We’ve been counting down to emigration for 12 calendar months. Yes, that’s a whole year. Never before have I been so organised.
They (whoever they are) always say that making a big decision like moving abroad is the difficult bit, but then, once you’ve decided, actually doing it is easy. Well, I’m not sure I agree there. Implementing our moving plan has left me very, very tired.
My count down went a little like this:
- Renew passport
I very nearly forgot this very crucial step. My passport would have run out within a month of being away, were they to allow you to get a visa with such a short window to expiry.
Top Tip: Renew passport before buying any visas, else you might have to buy them again.
- Buy Plane Ticket
Very important. We went for the round the world option. Flights go on sale one year ahead of the departure date.
- Apply for working holiday visa
This was a very simple and user friendly process. All can be done online. That’s right, no travelling to embassies and queueing for hours. Attaching copies of your payslip and a bank statement showing that you’ve got enough readies to get a plane home will mean a very swift acceptance. Ours were accepted within 2 hours, though I think they say to allow 2 weeks.
- Fill in ESTA if spending time in the States
- Remove name from utility bills and council tax
- Cancel any house or contents insurance
- Buy travel insurance
We went for a policy with adventuretravelinsurance.co.uk as they will insure you one way. This means that we could just insure our trip through South America to Sydney, rather than having to insure the whole period between leaving the UK and our next visit back (most require you to return to the UK at the end of your trip).
Gadgets threw a bit of a spanner in (I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this time round, I am not only 10 years older than 18, but I am also indeed a flashpacker). These we insured separately through a number of gadget and camera specialists.
- Cancel any direct debits
I cancelled my Netflix, but am keeping Spotify for now
- Begin contacting prospective employers
- BIG clear out, including selling clothes on eBay
Top Tip: Auctions finishing at 9pm on Sunday seemed to result in the highest sale price. Auctions can be 3, 5, 7 or 10 days from go live – so there is some maths involved in making sure they finish on a Sunday.
- Organise shipping
To bike or not to bike. That was the question. High shipping costs, and a necessity to clean the bikes with a fine toothed comb in order to get them through Aussie customs led us to sell our bikes.
- Tell student loan company that you’re going travelling
And expect a very aggressive letter threatening fines and all kinds of business should you fill something on the form in slightly wrong. Oh, and don’t expect them to tell you what it was that you did wrong in this letter.
- Fill in a P85 (moving abroad HMRC form)
This might seem like a drag, but if you have worked less than the complete tax year, you will be owed tax (bonus). Needs to be sent to your tax office with your P45.
- Terminate phone contract
And move to PAYG if you want to keep your number.
If you’re travelling on the way, check if you need to immunise.