Things to bring when moving to the United Kingdom
Updated last year

Are you concerned about what you can bring to the UK during your relocation? Many expats don’t really give this a long thought before travelling. However, it is actually one of the most important things to worry about, so take your time to think about it to save some time and money in the long run.  

Below are some important factors to consider when planning your move.

The length of the trip
How far away are you from the UK?
Are you planning to move back to your home country?
What you will be doing in the UK
When you will be travelling (the season)

Many first timers or habitual hoarders always make the mistake of bringing their entire wardrobe and kitchen equipment with them when moving to the UK. Their loads become extremely heavy and expensive. If you are planning to be in the UK for a season only, you just have to bring the appropriate clothing.

If, on the other hand, you will be returning to your home country every six months, proper planning is recommended. This involves having a small amount of clothing for the next season with you, and you can replenish once you're back to your country.

Since UK citizens love shopping and good bargains, you can be sure to find anything you need. Most good available there will match your budget, so you don't have to buy bulk stuff before travelling to the UK. Online shopping also makes it easier to buy goods in the comfort of your home.

If you will be moving to the UK for a very long time or permanently and you need to bring all your belongings, you will need to sort them out. Make sure you are not carrying anything that will not be of use to you in the long run. You can sell things that you won't need or donate them to a local charity so as to cut down your relocation costs.

What is different in the UK?


The United Kingdom is one of the few countries with G plug sockets and does not accept any other type of international plug socket. Keeping that in mind, you can buy either a UK adapter or a universal adapter which is more economical in the long run, especially when you are planning to move abroad in the future.

Your electrician in your home country can also help you fit the UK socket on your electrical items if you are planning to stay in the UK for a very long period.


Almost all expats are used to certain cosmetic products in their countries, but it's not guaranteed they will find it in the UK. You can still check their availability in the UK before packing extra shaving cream, shampoo, or hair serum in your bag. This will help you save space and money. Moreover, there are cosmetic products that you can buy only in the UK, and they can be as good as those you're used to, if not better.


It is highly recommended that you check the import rules for your country when travelling to the UK. It would be heart-breaking to pack your usual stuff only to see them being seized by the Customs Department. Find more information in the article Customs formalities in the UK.

Suitcase, removal van or containers

Planning your move to the UK really depends on your length of stay. If you intend to stay for a long period and you would like to bring your belongings, consider booking a removal van or a container. Also, keep in mind that it can take several weeks for your stuff to arrive in the UK. can help you in finding relocation companies. In all cases, make sure that the company you intend to hire is accredited and well rated. Find more information in our article about relocating to the UK.


Make sure to check import rules from your home country to the UK so that your container won't be stuck for weeks upon arriving in the UK.

Packing a suitcase has always been the easiest way to move around. It is advised if you intend to stay for a short period in the United Kingdom or planning to move your belongings in different stages.

Tips for packing your suitcase

Sort your belongings out: Sort things out in three groups 'yes', 'maybe' and 'no'. Your aim is to bring the yes pile only, and half of the maybe pile if you are strong enough.

Roll your clothes up: if you wish to avoid creasing your clothes and want to fit maximum belongings in your suitcase roll, roll them up instead of folding.

Secure fragile objects: fragile belonging should be in the middle of the suitcase at all times. You can also use bubble wraps or wrap them in your clothes.

Choose the right suitcase: buy a suitcase with several compartments. This will make it easier to separate fragile things from other belongings. Finding your things upon arrival will also be easier.

Useful links:

UK import rules
Recommended suitcases
Tips on removal companies
Universal adapters
Ten reasons to pack light

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.