Don’t forget your…?

Packing for your overseas relocation

Packing for an overseas relocation is fraught with difficulties. You’ll probably have several consignments to organise. Separate packing sessions for air freight, shipping container and the luggage you take with you are the main elements. As well as working out what you can live without for a few months, you need to make sure you can get up and running in your new home as soon as you arrive.

Many people take the opportunity to have a good clear out and only pack that which they perceive as indispensable. The rest gets sold, thrown away or put into storage. No point clogging up expensive cargo with non-essential items, is it? Many relish the chance to go on a massive shopping trip in their new home.

But not everything is available in every country. You may be surprised at the cost of certain items in other countries… if they are available at all.

Those of us who have moved overseas have tales to tell of items being left behind that became vital upon arrival. Sometimes it’s the most unusual things we miss.

I asked the following question yesterday on Facebook and Twitter, and have included comments gathered from other sources in the past too.

Here are ten items you may want to consider packing;

What do you regret NOT taking with you?

  1. A box of Weetabix. The baby lived on them and I couldn’t get them in the US.
  2. Some toys that I felt the children had grown out of.
  3. Winter bedding and warm clothes; I didn’t know it dropped to -5°c in the winter
  4. More of our own furniture and linen. They are expensive here by comparison.
  5. Wheelbarrow and garden equipment.
  6. The girls’ memory boxes with their mementos from earlier years.
  7. The extra leaf for our dining table. It got left behind accidentally when we moved. It took a couple of years to notice we hadn’t got it anymore, but now the children are older, we could do with it.
  8. Kitchen gadgets; then spent a fortune replacing it all.
  9. I regretted not bringing my wok. I miss stir-fry and I can’t find a decent one here that won’t break the bank.
  10. The Helper!

Of course, this is somewhat tongue in cheek, but it’s easy to be swayed into thinking certain items aren’t required in your new life. And it’s impossible to see into the future and know what particular items will be missed. You can only do your best when deciding what to take and what to leave behind. But do look further ahead than the first few weeks in your new home.

On the other hand there are those items you relocate with and then spend years looking at thinking, “Why on earth did we bring that abroad with us?

What do YOU regret not taking with you?

How to organise your packing to help make your move abroad a success from the start

This eBook will guide and support you as you make your first steps to your new life abroad

Sort out your packing! PDF Link

Get the paperback here

Find the Kindle version on Amazon

And don’t forget your packing lists! 

Check out my ready-made ones here


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  1. Weetabix. Wegmans carries it but you have to find one near you. They don’t ship. IF you have friends where they have Wegmans tell them to check the British foods sections esp if near a University with a diverse population. I prefer British to a lot of American foods so I shop Wegmans “foreign foods” sections.

  2. When I moved from The US to Australia I regretted not packing Crest dental floss and Tylenol. I also regretted not packing more of my cosmetics as they were ridiculously expensive in Sydney.

    1. Yes, cost is one reason, and the other is – for some countries and items -they just are not available. I tend to stockpile stuff and it moves with us until we finally have moved to a country where everything seems readily available.

  3. Pingback: Culture Shock in Children - Globiana
  4. I seriously regret forgetting my kids vaccination records. I have had so many problems with Dr’s and school vaccinations wanting to give them a double dose ‘just in case’!

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