There’s nothing new about moving abroad, people have been doing it for centuries, but never has it been so easy, and never have so many people been thinking about doing it. Some of this wanderlust may be down to the pandemic, which gave us a chance to reflect and wonder if maybe life could be better somewhere else, and some of it is down to the Internet, enabling us to work remotely and research foreign destinations from our homes. If you’re single and you’re a digital nomad there’s very little holding you back, but when you have children, it’s all a bit more complicated to stay organised and know what to research before moving.
Things to Consider Before Moving Abroad with Children:
Can you afford it?
There are always unforeseen expenses when you move, and when you move abroad, they multiply. If you are moving to a job, then you will have a certain amount of financial security, but even then you should make sure that you have at least six months living expenses behind you before you make a move. Don’t assume income streams that aren’t definite and don’t assume you’ll be able to access lines of credit.
If you are moving abroad with children, surely, it’s because you want them to have a better lifestyle, and the opportunity to live in a nicer place, with more space for everybody, is one of the incentives. Thousands of U.K. citizens have found their ideal of country living in one of the rural areas of France, where beautiful traditional farm buildings are still unbelievably cheap.
Spain too has long been a favourite destination for the British, but in recent years it is Portugal that has drawn U.K. citizens, so much so that there are now over 700,000 of us living there. In Portugal’s most affordable region, Guarda, the average house price is just over 111,000 euros.
Moving abroad can be an amazing experience for children. They will adapt to their new environment much quicker than you will and they will pick up the language faster too, however, it will disrupt their education, so you need to assess, honestly, the effect of that disruption. Clearly, it is unfair to move a child abroad just prior to their G.C.S.E.s or A-Levels. The younger they are, the easier they will adapt. The choice and quality of the available schools should inform your decision about where you choose to live. You may wish to find a second language nanny to help with the transition and language acquisition if needed.
A life in the sun? Careful what you wish for. There can be too much of a good thing. Extreme climates are tough on children not born to them and they may also be at risk from tropical diseases.
You’ll need comprehensive health insurance, and you’ll also need to feel confident that a doctor and hospital are within easy reach. In other words, no matter how beautiful that villa, half-way up a mountain, may be, it’s probably not a good idea to take children to live there.
Obviously, you should never settle your children in countries which are politically or economically unstable or which have high levels of violent crime.