Moving abroad is never easy. From getting to grips with a new culture, to learning the language, to figuring out how to take your dog with you there’s a whole host of challenges involved.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. As the expat community around the world has grown, so too have the range of services designed to help you on your journey.

If you’re moving abroad in the near future, then here are some of the services that you might not even know exist…

Expat Networking

Getting to know your chosen destination can almost as challenging as meeting new people once you get there. Fortunately, a huge range of websites such as Blog Expat exist to provide solid first-person interviews and experiences of other countries, not to mention networking opportunities. What could be nicer than to get an honest view of your destination before you ever leave home turf?

Relocation Specialists

Moving abroad is about lots more than just getting on a plane. Most expats will need to arrange a new bank account, driver’s license and more. All of this takes considerable time and effort – unless you opt to use a full-service relocation company such as Icon. These services to designed to provide all the guidance and support you need to ease your effortless entry into a new country.

Pet Travel Agents

Moving abroad but don’t want to leave Fido behind? While it is possible to navigate the complex world of pet relocation yourself, most expats opt to use a pet travel agent to do all the hard work.

Companies like PBS Pet Travel can arrange everything from booking your pet flights, to arranging import/export paperwork and vaccinations. All you need to do is remember to collect your pet at the other end!

Freight Shipping

It’s easy enough to pack a suitcase to take on the plane – but what if you’re relocating permanently and want to take a whole shipping container of belongings with you?

Fortunately, a number of international removal companies like Britannia can transport all your personal effects in one neat container. Just fill it up with your furniture, kitchen equipment and so on, then leave it to the experts to deliver at your new home.

Repatriation Services

Getting ill while you’re abroad can be a thoroughly unpleasant experience. While many popular expat destinations offer high quality medical care (at least in private facilities) sometimes you just want to be back in your home country.

A number of international health insurance companies like Expatriate Healthcare include repatriation as standard with a number of their policies. Such a clause not only ensures you can flown home if necessary, but some will also cover the cost of relatives to fly out and see you if you are hospitalized.

Expat Wills

One element that many expats don’t think enough about is their will. In the past, for example, expat property owners in Dubai were unable to leave their home to relatives back home.

A number of countries maintain inheritance rules that may seem odd to many. It therefore makes sense to consult a company like Expat Legal Wills to ensure your loved ones are properly catered for in the future.

Mail Forwarding

You don’t want to miss out on important mail about your finances, mortgage or pension but how do you receive your post while you’re abroad? Fortunately, a number of mail forwarding companies like Expat Mail can help by sending your mail onto your new overseas address.

Before enlisting the help of a mail forwarding company double-check that they will forward overseas, and check carefully on prices, which can vary significantly between suppliers.

Internet Proxies

Accessing the Internet from another country can be a surprisingly frustrating experience. For example, some email services and bank accounts will try to lock you out, while you may not be able to stream TV the same way. Google won’t show you the results you see back home.

Worse, some countries like China are known to severely limit access to certain websites, leading to more frustration.

Proxy services like Hide Me allow you to access the Internet in such a way that you appear to still be in your home country.

Home Shopping Companies

Living abroad, but longing for some “real” food from back home? A number of companies now offer worldwide delivery of the brands you know and love. As examples, the USA Food Store will send you order A1 Hot Sauce and Hershey’s Kisses no matter where you’re living, while Brits can order Marmite and McVitie’s biscuits from British Corner Shop.

Currency Exchange Services

Lastly, don’t assume that transferring money from one currency to another with your bank will necessarily be the cheapest option. Oftentimes, specialist currency transfer services like Halo Financial actually offer far better rates, and higher levels of customer service than your mainstream bank.