ExpatMauritius.com
DEPARTURE





PLANNING AND PACKING


The keywords for this stage are planning, planning and yet more planning! We could tell you that planning leads to a stress-free move, but let’s be honest; no move is ever stress free. Planning enables you to keep on top of the process and to deal with all the variables at home and in Mauritius.

We do not claim to be experts on the moving process. However, there are websites available that can assist you in greater detail within the framework of your own country. Most international moving companies also provide a booklet with all events leading up to the departure date, remember to ask them for a copy.

  Our advice is:  
 

Keep enough flexibility in your programme or schedule to allow for unexpected and last-minute changes. Bear in mind that the move started the day you decided to relocate to Mauritius – long before a single item had been packed.

 

We have organized this section in a timeline of events with a couple of checklists for you to print out, stick on the fridge and use as part of the process. If you have any helpful hints for easing the moving process that you would like to share with us, please contact us at admin@expatmauritius.com, we will gladly include them here to make this section as thorough as possible.

We have tried to be as thorough as possible in compiling this section, but bear in mind that the moving process varies greatly in each case. Some people will have to make all their own arrangements for accommodation, schools etc, whereas others will have everything already provided for them. Use these lists as a guide, taking what is appropriate to your own situation. But do make sure that you know exactly what is and what isn’t provided and/or paid for by your new employer to prevent any nasty surprises on arrival!

Four months before departure

MAURITIUS
Confirm your child’s school.
Confirm house rental and request an inventory to help you to decide on which furniture to ship to Mauritius.
Confirm the importation details of your pet with the Ministry of Agro-Industry & Fisheries. Download the Pet travel calendar and start the process as soon as possible).
HOME
Contact at least three international removal companies, to arrange for quotations. Companies offer a variety of services, such as packing only, storage, shipping only, customs clearance, unpacking, comprehensive door-to-door service etc. Make sure that the company you choose offers all the services that you require. Remember to ask for references and for details of their insurance cover. NEVER choose a company based on price alone.
While getting your quotations from removal companies, it is a good idea to find out from them any restrictions or taxes on imported items. You can then identify what can reasonably be taken with you and what you need to leave behind.
Find an international pet travel agent to assist you with the process of relocating your pet. The process starts four months before the departure date of the pet. All vaccination and medical records must be up to date before departure.
For non-English-speaking children this is a good time to enrol them in an English language programme to give them a head start when entering their new school. Children start school at four and three quarters to five years of age in Mauritius. Try to co-ordinate your move with the start of the school year (check with the new school, as schools in Mauritius have different academic years, depending on which curriculum they follow).
Look into health insurance options for you and your family. If it is not part of your employment package, there are companies in Mauritius that offer health insurance or you can consider an international health insurance package. Speak to your health insurance broker but don’t leave without it as you may well end up in a long queue at government hospitals or paying cash at private clinics. The most important advantage of having health insurance is the medical evacuation service, should you require treatment that cannot be provided in Mauritius. Confirm with your broker that this is included and any restrictions that there may be.
If you need to sell or rent out your house contact an estate agent now as it is difficult to provide a ‘show house’ in the last two months before departure. If you are currently renting you will have to give notice as per the rental agreement.
Decide what to do with your car, having investigated all possibilities and costs. Taxes on imported vehicles are very high in Mauritius so most incoming expats buy a vehicle in Mauritius, if it is not already provided as part of the employment package.
Book your airline tickets for Mauritius, if not provided by your new employer.
Draw up a moving budget that will include potential costs at home as well as in Mauritius.
Any personal documentation needs to be applied for in advance (particularly if from government departments), as the process can be time consuming. Apply now if you do not have your documentation on file and prevent last-minute anxiety.

Three months before departure

MAURITIUS
Pay school deposits and enrolment fees.
Pay the deposit on your new house. Try to arrange with the owner or estate agent for an ADSL telephone line (internet connection) to be installed and operational before your arrival, as it can take some time. Internet becomes your lifeline in the first couple of months after your arrival in Mauritius.
If not provided by your removal company, arrange with them to contact a clearing agent for your shipment in Mauritius. Or you could arrange it yourself. Investigate all agencies and ask for references.

HOME

This is the time to start sorting and decluttering. If your move is not permanent, you will probably need to organize everything into four categories:

  • move to Mauritius;
  • put in storage;
  • needed on the journey;
  • sell, donate or dump.

Don’t move unnecessary items, it is costly and will clutter your new house (which will probably be smaller than your current one). This is an excellent time to declutter.

Take photographs of your valuables as it may help for insurance purposes.
Confirm your removal company, plan dates and take into consideration that the arrival of the container will not necessarily coordinate with your arrival date. Go through the small print of your agreement to ensure that everything you need is covered.
If you are on a contract not all your furniture will come across to Mauritius, as rental houses are either fully or partially furnished. You may need to put some or all of your furniture in storage – this can either be done privately or by your removal company. When considering what furniture to take with you bear in mind that it may be cheaper to pay to ship your furniture to Mauritius rather than to pay storage costs in your home country.
If you are working, remember to put in your letter of resignation according to your employment agreement.
Notify all your service providers in time about the move. Print this list and tick each item off as you notify the provider.
Start to make a list of all the other organizations and the people that you need to notify of your change of address. Don’t forget to include your family and friends!
To prepare children for the big move get them to sort out and declutter their own rooms. Nearer the time let them pack a ‘treasure box’ with special items in it, that they can look forward to unpacking. Moving children internationally requires some extra reading and preparation by parents, as it can be very unsettling for them.

