Table of contents:
Relocating overseas is life-changing, though challenging at times. The moving process gets more complicated as you're about to travel with kids or older relatives. One of the main stressors in such a case is family safety concerns.
But don't worry. We have tried-and-true moving tips for families to share with you. Whether you're moving with kids or there are only two of you, consider the suggestions on secure relocation.
It's essential to do some preparations before leaving your good old family nest. That's why you must prioritize the needs of your loved ones. For instance, learn as much as possible about schools and daycares if you plan to relocate with kids. Find out how well your new neighborhood is adapted for relatives with special needs or older people.
Notify your children of your intent to relocate at least two months before the moving day. Since middle schoolers and teens are old enough to participate in discussions, let them speak out. Involve them in planning, and listen to their questions and suggestions.
However, the little ones might feel anxious and disappointed. Moving means kids have to leave schoolmates and favorite places behind. So show that you care: support your child emotionally and reason with them simultaneously. Also, try to read some children's books about moving to toddlers and preschoolers to soothe their worries.
The course of action significantly varies depending on particular moving cases. Let's consider three scenarios:
1) Immigrating to reunite with your spouse/fiance. Thoroughly plan your relocation before taking any action. The most common mistake for youngsters and adults is that they don't realize the challenges of adapting to a new society. Therefore, getting as much information about where you're about to settle is the best way to go.
2) Relocating as a married couple. Moving together is a bit more complex as you must agree on numerous aspects. First of all, you make it clear about the new home. Let's say you're already definite about the location. So next, you should negotiate with the landlord or real estate agent together with your spouse. Suppose it's your first time renting or purchasing a home abroad. In that case, we recommend you consult an international real estate agent.
3) Relocating as a single. Deadlines for pre-moving preparations are much more flexible if you relocate alone. However, even if you're self-confident and independent, you must ensure a secure relocation and residency. Check our previous article with safety tips for living alone. They can help you when adjusting to life in a new country.
Note these general relocation tips:
Start getting used to the foreign country by taking several trips on holidays and during vacation
Find a proper language tutor or self-educate to enhance your language skills
Attend an integration course near your new place
Relocation with older relatives is a delicate case, especially when you must ensure independent living. We've shared some practical ways to create home safety for older adults. These can guide you in building safer and more comfortable surroundings.
Remember, it's completely normal if your parents or grandparents feel upset about leaving their home. But you can change their mindset step by step. Be communicative and willing to listen. Try some of our tips on how to communicate with elderly parents to encourage them to welcome changes.
These three precautions will ensure secure long-distance moving or travel. They are easy to fulfill but life-critical.
Read travel advisories. They educate travelers on risks connected with crime, natural disasters, social instability, or contagious diseases. You can enroll in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) provided by the US Department of State. It will keep you updated about the situation in particular regions you visit.
Get insured. It's vital to insure your and your family members' health before you go. The most valuable home belongings should be covered also. Beware, particular countries restrict travelers for relocation purposes if they don't provide insurance documents to customs. Therefore, we advise you to inquire with your insurance company about the policy you need to travel safely abroad. An agent may qualify you for traveler insurance with a discount.
Keep necessary documents, IDs, cash, and valuables secured. It's the golden rule for any relocation scenario. The moving day can be hasty, so keeping your IDs, credit cards, cash, and other valuables at hand is crucial.
Let's consider nine essential rules for a safe family relocation. Mind that unexpected changes happen, so you must wisely assess potential difficulties and risks to travel safely abroad.
Ask someone to look after little kids, so they won't get unintentionally injured during packing and loading. Teach children of school age to keep quiet and not distract adults at work. We advise you to suggest kids a moving day activity to get them busy: let them play in the backyard or play games on a tablet.
Getting scammed while arranging a rental contract or buying a home is a big problem. Here are the prime red flags you should watch for:
A dirty cheap rent for a residence in a city center
Too pushy realtor/landlord offering you to pay in cash instead of transferring money to a bank account
Insufficient photos of an apartment or house
It's also vital to know what a foreign real estate broker license looks like to verify it properly. Check if the broker works at a reputable company with a website and high approval ratings.
Be specific and find out whether the new school has decent safety measures. Knowing that school personnel will take care of your child is crucial. So specify whether there is transportation by the school bus, controlled access to the building, etc.
Domestic medical providers will assist you and your loved ones with the transfer of medical records. Nowadays, most US healthcare centers can share your file with overseas colleagues electronically. You can also ask for a paper-based medical record by filling out the authorization form. Just remember that the second way will take much longer.
The sooner you make acquaintances with your new neighbors, the easier the transition period will be. So get involved in the local lifestyle and communicate with the people around you. They'll gladly advise you where to shop or what family-friendly activities to try.
Save phone numbers of emergency services shortly after your arrival. You should also set emergency contacts in a personal safety app to double your protection. Emergency services might not arrive as quickly as someone close to you, especially in rural regions. So you better rely on someone who lives nearby as an alternative.
Remember to replenish your supplies based on your circumstances. You may need an additional can of insect repellent or sunscreen lotion.
Consider installing a home security system if you want to ward off burglars and other perpetrators. Check our overview of popular home security systems to see their differences regarding functionality and purpose.
Keep an eye on each other and know exactly where your household members are heading. Practice convenient and unobtrusive check-ins with mobile GPS tracking apps.
Do you want smart tools to travel safe abroad? The AllsWell Alert app allows you to put kids and the rest of the family under 24/7 safety monitoring. It's simple to use and, what's more – globally supported. You can receive an SOS alert notification whether your loved ones are on a plane or already at their destination.
AllsWell's inactivity tracking feature complements a default panic button. So, you'll recognize when your family member needs immediate help, even if they can't send an SOS alert by clicking the panic button.