After months, maybe years of planning, youre finally moving abroad. Whether you’re packing up and moving abroad for good, or will be sharing your time between two countries, moving day is an exciting step in your journey.


While youve likely planned everything up to now to the finest detail, you may not have thought about getting through moving day itself with as little stress as possible.

Here, then, is your must-follow list of things to do to make the big day of moving abroad go as smoothly as possible. After all, it will help get your new life in somewhere like France off to the best possible start.


Pack as much as you can in advance

There are two aspects to packing in your case. Unlike a normal trip abroad, youre not just packing enough things for a week or two; youre packing up and moving everything you own. Youll likely have put all your furniture, belongings and clothes into crates, which will probably be on their way to France, Spain, Portugal (or wherever youre emigrating to) already.

But you need to have thought about what it is youll be taking with you when you go on the day, whether thats by air or sea.


A list of things to keep with you on moving day


Pack the night before you go

To make travel day as stress-free as possible, pack up everything youre taking with you the day before. Load up as much as you can in the car (if youre taking it to Europe by boat or Eurotunnel), or leave suitcases by the front door to load up in the taxi or when its time to go.

Last-minute packing, or trying to find things, causes irritation you could do without on such an important day.


Your last goodbyes before moving abroad

While buying property overseas is exciting, it can also be sad. You may be upset about leaving friends and family behind. Make sure you leave enough time on moving day to say one last fond farewell to friends, family and neighbours.

You might also like to head off having enjoyed one last trip to your favourite café or pub, a treasured last memory of the life youre leaving behind.


The best moving abroad tip of all? Make a list!

You might not be a “list” type of person. But believe us when we say this is one day when a list is vital. Youll want to make a list of all the things youll need on moving day (hint: weve told you about most of them!), and you should keep referring to it throughout the day.

Its likely things will occur to you while youre waiting at the airport, or for your ferry, so keep updating the list as you go.


For those who are not moving permanently

Not everyone has sold up for good. Some people plan to live abroad for a couple of years, perhaps for work, or simply a change of scenery. Others might be heading to the sunnier lifestyle of the south of France or Spain for the winter, having bought a holiday home.

While moving day plans dont change that much for shorter stays, the number of belongings you ship over may not be so large.

The chances are youll put a bunch of stuff in storage. Make sure you provide a friend or relative with access to your storage, in case you end up needing to have something sent over.


And finally, enjoy the moving abroad experience

After buying property abroad, the first day of your new life is moving day. While youll have some stress, and emotions will be mixed, its a day youll never forget.

If youve planned for it well, the chances are everything will go as smoothly as possible and you can look forward to building new memories in your new home.

Bon voyage!


If youre thinking about setting up a new life in France or Spain, download our moving to France or moving to Spain guides.


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