Two months before departure

MAURITIUS
Contact the clearing agent (if required) in Mauritius to ensure preparation and documentation for your container is done.
Keep in touch with the school, estate agent and pet authorities – by this time most of the paperwork and confirmations must have been done.
HOME
Pack, pack, pack and pack. Make sure that you have received an inventory from your estate agent in Mauritius to help you plan which bulky items you want to move.
Electrical sockets require plugs with three flat points, the same as in the UK, but you may also come across two round pin sockets. Make sure that the electrical appliances you are taking with you can operate with 220V. If you plan to bring your washing machine, tumble drier, freezer etc, make sure they can be serviced in Mauritius in case of a breakdown, as spare parts will not necessarily be available for all brands.
Double check with your removal company/clearing agent on the restrictions on imported articles. These restrictions might apply to items in storage as well. Arrange for hazardous items to be properly destroyed.
Return anything that belongs to other people!
Donate aggressively what you don’t need – otherwise you will pay storage or moving fees just to donate or throw out items later on.
Follow up on the pet travel calendar, or if you don’t plan to move your pet it is time to find it a new home and get the children to prepare a handover ceremony. It is important that they say their farewells to the pet.
Plan and discuss with your house insurance broker the time when your household insurance will be altered (if you are renting out your house) or terminated (if selling it). Household insurance is available in Mauritius for your rental house, remember to speak to your estate agent about it or apply for it on arrival in Mauritius.
If you plan to spend the last couple of nights before your flight in a hotel, book and confirm it now.
If you have not already booked your flight to Mauritius, it is time to do it now, otherwise confirm your tickets.
Follow up on all outstanding documentation.
Book a hair appointment NOW!

One month before departure

MAURITIUS
If you haven’t started the procedure to relocate your pets to Mauritius yet, you have left it too late for them to arrive with you. Contact your pet travel agent immediately and start the procedure. Be aware that your pet will spend time in quarantine in your home country and in Mauritius.
Schools must have been confirmed and paid by now. If not, you may find it difficult to get spaces, especially in primary schools.

HOME
Take time to have a look at your grocery cupboard and plan your menu accordingly to prevent buying extra unnecessary groceries prior to your departure.
Make any necessary medical/dental appointments. Make sure you have sufficient prescription medicines to cover the moving period and to give you enough time to settle in before having to go to the pharmacy.
Book a date for a final electrical meter reading.
Arrange a date for the disconnection of your telephone landline and for a final bill.
Arrange a date for final payment and cancellation of your TV licence.
Finalise the arrangements for your car, whether it will go into storage or be sold. Ensure that you don’t end up without a vehicle for the last couple of days, when you may really need it. If you need to rent a car for the last few days, arrange it now.
You should have handed in your resignation to your current employer by now.
Moving large pictures or painting requires specially made wooden boxes. Your moving company will supply these.
Any dry cleaning of linen, blankets or curtains prior to storage or moving must be taken in now to allow for them to be returned in time.
Time for a computer back up!
As you are not allowed to import any plant material to Mauritius, your house plants and pot plants need to find a new home.

One to two weeks before departure

MAURITIUS
By this time your new house, the school, pets and the clearing agent (if required) must all have been finalized.
HOME
Probably chaos reigns – this is a good time to sneak off for that haircut and a good massage.
Your documentation needs to be in a safe place to ensure that it does not get packed by the moving company. You don’t need that surprise. Keep it in a safe or at a friend’s house.
Empty, defrost and dry the fridge and freezer.
Make an inventory of articles to go in storage, articles for your container and articles to be packed in your luggage. Your moving company should be able to provide you with a proper inventory of packed items as well.
Remember to do your final washing and allow time for it to dry out completely.
Plan your survival kit for the last two to three days, including things like a kettle, coffee, tea, milk, fruit, foodstuff etc.
Confirm with your removal company whether they will dismantle furniture and electrical appliances especially in the light of insurance.
Pay all final bills and close accounts. Arrange with a friend or family member to collect the post after you have left and plan for any unexpected bills in the post to be dealt with by them.
Decide what to do with your children on moving day. Discuss it with them and plan either a playdate or sleepover if they don’t want to be around. It is important that they have time to say their farewells to the places that are important to them.

Moving day

MAURITIUS
You are not even thinking of Mauritius today!
HOME
The removal company will arrive early, so make sure that you are ready. They will have their fixed pattern of packing and organizing of schedules. Once the removal company has finished, but before they have left, walk through the house making sure that they have taken everything necessary. Also make sure that the items you need to take on the journey with you are kept well away from the packing area and that these items have not been packed!
Pack the toiletries/medicines that you will need before and during your journey.
If your children are with you, give them small tasks away from the packing team e.g. stripping the beds of linen, closing their suitcases, drawing a picture of the house etc.
After the removal van has left this is a good time to vacuum clean all the empty rooms. This leaves a clean and empty house for the next inhabitants.
Close all the taps and flush all the toilets.
Remember to say goodbye to the neighbours before you lock the doors of your house and drive away.
Leave the keys with your estate agent or the new owner.
Now you are ready to go to the airport or to your temporary accommodation before your flight!


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This page was revised on 11-Nov-2014

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