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What to pack when moving abroad
Healthy Travel

Moving Abroad Packing Tips

Moving can become quite stressful when you look at all your possessions. Don't worry; we got you covered. Read here some essential moving abroad tips. 

Moving abroad can be a difficult decision to make, but once it’s done, you’ll realize that it was just the first part of a long to-do list. Throughout our lives, we fill up with items that, while they may serve a function in our routine, can no longer go with us on this new adventure.

If you’ve seen everything you have at home and think, “how am I supposed to move abroad with all this stuff?” we’re sure you need some extra help. Let us enlighten you with these essential moving abroad packing tips.

How to Know What to Pack when Moving Abroad

Even though we don’t notice it, we are more attached to things than we think. At some point in our lives, all of us must have had a difficult time saying goodbye to the teddy bear that used to accompany us to sleep. That’s why it’s hard to decide what to pack when we move abroad, especially if we’re not ready to leave familiarity behind.

When moving abroad, what items to take along and what items to toss

When considering what to bring, think about whether shipping the items will be more expensive than just replacing them after you get to your new home nation. Many individuals prefer to travel as light as possible, making things easier and faster. Some people feel that packing as though they’re going on vacation and getting rid of anything else gives them a fresh start.

However, some items will come in handy when you move abroad, which will cost more when trying to replace them. Moreover, some of us still want to take special pieces with us, even if the price to pay for it is high.

To make it easier for you to know what to pack when moving abroad, take into account the following questions:

Where are you moving to?

Depending on the country you move to, you’ll see a significant change in your packing storage. Take into account the weather of the place and how people dress, 一that is if you want to blend with the locals. Do your research accordingly, and pack clothes and other accessories that fit the weather and culture you are moving to.

In addition to temperature considerations, you may also want to take with you adapter plugs. There are several variations across the globe, and it is better to take one with you before arriving in case you need to charge your phone and don’t have the right plug to do so.

What time of the year are you moving?

In case your new place has several seasons, you can take clothes that will fit you for the current season and a few for the next one. This way, the only thing left to do will be to buy the remaining clothes once you arrive at your new destination.

Packing list for moving abroad

However, avoid carrying too many non-essentials. If one pair of boots for the winter is enough, take only those instead of carrying several pairs, as you will be able to replace them at the other place.

How long are you moving abroad for?

We understand that you want to be prepared, but if your stay is short, you don’t have to carry items that will be unnecessary during your time abroad. Many times, we pack more than we end up using.

For a short stay, take only the essentials. That includes clothes that match the current season, items that you will use in the coming months, and other essentials. If it’s a longer stay, consider what items you know you won’t be able to replace in another country and what you will use during your stay.

How are your finances?

Sometimes we do not all have the opportunity to bring certain important items with us due to transportation costs. If you are willing to invest whatever it takes to bring most of your belongings overseas, that’s great! Still, it is possible to save some money with the essential moving abroad packing tips we’ll share with you in this article.

You won’t need to bring any furniture with you if you’re moving into furnished housing. Even if you’re moving into an unfurnished apartment, it’ll almost definitely be less expensive to sell your furniture and buy new when you relocate than it will be to ship an entire home to another nation. If you have a favorite chair or a lovely antique piece of furniture that you don’t want to part with, talk to your international removals firm about bringing it with you.

Moving Abroad Packing Tips

Once you have asked yourself the questions above, it might be possible you’ve narrowed down the number of items you have to take with you to a moderate rate. The next step is to carefully see all you have in front of you and decide what goes with you.

Start downsizing before you pack for moving abroad

What items to take with you

To make things simpler, you can divide your packing list into the following categories: clothing, gadgets and electronics, important documents, toiletries, and memorabilia such as cameras, instruments, or some other object that has to do with a passion or has sentimental value.

What items to toss

To travel as light as possible, you should consider what you want to get rid of. This could signify that you donate items to friends or family, sell them, or simply discard them.

