International Moving Checklist: Your Ultimate Guide to Travel Essentials for going overseas with ease

International Moving Checklist
Global Citizen Insider's international moving checklist will help you to have a stress-free transition when moving abroad. Packing and preparation for moving abroad are time-consuming and tedious, but there are many travel essentials and logistic tasks that are easy to forget but often vital to the very survival of the family.
The allure of exploring new cultures and embracing fresh experiences often comes hand-in-hand with the complexity of international relocation. The path to a seamless transition requires meticulous planning. Whether you are a student embarking on an academic journey or a professional seeking global opportunities, here’s your ultimate guide to overcoming logistical challenges when moving abroad and tips to smoothen your transition.
Before the big move: Preparing for Liftoff

Prepare Your Essential Documents: Passports, Visas, and More

Before the adventure commences, ensure your essential documents are in order. Your passports and visas are your golden keys to unlocking new horizons, especially if you are planning on getting a job or going to school. But don’t stop there – also pack your drivers license, vaccination records, academic transcripts, and insurance policies. These documents form the foundation of your new life and are crucial for everything from enrolling in schools to seeking medical attention.

Some other documents that you should have on hand are:

  • Birth certificate or adoption papers
  • Child custody papers
  • Divorce papers
  • Marriage certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Medical/Dental records
  • School records
  • Pet documentation, including health certificate to show that your pets are up to date on their vaccinations
As a precautionary measure, you should make a copy of your passport, ID, credit card and other important documents and leave the copies with a trusted family member or friend, just in case something happens while traveling.

Pack Wisely: Navigating the Packing Puzzle

The art of packing for an international move demands a strategic approach. Research your destination to discern what’s worth bringing and what should be left behind. Consider the cost of moving versus the price of replacing items. Beware of potential power differences – certain electronics might not be compatible with your new home. If you’re determined to bring your cherished gadgets, ensure you have power converters. And for those who have specific dietary needs, packing dry foods can be a savior during the initial adjustment period.

Choose the Right Moving Partner

Tackling the logistics of moving abroad is no small feat. Fortunately, numerous international moving companies offer various services, from consultations to tailor-made plans. Make use of their expertise to streamline your transition whether assisting with customs regulations or coordinating the safe delivery of your belongings, a reliable moving partner can make all the difference. Also, don’t forget to arrange for pet transport, if needed.

Check out a list of the best international moving companies below:

Sort out housing

  • Arrange for short-term/long-term lease or decide to buy/rent a home
  • Set up utilities and other accounts as needed
  • Make necessary renovations, repairs
  • Purchase needed furniture and other household goods

 You can learn more about different housing types in United States, Canada and Australia here.


  • Decide to buy or lease a car, new or used ones
  • Learn public transportation system, identify commuting routes and how to plan your public transport trip around
  • Register and insure your vehicle
  • Get or renew driver’s license

Other Pre-Departure Logistic Tasks:

  • Notify credit card company and bank of your impending move
  • Purchase a multi-country adapter
  • Cancel local subscriptions, memberships, clubs, and services or update your new address if possible
  • Get cash or purchase traveller’s checks to have access to money immediately
  • Arrange for travel home
After Touchdown: Navigating Your New Terrain

Secure Your Financial Footing: Opening a Bank Account

After landing, one of your first tasks should be opening a bank account. Many countries have banks catering to newcomers, offering tailored account packages. Research financial institutions such as RBC, TD, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, CommBank, or NAB, and explore the options that align with your needs.

Stay Connected: Finding the Perfect Mobile Phone Plan

Communication is key, especially when navigating a new environment. Research mobile phone plan options to ensure you stay connected with loved ones and your newfound community. Seek competitive rates and coverage that suit your lifestyle. Refer to these links for more information.

Crucial Numbers: Applying for SIN or TFN

Learn how taxes works. Even if you’re not yet working, obtaining a Social Insurance Number (SIN), Social Security Number, or Tax File Number (TFN) is essential. These identifiers pave the way for accessing government benefits you might be eligible for. Don’t delay. Check the government websites below and apply soon after arrival.

Guarding Your Health: Applying for a Healthcare Card

Health is wealth, no matter where you are. Apply for a healthcare card as soon as possible to guarantee access to medical services when needed. Your well-being is paramount; a healthcare card is your ticket to peace of mind. 

Last but not least, do your homework and identify local doctors, GPs, physicians and pharmacies that accept your medical insurance.


  • Review insurance policies and coverage if you decide to ship household goods and vehicles
  • Learn insurance policies for car insurance and homeowners insurance (if you buy a house)
  • Apply for private health insurance if required
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Embarking on an international adventure is thrilling, but conquering the logistical hurdles is key to a successful transition. With careful preparation and attention to detail, you can easily navigate the maze of paperwork, packing, and settling into your new life. By following these essential tips, you’re setting sail for a future brimming with exciting experiences and boundless opportunities. Here’s to your seamless international journey!

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