The ultimate moving checklist - Sojoourn

Updated: Dec 26, 2019


Congratulations, you will start a new adventure in France! If you are moving soon, you know there is a ton of things to do, don't be afraid! With experiences on expatriation and moving across the globe, we have also faced many moves in an unknown country. We know how it can be challenging to set up in a new country with a different organization, culture, and language. Want to know our best tips to help you get organized and sail as smoothly as possible through your moving process? Read on!


4 months before

- Book your plane ticket (once the immigration permits obtained);

- Check that your passport and those of your family will be valid for the departure;

- Establish an expense budget for your departure and the first three months of arrival;

- If you do not speak French, take some classes or listen to podcasts (a good start!);

- Research neighborhoods where to live and international communities.


3 months before

- Notify your employer of your departure;

- Let your children's school know they are leaving;

- Manage your real estate assets (selling your house or renting, etc.);

- Get quotes from international movers (we recommend to contact our partner: ACR International Mobility);

- Contact relocation agency to help you to find your future accommodation (we recommend to contact our partner: Lyon Expat Agency);

- Research schools and enrollment of children;

- Apply for an international driving permit.


2 months before

- Notify your bank of your departure;

- Let your tax administration know you are leaving;

- Certify relevant, compliant documents and "apostille" necessary certificate;

- Ask your car insurer for a letter of recommendation;

- Gather letters of recommendation from your former employers, and other professional materials, which will serve as references professionals in France;

- Start sorting out the things you want to leave and the things you want to pack;

- Begin to pack your luggage and those of your family, don't forget to pack small items that will make you feel at home!

- Order our welcome city guide to find essential information on housing, transportation, and even practical French phrases. Includes 9 chapters of everything you need to know to help you enjoy the city worry-free!


1 month before

- Sell your car;

- Send a letter to cancel your subscriptions (gas, electricity, transport, telephone), your insurance (house, automobile, mutual health) or other monthly withdrawals;

- Inform the health insurance of your departure. Subscribe to health insurance, hospitalization, repatriation (we recommend to contact our partner: Partir Assur);

- Organize a medical visit for you and your family for a general check-up: general practitioner, dentist, gynecologist, ophthalmologist, etc;

- Do vaccines;


3 weeks before

- Book your first nights in France (hotel, hostel, furnished, friends or others);

- Organize your move (with the precise list of objects and furniture that you bring to clear your belongings upon arrival) Think about the type of current and voltage (220-240V/50 Hz).

(We recommend to contact our partner: ACR International Mobility). If you need to rent furniture, you can rent with Move&Rent.

- Buy euros or carry traveler's checks (to avoid excessive use of your credit card upon arrival because of the expense);

- Create a photo album with photos of your friends, places you like, the dishes you want and maybe your pet that you can not bring with you;

- Organize a departure party with your friends and also with the friends for your children, take pictures of this moment to keep good memories with you.


2 weeks before

Prepare and collect in a pocket folder all the essential documents (to be determined according to the case of each): immigration documents, passports, identity cards, health and vaccination notebooks, family record book, driver's license, divorce judgment, death certificate of a spouse, authorization to leave the territory for minors, insurance certificate, employment contract, certificate of funds, list of your belongings in the process of moving, etc.

Put essential and bulky documents on USB drive!


Moving day

Have a nice trip and welcome to France!


If you're still looking at the apartment of your dreams in Lyon, you can have a look on our free housing guide.

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