women in hat and backpack staring out at scenery

How to Move Abroad – Step 2: What to pack for a move abroad

In this issue...
⇨ Moving Out
⇨ What to Get Rid Of
⇨ What to Pack

How to move out so you can move abroad

The first step is arranging to move out of your current place (or rent it out).  How and what things do you get rid of, or do you find a place to store them while you’re abroad? 

Unless you intend to travel indefinitely, this is something you will have to consider. 

If you have paid off your mortgage, or are able to continue paying the expenses associated with your current living arrangement even after you relocate abroad, you may want to consider setting up a rental on your space.  This way you can make some extra cash while someone else watches over your place and things.  Regardless of wether you decide to rent out your place or not, a close family member or friend (or private hire) should watch over your place and take responsibility for it while you are away.

women in white dress on a dock staring at mountains

What to get rid of before moving abroad

If you have decided to sell your house or move out of your apartment, you have a few options of what do with your things:
1) You could store your belongings in a self-storage unit and pay monthly/ yearly or;
2) You could sell/donate your belongings or;
3) You could leave a few boxes with family members. 

When I first decided to move abroad, I was living in a studio apartment that I had been renting, so I first had to find someone to take over my lease so I wasn’t liable for remaining payments.

Upon moving, I placed items in a few durable bins and left them in a family member’s garage; then, donating/recycling items was the easiest way to get rid of my other items hassle free.  Companies will even take away certain “junk” items at no additional cost.  If you are from the States, cities or counties should provide large waste dumping sites at a small access or item fee, but most of the time you will have to do the transporting yourself.

women in shall looking out at mountains

What to pack for a move abroad

As for the items you do decide to bring with you on your adventure abroad,  I suggest you only take essentials.  In an ever-more globalized world, unless you are moving to Antarctica or a remote Island, chances are you will have access to other necessities easily (although, maybe not your favorite brands).  And let’s be real, shipping boxes or purchasing additional checked baggage comes with a hefty price tag these days.

I highly suggest not to pack large amounts of liquid in your checked bag(s).  Aside from the restrictions on the amount, this also takes up copious amounts of space and weighs quite a bit.  That’s space and weight you could be filling with other more valuable items.  If you must bring liquids, consider only packing enough to make it through a week or two, unless it’s a product you really love and are afraid will be difficult to come by abroad. 

Some other essential things to consider packing might be:

  • a three-month supply of any meds in case you can’t access them right away or get your prescription transferred in the other country;
  • a decent supply of contact lenses and/or a couple pairs of good-fitting glasses;
  • your favorite shoes and jeans (as a taller-than average female, at 5ft 11in, with size 9.5US feet, finding shoes and pants that fit properly in SE Asia was a struggle on this end);
  • for women, a decent supply of whatever your preferred feminine hygiene product is.  Menstrual cups are great to travel with, eco-friendly, space-savers, and low cost.  Menstrual cups and tampons are becoming ever-more available in developing countries, but it’s always good to be prepared with a decent supply – just in case.
women standing on a cliff staring out at a lake

As a solo female traveler, there is only so much you can carry

Whether you prefer rolling luggage or a backpack (or a combination) all your items should be secured with a TSA certified lock. For backpacks, I suggest buying a cover which encloses the bag entirely so you can secure it and protect it from damage (wouldn’t want that left strap to end up cut at baggage claim because it got stuck on the luggage belts!).

AND you should also be able to adequately and independently carry all these items and move them across long airports and even stairs without problem.  If you can’t get by carrying all your things yourself and you plan to travel alone, make sure you have prepared in advance – or at least thought about – adequate assistance upon arrival and when transferring to your next location.

Not all destinations are so user-friendly for wheeled luggage and sometimes handicap accessible facilities are not always available (In Europe, this is not so much an issue, but Asia can be tricky.). It took me several stores and fittings for me to find a pack that fit just right and felt right, and I absolutely love traveling with my Deuter 30liter+10 pack.  It’s durable, extremely comfortable, and just the right size for me

Happy traveling!

How to move abroad - Step 3: Applying for visas

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