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Expat Articles » Top Tips for Moving To a Cold Country

Top Tips for Moving To a Cold Country

When many people dream of relocating, they often think about working from sun drenched beaches and a lifestyle revolving around eating and drinking outdoors. Of course for many people on the move, especially for work, this can involve relocating to a much colder climate than you are used to, for example Canada, New York, Scandinavia and Russia. There are many advantages to moving to an exciting new part of the world, but to make the most of your new habitat, it is important to follow these top tips:

1) Invest in sensible clothing and footwear

Even before you get there, make sure you have thermals, and warm gloves and a hat in your bag, as you will notice the climate change as soon as you get into the airport of your new home. It will take time to get acclimatised but while you wait ensure you have proper winter gear that can protect you from deathly minus Celsius chills. You don’t want to get ill in the first few months of your adventure. Speak to residents out there before you move, and ask them what sort of clothing they recommend, and ladies, if it is often icy, it may be a good idea to swap the stilettos for gripped boots. Layering is always the key.

2) Alter your skincare regime

The wind and cold can be very damaging to skin leaving it chapped and sore. Artificially heated rooms also cause damage by drying skin out and causing breakouts. It is therefore important that even the biggest skincare opponent takes some precautionary measures. Investing in a high SPF moisturiser and exfoliate is the first step. Applying heavy duty moisturisers (such as Vaseline) while you sleep can also soothe your skin.

3) Protect your technology

Stuff that stays in the house should be fine in your new home. However, equipment like tablets, cameras and phones can suffer in extremely cold conditions. If possible ensure all your accessories are kept safe in waterproof tough cases, and don’t leave them in the car overnight! Accidents happen, so ensure all your data is backed up and all your goods insured so if your hard drives freeze, all is not lost.

4) Get winter tires

If you are going to be driving around in icy conditions it is important (and often legal) you have winter tires fitted on your vehicle. They can be very expensive, so it is worthwhile budgeting for them. All-weather tires may suffice in some conditions, but if you are driving around on icy roads in temperatures likely to drop below zero, you will want the extra grip and control.

5) Think about your pet

If your pets are accompanying your move, it is also important to consider them. They may have a thick coat, but your new climate may still be too cold for them. If they are not kept warm enough they may become distressed and sick. Not all pets are designed for cold and wet climates, so it is important you allow them to live inside with you, or have a proper insulated shelter for them outside. The shelter should not be in the reach of prevailing winds, and if you can afford it, a heated bed might be a nice idea. A heated water bowl is also important for if their water freezes your dog can become dehydrated

6) Prepare an emergency kit

It may never happen, but in the unlikely event you get snowed in, you will want to have an emergency kit to hand. This should have non-perishable goods in like tinned fruits and meats, matches, a torch and lots of water.

© Lima Curtis

Lima Curtis writes for, the #1 resource for moving abroad which helps thousands of people move across the world every month.