Life Admin Checklist for Leaving Home

You should be getting really excited now! We’ve got everything organised to get you into the UK, and you’ve even got the date set. Now we just have to get you out of home…

This checklist will help make sure you’ve tied up all the loose ends, saving you from the stress of expensive international phone calls to different time zones from the opposite side of the globe.

After all the next 2 years are all about escaping on cool adventures, exploring new places and getting lost in the world – you don’t really want to be dealing with a call from your old phone company at the top of the Swiss Alps do you?


Talk to your boss

They’re either going to be really angry or really jealous – who cares, you’re leaving!

Just kidding obviously. Make sure you read your contract details and give them plenty of notice of your resignation. I hope you make the break on good terms, you might need a job when you get back!


Moving out of home

How difficult this will be will obviously depend on your situation.

Own your own home? You’ll need to find someone to rent it or sell. There are tax implications for owning property and earning foreign income, make sure you’re abreast of the details. But don’t let this be a reason to miss out on seeing the world.

Renting? Either see out the lease, find someone to take it over, or break it early – again, don’t let a rental lease be an excuse not to travel.

Living at home? This might be the hardest situation. You can leave whenever you want, but your parents will never let you hear the end of it!

Either way, make sure your rent, water, electricity, gas, rates and any other bills are taken care of and contracts cancelled.


Cancel contracts, memberships and subscriptions.

Speaking of contracts, what other memberships and subscriptions have you got?

You might not need that Men’s Health magazine delivered every month now – save yourself 12 easy payments of $14.95 plus postage and spend it on a few coffees in Rome instead.

Talk to your phone company about cancelling your plan: there are some great deals going in Europe so you can cut your ties with your local provider. Be sure to download Skype, Messenger and WhatsApp though!

What else are you signed up to? Check the fees and notice periods you will need to give your gym, wine club, and any other random things you didn’t even know you were paying for.



It will be sad to see old reliable go, but you’ve got a fair bit of travel money tied up in those wheels. Are you going to sell it? Or give it to a family member? Either way you’ll realise how expensive cars are when you stop paying for fuel, green slips, pink slips, and transfer the rego.

Jump online, get some pics on Facebook, put posters up, spread it by word of mouth – it can get a bit stressful if you leave this to the last minute, so try to get organised.


Medical checkups

It’s not like you’re going to be totally stranded in the wilderness with no-one to turn to when you catch a cold – Britain is a very well developed first world country after all, and you’ve paid a fair bit of many in your visa healthcare surcharge to be able to access the NHS when you need it. But you will need a few things from your GP and any other specialists you see.

Besides for getting written evidence of all your vaccinations, you will also need a letter for any prescription medication you’re taking detailing it’s name, generic name, and what condition it is for (this is in case you get pulled up at Customs/Border control).

Have your routine check up, get all your scripts filled and let your doc know how long you’re planning to be away.

A trip to the dentist/optometrist wouldn’t go astray here either – how long have you been putting off seeing these guys? Trust me on this one, you’ll be happy you finally had that check up, you just can’t beat that dentist clean feeling.


Travel Insurance

Now that you’re feeling the healthiest you have in years, it’s time to start taking a look into travel insurance.

This is a MUST HAVE while travelling. It will cover you for accidents and injuries to yourself and your belongings – rolled your ankle on the cobble stones in Spain? Go see a physio if you want. Dropped your phone in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? Replace it for just the cost of your premium.

Depending on the quality of the cover you choose, your insurer can also help out with refunds on cancelled flights, accommodation and tours.

There are loads of options so do your research.

You won’t really need travel insurance while you’re in the UK working. Most companies won’t cover you if you’re living/residing in one area, and you’ll be able to head to the local public hospital or GP if you’re sick or injured anyway. this means you have the option to just pay for cheaper short-term policies when you actually go abroad.

Side note: While I have cover, I haven’t had to make a claim yet and so can’t vouch for the dependability of any companies – I don’t want to recommend anything to you I haven’t tried for myself. Keep an eye out in the future though, I’ll post more details as I get them.


