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What to Pack When Moving Abroad

Posted Moving Fundamentals / October 21, 2019

Are you planning to move to another home in a foreign country and begin a new life in an unfamiliar environment? You’re probably excited as much as worried about leaving your sweet home and relocating overseas. To start anew on the right foot, you need to know what to pack when moving abroad. But don’t worry, it just looks complicated. From important documents to clothes and medicine, these are the things you’ll need for your overseas journey.

What to Pack When Moving Abroad – The Primary Items

It can be quite a challenge to pack everything for moving to another country without overdoing it or forgetting something. Don’t leave it until the last minute. Luckily, with our moving checklist, you can rest assured everything is in order for your relocation abroad. And even if you don’t have everything when you are going out of state, at least you’ll know what to buy. All you got to do is make sure to start packing to move on time.

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Important Documents Should Be the First on The List For Packing When Moving Abroad?

Personal documents are important when traveling abroad. You will be asked to provide proof of your identity when crossing the borders between different countries. It is recommended to bring both the originals and copies to avoid losing anything important while you are abroad. Your originals should always be close to you in the event your checked bags get lost. So, write down the following paperwork in your relocation checklist:

  • Tax information,
  • Visa information,
  • Marriage license, if you have one,
  • Birth certificates,
  • Passports,
  • Immunization records, especially if you’re going to countries that require them,
  • Medical records,
  • Pet health records are also necessary when they travel with you,
  • Travel insurance proof, just in case you might need it,
  • Credit cards,
  • Board pass copies,
  • Local travel guides will help you work your way around an unfamiliar place,
  • Plane tickets.

Medicine – This is What You Need

Before you leave, create a list of all meds you should pack. Make sure to carry as large a supply as possible, especially if you have a chronic illness. During a long international trip or somewhere in a foreign country, looking for a medicine and the doctor’s prescription can be a very complicated and expensive process. So, get all the necessary examinations done and stock up on your prescriptions before your journey. You should be very careful when it comes to your health. After a year or so, getting things such as meds will be easy, but until then, don’t forget to stock up.

Electronics – Items We Can’t Do Without

Our everyday activities are mostly related to technology. Those items serve to entertain us, but also have a useful side – they help us stay in contact with our loved ones after relocating. You might need some of them for a new job or even just at home, so it’s vital to store electronic items properly to avoid potential damage. Electronics you should pack and bring include:

  • External hard drive,
  • International outlet adapters, while abroad your regular adapters might not work,
  • Phone, if you want to save up and not buy a new one,
  • Laptop, because they can be expensive,
  • Camera with an extra memory card, to capture how you live your best life,
  • Headphones, sometimes you just want to a list of favorite songs and relax,
  • Sim cards for your phone, but check if your provider works abroad,
  • An additional charging cable for your phone and laptop.

Clothes – Do Not Overpack

Before you start packing tons of clothes, check what the weather will be like in the new country. Be practical when it comes to packing bulky items – try to find alternatives to them. Also, consider using packing cubes to save suitcase space. Whatever you decide, try not to forget the most basic items that you’ll surely when moving internationally:

  • Rain boots or other weather-appropriate shoes,
  • Flip-flops,
  • Sneakers but running shoes if you use those,
  • Walking shoes,
  • Rain jacket,
  • Undergarments,
  • Socks,
  • A light jacket and a long, heavy coat,
  • Bathing suit,
  • A hat,
  • Two to three pairs of shorts,
  • One formal outfit,
  • Three to five T-shirts,
  • Two to three pairs of jeans,
  • Two sweaters or sweatshirts,
  • Dress clothes,
  • Travel towel,
  • Sunglasses.

