough on your mind, and your to-do list is long. Letting a pro handle your pet’s documentation and flight arrangements and coordinate the entire process might be the single smartest decision you make for your overseas move.

4. Make it fun

Researching your new country is not only useful, but it’s also interesting. And you’ll feel more at home when you get there. Get in touch with expats already in situ. Who better to give you “hands-on” advice about everything from managing your move to the best places to shop and eat in your new home? This help can be invaluable, and you’ll have made new friends before you even arrive. 

What else should you do to make moving overseas easier?

  • Learn the dos and don’ts of local etiquette so you can be a good citizen and neighbor. This includes pet etiquette, because local rules and cultural views may be quite different when it comes to your dog or cat.
  • Learn some of the local language. Even a few words will help you get into the spirit of your new home. Teach your dog some common commands in your new language.
  • Plan quiet time for yourself and playtime with your family and your pets, focusing on relaxation and togetherness. Children and pets have their own worries about your impending move, and it’s up to you to make them as comfortable as possible. Maintaining their regular routines and spending time with them are the two most important ways you can do that.

Finally, host a going away party for your kids, so they can say goodbye to their friends. (The adults could use this, too.) And make sure you have a video call app and email addresses to keep in touch, so you can share your adventure of moving overseas as it unfolds.New Call-to-action

Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.