8 Common Mistakes Expats Make (and How You Can Avoid Them)

Becoming an expat and moving abroad to another country is certainly a challenging process. While there is excitement and great opportunities ahead, you want to make sure that you go about everything in the right way. Otherwise, you may become overwhelmed and regret your decision.

In this article, we are going to talk about eight common mistakes that expats make and how you can avoid them. Sound interesting? Then keep on reading!

 

1. Overpacking

It’s easy to get carried away when you are moving your whole life to another country, but it’s important to remember that it’s better to start fresh. A lot of the time, you will be able to buy everything you need over there, and shipping costs for large items can be ridiculously expensive. 

Instead, try and cull down your belongings a few months before making the move. The extra money will help you start fresh, and you don’t need to worry about carting multiple suitcases around the airport.

 

2. Not preparing for hidden expenses

If you think you’ve got enough saved up to make the full move, stop and save a few thousand more. There are so many hidden expenses that you’ll run into along the way; it’s better to have some extra savings prepared.

For example, alongside the regular travel costs, you may need to transport pets and goods, pay visa fees, exchange over your funds, and replace appliances (they may require a different plug). Trust us when we say it’s better to be overprepared in the finances department.

 

3. Forgetting the importance of insurance

Insurance may seem like a cost you would rather not think about, but it’s vital for any person traveling. The last thing you want is to injure yourself or lose your belongings. It’s a safety net that everyone needs, regardless of your age or financial status. Try looking at the best travel insurance companies so that you are covered until you understand the new healthcare system. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

4. Not learning the language

Learning a new language can be challenging, but if you’re moving abroad, it’s something that is necessary. Not only will it help you communicate more effectively, but it will really take you from being a tourist to a local.

There are heaps of different apps online that can help get you started, but you should also look into getting paid classes once you’ve arrived. After just a few weeks, you would be amazed at how much you’ve learned!   

 

5. Getting lost in taxes

Doing your taxes can undoubtedly be one of the most annoying things about living abroad, and it can be very complicated. In order to make sure you go about everything the right way, you want to find a financial planner or tax accountant that can take care of everything for you. You don’t want to end up with a large fine for not paying the appropriate tax. Until you get a better understanding of how things work, it can save you a lot of hassle.

 

6. Not contacting the necessary businesses

One thing that can certainly chew through your finances is not contacting the right business back home before your move. You can’t just leave and forget about everything left behind! You need to contact your banks, cancel memberships, and redirect your mail so that everything reaches your new address. Without doing this, you may end up getting charged for services you no longer use, or worse, be unable to access your funds.

 

7. Getting taken advantage of

It’s very easy to get taken advantage of as an expat, as you may not know all the laws associated with employment. When applying online, try your best to avoid job scams that seem ‘too good to be true”. You might also want to do a quick research on each company to ensure they are reputable. 

If you already have a job but feel something isn’t right, try and read into your rights through the appropriate government website. You should never feel unsafe at work.

 

8. Settling too soon

Lastly, one mistake that many expats make when moving abroad is settling too soon. This is usually because they don’t want the hassle of finding a new place to live or a new job when you’ve just arrived. However, it’s better to do this first while everything is fresh, rather than waiting. Otherwise, you may become unhappy and may even regret your decision of moving altogether. Stay optimistic, and don’t settle until you’re happy! This is your life, after all!

 

And that’s it! These were eight common mistakes that expats make and how you can avoid them. By reading through the above, you’ll be able to have the smoothest transition possible so that you can start enjoying all of the fantastic advantages of moving abroad. Good luck!