Pink Luggage

My Moving Checklist (I’m not even halfway)

I have roughly 120 days left until I move to Sydney. While I have my visa in place, there are still a lot of things I need to work out before I go. Here are 10 things I need to cross off my list before I move to a new country:

At least 6 months before

1. Purchase a one-way ticket

Most people do this step towards the mid or latter part of their moving process, but I would actually recommend moving it up your priority list. Buying your ticket early on will help you with the rest of your timelines, and possibly even save you a couple of bucks. I personally only started working on my moving checklist after buying my ticket. When I realized that the clock was ticking, it really pushed me to get a move on everything that I had to do before I left.

Some things to consider when purchasing a ticket:

  • Arrival Date

Andrew mentioned that January is usually a quiet time for job seekers, so I pushed my date back a month to February instead. As much as I wanted to move earlier, I also didn’t want to spend money while I bum for a few weeks.

  • Baggage Allowance

Some airlines, like Qantas, offer additional luggage for migrants. It can be quite costly to ship your things to another country, so research into airlines that offer this for your country you’re migrating to.

  • Validity of Your Passport

This should be a no-brainer, but I’m surprised people still overlook the expiry date of their passport. In the Philippines, your passport needs to be valid for more than six months to travel. If it’s less than that, immigration may not allow your board the plane.

If you don’t need the extra motivation (unlike me), or don’t have a set date in mind, feel free to book your ticket towards the latter part of your checklist. However, you might miss out on some good deals, or end up cramming your timelines. Pace everything out!

2. Prepare Documents

When you move to a new country, you’ll need to sign up for a tax file number (if working), apply for work, open a bank account, register a mobile plan, rent or buy a place to stay, and sign-up for a couple other things. For you to be able to do that, you might be required to submit original or certified true copies of documents like your birth certificate, college diploma, past employment certificates, previous bank statements, and the like. It can take some time to get a hold of all these documents, so identify the documents you’re lacking and immediately order them at least 6 months prior to your departure.

If you can also get copies of your medical records, I would suggest you do. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

At least 3 months before

3. Terminate Unnecessary Credit Cards and Bank Accounts

If you’re like me and have more than 3 credit cards, you might want to consider terminating some of them. I’m personally only keeping one credit card, my BPI MasterCard because it’s the only one that has an EMV chip, which is widely used in Australia. I’ve also used it during my last few trips there and had no issues with it, so I decided to let go of my BDO and Citibank cards. And since I’m keeping my BPI credit card, I also decided to keep my BPI savings account to occasionally settle my bills.

Since I’m closing my BDO savings account, I’ll also have to cancel any subscriptions and enrolled bills attached to it. Which leads me to…

4. Cancel Subscriptions

I’m currently subscribed to GuavaPass (love them!) until mid-December. Since my plan renews every three months, I won’t be able to renew my subscription after November. While I hate to cancel this subscription, there is a subscription that I’m dying to terminate – My mobile plan with Globe. (!!!)

I’ve been with Globe for over 14 years, and while I love my mobile number, their service is the absolute worst and I can’t wait to cancel it. But bitterness aside, you can get Australian SIM cards everywhere – airports, supermarket chains, post offices, gas stations, and physical stores. Telstra has the widest network coverage, but if you’re staying near the city, Optus is a good choice. I have an Optus number that I’ve kept from my previous trips to Sydney. As long as you top-up before it expires, you have nothing to worry about.

I considered cancelling my Spotify account as well, but since I’m keeping one of my local credit cards, I can continue paying for my account in PHP (it’s AU$11.99, 3x more than its cost in PHP). #budgetminded

5. Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff

Now is the time to KonMari your closet. If it doesn’t bring you joy (and if you haven’t worn it in the last year), get rid of it. Also, if it can’t be replaced (custom pieces, heirlooms, made to order items), keep it. Otherwise, take it from Elsa and let it go.

I have packed up over 3 trash bags full of clothes. You can also earn additional cash if you decide to sell off some of your clothes in a garage sale or online.

At least 2 months before

6. Research Money Conversion and Open a Bank Account

Do not travel with all of your money in cash. It’s not safe and it’s unnecessary. Plus, if you have more than $10,000 in cash, you will have to declare it to the Bureau of Customs.

You can open a bank account with Commonwealth Bank of Australia at least 3 months before your arrival. If you want to transfer money to your account, you can easily do so before you arrive. Once you get to Australia, you can just visit the branch of your choice and present 2 valid IDs, such as your passport and your driver’s license, to claim your Debit MasterCard. Click here to sign-up for an account.

7. Buy Luggage and Other Non-negotiables

If you have no luggage, buy some. You can’t start packing without one! Apart from luggage, some of my non-negotiables include shoes and thick coats. I have really small feet (like children’s sizes) and it might be hard to find nice sturdy heels or dressy flats. Sneakers and sandals are a-ok, cause I might even get them for cheap if I shop at the kids section (wooo!).

At least 1 month before

8. Find a Place to Stay

Airbnb is crazy expensive in Australia (compared to the Philippines). Instead of leaving it up to chance, check out sites like,,, and Property listings are pretty straightforward. You can also set-up a profile in case people in shared houses are looking for additional roommates.

9. Pack

I don’t know what else to say about this. I mean, I guess it’s pretty self-explanatory??

10. Throw a Despedida Party!

You did it! You’re all set. Now, try to get your friends to buy you a round of drinks at your favorite Tipple, I mean, bar, before you go. *wink wink*


Did I miss out on anything else? Let me know in the comments below!

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