How to Plan an International Move

Whether for a job relocation, in search of better opportunities or it has always been your dream to retire away from home, proper planning for an international move is critical. Without an excellent plan, you’ll end up stressed, have conflicts with law enforcers in the new country, and spend a lot of time and money.

First, talk to a moving company experienced in international relocations. The better if they have operations or helped others relocate to that particular country. Note that this move is more complicated and entails a lot, including customs, shipping, and immigration protocols. Read on to learn what our moving team has to say.

Start Early

You can wake up and decide to move across the street or to another town in a week, but this is not the case with an international move. You need enough time, sometimes as many as six months, to plan effectively. Do you know the new location well? You may have to visit, research, and understand the culture. What about the housing and neighborhood conditions?

Go through school reviews if that’s a concern, crime rate data, neighborhood databases, and city news. Are you retiring and need a quiet, safe place with many leisure amenities? Probably a neighborhood near a beach is ideal. If you love outdoor activities such as hiking, exploring, and mountaineering, choose the areas offering the activities.

It’s also vital to understand the customs and other regulations beforehand. Which documents and authorizations do you need to move lawfully? Understand the documentation deadlines, immunization requirements, and any policies required. Talk to the moving company for guidance on how to handle this. An immigration expert will also help.

Evaluate What to Take With You

It’s not possible to move with everything you own. You’ll have to decide what to sell, give away, and what to ship to the new country. Evaluate the value of each item and whether it’s cheaper or readily available in the new location. For instance, shipping your family car may be more affordable than buying a new one.

Consult your family as well. There are likely items they have an attachment to that they would want to move with. Children may want to keep a special toy, blanket, or gadget. These items comfort and reassure kids trying to get around a new environment.

As you evaluate the items, consider the available space in the new location and budget. You can also store some valuables locally, especially when the move is temporary. Talk to the movers about shipment after deciding what to take with you. Let the company professionally pack the items for maximum safety.

Remember that each country has its unique set of custom processes and documentation. Some items may require a lengthy approval process before shipping, while others are simply not allowed. For instance, in countries with strict religious rules, you’ll find it harder to ship specific items. Firearms are also more challenging to travel with anywhere worldwide.

Understand What the Moving Company Offers

Competence, experience, and organization are at the top of the list when qualifying an international moving company. The right company makes a move fulfilling, fast, and worth your money. Other than packing and shipment, what else do they offer? Will they help you prepare the documents, provide door-to-door services, affordable costs, and keep to the timeline?

Request a free estimate or talk to the company’s representative to further understand their service range. If you plan to pack independently, offer a detailed list or inventory of items in each box. This enables the moving company to prepare the documents and go through the customs process faster and stress-free.

Consider the Healthcare Options Available

Healthcare may be different in the international location. You may have to purchase international health insurance or make new arrangements with your employer. If you have a condition that requires frequent medical attention, research available healthcare professionals in the new location. Also, refill any medications and get an updated health history from your doctor.

Choosing a Move Date

Because of how complicated and long an international move is, choose the date wisely. Check the weather conditions locally and internationally. It’s easier to move when it’s not too cold, rainy, or hot.  Professional movers can give you an ideal schedule. Other considerations are work and school schedules and the availability of the moving company.

Flexibility prevents a rushed and stressful move. For instance, choosing to move just after school break gives you ample time to relocate and get used to the new neighborhood. After choosing the date, here’s a checklist to keep track of things:

  • Confirm the moving date with the movers
  • Finalize last-minute paperwork
  • Purchase items needed in transit, such as medications and foodstuffs
  • Notify utility and other service companies of your relocation
  • Make a copy of all the critical documents
  • Confirm any travel arrangements, such as flight availability
  • Change address and set up mail forwarding service

An international move is complicated and involves a great deal of planning. Talk to an experienced mover and immigration experts. Start the process early to avoid last-minute surprises. Most importantly, research the new location, and consider your needs and preferences.

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