Talk to the bank

You’ve got a few things to organise here, most of which you can do online. Alternatively, book an appointment in your local branch so you can do some negotiating:

  • Let them know you’re going overseas and what countries you’ll be visiting – you don’t want the bank to freeze your cards for weird looking transactions in Turkey that were actually you
  • Update your postal address
  • Take the opportunity while you’re there to negotiate a better interest rate on your current bank accounts. Mention the rates offered at a few other banks and see if they can match them
  • Organise your debit/credit cards. You’ll want a card that doesn’t charge international fees – if you’re paying for every transaction your daily coffee habit could get a bit exxy! A travel money card is a good start for paying your daily expenses before setting up your bank account in the UK, but be aware the foreign exchange rates offered by banks on these cards can be shocking, so do your research.
  • Consider ordering some foreign currency. Your bank probably won’t offer the best rate on Great British Pounds, but find out what they are offering and what the fee is. Check the rate with your local post office as well if you want some cash in hand before leaving home.


Redirect mail and update your address

Not many things arrive in the snail mail these days, but you will need to change your postal address with a few people:

  • Bank
  • Super/pension fund
  • Electoral roll

Most other businesses you will probably be cutting ties with and no longer receiving their mail anyway, but here is a more extensive checklist that you can double check just in case.

Consider who you want to leave in charge of your important stuff while you’re away. Redirect any mail to your parents or a reliable friend.


Copies of important documents

Speaking of important stuff, who is going to look after all your finance and tax info at home? You need to keep hard copies of all your tax documents for at least 5 years so make sure they are somewhere safe with someone responsible – don’t just chuck it out.

It’s a very smart idea to keep copies of all your travel documents in case things get lost or stolen. Scan everything and save it into Dropbox/GoogleDrive/OneDrive so you can access it from your phone or computer. Have copies of:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Certificate of travel insurance
  • Driver’s licence
  • GP letters and vaccinations
  • Receipts/proof of purchase of any expensive items you have covered by your travel insurance

Other important documents you might want access to include all of your HCPC registration stuff, so save all this in a folder in the cloud as well.


International Driver’s Permit (IDP)

Apologies to the international audience out there, but I’m speaking from an Aussie perspective for a moment here. A current Australian Driver’s Licence allows you to drive a car in Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) for up to 12 months from the date you enter the country.

The rest of Europe is a little more variable. In some countries you will require your Aussie licence as well as an IDP.

For $42AUD it’s a relatively cheap way to ensure you’re going to be able to get around, rent cars and avoid fines. It’s also a great alternative form of ID if you ever lose your passport as it has all of your official details in a few different languages.

It’s really easy to apply for a 12 month IDP online with the NRMA. Take note though, they are the only people authorised to issue your IDP legally in Australia (don’t fall victim to scammers!)

Allow 2-3 weeks to receive it in the post. 

Remember to check the expiry date of your licence too – it needs to in date for your IDP to be valid. 



Pack? Keep? Sell? Donate?

I was pretty lethal with all my stuff because I plan to live a fairly minimalistic life for the next few years as I travel about. Anything that didn’t fit into my backpack was donated to a charity shop, unless it was something important from my childhood, or had some sentimental value (this stuff stays in a box with my parents).

A lot of shoes and clothes went to people in much greater need than me, which felt good actually! 

Have a think about the things you do want to take though:

  • Computer: do you really need it? It’s surprisingly heavy, annoying to get out at airport security, and at risk of being stolen. Weight up the pro’s and con’s of having it with you.
  • International adaptors: You’ll need one of the UK and one for Europe (they annoyingly have different plugs). A power bank or portable charger is also really handy and comes highly recommended.
  • Clothes: I left Australia in summer and it was impossible to find the stuff I needed for winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Set some money aside in the budget to get any specific gear you need when you arrive. Otherwise the old saying holds true – pack half of what you think you need!
  • Other stuff: there are tons of websites that list all the “essentials” for your packing list. I would suggest not over-doing it and just buying things as the need arises, otherwise you will end up carrying kilos of extra stuff you’ll never use. That portable elastic washing line and sleeping bag liner really aren’t needed when you’re renting a room in the middle of London…


Organise your farewell party!

Time to celebrate! You might not see everyone for 2 years, so make sure you create some memories you can all cherish until you catch up again.


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