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International Moving Checklist (COVID Edition)

Quick Read

Preparing for an overseas move is a tedious and lengthy process. We compiled a quick moving checklist to help your international move go a little bit smoother. Learn about:

  • When to start your search for a moving company
  • What documents you need to get
  • How soon you should begin to prepare
  • What to expect along the way

When you’re done reading you’ll have all of the information at your fingertips to make your move.

International Moving Checklist

International Moving Checklist

Moving abroad can be a difficult challenge and an even more difficult task. When you’re making the arrangements to prepare, pack, and move your belongings, choosing the right mover is essential. Let us help you prepare for the big move with our moving out checklist. The tips in our checklist are crucial for an overseas move however, anyone who is moving can make good use of this list.

The biggest step is to determine your timeline, we highly recommend that you begin preparing for a move anywhere from 3 to 6 months ahead of time to reduce stress and ease your transition.

Research Your Moving Company

After taking care of big-ticket items, like paperwork, insurance, and doctor’s appointments, now is the time to look into your moving company. Key things to keep in mind as you’re searching are:

  • Licensing: A reputable mover will show you their licenses and assist you with your move. When dealing with an overseas move, consider a mover with maritime or international licenses.
  • Customs Experience: Moving from one country to another automatically means working with customs. It is crucial that your moving company has the necessary experience to navigate those hurdles.
  • Get Multiple Quotes: Compare at least three companies when researching. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best combination of price, time, and experience.

You can find more tips on choosing the right international moving company here.

Important DocumentsGet Your Papers In Order

The biggest headache is usually paperwork, which is why we started our moving checklist by taking care of your important documents. Look for the following documents that apply to you and set them aside in a folder:

  • Birth Certificate(s)
  • Marriage License
  • Adoption Papers
  • Custody Papers
  • Divorce Papers
  • Passport(s)
  • Social Security Card(s)
  • Insurance Papers
  • School/University Records
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Records and Prescriptions
  • Financial Documents
  • Work Permits

Don’t forget any other legal or important documents that are difficult to replace. Note any documents you’re missing and make appointments to get them replaced so that your folder is complete and can be set in a secure location.

3 Months Until Your Move

Plan Your International Move

Now that you’ve gotten your documents together, it’s time to get some of the trickier items taken care of. Roughly 3 months before your big move, you should:

  • Begin to downsize: By getting rid of duplicates, old and dated items you’re moving, packing and storing less, helping you reduce costs and ease stress.
  • Start saving: With any move, there is a level of unknowns and when you have a cushion to fall back on should a box be misplaced or a last-minute expense comes up, you can rest a bit easier.
  • Schedule necessary appointments: Get to the doctor, dentist or any other urgent appointments before you can no longer easily access them.
  • Think about additional insurance: It may be worth it to add on travel or life insurance to your policy as a precaution.
  • Consider your timeline and storage needs: Are you traveling with your items or afterward? You may need to store your belongings temporarily.
  • Research and book: You’ll need to find a home, flights, transportation and other important things for when you reach your destination. Start looking and researching early so you get the best deal.

If you have the ability to, scope out the area you’re moving to ahead of time. This will give you a head start on preparing for your life in the new country and city.

The Month Of Your Move

As you get closer to your moving day the stress and excitement begin to build. Try not to get overwhelmed, some of the things you need to remember to do are:

  • Cancel unnecessary plans: You’ve set up your new insurance, so cancel your old plan. Don’t forget to cancel Netflix, cable services, or anything else you’re not bringing along with you.
  • Set up mail forwarding: With any move, there are bound to be people and institutions that don’t have your new address, so setting up mail forwarding is crucial.
  • Obtain your new insurance papers: If you already took care of this, then you’re one step ahead otherwise, make sure you have these at the ready.

You’ll also want to ensure that you notify important institutions of your move. These places include:

  • Your Bank
  • The IRS
  • Utility Companies
  • The U.S. Embassy
  • Social Security Administration
  • Your Employer

Once you provide them with your new address and get any additional information from them, it’s almost time to move.

Two Weeks Before Your International Move

Your big move is almost here! This is the time that can feel the most stressful, as you start packing and boxes pile up. You should also:

  • Confirm appointments: Double-check your move dates with your moving company and provide them any additional details before moving day. Make sure your transportation and lodging are set for when you arrive at your destination.
  • Say ‘goodbye’ to friends and family: Have family members and friends come over, help pack and send you off before the day comes that you’re getting on a flight.
  • Get any final healthcare done: If you didn’t have the chance to earlier or needed a follow-up, be sure to get that appointment out of the way. Make sure you add any new prescriptions or medical records to your document folder.
  • Unlock your phone: Get a SIM card that will work in your destination country and have it ready for the day of your flight.

You should also pack up any specialty items or fragile items now. This gives you the peace of mind that they’ll survive the move and are packed up.

Moving Day

Moving Day

Your moving company is here and the moving process is in full swing. Be sure to dress comfortably and pack yourself a good bag for your flight including:

  • A few days worth of clothes
  • Headphones
  • Sleep mask
  • Snacks
  • Chargers
  • Portable battery
  • Extra cash
  • Extra socks and underwear

Be sure to keep your document folder on your person at all times. Once you arrive in your new home, verify that your movers have everything delivered and unpacked. Then it’s time to explore your new home and relax!


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