What to Pack for Working Abroad
Your adventure working abroad is about to begin! Know what to prepare and pack for life overseas.
Give yourself a pat on the back for going after your goals and getting that job overseas. It’s going to be exciting and challenging. And right now, maybe you’re running around in circles thinking about all that you have to do.
Take a deep breath. Ask yourself these questions, make a list, and check it twice!
Are you travel-ready? Make sure you have all the necessary documents to get to your destination. Pack them in your carry-on baggage, and keep soft copies in your email and on your laptop or computer.
  • Passport (valid for the duration of your stay)
  • Visa and immigration requirements
  • Plane ticket
Do you have all the documentation requirements for the country you’re moving to? From driving to opening a bank account or finding a new dentist, you’ll need various IDs and records to establish yourself in a new country. Find out the specific requirements and place them all in a folder in your carry-on baggage. Again, keep soft copies in your email and on your laptop or computer. Here are some documents you may need:
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Medical and dental records
  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance policies
  • Prescriptions
How’s your health? Visit your doctor for a check-up and get any vaccinations you may need before moving for your overseas job. Also, stock up on medicine you might not find where you’re going. International health insurance would be a good thing to get as well.
  • Vaccinations
  • Medicine
  • International health insurance
Have you read up on where you’re going? Learning what you can about your new home can go a long way in settling in more quickly (and help you know what to pack!)
  • Climate
  • Public transportation system
  • Customs and traditions
  • Language (some key phrases are sure to help you get around—and put a smile on the local’s faces!)
  • Nearest hospitals, shops, and other areas of interest for you (fitness center, boxing gym, dance studio)
Are you tech-ready? It’s a digital lifestyle. Stay informed, entertained, and in touch with those you love while you’re working abroad.
  • Unlocked smartphone (get a local SIM when you arrive so you don’t have to deal with roaming fees)
  • Laptop
  • E-book reader
  • Headphones
  • Universal adapter
  • Charging cables for all your gadgets
  • Portable charger
What else are you bringing? This will depend on your accommodations upon arrival. If it’s temporary housing, just bring the essentials in your check-in luggage. You can have the rest of your belongings shipped to your permanent address.
  • Clothing appropriate for your new city’s climate and culture, and enough for just the first few months (packing cubes and vacuum packs are your friends)
  • Toiletries (stock up on local favorites you might not find abroad)
  • A few mementos to make your new home feel cozy and more familiar (artwork and photos, or maybe your ukulele)
And don’t forget to bring your positive attitude along with you! Be open and stay safe. Keep your spirits up, your pessimism low, and your good energy steady. Working abroad is sure to be a rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. Savor every minute of it.