Europe is an incredible continent to live in but moving can be stressful. We share these 10 tips for moving to Europe, to make it a little easier!
We all know that moving can be stressful, and we’d all like to avoid those feelings of panic and overwhelm if we could. Moving abroad has added layers of stress attached to it because there’s simply so much that needs to be planned, organized, and implemented.
European countries can be vastly different from what you’re used to in terms of culture, lifestyle, cost of living, and almost every other factor you can think of! The requirements to get into those countries can also be tricky to navigate, which is why careful planning and organization are the keys to a successful move.
Tips for moving to Europe
Research and Pre-Planning
The most important part of your European move (and organizing it carefully) is to do thorough research and plan everything out carefully. Get a clear understanding of the specific country you’re going to (Italy is vastly different from Germany!) and all the details of the place.
Learn everything there is to know about the culture, the language, and the lifestyle. The best possible way to do this is by planning a short trip to your new home.
You’ll need to organize a few important things, like medical insurance for international travel, getting your visas in order earlier, paying for additional flights, etc., but it will be worth the effort and expense to get a true idea of what your new life will be like.
Most beautiful cities in Europe
Plan Your Packing
Yes, even your packing process should be thoroughly planned and organized, unless you want to end up with clutter or the disaster of important items going missing on your travels.
What you need to take along will depend on where you’re going and what your lifestyle will be like. For example, heavy winter clothing might not be necessary to pack when moving to certain regions. You’ll also need to research international shipping and find out if there are any restrictions or limitations on what you’re allowed to bring into the country.
Legal and Admin Tasks
Getting organized in the legal department will help you make certain that you don’t run into any issues in your travel, or in the early stages of living in your new country. You’ll need to make sure your passports are valid and ready, and apply for the right visas well in advance – remember to find out the exact requirements for the country and city you’ll be moving to.
Find out what other documents you might need for legal purposes – birth certificates, marriage certificates, academic records, etc. These will all be required in the process of obtaining a visa and getting into a European country without any hold-ups. Working with an immigration agent might be a helpful decision since they will know the finer details of every region.
Of course, you need to budget for the move itself – travel, visas, accommodation, moving companies, etc. But you also need to consider what your budget will look like once you’ve settled in your new home.
Research your specific area and the cost of living. You might not realize it, but moving to Dubai versus Europe will have significantly different impacts on your budget both in the short and the long term, and even different countries within Europe will have massive differences in how you can afford to live.
You’ll also need to research the nuances of European banking systems, electronic payments, and how you’ll handle your money when you’ve arrived.
Housing and Accommodation
If you’re able to lease an apartment from across the world, your housing organization should go off without a hitch! However, some people might not be able to do this, or you might simply prefer to handle your house-hunting in person. In this case, you might need to look into temporary housing for a while.
For this, you could consider hotels, Airbnb, or even short-term apartment rentals, depending on how long you imagine the process might take.
You should also think about more permanent solutions, such as whether or not your destination country allows foreigners to purchase property, or if you will be renting. Housing in European countries is typically far smaller than the average American home, so be prepared for a downscale or a hike in your rent budget!
You already took a close look at your health insurance coverage for the duration of your travel, but what about when you’re settled in your new home?
Consider how the healthcare system in your destination country treats foreigners, and think about whether you’ll need additional coverage in the form of private insurance or not. Take a close look at the EHIC and how that system works, and make sure you understand the post-Brexit regulations. This is one case where it becomes crucial for you to have your medical and legal documents on hand.
Nobody can tackle an international move without professional help. Make sure that you do thorough research and pick a reliable moving company so you can rest assured that your belongings will be safe.
Get this organized as early on as you possibly can. You’ll need to book the movers and have your dates all lined up weeks (or even months) in advance so that you’re able to plan the rest of your move around it! Try to carefully align your moving dates with your flights and accommodation check-ins, so that you don’t run into trouble.
Let People Know
Moving to a foreign country is a huge life change and a major whirlwind experience – which means that you might not have had time to break the news to everyone in your life or handle the administrative side of things!
Spend a couple of hours getting in touch with relevant entities and services, such as any work contacts who might need to know, your bank and tax office, your utility companies, any subscriptions you may have, insurance policies, and phone providers.
On the more personal side of things, you might want to consider hosting a small goodbye gathering to spend some quality time with your loved ones before you leave.
Moving to a European country almost guarantees that you’ll run into some language difficulties unless you’ve already been studying!
Spend some time learning the basics of the language, so you’re able to communicate your needs when you arrive and can understand basic signage, order food at a restaurant, and ask for directions. Planning this ahead of time will help you to feel less lost and isolated once you arrive.
If you want to get started slowly, consider language learning apps. These are a great way to introduce yourself to a new language in a way that isn’t too overwhelming. You can learn some basic phrases that will help you get by, and when you feel like you’re ready, you can move on to professional lessons or similar options.
Make sure, well in advance, that you have a list of all these critical tasks that need to be handled before you embark on your European journey. Make sure that all your travel arrangements have been made, you have accommodation sorted out, and that your visas and other important documents are on hand!
Now, spend your free time researching all the fun and exciting things there are to do and see in Europe, and start getting some fire in your belly for the incredible new life that awaits you!
Europe Travel Tips and Tricks
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this microphone for all our Youtube voiceovers.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.