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Scouting Tri[p

Are you dreaming of living overseas? The allure of a new culture, language, and lifestyle can be irresistible. I know it was for me many years ago. The great news is, the thrill is still here and I continue to love living in Turkey. But before you take the plunge and commit to a life overseas, it’s essential to embark on a scouting trip to ensure a smooth transition.

Why Plan a Scouting Trip?

While the idea of living in a foreign country may sound enchanting, the reality may differ from your expectations. A scouting trip allows you to experience firsthand what life is like in your desired destination, giving you a realistic perspective on factors like cost of living, healthcare, transportation, and cultural nuances. Living like a native and vacationing are two different ways of living.


Set Clear Objectives

Before you visit your ideal destination to live in, it is important to outline specific goals you want to achieve. Having a clear plan will help you make the most of your time abroad, so you will feel confident about where to live overseas.

Planning a scouting trip to live abroad involves several key steps to ensure a smooth transition. Many of these steps can be taken before you even step foot into the country. Here’s a guide to help you:


Self-Guide to a Scouting Trip

Cultural sensitivity is key to building positive relationships and fostering mutual respect in a new cultural setting. Be open-minded and receptive to new experiences, even if they challenge your own beliefs or perspectives. Practice empathy and strive to see the world through the eyes of others, recognizing that diversity enriches our lives and brings us closer together.

  1. Research Destinations: Start by researching potential destinations based on your preferences, such as climate, cost of living, culture, job opportunities, etc. Websites like, and Nomad List can be helpful resources.
  2. Visa and Legal Requirements: Check the visa and legal requirements for your chosen destination. Each country has different visa regulations, so make sure you understand the process and any necessary documents you’ll need to prepare.
  3. Budgeting: Create a budget for your scouting trip, including costs for transportation, accommodation, food, and other expenses. Consider factors like currency exchange rates and any unexpected expenses that may arise.
  4. Accommodation: Arrange temporary accommodation for your scouting trip. Options should be  Airbnb or short-term rentals. Choose a location that’s convenient for exploring potential neighborhoods and getting a feel for your daily life in the area.
  5. Networking: Reach out to expat communities, befriend a local, or online forums to gather insights and advice about living in your chosen destination. Networking can provide valuable information about job opportunities, housing options, cultural norms, and more.
  6. Healthcare and Insurance: Research healthcare options and requirements in your destination country. Make sure you have adequate health insurance coverage for your trip and your potential move abroad. Visit a hospital, a doctor’s office, and a health insurance provider. Stop by a pharmacy and see if your medications are sold there and the cost.
  7. Banking: Speak with a banker about how to handle your money. Learn what the laws allow for foreigners. Discuss how to handle your money with a banker. You will want to understand the foreign banking laws for expats.
  8. Shopping: Visit the supermarket and get an idea of food prices, quality, and availability of items. Go to a mall and shop for clothes. Examine the costs, layout of the stores, and sizes. If you have clothes dry-cleaned, visit a laundry service, and find out the cost. Get a haircut by a professional or have a manicure.
  9. Household Amenities: Check out common household appliances available in rentals and what you would need to purchase once you live in that country. Visit a store to see the cost of these items.
  10. Language and Cultural Preparation: If the language spoken in your destination is different from your native language, consider taking language classes or using language-learning apps to familiarize yourself with basic phrases and communication skills. Learn about the local customs, etiquette, and cultural norms to help you adapt more easily.
  11. Transportation: Familiarize yourself with transportation options in your destination, such as public transit, driving regulations, or bike-sharing services. Understanding how to get around will make it easier to explore different neighborhoods and assess their suitability for living.
  12. Unavailable Items: Determine what you can’t get in the country. This will help you plan what to bring and what adjustments are necessary.
  13. Bringing Pets: If you are moving with your pet, verify the laws for the importation of animals. Guarantee rentals will allow pets. Examine whether there are local veterinary services.
  14. Schools for Children: Visit local schools and learn about the educational costs and environment. Try to converse with both local and expat parents in these school systems.
  15. Get Your Steps In: Walk as much as your feet will allow. This will give you a perspective on how people move around the city, people watch, and help you learn more about the city.
  16. Documentation and Paperwork: Make sure you have all necessary documentation and paperwork for your scouting trip, including your passport, visa documents, identification, travel insurance, and any other relevant paperwork.
  17. Exploration and Evaluation: During your scouting trip, take the time to explore different neighborhoods, visit local amenities, and experience daily life in the area. Pay attention to factors like safety, affordability, access to amenities, job opportunities, and overall livability.
  18. Evaluation and Decision-making: After your scouting trip, evaluate your experiences and consider whether the destination meets your criteria and expectations for living abroad. Consult with trusted advisors or mentors to help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward with your plans.
User Guide

Watch EXPATS TOOLKIT on YouTube 

Expats Toolkit has created a YouTube channel offering real experiences of moving and living abroad. I will share details of how to go about deciding to move, transitioning into a new country, and many other helpful tips to make this process go smoothly.


Professional Guided Scouting Trip

Exploring the complexities of organizing a scouting trip may feel daunting, particularly when it entails moving to a foreign country. This is where a seasoned travel advisor with firsthand experience residing abroad can offer invaluable assistance. Having navigated my own path in discovering suitable overseas living arrangements, was no easy feat. If you feel it would be too overwhelming, then I recommend you find a professional scouting trip service to help you in your search. Here are the benefits:

  1. Insider Knowledge – Working with a scouting professional will enable you to have firsthand knowledge of the local culture, lifestyle, and nuances to help you get a better understanding of the country you are considering. They will be able to share with you information such as the best neighborhoods to explore, hidden gems to uncover, and insider tips.
  2. Professional Travel Resource – An advisor not only will be able to show you around the city but also connect you with other resources that can help your transition go smoothly. Some of these professionals will handle getting all your documents for applying for residency as well as guide you on getting a lease agreement.
  3. Customized Itinerary – No two scouting trips are alike, but some offer to tailor your specific goals, interests, and budget. From arranging accommodations to scheduling appointments with immigration lawyers and real estate agents, connecting you with local communities, and more, so that every aspect of your trip is meticulously planned and executed.
  4. Time and Cost Efficiency – Planning a scouting trip requires extensive research, coordination, and logistics management. When using a travel advisor, they can handle most of these details, saving you valuable time and minimizing stress. They are the experts in finding the best deals and negotiating on your behalf will also help optimize your budget, ensuring you get the most value for your investment.
  5. Peace of Mind – Determining where to live overseas and relocating to a new country can be daunting, but with a knowledgeable expat travel advisor by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re in good hands. From providing on-the-ground support to offering guidance and assistance every step of the way, a trusted professional throughout the scouting process, empowers you to make informed decisions with confidence.
NEw Life

Remember, moving abroad is a life-changing decision, so take your time to thoroughly research and prepare for your scouting trip to ensure a successful transition to living abroad.

If you are looking for more information about moving and living abroad, then visit Expats Toolkit.

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Happy Adventures!

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