Relocating for work is an exciting prospect and so it should be. Experiencing a new culture, progressing in your career and often receiving a pay rise for your efforts are a few of the many benefits of an expatriate assignment. However, if you’re planning to uproot your family, considerable effort is required to ensure a happy relocation for all. So how can you ensure your move is a success and that both your family and employer are left happy?

Settling your children

The number one cause of an unsuccessful relocation is when the children of the assignee are unable to settle in to their new environment.

Preparation is key to successful assignments and one of the most important things to arrange prior to the move, is the school your child is going to attend. It goes without saying that choosing the right school can have a huge impact on whether your children settle into their new surroundings.

Amongst all the change it can be hard to maintain a sense of routine and family traditions can get lost in the move. It’s important to establish a routine as quickly as possible and preserve family traditions, even if they do need a little tweaking for your new environment.

Building new networks

Integrating into your new environment will take time, especially for your partner, who may be leaving a career behind. Often referred to as the ‘trailing spouse’, there are a number of things you and your partner can do to ensure they feel more at home.

First things first, you need to acquire some local knowledge. When you first move somewhere, tasks that were once easily undertaken such as calling your local plumber or popping to the supermarket, can suddenly feel a lot more difficult. Start by asking other parents at the school gates for their recommendations, you’ll soon build up a new directory of who to call when you need something sorted.

Learning the language

Learning the language before you hop on the plane can also make a crucial difference to your family’s integration into the new society. Why not attend evening classes together as a family before you leave? Watching the regional news in your new country will not only help your language skills, but can mean you gain a better understanding of the area and have something to talk about with the locals.

Finding the right location

Before making the commitment of buying/renting a house or flat, staying in a serviced apartment gives you the chance to test out new surroundings. Booking a stay in a serviced apartment is done in pretty much the same way as a hotel, so if the location isn’t to your taste, it’s easy to move to another area. Assignees, in general, are better suited to serviced apartments than hotels due to the greater space, privacy and amenities they have to offer. Your family can all stay together in one apartment instead of separate hotel rooms and flexible cancellation policies mean that when you’ve found your ideal place to settle, there’s much less hassle than if you were tied into a short term rental.

These are just a few things that you can do to help successfully relocate your family. Once you’ve established the basics you’ll be free to enjoy the full range of benefits of an expatriate assignment; explore the country and soak up the culture whilst creating lasting memories with your family.

Josh Ballard PR & Content Coordinator,