Top 5 pre-departure tips for moving abroad

Before I flew out to France for a year before university, I was pretty clueless about the behind-the-scenes of moving abroad. Since then, I have flown back and forth to the UK for weekend visits, spent 3 months living in Paris as an intern and am flying out later this month to work in Spain for my Year Abroad. Along the way I have learned some ways of easing the moving abroad process and am sharing them here for anyone about to embark on their Year Abroad too.

  1. Book your flights through Skyscanner.

Skyscanner compares flight prices for all airlines, and also for all booking websites. It offers an alert service so you receive direct notifications when flight prices for your chosen date change and its calendar feature allow you to plan when would be the cheapest time to make a weekend trip home.
I also love their Everywhere feature! Once you have selected your departure airport/country, you can select Everywhere as your destination, and see where in the world is cheapest if you have a weekend free and want to discover a new place.

2. Send your luggage through Send My Bag

Who likes wandering through a new city and figuring out directions whilst dragging two large suitcases behind them after a flight? Nobody. Send My Bag provides a door-to-door service, collecting your luggage from your home address and transporting it to the door of your new home abroad.

No need to wait in the long bag-drop queues at the airport, no need to hang around at the baggage carousel and no need to drag your luggage to your new apartment.

Want to know more? Check out my related article here.

Want a £5/€7 discount? Use my link here.

3. Miss out on transfer fees by using Transferwise

My student bank account through Santander charges £25 for each transaction I make overseas. Whilst in Paris, with my student loan and Erasmus grant being paid into my UK account I knew I needed another option to using my normal online banking. A friend from work suggested Transferwise, which allows you to quickly and safely transfer money from your UK account abroad, and vice-versa, for a very low fee.

Use my link here to get yourself a FREE transfer overseas up to £500.

Furthermore, if you are looking to set up a French bank account whilst away, check out my post here to read up on the easiest way to do so!

4. Don’t over pack

Before I moved to France for the first time, I massively overpacked (I also had not heard of Send My Bag which would have made my life a lot easier!) I took one very very big suitcase of clothes, along with another massive suitcase full of coats, shoes and STUFF. 

My best piece of advice is to take enough for a two week holiday. You do not need to pack an entire bedroom’s worth of stuff, as you will only end up buying even more to bring home whilst you are away.

Don’t take anything you can buy whilst you are out there.

5. Do pack your favourite photos

When I moved away although I seemed to have packed my entire wardrobe and the kitchen sink, I lacked photos and ended up very quickly putting in a Photobox order to put up in my room! Take your favourite things from your room to make your new house feel like home, and pop some photos up in your new room or those days when you are missing home.

I hope that this post helps anybody preparing for their year abroad! Feel free to hit the follow button to hear more about my time away, and like the post if you enjoyed reading.

Thanks for reading,


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