International relocation is a process that inevitably requires a lot of thinking in advance, planning, and organizing. When moving abroad with children, your responsibilities double, but don’t worry – there are proven ways to do everything right. Many families went through this, survived, and continued to live their happy and fulfilled lives in a new home. There is no reason you shouldn’t be amongst them. You can use some tips and tricks that ensure an easy move and benefit from each one. Continue reading to find out how exactly to plan a successful international relocation with kids.
General advice on how to plan an international relocation with kids:
- Plan your finances carefully. Our wishes and dreams may be unlimited, but money is not.
- Decide which area/neighbourhood is the best for you, having in mind the children’s needs and yours as well.
- Choose the right home that you’ll rent/buy according to your budget.
- Find a good school for your kids. Do thorough research, and ask for opinions before choosing.
- If possible, visit the new country with your kids, so they can get a first impression at least one time before moving house abroad. This will reduce their fear of the unknown. If the first impression is positive, they’ll look forward to a new city and opportunities that lie ahead. Seeing the house, the neighbourhood, and the school they’ll attend will help them visualize and adjust to a new place.
- Ensure you’ll have good healthcare and childcare. Research about health insurance if your previous policy doesn’t apply in the new country.
- Prepare your children for everything you’ll go through. Give them details as well as reasons to be excited and happy about the move. Talk to them about what steps you’ll take and what they can expect. Tell them about the real reasons for relocation. Be sure to mention all the benefits this relocation may bring to your family. Prepare them slowly for everything that happens on a moving day.
- It’s obvious that moving with a large family won’t be easy, but make sure you give individual attention to all of your family members. Support each other in this life-changing event.
If your kids are young and your obligations require all your time and attention, reach out to your closest family members or friends, and ask them to look after the kids for a couple of days. This will let you focus on the tasks that have to get done, making the whole process faster and easier.
Depending on their age – involve children in the process of moving overseas. If they are old enough, delegate some easy tasks to them. You can declutter their clothes and other stuff together, get rid of a few things that they have outgrown, etc. Giving them a few responsibilities, appropriate for their age, is highly recommended.
The golden rule is to start preparing for the relocation as soon as possible. When you decide on a moving date, it will sneak up faster than you think. The most straightforward way to get this right is by hiring the help of one of the international removal companies for packing and transport. People who deal with overseas removals every day will help you if you have any concerns or doubts, and you’ll be able to focus on your children and their well-being in the whole process. Decide which services you need, ask about the full package, moving insurance, international moving cost, what is allowed for the move and what isn’t, etc. By eliminating uncertainties, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble.
Good organization – key for international relocation with your kids
Even though you’ve hired professionals, you still need to have your reminders, moving plans, moving checklist, to-do list, etc. This will help ensure that something essential doesn’t slip your mind during all the moving preparations.
Make sure to pack an “essentials bag” for each family member. It should contain all items you will need on the last night in your old home and first night in your new home, as well as all the necessary items for the moving day and transport.
Get rid of all possible clutter in your home – donate, sell, throw away. When organizing an international relocation, you don’t need to bring the stuff you haven’t used in years, even if it’s a piece of clothing, your old hobby items, etc. Think about what you really need and what you don’t.
Stay positive, your attitude and mood affect your children
Nobody will try to convince you that an international relocation with kids isn’t stressful, but remember that kids pick up on your energy. Do your best to stay positive during the whole process. You don’t need the anxiety to overwhelm your children, so ensure that you talk with them, pay attention to them, support them, and just be there for them.
The same goes for your partner. With all the daily tasks and chores, it is easy to forget how lucky we are to have someone on our side.
Ensure you still have time for some family activities, such as a family movie night or a pleasant stroll through your old neighbourhood before the move.
Strong emotions are unavoidable when moving overseas with the family. It may be hard for your kids to say goodbye to the old home and all the nice memories they had in it. Be patient with them, explain that it will take some time to adjust to a new home and that they will grow to love it in time, even more than the old one.
After the relocation- settle down, adjust and enjoy
You can’t plan for every eventuality along the way, but with some forward-thinking and our advice, we’re sure your international relocation with kids will be successful. If you take the time to prepare your kids in advance, let them be involved in the moving process and keep your cool, you’ll have a less bumpy ride.
Make sure to have enough time after moving to adapt to the new environment and explore it together, to help your children adjust. Ensure to have at least a few days off work, which will help you settle down and enjoy a new home together. Discover the important places in your neighborhood, such as grocery shops, restaurants, parks, and areas for kids entertainment. Befriend your new neighbors – it will give your children opportunities to make new friends, which will consequently mean better settling and adjusting.
Enjoy the new home, and make sure that a new chapter in your life is filled with good stories.