Anyone who has organised, packed, changed locations, unpacked and re-organised at the other end, will know relocating is one of the most stressful things you can do. Especially if it’s to another country. How can you give yourself a break and make it easier? For the last 13 years, Singapore relocation company Sir Move has been overseeing expat moves and co-founder SHYLA MATHEWS shares her top ten relocation tips.
1. Do your research
Before confirming your relocation, it’s important to visit the country if you can. Learn first hand about the culture, climate, cuisine, housing, schooling, transport, cost of living (often a shock to expats relocating to Singapore) and so on. Be sure it’s somewhere you and your family could be comfortable and happy – and that you can afford it!
2. Be prepared
Start early and be ready for mishaps. Paperwork often takes longer than expected to come through (checklists are a great way to keep track of where things are). House- and job-hunting may also not run smoothly. Put together a budget and have enough money to see you through at least the first few months.
3. Job hunting
If you need to find a job in your new country, start looking online. This will help you understand the market, the requirements in your field and whether your existing qualifications will be recognised.
4. Organise your important papers
Moving overseas comes with a lot of bureaucracy, no matter where you are moving. Getting your documents in order means you’ll have everything at hand when it’s needed. There’s nothing more stressful than hunting down your original university certificate that you just know is tucked away safely in a drawer! The trouble is, which draw?
5. Update your contact details
There’s a whole host of people that need to know where you’re going. Be sure to inform family and friends of your new contact details and set up a postal redirect so you don’t miss any important communications.
6. Learn the lingo
Learning a few phrases in the local language can have an incredibly positive impact on your transition. Being able to speak a few words (and understand a little) of what is going on around you can help you connect with the locals and feel more at ease in your new homeland.
7. Electric devices
Check whether your television, hairdryer, alarm clock and any other electrical appliances will work in your new country – and if they’re covered by an international warranty.
8. Moving day
Have a “key box” on the big day itself. This small box should be marked clearly and placed for easy access. During the move, should you or the moving crew find keys, locks, remote controls or other loose items, they can place them in the key box.
9. Get insured
Good insurance is a must for any relocation. Talk to your relocation provider to understand exactly what your contract covers and if you need to purchase additional transit insurance. Also, make sure you have appropriate health and travel insurance for you and your family.
10. Tie up loose ends
Make sure you let your bank know you are moving and find out if you need to close your existing accounts. You’ll also need to inform your mobile phone company and utility companies (gas, electric, cable television, for example) so contracts can be terminated and final payments made.
We have plenty more tips for anyone considering a move to Singapore.