12 weeks before departure to Spain

This is a great to-do list 12 weeks before departure:

12 weeks before departure to Spain

  • Examine and interpret carefully your company relocation policy to see what expenditure is covered and which providers are approved
  • Arrange agreements relating to your overseas assignment with the Human Resources Department
  • Visa/work permit/s
  • Family needs
  • Arrangements for orientation visit for you and your family.

Provide Human Resources with the information required

  • Requirements in your host location such as housing, schools/study, car, pets, benefits.

Decide what to do with your home

If you rent:

  • Check the rent/lease contract. Give the appropriate notice and arrange procedures to avoid penalties.

If you own and you intend to leave your home empty:

  • Arrange for someone to check the property on a regular basis
  • Prepare your house for inactivity (drain down water, disconnect gas, central heating, etc.)
  • Advise your mortgage lender if it’s needed
  • Make security arrangements for your home
  • Arrange cleaner, gardener, as necessary
  • Check your buildings and insurance coverage

If you intend to rent your home:

  • Choose a reputable rental agent to market the property for you
  • Employ an attorney to study the tenancy agreement
  • Nominate managing agents
  • Get consents from mortgage company, insurers

If you intend to sell your home:

  • Select a reputable real estate agent to market the property for you
  • Employ an attorney
  • Organize a Power of Attorney in case the sale is not finalized before your departure

6-12 Weeks Before Departure

Legal paperwork for traveling

  • Confirm that passports are up to date. Otherwise, take measures to update them
  • Get a supply of passport-size photos to take with you
  • Apply for any necessary visas/work permits.

Your health while overseas

  • Organize medical and dental check-ups
  • Examine vaccination records with the doctor and arrange extra shots if required
  • Gather all your last medical tests information
  • Set up for any specific test if your host country requires it
  • If you take prescription medication, make planning with your doctor for obtaining a supply of these medications; ask the doctor to write a letter documenting your need for these medications
  • If you or a member of your family has any special medical conditions, ask your doctor for a copy of the pertinent medical records for use by your doctor abroad
  • Consult with your doctor whether you will need any preventative medications such as quinine where you will be living. Make arrangements to acquire any if needed
  • Ask your doctor for recommended colleagues abroad.


  • Report your children’s school of their departure
  • Request diplommas, credentials and/or papers about graduation, scores, courses, classes at schools, universities and institutes.

Inform your banks

  • Make settlements to have your money sent to your new location, if you receive government benefits (for example, Social Security or Veterans’ benefits)
  • Examine your will and be sure it still reflects your wishes; organize to meet with your attorney to make any desired changes or to make a will if you don’t have one yet
  • Hire a power of attorney, if required
  • Inform any insurance companies with whom you have policies that you are moving to live overseas (Companies have been known to refuse to pay out when they have not been so advised)


  • Decide what to do with it/them
  • Determine what is involved with transporting your pet to New York. Ensure that the relevant health certificates, immunizations and permits are completed
  • If you are bringing your pet and want them in the cabin, under the seat, reserve that space also (most airlines only allow 2 pets in the cabin)


  • Arrange for moving companies to carry out pre-move survey
  • If moving with a company, ask your company for recommendations; double check that they haven’t already made arrangements for you
  • Make sure you provide comprehensive details of your move, discuss options available and give clear instructions what you want included / excluded from the Quotation. Be accurate stating what is included in the move to insure that: a) the movers allocate a container that is large enough, and b) that the mover allocates enough employees to pack/move your belongings. If you plan on buying any large items before your move, make sure the moving company includes it in the quote.

The new Home

  • If it is possible, make a “reconnaissance trip” to your new location; while there, you might choose your house, a bank, and/or school(s) for your children
  • Search for as much information about the area or country to which you are moving to prepare yourself and your family
  • Map your housing for when you first arrive, if you will stay in a hotel or apart-hotel, make reservations. If moving with a company, see if your company can arrange for you to move directly into a short-term rental
  • Procure a language course or buy some English textbooks to read before leaving
  • Make known yourself with the local financial procedures, currency and exchange rate
  • Familiarize with local customs, living styles, ethical behaviours
  • Ensure that your electrical appliances will function at your destination, some may need minor modifications; others may not be operable or need major modifications. Decide if you want to buy any new appliances
  • Get information from area religious institutions
  • Check out local organizations that you can join; they provide a useful means to meet people and are popular for information and guidance. Make contact with a suitable one as early as possible
  • Make a decision what to do with your car(s), vessel(s) or other vehicles you possess

4-6 Weeks Before Departure

About financial Concerns

  • Take into account the need for independent tax/financial advice on your status as an expatriate
  • Organize with the post office for your mail to be forwarded
  • If you’re moving with a company, determine if your company has a process in place for forwarding your mail. If not, ask if they would be willing to forward your mail twice monthly, or determine other means of obtaining your mail
  • Give notice to the credit card companies
  • Inform your stockbroker or investment counselor. Insure all all-line brokers can be accessed from your ‘new’ country
  • Look into your personal finances. If you will keep a bank account in your home country, arrange online banking with your bank (or setup a new account). For online banking, you might want bill paying and transaction download features. Also, research transaction download for your visa cards. Make sure all of these features are setup before you leave. If you are keeping your bank account, find out if your bankcard will work in New York (the bank should be able to provide this information).


