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Make Your Overseas Move Easy With These 4 Steps

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Make Your Overseas Move Easy With These 4 Steps

Whether you’re looking to move for work, studying in another country, or even retiring abroad, moving overseas can be a difficult task. Like any challenge, though, it can be broken down into bite-sized chunks and made more manageable. Let’s do that together for your overseas move. Here are the four steps you’ll need to take.

1. Before you do anything

Before you do anything else, you need to figure out where you’re going to move and what that means for you and your lifestyle. Likely the biggest change that will impact you is going to be changes in the cost of living. Here’s a good international cost of living calculator to help you figure out what’s going to change.

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If you play around with it a bit, you’ll note that not all factors in the cost of living change equally. In some parts of the world food is more expensive but health costs are much lower. In others, housing is very expensive, but robust public transportation makes getting around a lot cheaper. Not all changes will have a huge impact on you, but since housing often represents such a large part of our budgets, it’s good to plan on sticking to the 30% rule when planning for housing. That is, the most you should plan on spending on rent or mortgage payments is 30% of your monthly income. If you make $5,000 a month (or the equivalent in your host country), you should plan on spending at most $1,500 on housing. Keep this in mind when accounting for fluctuating housing prices in different parts of the world.

2. Before you move

So you know where you’re going, either through corporate assignment or your own decision-making. What do you need to do before you leave? One lesser-known step to packing up that so many people seem to forget about is cleaning! People usually think of cleaning as “OK, I’ve moved everything out, now I’ll clean up so that I get my full security deposit back.”

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Wrong! Think of it this way instead: moving out of a clean and organized house is so much easier than trying to pack a jumbled mess away. A house that goes into boxes organized comes out of them organized, making it worthwhile to clean before you move out.

This is also a good time to take inventory. The process itself will help you to declutter and figure out what you really need to take with you and what’s just weighing you down. Plus, your things will likely change hands quite a lot on their way to another country, so it’s good to keep a list of important items in case something goes missing along the way.

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3. While you’re moving

There isn’t too much to worry about here and not much that you can do if things go wrong, so it’s probably best to sit back and enjoy the flight. Take a break from all the work you did packing and preparing for your move (and if you worked hard on that, you really won’t have anything to worry about on your way). If there’s one thing that you should have on you at all times, though, it’s a folder with your vaccination records and other medical records that might be useful to foreign doctors if you fall ill during your trip.

4. After the move

Congratulations! You’re ready to make your way in a new country, but before you do, make sure that the things you didn’t bring with you find a good home. Places like Goodwill will take furniture and clothing at collection sites and charities like Move for Hunger will come by your old house and collect non-perishable food items that you’ve left out for them.

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These are my tips for making an international move. Let me know where you’re headed!

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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