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The Challenges of Moving House to France

The Challenges of Moving House to France

20 August 2014

Moving abroad will be much more challenging than moving nationally, and will require a lot of organisation, planning and preparation in order to ensure a smooth transition to your new life in France. Below are some tips and advice on what you should avoid and important things that you’ll want to get in place prior to moving.

Being Prepared
The main thing that will mean the difference between a relatively straight forward move to France and a stressful experience is how well and thorough you are during the planning and organisational stage. It is advisable to start making preparations as soon s you can, preferably a good six months before moving day at the very minimum. Because you are not just moving down the road, but into a whole new country, the planning stage and organisational requirements for your move to France will require much more details than a normal move, so don’t make the mistake of leaving things until the last minute.

The first, and perhaps most obvious things to check are that your passport is valid and in order, and this goes for the rest of the family. You should also start researching what steps you need to take to make sure you are registered as a citizen in France and able to work, claim medical care and that you’re driving license is up to date. Being part of the EU, most of this can be fairly straight forward, as your driving license will be valid in all EU countries, and EU medical cards enable you access to healthcare fairly easily. If you are self-employed or retiring, then make sure you have found out what the tax rules in France are and how they will apply to you once you have relocated.

International Movers
While you may be able to get some of your items over the channel yourself thanks to the ease of getting to France via ferry and the channel tunnel, it is still advisable to make sure you have professional movers to deal with the bulk of your household goods. That said, this will really depend on how big your move is going to be. If you are moving from a furnished, rented property for example, you may not have that much stuff to take and it could be possible to transport everything you need yourself. On the other hand, for a full family move, this will simply not be practical, so sending your goods via shipping container is often the best alternative. One thing to bear in mind however, is that shipping schedules may dictate that your items will not arrive at your new French property when you do. As a result, it does make sense to pack and transport a few boxes of essentials with you. Ideally, you’ll want to keep the amount you have to take yourself to a minimum, but at the same time make sure you have everything you need for day to day life while you wait for the rest of your household items to arrive. This will often save you money, as by bringing things such as a kettle, some pans and basic kitchen ware, bedding and so on, you won’t have to go out and buy replacements that you’ll probably only need for a few days/weeks at most. A final tip is to try and learn some basic phrases in French so you are on your way to being able to fit into your new community easily.

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