Whether you’re moving to Europe for a new job, to study abroad, for a military assignment or to visit family and friends, going to a new country or region can come with its fair share of challenges.
But, there are things you can do to make the move more pleasant and ease the transition.
Here’s what you need to know to make moving to Europe easier.
10 Must-Have Tips to Make Moving to Europe Easier
1. Know How to Get Around
Knowing the transportation system will cut your hassles in half. Mass transportation systems are different than they are in America.
Getting around by rail is a cheap way to travel in Italy, but it you’re traveling by train or by bus, you need to get your ticket stamped and dated with the time. If you don’t, you will be responsible for paying a large fine.
Getting around Europe without a car is fairly easy in the big cities, but as with the U.S., the suburbs and rural areas offer infrequent service.
Likewise, the airports in Europe don’t offer as many flights as the U.S., so you should expect longer layovers.
2. Learn the Local Language and Language of the Region
It’s true that many countries in Europe teach English as a second language, but knowing the local and regional language is important for a variety of reasons.
You have less of a chance of looking like a tourist, so dishonest merchants will be less likely to overcharge you for goods and services.
If you are visiting Central and Northern Europe, know Danish, German, Dutch and Swedish, depending on the country or region you are visiting.
In western and southern European regions, people speak, Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian.
3. Get to Know the Neighborhoods
It’s important for your safety to know the neighborhoods in the region where you will live when you are moving to Europe.
But you don’t have to be there to research. The internet has a wide range of information. You can learn before you go by utilizing tools such as European newspapers and magazines, travel blogs, forums and social media pages.
Other than feeling safe, doing some research before you move will make you feel more comfortable when you arrive.
4. Know the Driving Practices and Laws
If you are not planning on taking mass transportation and prefer driving a car, you’ll soon find out that the driving practices, laws, and regulations are different than they are in the United States.
If you’ve visited Europe previously or saw a film set in Europe, you know that the steering wheel is on the right-hand side rather than the left-hand side as they are in America. Also, Europeans drive on the left side of the road.
Another difference at fueling stations is diesel gas comes from a black pump and the color of unleaded pumps is green, the opposite as it is in America.
This is in the U.K. You also will be able to pay after you pump your gas, which is different than the U.S. where you have to pay for your gas first. Know the driving laws in the region where you are moving to since the laws differ in most regions.
5. Know How to Find a Flat
When you are looking for a flat (an apartment) or house to live in, it is good to have some help. If you know people in the area, they can help you look before you arrive.
You can contact a real estate agent from home and research the real estate market before you leave. The internet provides a handful of resources where you can find good residential properties.
Check out this beautiful Costa del Sol property for sale.
6. Get Your Cell Phone Ready
If you are planning on using your current cell phone, make sure your current company doesn’t charge roaming fees. These fees can add up and be astronomical.
The best thing to do is to go to a cell phone carrier in Europe and get a SIM card for the carrier you will be using in Europe.
7. When Moving to Europe, the Internet Is Faster and Cheaper
You will be pleased to know that the internet speeds in most of Europe are much faster than it is here in the United States.
That may sound surprising because the internet was invented in the U.S. Go figure! The internet is also less expensive abroad than it is here.
When looking for good internet deals, ask people you know to get the best deals. With an international move, you’ll need to save all of the money you can.
8. Get a Credit Card Without Foreign Currency Transaction Fees
If you bring your current credit card when moving to Europe, there’s a chance you might have to pay extra fees.
These fees are called foreign transaction fees and they are added to your bill when you purchase goods and services outside the United States.
Not all credit cards charge these transaction fees, so check with your credit card company first or get a new credit card when you move abroad.
9. Know Visa Laws and Regulations
When moving to Europe, you need to have your visa in place. You’ll need to get your paperwork in before you leave and know the Visa laws. If you are going as a tourist, you can only stay for 90 days, so you’ll need to make other plans.
10. When Moving to Europe, Know About Taxes
Surprisingly, when moving to Europe, you are still required to pay U.S. taxes if you work. It can be a hassle because you will have to file taxes in two places annually, the country where you have citizenship and your country of residence.
You can renounce your citizenship and avoid paying taxes back home, but this is something that requires serious thought if there is any chance you will return to the United States.
We hope you enjoyed reading these tips. Maybe they will come in handy on your adventures! Au revoir!