Currently, international mobility is common. Living abroad requires adaptation to the new culture, and adaptation outcomes are influenced by various socio-cultural factors. The literature examining these factors is vast but highly specialized. This article reviews studies on adaptation in various groups of cross-cultural travelers to identify the social and cultural contextual antecedents that have been overlooked in each of the specialized research areas. Our review reveals three distinct literature fields: on expatriates and their spouses, on international students, and on first-generation migrants. Each of them conceptualizes adaptation in a different manner. The literature on expatriates is pragmatically oriented and centered on the work context, which translates into a preference for variables that can be easily linked to expatriate work outcomes (socio-cultural adaptation, work-related antecedents). In contrast, the literature on migrants focuses on psychological outcomes of adaptation and tends to understudy factors related to the overall efficacy of migrants’ functioning within the host society. The literature on international students is the most eclectic and diverse, both conceptually and empirically, but lacks a common direction. We discuss the differences between these three literature groups in detail and formulate several recommendations for future research.