What is a “look and see” trip and how to prepare for it?

A “spotting trip” (or spotting trip) is a service sometimes provided by companies to singles or families moving abroad on an expat contract. The purpose of this trip is for the individual or family to see, feel and experience the country and region they may move to in the near future. Companies will provide this service only to those that have already agreed in advance to be flexible and open to such movement. Before flying to your new destination, the relocation company will contact you in collaboration with your company to discuss your personal needs and wishes regarding your future life in the host country. Your particular needs may include, for example, an apartment close to the office or near the airport, as you will be a frequent traveler in your new position, or it may include a three-bedroom house in close proximity to a high-standard international school. Your personal desires might include an ocean view and an apartment close to shopping and nightlife, or perhaps a backyard pool and a shopping center with a supermarket nearby. Whatever your needs and wishes, it is important that you do your research beforehand, so that the relocation agency can best help you. Don’t hold back when it comes to expressing your wishes. The more details you can provide, the better chance the agency can help you identify your ideal home in the future.

If you’re single, you’ll probably find it relatively easy to find a convenient time to fly to your future destination and visit your potential future office and explore housing options. If you are part of a family moving abroad, you will need to find a travel schedule that is not only convenient for everyone in the family, but also allows you to visit all the necessary facilities, such as day care centers or schools. in the right moment. A planned trip during school holidays may not reflect an accurate picture of an area, as the amount of traffic may be quite different from usual, construction work may be temporarily halted, and kindergartens and schools may be closed, or the facility will be running half empty.

A typical observation trip lasts a week. Upon arrival at your destination, or shortly after, an agent from the relocation agency will meet you at the hotel, or the place where you are staying, to discuss the week’s program. This program is naturally based on the needs and desires you have previously expressed. However, if misunderstandings have occurred, now is the time to correct them before wasting time looking at things you’re really not interested in seeing. The agent will be eager to show you as many things as possible in the shortest amount of time. If you feel the schedule is too overwhelming, feel free to cut back on scheduled activities. Just be aware that there will only be one trip to see and see!

A standard travel program to see and see may look like this:

Welcome Pack (including attraction brochures, list of helpful websites, etc.)
Presentation of the country, cost of living, intercultural tips, historical information about your host country.
Housing sampling (min. 4-5 housing options)
Visit to day care centers or schools (if applicable)
Visit to car dealerships and car ownership information (if applicable)
Familiarization tour, including supermarkets, shopping centers, restaurants, banks, sports centers, etc.

The look-and-see program generally runs a half day, giving you free time to explore on your own. You can use this time to visit tourist attractions and shops, or just wander around your preferred area to get a proper feel for the place. For those who are plagued by jet-lag, a well-deserved rest after a busy day may be top priority!

If you don’t have the option or the time available to visit your future host country, then you can make your own trip to see and see by surfing the internet, reading relevant books, watching movies and pictures of your future destination and talking to people who have lived there. . Thanks to the vast information that we have these days through the internet, chats and satellite images, etc., it is possible to acquire a very good feeling and idea of ​​a country or place that we have not yet visited in real life. .

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