Here are the Costs You Can Expect When Moving Abroad

If moving abroad is one of your New Years’ resolutions, here are a few valuable tips to help you get prepared

Editorial team
6 Min Read

Moving overseas can be daunting. However, exploring a new country offers a myriad of exciting possibilities as well, which is probably why more and more people are choosing to live abroad.

People have many different reasons for living in a different country. Some find living overseas exhilarating and consider it a great adventure. Others decide to relocate for practical reasons, like to take advantage of more job opportunities abroad.

Establishing a new home overseas can seem like a dream to most, but it can certainly be done. And there are important factors to consider (specifically, costs) before taking the leap.

General Costs Before Arrival

Visa and Immigration  

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It’s a given that incoming visitors will have to pay to enter a country. Regardless of what passport you hold, there are fees that come with visiting and immigrating abroad. Each country has its own rules and regulations regarding tourists and incoming immigrants. As such, the price of entering countries can vary as well.

The expenses for immigrating to a new country will depend on who is coming with you. As expected, moving solo will cost less. Bringing family with you will cost more and probably take longer to process.

Some people also want to bring their pets. There are different regulations for travelling animals. For instance, countries in the European Union issue pet passports for their furry friends.


Before the big move, visit your potential home abroad.

Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash / Rentola

During the first couple of visits, you should scout the cities or towns that you would consider residing in. Below are some potential expenses you’ll accrue during your visits:

  • Two-way plane tickets
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • City Tours or general sightseeing expeditions for tourists
  • Temporary accommodations

Once you’ve decided on a location in a given country, your visits may become longer and more frequent since you’ll begin making the necessary preparations.

Shipping and International Movers

Once you’re ready to relocate, there will be a bunch of tasks to do before getting on that plane with your one-way ticket.

The first obstacle would be figuring out what to do with your belongings. There are two options when it comes to your possessions: leave them behind or take them with you.


You can leave everything behind, except for a few choice items (like your favorite clothes and shoes) which would be relatively inexpensive to take with you. If you decide to bring only a couple of your prized possessions, you could pack them in a suitcase and travel with this on the plane as check-in luggage.

However, bringing fewer items doesn’t necessarily lower the costs when you arrive at your destination. Since you will be staying for a long period of time abroad, you will need to purchase all the basic home items, like plates, utensils, furniture and house appliances.

The second option is to take most (if not all) of your possessions abroad. If you follow this route, you’ll need professional help. Hiring international movers will come at a cost. Besides labor, there is also moving insurance.

Potential Home Expenses

There are two ways to handle finding a home overseas. First, you could stay in temporary accommodations after you’ve moved, then find a permanent place to live in. Second, you could rent or buy a place before you arrive.

Choosing Temporary Accommodations Abroad

If you haven’t found the right place yet, staying in a hotel, Airbnb, transient, or other temporary accommodations is a good option. However, the longer you take to find a more permanent residence, the greater the expenses that will rack up.

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Some of the expenses you might be faced with while staying in a temporary place include:

  • Cost of storage. A temporary living space is unlikely to have room for all your belongings if you’ve brought them. You might need to store some in a facility while you find your footing.
  • Daily payments for the space
  • Take-out food, if your temporary accommodations don’t have a kitchen
  • Transportation. Expect this to be a major expense while you look for a permanent home

Renting or Buying a House Abroad

If you decide to rent or buy a house before your final arrival, these are some of your potential expenses:

  • A deposit and advance, if you’re renting
  • A sizable down-payment, if you bought a house
  • New appliances and furniture, if you didn’t bring your own
  • Transformers, if you brought appliances from your home country
  • Utilities and services

Moving to a different country is a major financial undertaking, no questions asked.

If you’ve visited the country prior to taking up residence there, then you should have a fair idea of the cost of living in that location. As such, you should already have some money set aside, based on your needs, to help the transition go smoother.

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