airplane wing - photo credit:

You’ve probably dreamt about this at least one time: You cram everything you got into one large suitcase and move to a remote island, eat fresh fish and oysters for dinner, and never wear uncomfortable shoes again. Goodbye sad, dull office, crowded streets, and noisy neighbors.

airplane wing - photo credit:

While that is a fantasy for most people, some gather enough courage to book a one-way ticket and move to a new country, leaving everything and everyone they know back home.

But, here’s the reality: booking that plane ticket isn’t the only scary thing you’ll do. You’ll also need to sort your affairs and ensure that everything is in order from a legal standpoint. But, most importantly, you’ll need to figure out what to pack and what to leave behind. Sure, you could have your recliner chair and mattress shipped across the ocean, but is it really necessary?

Here’s a list of the essential items you will need for your relocation.

First Thing First

Make sure to follow the advice below before you get sucked into the crazy process that is moving abroad.

  • Call your new landlord ahead to see what is available in your new home. For example, will you need to buy an iron or a coffee maker or is there one already?
  • Check the maximum baggage allowance that your airline will grant. In most cases, it should be two pieces per person. Make sure to also look for the best cabin luggage that fit the size restrictions allowed by your airline.

With that in mind, here are the items that you should pack when moving abroad.

1.  Pack Appropriate Clothes

Yes, this one is obvious, but you would be surprised how many people take on precious space in their luggage with clothes they don’t really need. Consider the climate of the country you’re moving to as well as the culture. For example, if you are moving to Iceland, which has a subarctic climate, then you should pack more of your warm weather gear and less of your tank-tops and flip-flops. Bring your swimsuit, though, since Iceland is known for its amazing hot springs.

2.  Personal Hygiene Products

Depending on the country you’re moving to, some of the toiletries you are accustomed to may not exist or may be more expensive than what you’re used to paying. Make sure to pack enough of your favorite shampoo, deodorants, feminine hygiene products, and medication.

3.  Personal Items

Sure, moving to a new country means starting fresh, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to take a few tokens. Take some small mementos with you, such as photos, toys, a mug or any other personal item that will remind you of your friends and family back home.

4.  Electronic Accessories

Most probably, you’re going to bring your phone and laptop with you. Before you hop on your flight, make sure that your outlets and accessories will work there. The last thing you want is to land in your new home on a Saturday night only to discover that your chargers don’t match the outlets, your electronics are out of battery, and the stores are closed on Sunday. Check if your phone is compatible in your new country too. If it’s not, then it’s best to sell it or give it to a friend.

5.  Take Your Hobby with You

While moving to a new country is all about starting anew and reinventing yourself, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some of the things that make you, YOU. If you’re a photographer, make sure to take your gear with you. If you’re a musician – don’t leave your instrument home. Sure, it’s difficult to carry a guitar or violin onto an airplane, but you won’t regret it.

Packing your entire life into a suitcase might seem like an impossible task. Don’t let yourself overwhelmed by it. Create a plan and be merciless. If it’s hard to decide, then ask yourself: Have I used or worn this in the last two years? If the answer is no, then you should leave it behind. 


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