Moving to the UK Guide – Step 1: what should you bring with you to the UK?

Getting ready to move to a new country is both exciting and stressful. It’s much more than simply packing – it’s understanding everything about the journey, from needed documentations before you go to what to do after you arrive.

Which is why we’re putting together a step by step guide of moving over to the UK, to help ensure that you’ll have everything you need before you go, and when you get there.

We’ll start off with some helpful advice on what to consider bringing with you, plus a checklist of important documentations that you don’t want to forget . Settling into your new home has never been easier. Welcome to the UK!

Check that all your travel documents are up to date.

Start your planning by making sure that your passport is valid and find out if you need any visas. The process of applying for these documents can take up to a few months, so don’t book anything until you have these needed travel papers and you’re certain that you’re good to go.

*please see bottom of the post for more information on EU/non-EU citizens moving

Also check for any needed medical exams.

When journeying abroad, different countries have different required medical exams or vaccinations. Check with your doctor to see if you need any for your move from your home country to the UK.
Make sure your medical exams are up to date as well, and also ask about arranging any health insurance you might need.

Spend time sorting through your things.

It can be expensive to carry or ship heavy items across the world. If you are planning to move to the UK for a long period, it’s definitely worth the effort to take the time to sort through your items – it’ll save you a lot of stress in the end!

Make three piles- one for “yes”, “no”, and “maybe”. Aim to bring just the “yes” pile if you can, but take some of the “maybe” pile too if you feel you simply can’t go without it. Take the necessary items with you, then pack and prepare any larger parcels – once you have found a home and have settled in the UK, you can have them sent over to you.

Really think about which belongings you need to have with you. As for clothing, temperatures in the UK rarely drop below 5* or go over 25*, so you won’t need heavy snow gear nor will you need an extensive summer wardrobe. And yes, to be honest, it does rain quite a bit so grab that raincoat!

It’s good to note that a lot of times, flat or house rentals come furnished. So spending money on shipping over large furniture items probably won’t be worth it. Also note that the UK uses the G Type plug, so for any needed electronic items either purchase them when you arrive or buy an adaptor.

For further information on bringing over certain items, check the government’s website and their rules for importing or exporting any goods from your home country to the UK. This way you won’t experience issues with customs.

Close all your accounts you won’t be using.

Don’t forget to cancel any utilities or bills that you might have set up in your current home. You’ll also need to inform your country’s tax authorities that you will be leaving.

If you are worried about missing any last minute mail, ask a friend or relative who live in your home country if it’s okay to set up a redirect of your mail to their house. To do so, you have to let the Post Office know that there will be a change of address.

Last but not least – buy your tickets – and stay connected!

If you have everything in order, then you’re ready to go! Book your tickets and any needed reservations. Top tip – when you’re browsing the web for flights, do it in incognito or private mode so that your history doesn’t save. A lot of airlines will increase their prices if they know that you have previously searched for them!

One of the hardest things about living abroad is having to leave your friends and family, so make sure you keep communication open with your loved ones. Write down important numbers and addresses as a back-up, and make sure you get contact details to add across social channels so you’ll be able to connect with them easily. A fun idea could also be to start a blog to keep everyone updated on what’s been happening!

You can also download the Azimo app, which is a great way to quickly and easily send your family back home money for birthdays, holidays and any other celebrations.

Wondering what the next steps are after you arrive? Keep an eye out on our socials for our handy guide on what to do after you officially move to the UK, as we are posting new steps every week!

* Please do note that if you are from inside the EU/EEA, you can work and live in the UK legally without getting any additional documentation. If you are from outside the EU/EEA, you will need to apply for a work permit or visa before heading here at the British embassy in your home country. Always double check to see if you need one, which you can do here on the government website.