One of the biggest, most notable changes of the last year was the switch to remote-working. What was once a novelty that many only dreamed of, became a reality.
Now that things are slowly going back to “normal”, many companies and individuals are realizing that working out of an office isn’t necessary. In fact, a lot of people don’t want to!
Working from home has provided a lot of flexibility, which has left millions of working adults embracing this newfound freedom.
To capitalize on this, there are many countries around the world that are welcoming remote workers and digital nomads with open arms. And believe it or not, a lot of these countries are in Europe.
If you’ve had dreams of traveling more or getting a change of scenery while you work, then this is probably what you’ve been waiting to hear. But relocating to Europe requires a little more planning than packing a bag and booking a flight.
Want to know what it really takes to relocate to Europe? Keep reading. This is everything you need to do before making your move.
Pick Your Destination
Like we mentioned earlier, there are several countries in the EU that are eager to let digital nomads in, and the list is growing every day.
Europe is such a diverse continent, choosing which country you want to relocate to might seem impossible. To make the right decision, you have to think about why you’re moving and what you want. If you’re a digital nomad, then moving to a country that welcomes remote workers with open arms would be the perfect fit.
It all just depends on what you want in terms of culture, lifestyle, career, and cost of living.
Get Your Passport and Visa Ready
Your passport is the most basic piece of documentation you need when leaving the U.S. So making sure you apply for one or renew your current one in time is essential. The process can take up to 6 so it’s never too early to start.
You’ll also need a visa. There are different kinds of visas, and which one you need depends on your reason for moving. In the last few months, however, many countries have created specific visas for digital nomads to make having a longer stay more achievable.
Whatever visa you apply for, know that they have different requirements in terms of how long you can stay.
Get to Know the Country
You might think that you can only get to know a country by experiencing it in person, but there’s a lot you can learn prior to moving—and you should. Do some research to find out what day-to-day life might look like there, and take some time to learn about the history.
It’s also good to know about how the government operates, social norms, and the country’s pop culture. Familiarizing yourself with these aspects can reduce the amount of culture shock you feel, and make your overall transition smoother.
Decide What You’re Bringing
Just like moving locally, you have to take inventory of your belongings and decide what you’re bringing. This is especially important with an international relocation because you’ll likely need to downsize quite a bit. The property you bring also affects how you’re going to move.
If you want to bring your vehicle or move a two-bedroom house, you’ll definitely need to work with international movers. If you don’t plan on bringing very much, you could just ship your items through traditional couriers like FedEx or DHL.
Having a plan for what you want to move and how you want to move it will also play into your budget. By shipping heavier items like a car or furniture, you’ll likely be paying more. At the same time, this could cut down on your expenses in your new location.
Don’t rush this step. Really consider how you want to move and how long you want to stay. If you do decide to sell your property, understand that this might take longer than expected.
Start Saving as Soon as Possible
Relocating to Europe doesn’t just require a lot of planning, it requires a lot of money too. Just think of how much it would cost to move into another U.S. city. Those costs multiply quickly when it’s a city across the globe! When you move abroad, you can at least expect moving costs to be around $10,000, if not more.
You have to account for the shipping costs, document costs—like your visa application, and getting ready for your future living expenses. A good rule of thumb is to save up for 6-months worth of living expenses, but really, you need to tailor it to the city you’re moving to.
Take some time to research the cost of living for your future home to get an accurate estimate. It also doesn’t hurt to save a little extra cushion in case anything comes up. It’s not uncommon for unexpected expenses to arise in the first few months of living in a new place.
Understand the Moving Requirements
Outside of obtaining the right visa, there are other things you’ll need to get in order before moving. Many countries require you to verify your employment and prove that you have sufficient funds saved up prior to moving.
No matter where you’re relocating to, you’ll need a job lined up first, but obtaining employment and in the country prior to moving can be tricky. The best way to solve this problem is to save up as much as possible to sustain yourself and find a remote job. Fortunately, the boom in digital nomad offerings throughout Europe means countries are eager to accept remote workers.
Figure Out How You’re Going to Move
It would be impossible to bring all of your belongings with you on the airplane—not to mention stressful—so you have to figure out how you’re going to move. You can ship your items, store them, or just get rid of things that aren’t necessities. It all depends on your lifestyle, budget and goals.
Take the time to evaluate what you want to bring and then weigh your options on how you want to handle it. An international moving company can allow you to have your things in your new European home, but it can get pricey depending on how much your taking, and how it’s delivered.
But the price of storage and shipping through a courier can start to add up quickly too. Whatever you choose, make sure it doesn’t break your entire budget.
It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning
When it comes to relocating to Europe, you can never be too prepared. That’s why it’s essential that you start planning as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t quite sure when or where you want to make your move, it’s good to research and begin saving.
No matter where you move in Europe, you can expect to pay at least $10,000 in shipping costs and have a large amount of savings to get approved. However, by following these tips and mapping everything out, relocating to a new country is easier than you think!