Things to think about before you emigrate


Moving house is said to be one of life's most stressful experiences, but moving countries can be on another level. If you don't have the benefit of an expat package from your employer the chances are you will be doing all the legwork yourself. Here's a checklist to help you cover all bases before you ride off into the sunset.


Make sure you do your homework on what vaccinations are required as soon as possible. Some vaccines must be administered at least six weeks before travel and others, such as the rabies jab for example, must be given in several doses. Government websites often provide advice to nationals looking to head overseas.

Many countries have differing rules regarding what is an off the shelf treatment, a prescription medication and an illegal drug. Thoroughly check the details of any over the counter medication against your chosen country's restricted list. Ensure you have all necessary paperwork, often including copies of your prescription, for any medication prescribed by your doctor. 

Finally health insurance is a must. If you are not covered by your employer ensure you know how to enroll in any national schemes as soon as possible after arrival.


If you are looking to take everything but the kitchen sink, your cheapest option will be to send your items by boat. Depending on your destination, this could take several months, for example sending sea freight from Australia to the UK can take around eight to 12 weeks. Pack carefully to ensure your winter clothes will arrive before the weather gets chilly!

If you plan on leaving furniture behind, you will need to consider storage options from companies like Self Storage 2000. Some expats choose to rent out their homes while they are overseas, but if you prefer to keep your possessions securely under lock and key, a self-storage unit is advisable. Rooms, lockers and containers are available to rent by individuals as well as businesses and can include measures such as CCTV and keycard access to keep your belongings safe and secure.

Cars can also be shipped internationally but make sure to check customs requirements and fill out any necessary paperwork in advance. You should also prepare your car for the weather and road conditions of your new country before shipment. You should also obtain an International Drivers Licence ahead of travel, but remember they only last for one year.


These days it may seem like Visa is an international currency but it can be surprisingly difficult to use ATMs or credit cards overseas. Visitors to Japan, for example, can walk a long way in search of cash machines which will accept foreign cards. Consider changing your home bank to one which offers the best services in your new country.

You may want to send cash home at some point, particularly to pay student loans or other direct debits. Look around for remittance services that offer the best rates and lowest charges to avoid nasty surprises when you check your balance.


29 July 2015

Storing my family heirlooms

After my parents passed away I inherited a lot of bulky furniture items that have been in my family for many generations. My current inner city flat is nowhere near big enough for it so I rented out a storage unit. Sometimes I head out to the storage lot just to look through it and remember them. Luckily the furniture has stayed in great condition and one day when I finally get a big family home, I'll be able to have it all on display. I spent a lot of time researching the best way to store vintage furniture long term, and it's all on my site. Enjoy!