3 Thoughtful Ways to Help Friends Moving Abroad

February 01, 2018

It’s estimated that just over 4.5 million Britons live outside the UK, with Spain, Ireland, and France ranking amongst the top countries which expats move to. According to recent research by InterNations, Brits are moving away for a better quality of life, love, and career, and more than half (52%) of respondents said it’s unlikely they will return to the UK in the future.

As the number of British expats rises, the chances of personally knowing someone who is looking to move abroad is also likely to increase. Saying goodbye to close friends and loved ones is something that more of us will have to face at some point in our lives. There are a few things you can do to help ease their transition to a new country, while also getting to spend some quality time with your friends. If you’re heading somewhere new, why not check out some fun things to do in the area on TripHobo to make the most of your time there.


Help them move unwanted items

You can also help friends go through all their belongings to decide what should be packed up and moved, what can be sold on or given away, and what can be thrown away altogether. Getting rid of old clothes and belongings is one of the biggest perks of moving, as it can save on space and gives the mover a chance to reduce the chance of clutter in their new home. Help your friend to organise their things into keep, sell, and throw piles, ready to be packed away. One of the easiest ways to do this is by creating an inventory of essential items, as highlighted in AnyVan’s international move checklist. Writing a list of essential items can also help the mover decide what needs to be repurchased in the new country, which can keep removal costs down.

Once you and your friends have managed to organise everything, and have decided what’s being sent abroad and what isn’t, you’ll be able to help them shift all the unwanted items. Selling items that are still in good condition, such as televisions, microwaves, and any other electrical items is a good way to raise money for their new life abroad. Old books, ornaments, and even canned food and drink can also be sold to friends, or be donated to charities, local shelters, or food banks.

Organise their belongings and documents

Moving abroad comes with its own hurdles that you won’t have to come across if you were staying in the same country. The people moving will need to have their passports and visas, as well as any other travel documents, up to date and valid. Any subscriptions sent or registered to their home will also need to be altered, which you may be able to help with. Simply contacting each service to update them about a change of address, or cancelling the subscriptions if you need to, can be a massive load off your friends’ shoulders.

If you know what important documents the movers want to keep, and what they can chuck, you can also help organise the paperwork. Things like medical records, copies of passports and visas, financial records, wills, school records, insurance information, tax details, payslips, and recent bank statements should be kept. However, things like old receipts and unnecessary letters can be shredded or recycled.

Send a care package or hamper to friends when they’ve moved abroad

Moving is considered to be one of the most stressful things adults can go through, with some considering it to be almost as stressful as dealing with a family death, or a divorce. Moving abroad is arguably even more difficult to deal with than a regular move, as the mover will be setting up in a completely new country; they may not have any friends or family close by, and may not even know the local language. Sending a care package to your loved one can help them get settled in, and may ease any feelings of homesickness.

Create a tailored hamper full of things that could be useful in their new home, such as their favourite brands of teas and coffee, scented candles, and gift cards to their new local stores. You could even include their favourite sweets or comfort foods that they may not be able to get in their new country, such as branded biscuits and sweets, or anything that is inherently British. If you’re looking at sending food, stick with brands that have a long shelf life, and avoid perishables. Some companies, such as British Hamper, offer ready-made hampers of artisan British treats, ready to be shipped to your friends abroad. You are also going to want to send this hamper with a respectable company such as Ask Absolutely couriers. This will ensure your packages arrive on time and without being damaged.

You may also want to create a personal gift, such as a photo album of all your favourite memories together. This can help your loved ones deal with the move on a more emotional level, and allows them to have a physical reminder of their time spent with you, and of their old home.