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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

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Relocating to another country is a stressful experience, even if you are excited about making the move. Especially if you are moving with a family, mixed in with the joy of making a new start will also be the headache of packing, anxiety about new schools, worries about making new friends, while also preparing to start a new job.

The following are some helpful tips to make your move a little smoother.

  • Get Organised - Moving is a time consuming process and you will need to keep track of where you are with all the different tasks needed. Use lists and reminders to help you stay on top of all that needs to be done. Leave yourself plenty of time to pack so you can organise all of your belongings logically. Pack your belongings into categories and label them - it will save you hours when you arrive at your new home.

  • Research the area you are moving to - this is the most important thing you will need to do in the time before your move. Gather as much information as you can and, if possible, speak to people who live or have lived in that area.

  • Documentation – Check on what is needed and how long it will take to obtain any visas, residency or work permits and begin the process as soon as possible. Verify the documents needed to both export your goods from the country you are leaving and import them to your destination and any duties or taxes that you may have to pay. Check that passports are valid and renew any that may be due to expire. Don't pack your important papers – keep them with you. Take birth certificates, marriage licenses, stock certificates, divorce decrees, custody papers, passports, social security cards, etc. Also keep with you school records or anything needed to register your children in school or which would be difficult to replace.

  • Stay safeResearch the medical issues likely to arise and make sure you are well protected and vaccinations are updated. Get copies of all your medical records - there may be a small charge for this, but it is worth it for the continuity of your medical history. Consider medical insurance for you and your family and register with a doctor or clinic and a dentist as soon as you arrive. Ask your current GP, dentist, ophthalmologist and any other specialists to renew all your prescriptions so that you can continue your treatment abroad.

  • Removals – Do your research and find a trustworthy removals or shipping company to transport your belongings.

  • Change your address - Remember to inform your bank or building society of your change of address and avoid your personal information going to strangers at your old address.

  • Contact and cancel services in your old home. This includes cable, phone, internet and utilities companies as well as mobile phone service providers.

  • Be prepared for change – Even if you know the country you are moving to well, visiting is one thing and living there is another. Be prepared for a change in the way you live and adopt a flexible approach to dealing with some of the constraints or inconveniences you may have to face.

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