How to leave Denmark for a year

It may sound quite simple, but we actually encountered quite a few obstacles we had not imagined upfront.

We of course only know this for Denmark and our specific situation – but no matter your country of origin we guess you will need to check up on the same things. But our first and most important advice is to start early – as it does take some time to figure it all out!

Our general source of information was the “moving to another country” on borger.dk. However, we also spent quite a few hours on the phone with helpful people.

Apartment/house

Starting to plan our trip we quickly realized that we needed to reduce our fixed monthly costs. An easy way would be to get rid of paying rent. Therefore, we decided to rent out our apartment.

As we live in a Danish housing association there are quite some rules regarding renting out your apartment, and we had to apply for this. To apply we needed documentation that we would only be temporarily away. For us, we ended up using Ulrik’s “unpaid leave contract” from his job to document that we would be back in 1 year.

Our best tips to you:

  • Check out the rules for renting out your apartment. If you do not own your house/apartment you need to check with your landlord or housing association.
  • Make sure to sign a formal contract with your tenant. Our housing association required this anyway, but it is also good security for you.
  • Make sure to check-up on the rules regarding tax. To us it ended up being easier that our tenant paid the housing association directly instead of paying us.
  • Start in due time. For us it took quite some time to get the right documents in place and find a good tenant.

Address

Where will you have your registered address (folkeregisteradresse) while you travel?

It was not something that we had spend much time thinking about, so it was also a big surprise to us, when we figured that we are not allowed to have a registered address in Denmark because we are abroad for more than 6 months. This is given by the CPR law. What we ended up figuring that we need to do was:

  • As we leave Denmark for more than 6 months we need to be registered as “moved out of Denmark”, and register with the first country we visit.
  • Redirect our “contact address” to our parents – to receive mail there.
  • When we get back to Denmark we need to be registered as moved back again (within 5 days).

Insurance

When you think about insurance and travel, the first thoughts goes to a great travel insurance. But also, we figured that we still needed a home insurance (indboforsikring), as most of our stuff are not with us, and we still have an apartment full of furniture in Denmark. Also, our liability insurance (ansvarsforsikring) is part of our home insurance.

So, we thought, we are just going to pay the insurances and then everything is fine. However, there turned out to be a twist to this: Our current insurance company will not insure us if we do not have a registered address (folkeregisteradresse) in Denmark – and we are not allowed to have this as explained above.

Therefore, we ended up moving to another insurance company, who would also insure us and our stuff while being abroad. We ended up with Tryg where we received a great service setting up the right insurances for our situation.

Another issue we encountered is that many insurances have a limit to the amount you can get if your luggage is stolen during your entire trip. For us the standard amount was so low that we had not even insured half of our stuff – and as you have all your stuff in 1 backpack when you travel there is a likelihood of loosing everything in one inattentive second. Therefore, we had to pay for raising the amount of luggage that was insured.

The final thing we realized that we needed to be aware of was the requirements from the insurance company if they are to pay us anything. For example when our stuff is in our tent we need to lock it, so if somebody wants to steal our stuff, they need to “break into” the tent. Also, our insurance company requires us to be able to document the price and age of our stuff – so we have simply went through our old receipts and took a picture of them. That way we should be able to document it while on the road and get some money to buy new things in case it gets stolen.

Our best recommendation to you is:

  • Check your insurance policies – if they state that you need to have a Danish registered address (folkeregisteradresse) you need to check with them if they will insure you. It may be a problem also with other insurances than your travel insurance.
  • Make sure your travel insurance covers the full trip – some only covers trips up to 30 or 60 days
  • Make sure the amount you can get if you loose all your luggage matches the value of your luggage – or expect to pay yourself 🙂
  • Make sure you fulfill the requirements of the insurance company – else you risk just paying for insurance without being able to get any money back if your stuff gets stolen or damaged.
  • Make sure that the travel insurance covers all the activities you plan to do – not all travel insurances covers mountaineering, bungee jumping, rock climping or whatever you plan to do.

Tax

Remember that you need to contact the Danish tax authorities (SKAT) when you leave Denmark. When we did so it turned out that there was nothing really we should do as we do not earn money while we are abroad. But better safe than sorry 🙂

Mobile phone subscription

After a few days on the road we learned that you cannot have a mobile phone subscription with our Danish provider Call Me. We learned this the hard way: We received an e-mail that they had cancelled our subscriptions as we no longer had an address in Denmark.

It was solved by transferring our numbers (and thereby formal responsibility of our subscriptions) to our respective fathers. It could have been done before we left Denmark, with less confusion and stress than when we did it from Malaysia. So check with your mobile subscription provider whether they will cancel you subscription if you have no Danish address.

MobilePay

If you use this Danish payment solution you need to be aware that when you have no address in Denmark you will need to prove you address outside of Denmark. To do this you need a scan of your passport, your NemID, and an official document stating your address e.g. an electricity bill. As we cannot produce the later — because we have no address outside Denmark — we had to stop using MobilePay while we are abroad.

No worries about the few last things on MobilePay. They give you a warning of something like 1 month before they close it down 🙂

Updated March 2018

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