You are probably quite excited. You’ve found a Realtor you adore, looked through the San Pedro MLS, and found a home you cannot wait to move into. You have even told friends about the big move and have begun to dream about warm days in the sun and evenings on the terrace with a cold drink. No one could blame you for your excitement. A move to Belize is an exciting, life-altering event.
That said, why not make life easier on yourself by front-loading some of the tasks that should be taken care of prior to an out-of-country move? Here are five small steps that will help you experience the smoothest transition possible.
Make an appointment with your doctor.
Let her know that you are moving to Belize and ask about any vaccinations you should receive. In addition to making sure your routine immunizations are up-to-date, your doctor may recommend getting vaccinated against typhoid or Hepatitis A or B. Ask for a copy of your medical records so you can share them with your new doctor in Belize, and have any medications refilled before leaving the country. Make sure you have enough to carry you until you can get in to see a new physician in Belize.
Get your pet ready for the move.
Take him to a veterinarian for a check-up, vaccination updates, and health exam. If he hasn’t already been microchipped, look into doing so before you leave. Pets must be vaccinated for rabies between 30 days and one year prior to entering Belize. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and parvovirus. Cats must be vaccinated against feline viral rhinotrachetis, and panlenoopaenis. Your pet must be accompanied by a Veterinary Certificate for Belize, issued by a licensed veterinarian within 14 days of entry.
Determine how you want to bank.
The truth of the matter is, it is possible to continue to bank through your current financial institution even after you move to Belize. This may be a particularly attractive option if you have a number of bills tied to that account. Let your bank know that you are moving and ask them to release any blocks on out-of-country purchases made in Belize. Find out if there are any ATMs in the San Pedro area that will be free or inexpensive to use and decide how often you want to withdrawal cash each month. If you haven’t already, set up online bill paying and begin to pay your monthly bills that way. The only things you are likely to miss about your old bank once you’ve moved away is the ability to drop by to make deposits. However, with the advent of remote deposits using your smartphone, you may never miss your brick and mortar bank at all.
Have mail forwarded.
Make a list of everyone who is going to need your new address, including creditors. Whenever possible, set up automatic online payments in order to insure that payments are made in a timely manner. You have three viable options for receiving mail: 1) have it sent to a P.O. Box and collect it whenever you are back in the country, 2) have it forwarded to someone you trust, or 3) sign up for an expatriate mail service like Earth Class or US Global Mail.
Decide what to do with your belongings.
Go through everything you own and decide what you want to keep, give away, donate, or toss. Check the price of shipping the items you want to keep and decide if the cost is worth it to you. You may find that it is less expensive to sell the things you currently own and buy what you need once you arrive in Belize. If you cannot bear to let go of particular items but are not sure you should ship them, rent a small storage unit in your home country and store them.
Purchasing San Pedro Real Estate was just the first step on the road to your new, laid back life. Getting your ducks in a row before you leave can only make your life more relaxing.