  • Describe and print a detailed inventory of the contents of your home including value and age (You may want to take photos or videotape for insurance purposes)
  • Corroborate your moving dates and schedule with your mover, complete any forms they require
  • Fulfill an inventory of your household, you can ask the moving company if they have forms to make the process easier
  • For high value items you will be shipping, get an appraisal and gather receipts
  • Be concerned about opening a safe deposit box in which to store important documents and valuables while you are away
  • Set up what things to take with you overseas and what things to leave behind. Consider whether you want to put some things in storage and make any necessary arrangements
  • Manage final arrangements with moving company for moving day.


  • Bring together copies of legal documents such as marriage, birth, adoption, divorce certificates to take with you
  • Collect copies of important documents you may need with you (insurance certificates, medical records, optical and/or medicinal prescriptions, school records)
  • Make contact with your local voter registration office if necessary to register as an overseas elector
  • Call off subscriptions to book clubs, magazines
  • Cancel your Internet services, often they need a 2-month lead-time
  • Resolve any outstanding bills
  • Cancel automatic payments that won’t be needed
  • Check school schedules and enrollment requirements
  • Make plans to sell any major appliances
  • Organize a garage sale to unload those electrical appliances and any other excess inventory. Alternatively, give them away
  • Arrange to sell car
  • Array flight tickets, hotels, car hire.

2-4 Weeks Before Departure

  • Submit change-of-address cards; make arrangements for staying in touch with friends and relatives
  • Reduce food in your kitchen cupboards, stock of alcohol, and freezer
  • Safely dispose of all flammables e.g. Paints, Gas Bottles, Cleaning Fluids and Oils
  • Return all those borrowed items from friends and family. Collect items from repairers, cleaners, lent to friends/relatives. Return library books and anything rented
  • Check through your medicine cabinet and dispose of outdated and unwanted drugs
  • Wash and dry all linen and clothing. Clean all of those items that rarely get touched: your shower curtains, window curtains, blankets.

1-2 Weeks Before Departure

  • Sort out those items you will need to keep with you when you travel: passport, visa, work permit, tickets, money, travelers checks, currency, credit cards, driver’s license, essential medication, vaccination certificates, valuables, jewelry, address book, things for children to do on the flight, at least one change of clothes (your suitcases may not arrive with you)
  • Gather all valuables and documents that you will take with you and place in a safe place. Usually it is best to carry these with you
  • Cancel milk/newspaper deliveries
  • Advise utility companies: gas, electricity, water, telephone
  • Call off deliveries and services for newspapers, gardening, maids, pool, etc
  • Give your plants a loving home (or sell them!)
  • If you are moving from a high-rise, reserve the elevator for moving day, if needed
  • Organize your last night
  • Ensure you have sufficient prescription medication to cover a few months until you get settled
  • If you will close your bank account, find out the amount of lead-time necessary, where check gets sent to, etc. Determine how much cash you want to bring on the flight and how you wish to carry it (e.g. cash, traveler’s checks)
  • Arrange final readings at present house for electricity, gas, water, and telephone. Arrange to have the refund checks mailed to family or a good friend. Leave a few deposit slips with someone to deposit this money, if you have kept your checking account open
  • If you will be renting you house, determine if you need to have the inside painted. If so, contract those services for after your belongings have been packed and before the placed is cleaned. Arrange for someone to clean the house/apartment
  • Make plans for a Going-Away Party for the weekend before you leave, this will save you from having to go to a lot of going-away lunches at the last minute, when you will have no time
  • If you plan to move to a house, clean outdoor equipment and toys, drain any fuel from your lawn mower and ensure that water is drained from hoses
  • Prepare all your machines for moving, disconnect power and water, check if transit bolts need to be fitted
  • If your clothing is to be transported on hangers in a clothing carton, ensure all clothing is securely fastened on the hanger and that they are all facing the same way
  • In order that children do not get upset or in danger on ‘move day’, make arrangements for them to play at a friends or attend a day care center
  • Arrange for someone to watch pets on moving day
  • Segregate your air and surface shipments. Clearly mark your air shipments so they don’t accidentally get packed
  • Begin collecting items to take with you on the plane
  • Arrange transportation to the airport. Confirm the airline reservations.

The Day

  • Ensure that when the removal crew arrives you escort them around the house confirming what is to be moved and any special instructions
  • You may be asked to sign a packing inventory/list, check carefully to ensure that you are happy with the content, you will be asked to check and sign it again at delivery
  • Defrost refrigerator/freezer
  • Pack the possessions you are taking with you
  • Before the movers leave, check through the house, including the attic, to make sure nothing was missed. Open all cupboard doors and check behind doors should avoid items being left behind
  • Before leaving the property, ensure that all windows are secure and that water, gas and electricity supplies are switched off. Keys for the residence together with any documents relating to the property or equipment remaining at the house should be left with a responsible party
  • Re-Check for papers needed for traveling
  • Go to your favorite place and enjoy it (Restaurant, Cinema, Caffe.)

RELAX. You’ve done a great job. A new life is waiting for you and everything will be OK.


Show Comments

No Responses Yet

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.