8 useful tools for moving overseas

08.05.17
4 minute read
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According to a recent study, moving is the most stressful thing you’ll ever experience. It’s no wonder you’ll need some help managing that headache - especially if you’re going overseas.

Read on to find the 8 most stressful things you’ll encounter moving abroad. And the tools to ensure you can navigate those obstacles like a pro.  

1. Getting over the language barrier

language barrier

English is such a widely spoken language that many expats are quick to assume they can survive without learning the new vernacular. However, you’d be surprised how helpful the basics can be.

Speaking even a few words in the local tongue shows you’re willing to fit in. And, in return, locals are more likely to help you out.

When you move, Duolingo teaches you the essentials and ensures nothing gets lost in translation. It’s free and has different teaching methods you can tailor to suit your own learning style.

Tip: When you’re in a supermarket and can’t read the label — Google Translate has a camera button where you can snap a picture and it’ll auto-translate the text for you.

2. Shipping your stuff

shipping your stuff

While airfares may be decreasing, luggage fees are not. Though you may not be taking your furniture with you, you’ll still need to bring more than your average traveller.

The company Send My Bag relieves your need to carry multiple suitcases through the airport. And at much cheaper cost. They’ll collect your stuff from your old place and deliver it right to the doorstep of your new home. Minimal stress and minimal cost.

3. Finding the best local hangouts and events

finding local events

With so many social platforms and travel sites these days, discovering local hangouts may seem easy. However, the TimeOut app (Android/iOS) goes above and beyond. They offer cinema times, happening events, local gems, trip planning and even the option to find others that like the same things you do.

Tip: One thing many overlooked is finding a doctor. Doctoralia lets you search by city/illness to help you find a doctor that’s right for you.

4. Finding spaces to work

finding co-working spaces

With digital nomads on the increase, many want the freedom of working from anywhere in the world. It’s no wonder, then, that people move overseas to do just that. If that’s you, and you don’t want to work by yourself from home every day, you’ll likely want to find a co-working space.

Co-working spaces offer more than just desks. You’ll get fast Wi-Fi, normal office equipment, a relaxing ambience and a community of like-minded individuals living and working the same way.

These spots can vary in both cost and quality. Desks Near Me will help you find the right one for you. WorkFrom runs a similar service, but also includes cafés and bars that may work instead.

  • Recommendation: Desks Near Me/WorkFrom
  • Alternative: Copass (a worldwide alternative for those who call more than one country ‘home’)

5. Converting currency

paying in another currency

Since PayPal fees are notoriously high and the exchange rates nearly always unfavourable, you’ll need an alternative way of transferring your money overseas. Sorry to say your local bank won't be much better.

Instead, you’ll want to try TransferWise. With TransferWise, you can easily send money from your bank account back home to a bank account in your new country of residence. All that transferring at the real exchange rate and with low, transparent fees.

6. Flying back-and-forth

flying home

Speaking of home, you’ll still want to visit every now and then. Skyscanner offers a brilliant way to search for the cheapest flight imaginable across a variety of airlines.

Tip: When you use Skyscanner, choose “cheapest month” as your date of travel. That way, you can secure an amazing deal months in advance.

7. Getting around

getting around

Not knowing how to travel in a strange city can be a rather daunting experience. Not to worry, though. Google Maps has you covered.

It natively integrates with the local transport networks to bring you the best routes and schedules in your language of choice. You can even specify the date and time you’ll be leaving or arriving. So, as long as you have Wi-Fi, you can figure out your route and avoid getting lost.

Tip: If you’re caught without web access, look for familiar chain restaurants. Often, they may offer, for the price of a cup of coffee at the establishment, Wi-Fi and clean bathrooms. So, take a rest, grab a cup of joe and figure out how to get where you’re going.

8. Actually organising the move (stress-free)

moving checklist

To-do lists are often the best way of organising absolutely anything. For this, Wunderlist has become many a person’s go-to. It’s easy to use, the free option feels like a premium service and there’s a satisfying ding any time you check something off.

  • Recommendation: Wunderlist/Microsoft To-Do
  • Alternative: PackPoint (if there’s a delay with your shipped luggage, PackPoint ensures that your flight luggage contains things suited to the current climate)

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more