Make use of the ‘six-month rule.’ Toss it if you haven’t used it in the last six months. It isn’t important in your life anymore.

Consider selling items like kitchen appliances and entertainment systems. As for books, clothes, DVDs, and others, you can either give them away to friends or charity. Lastly, discard broken objects or items you are hoarding.

Items to put into long term storage

We know that getting rid of items like furniture, decorations, or cookware can be difficult, especially if you took some time to get them. In case you are not leaving permanently, you may want to consider putting the following items in long-term storage:

Items to put into long term storage

  • Sofas
  • Heavy furniture
  • Personal keepsakes
  • Wardrobe
  • Miscellaneous 

Start downsizing before you pack

If you still have a lot of items after following the essential moving abroad tips that we’ve shared, it’s time to downsize. Take all the items you have and start separating them according to their functionality and importance in your life. If you have trouble with this, you can follow Marie Kondo’s method.

Be aware that you won’t wear everything you pack. Many times, we prepare more than necessary, but living in another country will always allow us to recover many of the things we have left behind.

Consider professional movers

Whether you’re relocating home goods, personal possessions, or larger items, looking into a moving company that employs professional packing materials, provides door-to-door service and treats moving your personal belongings as a top priority can be helpful. Moving to a new country is difficult, so you’ll need the help of professional removal firms to make your move overseas while saving money.

Thus, if you need some extra help figuring out how to pack for moving abroad, most international removal companies can give you storage solutions to take some weight off your shoulders.

What are the essentials to Pack when Moving Abroad

Use vacuum bags or packing cubes

Saving space won’t only reduce moving costs but will also make it easier for you to pack. For that reason, using vacuum bags or packing cubes is the perfect way to make sure that you have enough storage for your items without compromising mobility and security.

Packing List for Moving Abroad

Official Documents

Double-check to make sure you take with you the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Board pass copies
  • Medical records
  • Travel insurance paperwork
  • Credit cards
  • Birth certificate
  • Visa information
  • Tax information
  • Marriage license

For all the documents you need to show at the airport and other entry documents, keep them in your bag where you can easily find them. To find out more about the best travel insurance for working abroad click this link.

While the documents listed above are just the most basic and essential ones, you need to research the country’s entry rules you are going to. 


Keys, laptop, wallet, phone charger 一every single person has a set of essentials that must be the first ones to double-check before leaving to the airport. Make sure all of these elements are easy to access and safe.

Consider what time of the year are you moving and how will be the weather abroad

Clothes and Shoes

Sure, you’ll need to bring your clothes, but now is as good a time as any to go through your closet and figure out what you need and what you don’t. It’s also a good time to consider what clothes are appropriate for your new country. Are you going to need those snow boots when going to a warm country?

It’s a good idea to only bring the clothes you’ll need for the first few months, then go shopping for new clothes once you’ve established your new house and, hopefully, your new work.


Moving overseas is not the best time to put your health to the test. If you’re currently undergoing treatment or constantly relying on over-the-counter medications, make sure you get the most out of your supply.

When overseas, it can be difficult to find the same medicine or a doctor who can prescribe your medication. For that reason, it is better to take everything you need from your home country.

To stay safe and calm, consider the following items:

  • Tablets for water purification
  • Ibuprofen
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Allergy medication
  • Mosquito spray
  • Prescription medicines 
  • Band-Aids
  • Emergency kit


We know all these items are basic products you can find virtually anywhere. However, it is better to purchase them at a local discount store in bulk to save some money. Moreover, there will be cases in which you’ll have a hard time locating certain items in certain countries (like deodorants in Japan or South Korea).

Make sure to make these items fit in a regular toiletry bag:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Blades
  • Shaving foam
  • Dental floss
  • Pair of tweezers
  • Nail trimmer
  • Balm

Besides all these essential elements, think of memorabilia, travel gear, and other items that make this transition easier for you without compromising storage. Once you start getting the hang of it, you’ll notice that you have already packed everything you need without stressing too much about it. Have a nice trip!