1: Establish a Budget
If you’re moving as part of a military or corporate relocation, you’ve probably already discussed the budget with your employer. However, if your relocation costs are not going to be reimbursed by your company, you need to sit down and formulate a budget. Since moving abroad involves additional logistics when compared to a domestic move, make sure you take a few additional things into consideration:
- Storage: International moves sometimes mean a large lag between the time you move out of your old place and departing for your new home. For example, if you know you’re moving abroad in a matter of weeks or months, you’d likely forgo re-signing your lease for another year or might proceed with getting your house sold. In the downtime, before your stuff gets loaded into a shipping container, you may need to factor in additional expense for storing your things. On average, a 200-square foot storage unit costs in the ballpark of $150-200/month.
- Documentation and Taxes: You may have to pay fees like custom clearance charges, taxes or duties on your shipment depending on where you are moving.
- Shipping: The biggest expense of your move will be the actual transport of your belongings from your house/storage unit to the shipping container, and ultimately to your final destination. The actual price varies wildly depending on where you are moving from and to.
- Travel: Don’t forget to factor in the expense of you and your family traveling to your next destination. Flights, hotels, and meals out can definitely add up.
2: Establish Your Timeframe
The earlier you can establish your timeline, the better, since international moves require a lot of organization and coordination. Most international carriers recommend booking your move at least 8-12 weeks out to ensure that all necessary paperwork can be completed in time for your move. Keep in mind that while you might be able to hop on a plane and be to your new home quickly, it can take your belongings as long as 4-6 weeks to make their way to you, especially if they are being transported by boat.
3: Book a Mover
Once you’ve honed in on your timeline, you’ll need to shop for a mover that works with your budget and timeframe. When you shop for a mover using the Great Guys quote generator, you can enter your information just once and receive quotes from multiple international moving companies, saving you both time and money. When moving companies bid for your business, you could save hundreds or even thousands off of your international relocation.
4: Start Packing!
Preparing for an international move is not something you want to procrastinate about. As soon as you’ve confirmed that you are in fact moving, it’s time to get started on those moving to-dos. In addition to the typical out-of-state moving checklist, there are a few additional considerations specific to international moves that you’ll want to consider:
- Book your transportation and any temporary housing you may need
- Gather documentation: Make sure you get all of your important paperwork in order prior to your move. This includes applying for passports and visas, and gathering up any other relevant documentation like school and medical records, finances, etc. You’ll also want to look into getting a new driver’s license in your destination country and making sure your legal affairs are in order.
- Get your final medical checkups done, including filling any prescription that you may need since it could be awhile before you’re able to do so again.
- Set up an international bank account and ensure that you’ll have access to needed funds once you land abroad.