Toiletries – Only The Basic Articles

If you are flying on an airplane, you should know that you’re only allowed to bring 3.4 ounces of liquid per bottle. All bottles must be placed into a 1-quart clear zip-lock bag. Keep in mind that all of these items you want to keep will be available in your new country, so don’t overpack, you might as well leave them behind. You should also get acquainted with other carry-on luggage restrictions. Here is a list of the essentials:

  • Contacts and solution for them,
  • Deodorant,
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste,
  • A small bottle of Sunscreen,
  • Floss,
  • Tweezers,
  • Razors and a small bottle of shaving cream,
  • Sewing kit,
  • Nail clipper,
  • Lip balm.

Miscellaneous Things to Pack When Moving Abroad

To make your trip and first few weeks of life more comfortable, you should consider creating a checklist and packing some of these items:

Additional Moving and Packing Tips When Going Overseas

Have you read a guide or two about living overseas? When you leave everything behind and start living in a completely new area, you will need something to make you feel better when you are nostalgic. If you want to excel when going to a new country, here is a guide on how to prepare for the new environment and how to facilitate your relocation process:

  • Check all possible regulations at your future home before relocating,
  • Set aside the luggage with your moving essentials and keep it with you during the flight,
  • Sometimes, the delivery of your belongings can take several weeks, so make sure you bring with you everything you need, like meds, small toiletries, books, and the list goes on,
  • Insurance coverage for your belongings is mandatory.

Let’s not forget some other not less important stuff you will love to have with you while living your life in another place. Do you like to read books? Whether you are going to work or you are set to travel, do you always have a small pile of books with you? If so, it won’t take you a lot of time to pack books, and not only them but all the little objects that make you happy.

Contact International Movers and Ask for Free Quotes

Probably the most crucial factor when moving across the world is to find a reliable international mover and choose the best moving options, be it an international relocation by air or international moving by sea. A reputable overseas moving company will also offer packing services, as well as custom crating, overseas car shipping, and storage.

Call several movers and get down to work. Compare their prices, services, and benefits. Ask for moving quotes to help you determine costs across different companies. Don’t forget to check your mover’s legitimacy and protect yourself from potential fraud.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Essential Documents to Pack When Moving Abroad?

Essential documents you should pack when moving overseas are passport and visa documents, birth certificate, marriage certificate, and other personal identification documents, driver’s license, and international driver’s permit, medical records, and vaccination records, employment or student documentation if you are moving to college, and critical financial documents.

How Should I Choose the Right Luggage for an International Move?

Choose a high-quality, durable luggage set that can withstand the rigors of international travel. Look for luggage with multiple compartments and pockets for easy organization. Consider the size and weight restrictions of the airline you will be traveling with. Choose luggage with wheels and handles for easy transport.

What Are the Best Ways to Pack Clothes for an International Move?

Roll clothes tightly to save space and prevent wrinkles. Use packing cubes or compression bags to maximize space and keep clothes organized. Pack clothes in layers, with heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top. Consider packing clothes in vacuum-sealed bags to save even more space.

What Are the Best Types of Shoes to Pack for an International Move?

Pack comfortable, versatile shoes that can be worn for different occasions. Choose shoes that are easy to pack and don’t take up too much space, such as sandals, sneakers, and loafers. Consider keeping shoes in separate bags so they stay clean and organized.

How Do I Pack Electronics for an International Move?

Pack electronics in their original packaging if possible. Use protective cases or padding to prevent damage during transport. Back up all data and files to a separate hard drive or cloud storage. Remove batteries from electronics and pack them separately to prevent damage or leaks.

What are the best ways to pack fragile items for an international move?

You can pack fragile items yourself or wait for the international moving company’s crew to do it. The best way to pack everything is to wrap each item individually in bubble wrap or packing paper. Use packing peanuts or foam to fill in any empty spaces in the box. Label the box as fragile and mark which side should be facing up. Consider using a double-layered box for extra protection.

What are the essential toiletries and personal care items to pack when moving abroad?

