Whether you are relocating for business or just starting a new life, leaving the comforts of one's home country can be one of the biggest moves that you will ever make. And the success in your new life abroad often depends on how well you prepare for it.

If your plan happens to involve moving to Australia, here are a few tips to keep in mind before making your way down under:

Check Your Finances

Experts recommend having at least seven to nine months of living expenses in hand before you make the big move.

You need to consider all the unique costs of moving and living abroad: visas and other legal clearances, travel to get there, long-distance shipping of possessions, return trips home in case of emergency, and so on.

But what if you don't have that much saved up yet? Then your best move would be to wait at least until you have enough to cover initial housing costs and emergencies, including a trip home and unexpected medical needs.

Check Your Health

It's always a good idea to research the overall health care system of the place that you are visiting just in case you need medical attention during your tenure abroad.

If you plan on immigrating Australia, you will need to pass the points test, medical and character check. You will also need to obtain documentation of any vaccinations you've already had as a child or as an adult.  Here are some other things that you will need to consider:
  • Does your current health insurance policy cover you as an expatriate?
  • Do you have back-ups for eyeglasses, contact lenses, medical appliances and anything else that might be difficult to replace?
  • If you are bringing prescription medications, you need to make sure none are considered illicit drugs in your prospective country of residence.
  • Will you be able to bring refills for any necessary medications? If so, how many, and how will you get new prescriptions when you run out?
Do Your Paperwork

The last thing you want to deal with after arriving at your destination is to find out that you're missing a document required for you to live there.

Find out if you need to fill out official visa and passport forms for your current country of residence and your intended one.  Make sure you have enough copies of every important document you have ever signed and every policy and legal document you have in your name.

Should you plan on bringing along family members or pets, then you will need to arrange the proper documentation for them as well.

Shipping vs. Storage

It might seem worth it to have all your personal belongings shipped to your new location, especially if your international move is a permanent one. But if you plan on returning home in a year or two, you might be better off just storing your belongings at home and purchasing new ones once you arrive your new location.

The reason for this has to do with shipping costs, which can range up to thousands of dollars. Not only will you have to pay to get those possessions shipped, you will also have to consider the costs of moving them from the shipper's starting point to your new home.