10 Personal Items to Take When Moving Overseas

by / Tuesday, 20 March 2018 / Published in International Moving

Moving overseas is hectic enough as it is. Trying to coordinate movers, visas, and a new job is hard enough here, much less organizing those things when you and your family are moving internationally.

To make sure your move goes according to plan, don’t leave your house without these 10 important items.

Paper Documents

It’s important to make sure that you have all of your paper documents in order and that you carry them with you as you travel to your new destination. Examples of some paper documents that you should carry with you include:

  • Passports
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Birth certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce papers and custody documentation
  • Health insurance cards
  • Immunization records (if necessary)
  • Adoption records
  • Key medical records

It’s critical to make sure that you travel with all of these documents in a secure and even waterproof carrier.

Electronic Documents

Many of us have our documentation in electronic format. It’s important to have these organized prior to your move overseas. Examples of electronic documents that you’ll want to have readily available include:

  • Electronic copies of all paper documents listed above
  • A roster or inventory of all items that you’re moving
  • School transcripts
  • Professional appraisals of jewelry, art, and collectible that you’re moving with you
  • Wills and insurance policies
  • Property deeds and leases
  • Titles for vehicles you’re leaving behind

Ensuring that you have these items at your fingertips will help make a hassle-free move.

Contact Information

Organizing all of the contact information that you need into one central location is important. Gather the contact information for some of your healthcare providers, key contacts, and family members from back home.

You’ll also want to keep numbers for your new workplace, the local embassy, and any other information for key contacts in your new location including landlords, realtors or others.


When you are moving overseas, one of the tasks you’ll need to undertake in your new location is to find a doctor and or dentist. Because that may take some time, and international health care systems work differently than they do in the U.S., it makes sense to stock up on your medicine prior to your move.

In addition to your prescriptions, you’ll also want to pack some basic, over the counter medication:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Dramamine
  • Allergy medication
  • Antacids
  • Bandaids
  • Vitamins and supplements

While all of these may be available in your new location, it’s easiest to have a small supply on hand until you can locate a pharmacy or store to purchase these items.


Staying connected is going to help your transition to your new location. Not only will you want small electronics to help keep you connected to the world, but other small items will help with safety concerns:

  • Travel adapters
  • Flashlight
  • Phone
  • Laptop
  • External hard drive
  • Headphones
  • Bluetooth speakers

Having just a few of these small electronics will help you to feel both safer and more connected when you move overseas.


Even if you’re moving overseas for a permanent assignment or new job, most expats will advise you to pack light. Bring your wardrobe staples and those other pieces of clothing you can’t live without, by try and limit yourself to one or two suitcases.

Just like in the U.S., clothing styles and trends are vastly different depending on which international location you land in. You may want to spend a few weeks getting to know what’s appropriate for the office or a night out and then treat yourself to some new clothes.

If you’re moving to a country that is culturally very different from where you currently live, it makes sense to wait and purchase culturally-appropriate apparel in your new city or location.


Similar to medicine, stocking up on toiletries before you leave makes sense. While you will certainly be able to find shampoo almost anywhere you move, if you have a favorite brand, it may not be available overseas.

Here are a few toiletries you should think about packing up for your move overseas:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Contact lens solution
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Razors and shaving gel/cream
  • Floss
  • Tweezers
  • Sewing kit

While many of these will be readily available in your new location, having enough on hand to last a few weeks will help you to focus on more important things when you are first settling in.

Sentimental Items

Moving overseas can be a culture shock at first, even if you’ve visited or spent a considerable amount of time in the country that you’re moving to.

Bringing a few sentimental items that you can place in your new living space will help you to feel more at home. Whether it’s a blanket that your grandma knitted for you or a vase from a trip you took with your family, having familiar items that are tied to positive memories will help to make your new place feel like home.


Photos are wonderful reminders of past events and they are small and easy to pack. While many of us now have our photos stored digitally, even if you have hard copies, photos travel well.

Think about organizing photos into books or journals so that they travel well. If you don’t have the time, purchase some small boxes to store your photos and you can organize them once you get to your new location.

Pack your framed photos in a box that’s easy to get to and well-labeled. Having familiar photos out in your new location will help you to feel settled in.

Small food items

This may seem counterintuitive at first. Of course, most larger international cities you move to will have wonderful local food, grocery stores and markets and restaurants.

Even if you’re moving to a more populated city, it may be difficult to find some of your favorites in your new location. Ethnic food and ingredients can be especially to find overseas. It may be difficult to find Mexican food and ingredients in Paris, or turkey for Thanksgiving in Tokyo.

If there’s something you just can’t live without, you may want to bring a small amount with you to help make your transition to the new cuisine a bit easier.

If You’re Moving Overseas, Give Us a Call

Alero Moving & Storage has been helping people move overseas for more than 20 years. We provide full-service, customizable moving and storage solutions.

Contact us today to see how we can help make your move as smooth as possible!