Two Weeks Prior
- Submit resignation letter to job: If things don’t work out with this move you want to make sure that you have somewhere to return to. Don’t burn any bridges on your way out.
- Finish selling items: All major and minor items should be sold by this point. If there are things that are not selling either donate them or throw them away.
- Finalize packing: Wear clothes that you planned on giving away during the coming week so your bag can be fully packed. Once you finish packing leave out the outfit you intend to travel in. At the end of the week you can donate or throw away the clothes you have been wearing.
- Clean up house: Either hire someone to do it or do it yourself. You can also ask your landlord what would be the fee to leave the apartment as is. It could be expensive but still cheaper than hiring someone to come in and do it and would save you a lot of effort.
- Download apps to cut costs of communication: There is no shortage on ways to stay in contact with your family and friends back home. Most of the ways I’m about to list are free as long as you have internet. You are able to not only send messages but you can also audio and video call – Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Fam, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Google Hangouts.
- Have a goodbye get together to give your friends and family a chance to say goodbye and wish you luck: It doesn’t have to be big but people will appreciate getting to say goodbye and they might even give you money! We ended up having two goodbye parties. One in DC and one in Orlando. This gave us a chance to say goodbye to our family and friends in regions that were easy for them to get to. We had a blast at both.
Day You Leave/When You Get There
- Take a minute to savor how momentous this is
- Have the name, address, and phone number where you are staying for immigration and taxi drivers- When you land you will be asked to fill out customs and immigration forms. It is important that you feel that info at your disposal and also put a copy in all your luggage in the unfortunate event that it gets lost. I am telling you to keep the phone number handy so that way if there is language barrier between you and the taxi driver one of you can just call up the hotel and they can explain to the driver where to go.
- Double check you have everything you need: Double, triple, quadruple check you have everything
- Don’t forget your passport!
- Exchange currency: I would wait until you land there because the exchange rate is usually better.
- Get local SIM card: I would start off with a prepaid SIM so you can see what the service will be like where you live. If it isn’t good choose another company. Since it is prepaid there is no obligation to stay with them. Many countries will not allow you to get a billed cell phone service without having the proper visa type.
- Port phone number to Google Voice: Have someone back home help you with this or attempt to do it on a VPN. You cannot port anything to Google Voice when your sever is outside of the United States. This is the easiest way to keep your same number for only $20. Cancellation fees may apply from your origin phone service provider. It will take about 3days until the number is switched over.
- Disconnect cell phone service: After your phone number has successfully ported you can call to double check that you do not owe them any money. Your service and plan should be disconnected.
START LIVING YOUR NEW LIFE!
To follow our lives abroad check out our hashtag #MeetTheWardsInThailand on Instagram
If you are interested in receiving this full checklist in a PDF version please reach out to me at MeetTheWards2014@Gmail.com
If you or someone you know is moving abroad please share this list with them. I am sure they will appreciate it.
If you have lived abroad and you think there is something we forgot, leave us a comment below!