Expat life, Move abroad with kids, Travelling with kids

Want to move abroad? Here’s how to do it in one-month time: a step-by-step guide

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Our family has done quite a lot of moves in the last three years, including moving abroad with a toddler. And by now I believe it would be fair to say that we are experts on how to move abroad with no money. Just within two years we have moved and lived in four different countries and two continents, excluding China where we moved from in the beginning (check out who we are). So, we have learnt quite a few lessons and were able to change our hobby of moving overseas to actually some fun time spending as a family.

Moving abroad, especially if you move abroad with kids or no money can be stressful. Things should be considered thoroughly before making the move. But it can be very easy too. Let us break down some major points you have to arrange before making a move abroad with family. Trust us, one month is more than enough to organize everything you need moving to your new destination.

I want to move abroad! Here is how!


Always make a plan for your tasks and responsibilities. It is not necessarily should be a detailed plan put on paper (although this sounds like a good option too), but a one-time family follow-up would be more than enough.
Your plan should consist of a few major tasks:

  • Employment
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Hospital/ clinic for you and your child
  • Transportation company

And a few more important arrangements:

  • Insurance
  • Transport from the airport
  • Mobile company
  • Local currency


If you are an expat and you have decided to move abroad for a while, then most likely the reason is your employment. In my opinion, this is n.1 factor to consider when planning your move. At the end of the day, there are things and costs to consider that are strictly related to your income and/or savings. For example, moving out of China I didn’t have a certain place to go, a certain country to live, or a certain job to take, but I had savings. When I was pregnant and on my maternity leave, our move to Prague and London was pre-determined by a workplace my hubby had at the moment. Luckily, he has the luxury to work in different companies all over the world, so we had a chance to travel a bit too. It was quite easy to move abroad with a toddler as we had a potential job offer in Mexico, although this stability was determined for three months only when after a bit of traveling, we moved back to London with less than £1,800 in savings that were enough for renting a room for three of us in a shared house for a month.

If you do not have employment and you plan to move abroad with no money, we would recommend looking through the potential opportunities before you decide to leave your home. We have listed the main recruiter sites in the UK along with the job search tips and tricks for you here. At last, your amount of savings shall be well-considered too.


Booking the flight is probably the easiest and the least-to-worry-about task. However, it is important to consider the booking in advance to get the best-price scenario, or as an alternative, to use the low-cost airline.

I personally absolutely love the Momondo platform to find the best cost-effective deal for us and our family. I always can check their calendar to find even cheaper options. Also, they search the small booking sites no one else does. Besides, we check on Skyscanner and low-cost flights, such as Ryanair, if it is within Europe. Check our travel resources for more information here.


This one can be time-consuming sometimes because not everything depends on you. But believe me, “who seeks will always find”.

A house of your dream depends on what requirements you have and how long you are going to stay at the place. I will give you a few examples based on our experience.

Read our guide on renting a flat in London and setting up gas and electricity for the first time.

You will find quite a few good tips on where to search for an apartment.

When we first time moved to the Czech Republic, we have booked with Airbnb for two months. Then we searched for a long-term lease apartment on-site. It was hardly possible to do long-term remotely.

Moving to London was another story as initially we had an idea to stay there for three months only (maximum six), so we were lucky to find a landlord directly through one of the house rental sites called Spareroom. My husband filtered the search and we found quite a lot of options on one/two-bedroom houses. Then we were just bombing people with messages, and in the end, we found one landlady who needed to rent out her apartment asap for exactly the time we needed without any additional costs, deposits, or a lot of troubles. Check the guide on how to rent a house in London here.

Our landlady was the sweetest person we have ever met. She was going out on a three-month vacation and decided to rent out her apartment, so basically the house was fully-equipped, including sheets (better than Airbnb even!), plus all the bills were included in the price. Besides, we got even luckier when she decided to move in with her boyfriend, and we extended our lease to nine months total. No agents, no extra fees, a secure deposit scheme, and great communication.

We got this house and signed the contract remotely before reaching London by viewing it during our Skype call. So, yes, this case scenario can be a win-win and you can do it yourself without third party if it is the case.

In Mexico we ended up with a three months Airbnb, it was just the fastest option as we had only one week prior to the flight. But when we got back to London for the second time, we had literally nothing but £1,800, so it was impossible to find a house without viewings, reference checks, and with such little capital. How to move abroad with no money then?

Well, at the time we shared a flat for £1,200 per month whilst searching for two jobs and childcare for our son, and then being able to rent a house in London. Of course, this is applicable to any other city or country. If you plan to move to Texas, consider looking for apartments to rent in Houston

Anyway, all that should have happened in only one month. Challenge accepted!


