For many people, moving to Europe is the start of a wonderful new life. However, the process can be far from straightforward and there’s plenty of things you’ll need to consider. Read on to discover 10 essential tips to keep in mind using European movers that will make the transition so much easier.
Start research early and define your goals
Research is a task that will take up a considerable amount of your time, and it’s essential to be prepared when moving overseas. Remember: you’re entering a completely new culture, set of customs, and most likely, a new language. Additionally, you’ll have documentation and applications to take into account, which includes visas and arranging where you’ll live.
You’ll need to be aware of the exact requirements for your entry, and this is something you should avoid breezing over. Doing the correct research will alleviate many of your concerns.
Visit the location you are moving to in advance
Visiting your target location before making your move is always beneficial. This isn’t always possible, but if you can, then it’s definitely the best way to find out what you’re about to let yourself in for and understand more about what you need to make plans for.
Internet searches are useful but if there’s a window of opportunity to visit your new town then do it; this way you’ll be able to experience the culture first-hand, visit potential schools and new houses, gain an insight into the healthcare facilities in the area and even do a test-run to work or school.
Create a moving checklist
Your moving checklist is an overview of your entire relocation that consists of every task. Whenever you lose focus, you can refer to it if you’re unsure what action to take next.
Here’s an overview of each duty you’ll need to cover:
- Compile a list of every task for your relocation.
- Use a blank calendar to create a timeline.
- Plan tasks from your checklist and assign them per week on the calendar.
- Select a trusted removals company.
- Contact utility providers and council to relay departure details and dates.
Budget for moving expenses
It’s crucial that you set a budget for your relocation to cover every cost. This should include the fee for your removals service and storage if the latter is applicable. Self storage can be a good investment because it forms part of your backup plan in the event you have a delay in moving dates. You should then add in flights, paperwork, and shipping where relevant.
You should also have an emergency amount when you arrive in your new country. It’s tricky to know how much things will cost until you’re there, not to mention the possible unforeseen costs that crop up. Even with the best planning, problems still happen, and we can’t control everything. If you can’t move into the property straight away, you’ll need temporary accommodation.
If you experience a delay, you don’t want to be stranded overseas with no available funds. It’s always necessary to have a contingency in place to cover every angle. By doing this, you’ll have peace of mind that you have a plan of action if something unexpected occurs.
Research your new city and learn the language
To make this a successful move, you need to integrate into the customs and culture of your new country and city, town, or village. Try to start learning the language and researching important cultural information now. This will give you a head start, but the insight into their customs should also make things more exciting.
You’ll learn more when you’re there and hear spoken daily but having basic conversational skills will help. This is useful for asking for directions, the time, grocery shopping, meeting, and greeting your neighbours and locals. You can then ease yourself into the neighbourhood, and the locals will appreciate your efforts – especially if they feel you are taking it seriously.
Remember, you can download several language learning apps for all mobile and computer devices – Duolingo is a great place to start. They’re relatively cheap, and you can learn at your own pace, with plenty of additional resources.
Be aware of local rules and laws
Even in parts of Europe, attitudes towards public behaviour and dress codes can be completely different. The smallest of gestures in some countries can be taken as a sign of rudeness, which can quickly cause issues with the locals.
Therefore, you should take some time to find out about the customs, local laws and regulations of the new society you are about to enter – things like speed limits and road rules, dress codes for public outings, the correct way to address and greet your peers and table etiquette when dining out might seem trivial, but get them wrong and they could result in you (at worst) breaking the law or (at best) publicly embarrassing yourself.
Prepare the necessary paperwork and documents
Before you make the move to the European destination of your dreams, you’ll need the right documentation to live in the country legally.
Visas differ between visiting, permanent residence, and work purposes, and there might be subcategories for each one. If you’re relocating for work purposes through your employer, liaise with the HR department and have them also deal with property simultaneously. There might be employment restrictions for specific visas, so go through the conditions in detail.
You need to apply while you’re in the UK; you can’t do this when you arrive. It’s good to put together a list with details of the UK consulate in the new city and other valuable contacts. Expand the contact list to include the people who are organising your accommodation – you don’t want to be left stranded when you land.
Before January 1, 2021, UK citizens had an automatic right to live in an EU country without the need for a visa. That is no longer the case, although, if you meet certain requirements, you can apply for an EU Blue Card. This allows highly qualified workers to live and work within the EU.
If this does not apply to you, check your destination country’s living guide and UK-based embassy for information about what documentation you will need.
Sort healthcare access
In order to gain access to the healthcare system in your new country, you will probably have to register with the relevant authorities as a resident.
Once you are working and making social security (national insurance) contributions, you should be entitled to the same state-run healthcare as a resident of that country would be entitled to. Some countries expect you to make contributions, even if you are not working, to join a national healthcare scheme.
If you are in an EU country on a temporary basis, up to 90 days, you can still use your UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to get access to healthcare. However, once you are living in an EU country, you should return your UK EHIC and replace it with the equivalent in your new country for travel purposes, where possible.
If you move abroad and are in receipt of a UK state pension then you may be entitled to have your healthcare paid for by the UK. To receive this, you will have to fill out an S1 form once you start drawing your state pension. Remember, you will not be covered for healthcare paid for by the UK if you’re going to live permanently outside the EU.
Research customs regulations
Depending on the country you will be moving to, there will be differing customs regulations. There may be some items you will be unable to bring in. For example, pets will need their own passport, to be microchipped by a vet, to receive immunisation against rabies at least 21 days before they leave the country, and, with some countries, to have had treatment for tapeworm if they are a dog.
Make sure that you get the entry requirements correct; if you don’t, you will have to pay any charges.
Manage long distance removals with Essex Removals service
Relocating your home or office to another country or even across your own country is a big challenge. With the expert team at Essex Removal Service & Co, you can make your big move stress-free! We specialise in European removals and long distance removals. Although we usually operate throughout Essex, London and South East England, our professional movers can help you relocate anywhere in the UK or beyond. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.