If you were anything like me you are extremely excited and also scared about moving abroad! You got approved for your working holiday visa, and you’re thinking what the heck do I do now?
When I got my visa approval email, a million to-dos ran through my mind. Give my apartment and my job notice. FIgure out how much money I'll need to live there? Save that money! OMG, what about my car? And when am I going to go?
The first thing you need to do is STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Take a few deep breaths. And say “Everything is going to be alright.” If your heart's still racing and you can’t control your excitement and worry, dance a little or scream. Anything to take the edge off.
Next, read this post! I will help you with everything you need to do before you leave to Australia on the Working Holiday Visa.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO MOVE ABROAD?
After deciding to move to Australia, my fear was I couldn’t afford it. Logically, I researched and planned out how much I would need to move. And you know what? It wasn’t that much!!! I could totally do this!
Related Article: How Much To Budget For Your Move Abroad
CREATE A BUDGET
Once I knew my savings goal, I created an “I’m Moving to Australia!” savings account. I linked the new account plus my other accounts (credit, bank, savings, 401k, loans) to Mint.Com. Mint gave me insights on my spending habits and it helped with tracking my budget goals. I cut excessive expenses and found ways to make some money.
PLAN HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE YOU TO REACH YOUR GOAL
After cutting expenses and making a budget, I planned it would take me 10 months to pay off loans and save money for my move. Move date September 2012 check!
BOOK YOUR TICKET
If you have your visa (Woohoo! Do your happy dance!) And you know when you’ll have the money to move. It’s time to book your ticket!
Qantas partners with JetStar which has affordable flights all around Australia. Check if those flights qualify for the Qantas frequent flyer program. Use your points for any Qantas flight or with Oneworld Alliance Partners (Cathay, British Airways, American, and more!).
For moderate prices, both Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are reliable options. American Airlines and United have recently entered the market too. For the cheapest flight, look at China Air. It will include layovers and a day or more of travel time, but you will get there. Or you can hold out for the SUPER RARE computer glitch, for a $500 flight on a better airline (But don’t hold your breath!)
HOW LONG IS THE FLIGHT?
If you’re going directly on Qantas, flights leave from LA, SF, and Dallas! The Dallas to Sydney Flight is the second longest flight in the WORLD at 17.5 hours. Otherwise, from LAX to Melbourne is nearly 16 hours. The flights back to the states are faster because of the tailwind going west to east. Sydney to Dallas is 15.5 hours and Melbourne to LAX is 14.25 hours.
WHEN SHOULD I GO
Obviously, this all depends on your personal situation. However, if you're looking for the cheapest flights go during Aussie Winter: June-September. Flights are cheaper and it will potentially be easier to find jobs too. Australian Summer (December - March) flights will be higher and finding jobs will be more competitive.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR STUFF
The very first thing you should do is start organizing what you own into four different piles. Sell, Donate, Storage, and take to Australia.
I took stock of everything I owned and tried to sell as much as I could on Craigslist.org. This included my bed frame, large kitchen appliances, cleaning supplies and clothes! Now you can also use OfferUp or LetGo!
Don’t be afraid to sell plates and silverware. These maybe things you think you need, but you'll be surprised how long plastic silverware can last if washed and reused. Don't be afraid to get rid of things you "think you need" just to have around. You'll be happier if your apartment is empty vs having boxes of stuff.
The money I made from selling my things went into my “I’m moving to Australia Fund!”
There are so many people who need basic items, including blankets, clothes, shoes, and more. I found different charities all around LA and donated. It feels great to help those in need! Ask family, friends, or co-workers who may want to pick up a few of your belongings. A co-worker was moving out of his parent's house and raided all of the cleaning supplies and my spices. Win. Win.
Ah, but what about precious memories like pictures, childhood mementos and more? Luckily I had family that was willing to store these items. Thanks, Family!!! I took pics and made a list of everything I kept at my mom’s house. If you don't have anyone nearby, look into storage facilities.
Doing this will weed out wants versus absolute needs. Keep in mind, they do have grocery and department stores. If you need anything while there, you can buy it. It might or might not be more expensive, but it's better than carrying all that extra weight!
I unfortunately made the mistake of bringing a year's supply of feminine products. Totally unnecessary!
Things to do before you leave
You are nearing your departure date! It is thrilling and stressful, and you may forget a few things! Here are things you should do before you leave!
Apartment / Lease
- Written notice one month before you move out
- Cancel your electricity, gas, water, trash, internet/landline
- Cancel subscription services Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
- Change your address to a family member’s home
- Clean and repair any damage in your apartment to get your deposit back! (Add this money to your "I'm Moving to Australia Fund)
- Put in your two-weeks notice for your job
- Write handover notes
- Write farewell/thank you letters to coworkers /clients
- Ask coworkers or clients for LinkedIn recommendation
- Don’t forget to have a proper farewell party
- Call your banks and credit card to let them know you’ll be out of the country
- Suspend your cell phone bill if you are keeping your number (there may be a monthly fee associated with this) or Cancel your phone service
- Download Whatsapp to keep in touch
- Spend time with friends and family
- Show your friends and family how to use FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
- Setup Absentee Voting
- Have a going away party
Preparing for Australia
- Convert $100-$200 USD into Australian dollars
- Get Travel Insurance
- Make certified copies of birth certificate and passport
- Pack your bags to a limit of 50lbs each
- Check your flights
There you have it! Everything you need to do before you move abroad! Don’t let the stress of moving ruin all the fun of spending time with the people you love. Enjoy the process, stay connected, and get ready for lift off!
Do you want to move to Australia? Will you use any of the tips above?
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