Sharing a flat with a toddler wasn’t a bad idea after all, but be prepared that there are very few people who are family-friendly when it comes to sharing. We have tried a house rental app, and everyone rejected us after knowing we have an 18-month old toddler. Besides, if you are trying any of these apps, be aware that apart from the monthly rental fee, you will need to pay a 4-to-6-week deposit and an administration fee equal to up to one-month rent. Airbnb doesn’t have anything like that, so this was a win-win for us.

Hospital/ clinic for you and your child

Since I traveled pregnant and then with a newborn, it was important for me to know the name of the nearest hospital and clinic I can go in case of an emergency. So, I always used to check if and what insurance is needed, the cost and process.

In the Czech Republic, we used EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) that allows anyone who is insured by or covered by a statutory social security scheme of the EEA countries and Switzerland to receive medical treatment in another member state free or at a reduced cost, if that treatment becomes necessary during the journey.

In Mexico, we got local insurance VRIM, although it wasn’t worth it at all.
But in London, we used to get free care as medicine is free there if you are employed and pay taxes. FYI, below is a little bit of the UK terminology to get familiar with:

  • A&E: accident and emergency department;
  • GP: general practitioner;
  • Walk-in center (important to check if it is covered by NHS);
  • Health visitor;
  • Pharmacy check.

To understand better how the health system works in London, we prepared a special post about it, click here.

Transportation company

This is important when you consider moving your stuff and furniture to your new home. Similar to the accommodation, international relocation can be included in your relocation-fee package of your new employer. However, many companies leave this hustle on you to decide. Honestly saying, we have been dealing with moving companies only once moving our ten precious boxes from Prague to London. Rather than that, we used to transport luggage taking it on our flights and leaving our stuff using self-storage service in the UK.

If you need to relocate within the UK, we always use the Zipcar service. It seems to be still one of the cheapest options on the market with, in my opinion, the best deal for van transporters offering it for £10 per hour. On top of that, you can save £25 on your first deal by clicking here, or typing at the checkout.


Insurance is quite important, especially if we are talking about moving and traveling with the child. I personally love the World Nomads Family Travel Insurance. In case if you are employed, that would be sorted out with your employer. But if it is not, it always a good idea to look at local insurances once you arrive.

For example, in the Czech Republic, I got VZP insurance that also covered my maternity and all related expenses for giving birth to a child, including hospital and newborn checks. UNIQA is very popular too. It is important to search for the one that has the most collaborations with the health institutions in the country you will be residing in. This way you will be entitled to free services and all possible discounts.

Transport from the airport

I always make sure to check how we are going to get from the airport to our new house. I agree, in a majority of cases, a cab is the best option as you have a kid, lots of luggage and a ton of exhaustion, but sometimes public transport can be even better, faster, and significantly cheaper.

Mobile company

According to our 21st-century lifestyle, we can’t survive without our cell phones for too long really, can we? At least using Google maps would be important in the beginning. So, I always make sure to sort it the next day after arrival. In most countries we have been, it is rather an easy process.

  • In the Czech Republic, you can go to any mobile phone company and set up your sim card;
  • In Mexico, you can get a new sim card from any convenient store at your location;
  • In China, you will need to go to a mobile phone company to get registered (bringing your passport is a must!);
  • In Argentina, the process is as easy as in Mexico;
  • In London, you can book your sim card online and activate it as soon as it arrives at your door. To avoid waiting, you can book the card 2-3 days in advance. We use GiffGaff service.

Local currency

Speaking of our experience, we always recommend having some local currency with you, as not all expenses can be made by card.

Do not panic. Do not stress.

Things might go wrong, especially if it doesn’t depend on us. There might be some delays and time can be extended, but it always good to keep in mind that it is just one short-term deal, soon you are going to relax in your new house with cup of tea (or glass of wine if you prefer), travel, see new places and meet new people. This is the most exciting part, isn’t it?


Do not be afraid of making a move

Moving from one place to another is one of the most exciting parts of our lives. It shouldn’t be stressful, because you start something new, experience the unknown and broaden your mind. This should be enough to get incredibly excited in the first place. The rest are little things.

Wish you all the best in your new moving adventure!

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  1. Tracey Kifford says:

    You make moving sound so easy!! It takes me months to pack and plan when we move from one village to the next one!

  2. Stella Kashmoney says:

    You have covered all the important bits here. Planning early is really important.

  3. dear bear and beany says:

    I’ve moved a lot, but only in the UK. It takes a lot of work, you have it all worked out.

  4. Dear Mummy Blog says:

    You lucky things for travelling so much! We’ve stuck to the same places and lived in our house for over 14 years, feel a move coming on!

  5. What Mum Loves says:

    4 countries in 2 years. You are a pro! It is my first time visiting your blog, but I will be definitely back. Fell in love with your adventurous lifestyle. All the best x

  6. Laura Sidestreet says:

    Being an expat myself and having lived in 4 different countries I totally agree with all of these tips. As well as being flexible and going with the flow when things don’t pan out how you think they would. Great post, super useful

    Laura x

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