3 October 2022 2 minutes
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Packing tips when moving abroad

Do you know how to pack when you are (temporarily) moving abroad? What to bring and what to leave behind? Chances are that you do not know what to pack and where to start, so to help you out, here are some tips for expats when packing to move abroad:

Tip 1. Start early with making a packing checklist

It is never too early to start preparing for something. Start by making a ‘to pack’ checklist today. You can make a physical one on paper, but we recommend making a digital one in the Notes app on your smartphone or in Word on your laptop. It is nice to already have one, even if you are still days (or weeks) from departure. This way you can always add things to your list if you think ‘oh, I must remember to pack this’.

Tip 2. Check the weather to pack climate-wise

Some expats tend to forget to check the climate of the country they’re moving to. For example, in the Netherlands we have a lot of rainy days. So if you’re moving here, you will have to bring clothes that are made for the rain and the cold.

We also have a maritime climate with mild summers and cold winters. So you have to make sure to pack clothes that fit the seasons in the Netherlands.

Check the climate of the country you’re moving to.

Tip 3. Do not pack (too many) things you can buy there

Try to think rationally when packing your suitcase. We get it that when packing, almost everything in your house and especially your closet might come in handy, but it is good to sometimes have a reality check with yourself. We promise you that it is easier to just buy a new bed cover abroad instead of using up much needed space with the one you have at home.

When packing clothes, try to bring good quality basics you can combine such as basic t-shirts and basic pants.

Tip 4. Roll, roll, roll your clothes

Roll as much as possible! Rolling your clothes saves a lot of space and it will give the clothes less wrinkles.

Tip: Use organizers in your suitcase.

Tip 5. Check prohibited items

Be aware of items you can not bring to the country of destination, by checking out the ‘prohibited items’ list of the airport you’re flying to and from. Some airports are stricter than others and the last thing you want is any problems at customs (and wasting useful space in your luggage).

Read here about what can not travel with you to Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.

Tip 7. Check if your medicine is legal and if it needs any documents

If you are on any type of medication, there are a few things you need to make sure of:

  1. Check if your medicine is legal; your medicine might be illegal in certain countries. So make sure to check out local regulations before adding your medication to your luggage. The last thing you want is trouble at customs.
  2. Double up your prescription, just to be sure that you have enough until you have found a doctor abroad who can write you a new prescription.
  3. Check if you need a medicine passport or record. If you need one, you can ask your doctor or GP for this.

Another tip is to bring medicine with you in your hand luggage. Lately, airports have been very busy and your suitcase may get lost or arrive 1-2 days later. Prevent yourself from being stranded without medicine and bring some with you in your hand luggage.

Tip 8. Include documents and records in your ‘to pack’ list

Special papers, copies of your passport and other documents you have to bring: include it in your ‘to pack’ checklist. This way you will not forget any important documents and are able to double check if you have everything.

Store all your paperwork in a organizer to prevent yourself from losing it and from any damage.

Tip 9. Purchase the right adaptors

You might need a range of transformers/travel plugs. Purchasing these adaptors in advance, will save you the hassle of not being able to use your electrical devices when you reach the country of destination.

Things not to pack when moving abroad

Here are some examples of things we recommend you should leave behind.

  1. Any crockery such as plates, bowls and forks
  2. Pots and pans
  3. Bedding
  4. Toiletries such as make-up remover, deodorant, non-electric tooth brushes and razors
  5. Small furniture you can buy there such as vases, lamps and candleholders
  6. Electronics such as televisions and microwaves.

If packing and shipping is too expensive or too much of a hassle, you might want to consider rentals. Furniture rentals offer you a turn-key home as soon as you arrive, providing you anything you might need from furniture to (kitchen)appliances and everything in between.

If you need advice, please email us at info@toss-group.com or call or WhatsApp us on +31 20 261 9447.