The Most Important Health Considerations When Moving Abroad

When you’re planning a moving abroad, there are about half a million things going through your head all at once. You have things to pack, documents to secure, budgets to monitor, and family to say goodbye to. The last thing on your mind is your health – but it shouldn’t be!

Your health is your wealth, and you shouldn’t let it fall to the backburner just because you have other things on your plate. In fact, healthcare should form a vital part of your moving abroad plan.

Here are some of the most important considerations you should be making in the months and weeks leading up to the move.

Pre-Departure Prep

It’s important to be aware of any regulations in your destination country when it comes to healthcare and vaccinations. Make sure you do your research and prioritize getting vaccinated before you travel.

You should also make sure to take good care of yourself in the time leading up to the move. These weeks will be incredibly stressful and taxing on your body. You’ll need plenty of rest, nourishing foods, and regular exercise and stretching to help you cope physically and mentally with everything going on. While healthy lifestyle habits can be tough to keep up when you’re busy, make them a weekly non-negotiable!

Health Insurance Abroad

Another crucial aspect to incorporate into your planning is your healthcare and health insurance in your new home. It’s unlikely that your current health insurance plan will cover you in a foreign country, so you’ll need to research new options.

For ex-pats and long-term travellers, a global health insurance policy is usually the best option to take. Make sure that you look into the top global health insurance companies to make sure that you can rest at ease knowing you’re covered. You should also take note of nearby hospitals and doctors in your area. Once you arrive and start getting to know the city.

Access to Medication

Anyone on chronic medication knows the stress of not being able to get access to their meds. This is a major thing to think about when moving abroad, and you’ll have to do some serious research.

There may be local regulations to consider, and you might need to import your medication and stock up for a few months on what you need. If this is the case, you’ll also need to plan trips back home to refill your prescription. Which will have to be organized with your healthcare practitioners. Make sure you’re clear on what you will and won’t be able to access once touching down in your new home. Try to have a backup plan too.

Mental Health Considerations

Another aspect of healthcare that many people neglect is mental health. Especially during such a big move. Your mental health can take a serious knock from the stress and emotion of walking away from the life you knew.

It’s important to be aware of your emotions on this journey. Try to identify if and when you need help. Reach out to loved ones, build a support system, and know that seeking therapy is always a good option. Figure out what mental health resources will be available at your destination before you leave. So that you can have a plan in place if you can feel that things are a little too much to handle.

Emergency Preparedness

We all know emergency numbers and facilities in the country we were raised in. Don’t forget that moving to a new home will mean you’ll need to get familiar with a different set of circumstances!

Familiarize yourself with the emergency services in the local area. Learn emergency hotline numbers off by heart as soon as you’re able. Make sure you know what the procedures are to follow in the case of any medical emergencies, car accidents, or similar incidents. You should also make sure you have an emergency first aid kit on hand and have someone to contact personally in the case of any emergencies – even if it’s just a neighbour.

Healthy Living Abroad

Finally, understand that you’ll have some adjusting to do in your new home, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Amidst all the chaos of moving and adapting to a new life. You might fall off your usual habits, exercise routine, and meal plan. That’s okay! But it’s also important that you take the time to rebuild those habits and ensure that you stay healthy and fit in your new home.

A good idea is to seek out a gym in your neighbourhood (or some classes you’d like to try out) and find a few healthy restaurant and grocery store options too. Spending some time exploring your new city on foot is a great way to stay active while making the most of your new space.

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