Although there may be challenges at first, moving to a new country is bound to be a new and exciting chapter in your family’s lives. They say that travel broadens the mind and there are so simply many different benefits to taking this journey as a family unit. However, moving abroad with the family can also be a huge undertaking, especially when you have kids in tow, and there is much to consider before taking the plunge.
Whether you are thinking about moving for work, pleasure or anything else, read on for our in-depth review of everything that you need to think about to ensure that the move is a successful one!
These are the Advantages…
Exposure to language: The ability to speak two languages is associated with improved cognitive skills, boosts in potential earnings and more successful outcomes overall. Children are much faster learners and have the potential to pick up language quicker than adults.
Offering valuable new experiences: We all learn from new experiences, and living abroad is bound to deliver them by the bucket load.
Being fully immersed in a different culture for a time can result in children growing up more open-minded and inclusive.
Need to see more pros of showing your kiddos the world? No problem… We’ve discovered all the ways family travel can be so easy (and totally worth it)!
…And the Disadvantages of Moving Abroad with the Family
Some children can struggle in a new environment, but you know your kids best. Speak to them and pay attention to their worries and concerns.
Homesickness: It can be difficult leaving all that we love behind, particularly if you intend this to be a permanent move.
Practical Issues: Finding new schools, doctors and other such facilities can be a challenge, especially when you may not be proficient in the language when you first arrive.
Prepare the Kids – A Lot!
Children are much more resilient and adaptable than adults, and it is only when we get into our teenage years that we become more stuck in our ways. If you are moving abroad with young children, you will usually find that with the right love and support, they will soon be thriving wherever they are.
However, older children, and especially teenagers, are likely to face increased challenges. A great tip for preparing older children is to ask them to research your destination country. Discuss their findings as a family and talk about any potential challenges they may see or worries they may have. Make them feel involved in the entire process and respect their opinions and decisions.
Whilst parents always have the final say, the move will impact the children just as much as the adults.
What to Consider before Moving Abroad with the Family
The most essential part of moving abroad is about having the right attitude. You are likely to face challenges and it is not likely to be smooth sailing. However, treat it like a family adventure! You are on the same team, venturing into the unknown and embracing new opportunities.
If you have school-aged children, their education can play an important role in your decision. The generic international schools may be easier if you are planning on moving back home, but if you are staying in the country you may prefer to stick with a public school for full immersion.
Remember, homeschooling is not always legal in every country and you need to check appropriate legislation. Also, you will need to make sure that you find schools well in advance.
Ask ex-pats already in the area if there is a doctor that speaks your language or opt for private health care which includes translation services. Depending on your work package, it makes sense to, wherever you go, have full health insurance for the whole family. Setting up a doctor can take some time, so try to make sure that you have enough medication for at least a couple of months.
Staying in Touch
One of the hardest parts of moving abroad is having to leave loved ones at home. Maintaining those relationships from across the ocean can be difficult. However, arrange skype dates, chat on social media, or go back to traditional pen and paper! In the modern world, there are tons of ways to stay in touch, so encourage the whole family to keep in contact with those that they love.
Another easy and lovely way to stay in touch with your beloved ones ist sending individual postcards, wherever you are. All you need is your smartphone (and your own picture from your gallery), the address and a nice, personal greeting text to send a postcard with MyPostcard!
One of the most significant challenges when moving to another country has to be the language, with the barrier potentially resulting in social isolation and multiple challenges when you arrive. Picking up some lessons before you go is a great idea, and you can share your learning with the family. Use sticky notes to label items around the home, play music from your new country, and teach everyone a few basic words.
Packing for Success
Keep your packing to a minimum! Whilst it may seem that you need to take everything but the kitchen sink, very often it can be cheaper to replace things abroad rather than paying the fees. Keep everything labeled and organized and encourage children to pack their own prized possessions and choose what can be donated.
Ask the Experts about Moving Abroad with the Family
If you are looking for further advice on moving abroad with the family, the best advice always comes from those people that have done it themselves. There are so many family travel bloggers online, with families of all nationalities choosing to opt for a fresh new start. Our top five family travel blogs include:
World Travel Family: Travelling since 2012, follow Alyson, James, D, and Boo on their around the world adventure.
Mummy Travels: Packed full of great tips and useful travel advice!
POD Travels: Charly is a UK based travel blogger whose family loves to explore the world and share their stories.
Extraordinary Chaos: Run by Sarah, this is a great blog that is full of tips and advice as well as tons of travel inspiration for the States.
Family Travel Times: This is written by the whole family, and is a great one to share their kids. They will love being able to hear kids their age sharing their own perspectives on the nomadic lifestyle.
And for all the mommy lifestyle experts, take a look at the TOP 20 Best Mom Lifestyle Blogs… to move abroad in style of course! 😉
Moving Abroad with the Family: Let’s Get Prepared!
Moving abroad can be a pretty big decision and one that is likely to affect your family for years to come. Do your homework and research your destination country thoroughly before you take the plunge. You are going to want as much information as possible about your new home, city, and nation, learn everything from an overview of the laws, customs and culture to the best places to eat.
Here you’ll find the TOP 5 Child-Friendly Cities out there, in case you’re not quite sure which is the perfect place for your family. And if you’re still not 100% sure then let your zodiac sign guide you to your family’s place-to-be 🙂
It seems that you are really considering moving abroad with your family… Do you already know what your destination will be or are you still on the search for the perfect spot? Tell us about the experiences you already gathered in the comments!
It’s a huge step and sometimes a little bit of support from other people in the same position as you helps – more than you know!