A guide to moving to Australia as a family

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moving to Australia with familyYou’re making the big move to Australia! Everyone’s excited and looking forward to it.

Not so fast though. You’d want to read our guide to moving to Australia as a family before doing anything else.

Why? Because moving abroad as a family can be the best of times, but also the most testing of times.

Let’s explain how you can keep fights and frayed nerves to a minimum.

You’re moving!

It’s the day you’ve been waiting for – your visas have arrived. Suddenly it’s all too real and your mind starts racing. Instead of trying to do a million things at once, start here:

Share the news

Announce the news during a family meeting instead of telling the family in a throwaway manner or telling everyone individually.

A formal meeting will give everyone, especially the children, a chance to ask questions. It will also give you the opportunity to paint the move as a massive adventure so that everyone are on the same page and excited about the road ahead.

Involve the children

The quickest way to get children on board, is to make them part of the process. It will make your children feel like they have a say in what’s happening to them.

You can:

  • Ask for their input and give regular updates on developments
  • Let them make decisions, such as which toys to take
  • Assign age-appropriate tasks
  • Let them help you pack

Get to know your future home together as a family

Australia will be your family’s new home, so introduce all the family members to the country as well as the city and neighbourhood you’ll be staying in.

Use the internet, country and city guides, maps, videos – whatever is going to make this a fun and interesting experience for your family.

Create a checklist

Moving abroad with your family is no easy feat! The only way to keep track of everything is to create a checklist.

A checklist does so much more than just spell out what should be done though. It also brings a sense of security and structure to a manic time in your lives. Plus, with everyone knowing their responsibilities, arguments are kept to a minimum.

Take care of the basics

You’ll need to find a house or apartment, choose a school for your children and, depending on your visa, decide on a medical insurer. Do all of that now!

It might be too early to enroll your children in school, and you probably won’t be able to take up medical insurance just yet, but knowing your options is a good thing.

You won’t believe how stressful finding a home, school or medical insurance can be when left to the last minute.

Say goodbye

No-one likes goodbyes but in this case there’s no avoiding them.

Start preparing your children well in advance! Get them to say their goodbyes to teachers, friends and family, but not all in one go. When goodbyes happen over time, your children will get used to saying goodbye and it softens the blow a little bit.

You should do the same, but without overwhelming yourself. Your schedule is going to be jam-packed, so squeezing in too much will only stress you out.

You’ve arrived!

The move went well and now you’re ready to tackle the new adventure as a family.

Make the new house feel like home

You should unpack boxes with key items first and decorate with family favourites straight away. Think family photos, treasured stuffed toys, preferred bedding sets and that lived-in living room couch. Seeing the familiar will make everyone feel more comfortable, and at home, in a flash.

Explore the neighbourhood

You’ve already done the research – now go out and explore! It’s a great way to make everyone feel at home.

If your children is still a bit sad about leaving home, make their points of interest the focus of your exploring. Go see what the local play parks look like, drive by their school and go to the beach, if that’s an option.

Stay in touch with family and friends back home

In the age of Skype and Zoom, it couldn’t be easier to stay connect with loved ones back home. Set up video chats as a family and as individuals, so that the whole family gets to speak to everyone they’re missing. Seeing familiar faces and catching up are great comforts.

In summary…

Involving everyone in the process is the best thing you can do when moving to Australia with family. Apart from that, make an effort to work as a team, to get everyone excited and to make your new place feel like home as quickly as you can once you’ve arrived.

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