But will you be ready to start your new life abroad from Day One?
If you were a Girl Guide or a Scout, then you will already be familiar with the motto: “Be Prepared” – and, when it comes to moving overseas, it’s a good one to follow.
It’s easy to get lost in the excitement on the day of the Big Move and to focus all your energy on packing. After all, there’s a lot to remember and the biggest risk is that you’ll leave something behind.
You’ll probably have check lists and a military-grade plan to ensure every single one of your belongings either comes with you, gets delivered to a charity shop, sold at a car boot sale, goes into storage or is disposed of down at the council tip.
But, what about when you arrive at your new home?
If you’ve been organised and done a research trip or sent a “forward party”, some of your stuff may already be there … somewhere. But if you haven’t got a kettle, you’ve lost track of your pyjamas and there are tears because one of your children can’t find their favourite blanket, suddenly the excitement of moving into your new home can get a little tarnished.
The secret is to plan ahead and, even though it may cost a little more for extra luggage, if you can pack the things you think you’re going to need in the first 24 hours into a separate suitcase or two, it could save you quite a bit of stress later on.
Here are some examples of what you might like to include:
An Overnight Kit: Settling in an unmade bed is never easy and you don’t want to start your first day in your new home as a sleep-deprived zombie. Could you fit covers for duvets, pillows and sheets in your luggage so at least you can be comfortable on your first night?
When you make a start on turning your new house into a home, it’ll be easier if you’ve been able to brush your teeth, have a shower and slip into some clean clothes. Why not pack a suitcase including all the essentials? A new toothbrush, a fresh bottle of shower gel and shampoo and a new tube of toothpaste is a small but significant way to celebrate a fresh start in your new home.
Cash and cards: Most of us carry our wallets and purses everywhere – but that doesn’t mean there’s everything we need in there. Remember, you can’t be sure everywhere takes a debit or credit card and you won’t necessarily know the location of the nearest ATM. It’s probably not a bad idea to have a cash reserve in the relevant currency ready for the Big Move.
Food and drink: If you’re moving within the UK, it’s not unusual to celebrate the first night in a new home with a takeaway and a couple of drinks – but, if you’re moving abroad, do you know if you’ll be able to find them? Why not do a small shop and prepare a box which includes some travel-resistant basics? A box of breakfast cereal, some pasta, a block of cheese, some packet or tinned soups, some beans… None of them will leak as a result of rough handling during the journey but they could be a Godsend if your flights are delayed and you arrive at your new home starving in the middle of the night.
Tools: It’s never a bad idea to have some basic tools handy. There may be a couple of jobs which need doing around the house within your first 48 hours and a couple of screwdrivers (one flat, one crosshead), an adjustable spanner, a hammer and a sharp knife seem to be the things required most frequently. We’d also recommend gaffer tape simply because it’s versatile and you simply never know when you might need it! If you can, make sure you also have the necessary plug adaptors for electrical appliances and phone chargers.
Children and animals: After all, if they’re happy, life can be much less complicated. If you have a portable DVD player, a hand-held games console and some familiars or favourite toys, you probably won’t regret it. Some new toys or games could also help to keep your children happy and in a positive frame of mind for long enough to get through the first 48 hours of the Big Move.
But don’t forget the family pets; they may find the disruption of moving to a new home overseas even more challenging than the children and the more preparation you can do the better. They will also appreciate a few familiars – and lots of your time and attention. If you can assign a “moving buddy” who has the job of spending time with the dog or cat before and after the Big Move, it could help them adjust more readily.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a few ideas but, if you have any other questions about moving home, feel free to browse our earlier blog posts or even give us a call or drop us a line. Don’t forget, we also have a good selection of apartments and villas for sale across Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Greece and have the relevant experience to guide you through the process, including applications for the appropriate visas.
If you want to know more about life overseas or if you wish to view one of our many lovely properties, please contact us and we will be pleased to assist.
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