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Thinking “I Want to Move to Europe”? Here’s How

Thinking “I Want to Move to Europe”? Here’s How

Looking to move further afield and start a new adventure? I don’t blame you for wanting to move out to Europe – I did and I love it here.

It’s a huge step and one you definitely shouldn’t take lightly so, if you want to move to Europe, check out my checklist to see if moving to Europe is for you and those key things you need to consider before taking the leap!

Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

Why Are You Moving?

First things first, you’ve really got to look at why you’re thinking of moving to Europe. There are definitely loads of great reasons to move here, but you have to think of your personal reasons. With what’s going on in the US, it can seem like an easy escape plan, but honestly, it’s not for everyone.

If you’re wanting to move because of better women’s rights and affordable healthcare, yes many European countries offer this, but not all of them, so do your homework. Also, be prepared for higher rates of taxation to fund all the great services that make Europe an ideal expat spot. 

If you want to move because you want to escape, try a vacation first. Sometimes we need a reset rather than turning our lives completely upside down. Think of it like getting a tattoo or buying a house, take the time to weigh up your options, put some real thought and research into it, and definitely give yourself enough time to evaluate.

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Check your Finances

Any move is expensive, but moving across continents is a whole other ballgame. You’ve got visas, shipping costs, and whole new currencies to get your head around.

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Work out how much you’re going to need to save to set yourself up in your new home. Include things like flights, temporary accommodation until you find your permanent place, and enough savings to tie you over until you start your job.

person counting money

You also probably need to be stable enough to be eligible for a visa. A lot of the time there’s either a minimum income requirement or a bank balance amount that you need to meet.

Check this and then work out your limitations. This might make a few more expensive countries off-limits for you from the get-go, like Scandinavia. 

Permanent or Temporary?

Not all moves are forever and with the emergence of more digital nomad visas across Europe, it’s possible to move and work in Europe for a year or two, or just move to a new European nation each year if you want. This is going to impact how much you need to save, your job choices, and your accommodation as you’ll most likely be renting if the move isn’t permanent.

If you are thinking of moving to Europe permanently, then you’re going to need to look at more long-term solutions to things like visas, jobs, residency, taxation, etc. It’s a lot more paperwork, but it’ll save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

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Where do you Want to Move to?

Once you’ve made your list of reasons why you want to move to Europe and you’ve figured out the budget that you’re working with, you can look at where you can move to. It might be that you’ve already visited the country or city that you want to move to, or that you have family or friend connections out there. 

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It might be that your company has international offices and that’s going to dictate where you can move to. If so, look at the areas within commuting distance of the office. Say if the offices are in Manchester, UK, you don’t need to actually live in the city if you’re not a city kind of person.

With the great travel links, you can live in smaller towns or villages further out, if you don’t mind traveling each day.

If you can, visit before you commit to moving and going as a local. Stay in an apartment or Airbnb, don’t go to the touristy areas, and run through your potential commute. Also, scout out your new favorite coffee shop close to the house – it’s a necessity!

Visa Eligibility

Now, this is one of the most important things to consider. A lot of European countries are cracking down on visa eligibility. Many have minimum income requirements or bank balances, or a sponsorship agreement from your new company.

passport with visa

Make a shortlist of countries you want to move to and then check the visa requirement to see if you’re eligible. This is likely going to cut out a lot of options. Work out what documentation and financial information you need and start getting it together. 

Save that Dollar!

Now you know what you need to make your dream a reality, start saving! It’s not going to be a small task, but it’s going to be so worth it in the end. Start by cutting out the treats and subscriptions, or kicking takeout to the curb for a little while.

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It all starts to add up! Take the time and make the sacrifices now, so that you can enjoy yourself in your new life in Europe later. You’re gonna love it!

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