When you hire an overseas shipping company make sure not to forget to create a list of the toiletries you will need for the move. Here is what you should bring:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste,
  • Shampoo and conditioner,
  • Soap or body wash,
  • Moisturizer and sunscreen,
  • Razors and shaving cream,
  • Deodorant,
  • Feminine hygiene products,
  • Contact lenses or glasses and lens solution.


How can I make sure I have enough medication for an international move?

Talk to your doctor before the move to make sure you have enough medication for the duration of the trip. Check the rules and regulations for bringing medication into the destination country. Pack medication in their original containers with prescription labels.

What are the best travel accessories to pack for an international move?

The best travel accessories to pack when moving abroad are various electronic devices, neck pillows, eye masks, portable laundry bags, reusable water bottles, and portable chargers for electronic devices.

How do I pack items for a specific climate or environment?

Research the climate and environment of your destination to determine what items you will need. Pack clothes and gear that are appropriate for the weather and activities you will be doing. Consider packing layers for changing weather conditions. Use moisture-resistant bags or containers for items that may be exposed to humidity or moisture.

What are some tips for packing items I might need during transit?

Pack a carry-on bag with essential items, such as medication, a change of clothes, and important documents. Keep snacks, water, and entertainment in your carry-on for long flights or layovers. Pack a small bag with items you might need during the transit period, such as a travel pillow, earplugs, and an eye mask.

How can I pack items that are difficult to replace in a foreign country?

Pack important items in your carry-on or personal bag. Consider purchasing insurance or additional coverage for valuable items. Make copies of important documents or sentimental items in case of loss or damage.

What are the best ways to pack sentimental items for an international move?

Use protective cases or packaging to prevent damage. Consider packing sentimental items in your carry-on or personal bag since they will be safe when they are at your disposal. Lastly, take photos of sentimental items for documentation and as a way to remember them.

How can I minimize the amount of stuff I need to pack for an international move?

Purge unnecessary items before the move abroad. Sell or donate items that you won’t need in your new home. Pack only essentials and items that are difficult or expensive to replace.

What are some things that I should leave behind when moving abroad?

Items that can be easily replaced in your destination country, such as toiletries or cleaning supplies. Heavy or bulky items that are expensive to transport, such as furniture or large appliances. Items that may not be appropriate or useful in your new home, such as winter clothes in a tropical climate.

How can I make sure my belongings are protected during the move?

Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing tape to protect your items. Avoid using low-quality or used boxes that may be weaker or less protective. Label boxes clearly with the contents and destination room to ensure they are handled properly. Use “Fragile” or “Handle with care” labels on boxes that contain breakable or delicate items. Make sure items are secured properly in the moving truck to prevent shifting or movement during transport. Use straps or ropes to secure larger items in place.

What are the best ways to label and organize my packed items for an international move?

To label and organize your packed items for an international move, it is best to use a system that is clear, consistent, and easy to understand. Label boxes clearly with the contents and destination room, using color-coding or numbering to help with organization. Create an inventory list of all packed items for documentation and tracking. Use sturdy boxes and packing materials to protect your items during transport. Finally, be sure to keep all important documents and valuable items with you during the move.

How can I avoid packing prohibited items for an international move?

Research the rules and regulations for what can and cannot be brought into your destination country. Avoid packing items that are illegal or restricted in your destination country, such as certain foods or medications.

What should I do with items that I can't or don't want to bring with me?

If there are items that you can’t or don’t want to bring with you when relocatin, there are several options. You can sell or donate items that are in good condition. You can dispose of hazardous materials in an appropriate manner. You can also store items with family or friends, or in a storage unit until you can decide what to do with them. It’s important to plan ahead and make these arrangements before the move to avoid any last-minute stress or complications.

What should I keep in mind when packing for a long-term international move?

Pack for the specific climate and environment of your destination. Pack only essentials and items that are difficult or expensive to replace. Consider shipping items separately to reduce the amount of stuff you need to bring with you. Allow extra time for packing and organization.

Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

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