Many expats will not be able to choose where they are going to live, but a growing number are able to choose anywhere from New Zealand to Thailand to Mexico. If you’re one of those lucky ones and also have a couple of kids to take along for the ride, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider.
Here are four of the most important things to take into account.
You need your children to enjoy the best healthcare possible, and this is often tougher in expat locations. Take the time to investigate the healthcare options around each place that you’re considering. International healthcare coverage is going to be a must for most expats and their children, so get a few quotes for different countries to see how insurance rates for your whole family will impact your overall budget.
You might be moving to another country, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be visiting home regularly. Children, especially younger ones, tend to enjoy flying less than adults, particularly if it becomes a regular activity and the fun starts to wear off. Consider flight times, the number of connections, and the child-friendliness of the airlines that serve your route.
You’re going to want your children to have plenty of other kids to play with, so think about the kind of expat presence each area boasts. The number of English-speaking expats in the area is a good place to start, but you should dig a little deeper. Thailand’s Chiang Mai, for example, is home to plenty of expats, but many of them are part of the younger ‘digital nomad’ crowd and are unlikely to have children. Other areas may be popular with retired expats with children who have already grown up.
Countries such as Australia and Canada will provide plenty of public schooling opportunities, but locations such as Mexico and Indonesia are going to expect you to send your children to private school. Firstly, you need to check the school’s accreditation and make sure that it will teach the home language. You should also consider how many students attend and how far in their studies your child will be able to go. Cost is another concern; you don’t want to forget to include it in your budget.