Moving your family overseas can be an exciting adventure but it also comes with plenty of challenges. From packing up your belongings and transportation to finding a new home and new schools, the whole process can be a little overwhelming. Here you will find some important things to consider before you move abroad:

1. Check It Out As A Family First

When planning on moving your family overseas, it’s a wise idea to check out the destination before committing to a long-term stay. Visit the city or town in question and get a sense of the area, its culture, and what living there will be like. You may even want to deliberately spend some time exploring different neighbourhoods so that you can get an accurate feel of the area. Your kids need to feel comfortable at their potential new destination, so having a holiday will be a great start to your new overseas adventure.

2. Choose The Right Area/Neighbourhood

When moving overseas with a family, it’s important to choose the right area or neighbourhood. Consider factors such as proximity to amenities like parks, libraries and shopping centres; the cost of living; safety and security; access to public transport; local cultural attractions and neighbourhoods with similar families. Researching these factors beforehand can help you make sure that you select an area that meets your family’s needs.

3. Maintain Strong Ties With Family And Friends Back Home

As this can be a difficult transition for the entire family, it’s important to maintain strong ties with family and friends back home. Make sure to stay in contact – make use of online platforms such as video conferencing, social media or email – and plan visits back home when possible. Additionally, look for ways to stay connected with your home culture, such as through cuisine or hobbies. Maintaining these connections will help bring comfort and familiarity during the transition process.

Mum, dad and child looking at a tablet computer

4. Let The Children Have Their Say

When it comes to moving overseas with a family, it’s important to let your children have their say. Involve them in the process as much as possible and make sure they feel heard. Speak openly with them about their worries, thoughts and feelings, and be sure to take into account any preferences they may have when choosing a location. Additionally, try to plan out fun activities that the whole family can do together at the destination prior to arriving; this will help make the transition smoother for everyone involved.

5. Investigate Your Childcare Options

Changing child care centres can be stressful at any time. Which is why it’s important to do your research and investigate the available childcare options before making any decisions. Consider nearby day-cares or nurseries, or explore the possibility of finding a local babysitter or nanny. Additionally, look into what public or private services are available in your new country – this could be invaluable during your transition period.

6. Plan Your Finances Very Carefully

Planning your finances very carefully in advance is a very important consideration. Research the local economy and cost of living, and make sure you’re aware of potential taxes or fees that you may need to pay upon arrival. Additionally, consider what type of housing costs you’ll be responsible for and how much you’re able to save for any unexpected expenses. A properly planned budget will help make the transition process easier and less stressful.

7. Embrace Your New Culture, But Allow Time To Adjust

No matter what your chosen destination may be, it’s important to embrace the culture and customs of your new home. Take time to explore the local area, meet people, and get involved in activities that will help you acclimate. At the same time, allow yourself space and time to adjust. Remember that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or confused at times, so take things slowly as you learn more about your new surroundings.

Lady with a girl holding text books

8. Research The Education Options

It’s essential to research the educational options available in your destination of choice. Research local schools and universities, and consider what best suits the needs of your children – will they be attending a public or private school? What language is spoken at the school? Are there extracurricular activities or clubs available? Knowing these things beforehand will go a long way towards helping your transition to be as smooth as possible.

9. Get A Head Start On Learning The New Language

If you’re relocating to a country that doesn’t speak English, it may be wise to commence learning the language. Learning the language of your new country is essential to feeling more settled and connected in your new home. Before you move, try to get a head start with some basics and resources like books, online tutorials or conversations with native speakers. Additionally, most countries have language schools which can provide formal instruction and classes. Taking the time to familiarise yourself with the local language will provide a strong foundation for further learning once you’ve moved.

10. Consider The Stresses Moving With Baby Could Bring

Just travelling with a baby is a difficult task. Adding moving overseas to the mix and you increase the stress levels considerably.  From pacing your belongings and preparing for the journey, to dealing with customs and unpacking in the new home, it can all be overwhelming. The best thing you can do is start early, plan carefully and make sure to keep plenty of familiar items around for both you and your little one. Remember that small children often have difficulty expressing their feelings, so take some time to observe them to ensure they are adjusting properly. Additionally, seek out local resources like doctor’s offices or support groups specifically tailored towards parents so that you can find help as needed.

Little girl enjoying clapping in a circle with friends

11. Find Social Opportunities For Your Children To Make Friends

This new chapter in a child’s life can be an exciting, yet daunting experience. To help ease their transition and make sure they feel comfortable in their new environment, it’s important to find social opportunities for them to make friends. Consider joining organised activities such as sports teams or clubs – this could be an excellent way for your children to meet other kids with similar interests. Additionally, look into online communities or networks your family can join, where you and your children can learn more about the culture of the area.

12. Consider The Impact Of Moving With Young Children

Moving with young children can have long-term impacts, both positive and negative. Therefore it’s important to dedicate some time to discussing the move with them beforehand. Depending on their age, they may not fully understand how a move will affect them, so explain that they will be in a new home, make new friends and might have to learn a different language. It’s also important to remind them of all the positives from their current home that will remain the same after the move. With your support, open communication and plenty of love, your family can create a great life for yourselves in the new country.

13. Think About The Impact A Move Will Have On Your Teens

Moving can be especially difficult for teens who have established connections with friends, family, teachers etc.  When it comes to teenagers, it’s important to involve them in the process as much as possible so that they don’t feel like they are being left out or left behind. Invite them to visit the potential new home, chat with people already living there and explore what types of activities and social outlets are available. Additionally, talk through their fears and concerns about leaving their current home and reassure them that you will be there for them throughout the process. With a bit of creativity and patience on your part, you can help make sure your teens adjust well to their new environment.

Health practitioner actively listening to a patient

14. Don’t Forget To Research Local Doctors And Plan For Your Health Care

Health care is an essential part of any relocation, so when moving overseas it’s important to research local doctors in your new area and plan for your health care. Find out what type of insurance you’ll need and what other healthcare services are available. Additionally, inquire about any safety regulations or laws that may affect expats living in the country. Planning your health care in advance will ensure that you and your family have access to quality medical services when needed.

In conclusion, it’s always important to take time to research the destination before making a move. Looking into job markets, climate and housing availability. Make sure that you have enough funds saved for travel costs, moving expenses and other potential costs associated with relocating. Build a network of friends or other support system that can help provide advice and guidance throughout the entire process. Lastly, have fun and enjoy every minute of this lifechanging adventure you are about to embark on!