6 strategies to help make your overseas move a success

November 25, 2014

Moving overseas without a hitch is all about the planning: at least two months worth. Still, hiccups happen. Here are 6 strategies to help make your overseas move a success.

6 strategies to help make your overseas move a success

1. Consider why you're moving

Before leaving for your new home, think long and hard about what you plan to gain from moving overseas.

  • Transporting goods by air and boat is rather expensive; you will only stand to gain from a move overseas if it's what you really need and want.

2. Organize your paperwork

Next, make sure all papers are in order. This includes the documents you need to furnish as well as applications and forms to fill out for travelling.

  • Your embassy will point you in the right direction. They will also help guide you when it comes to the resources needed to meet customs requirements for legally entering the new country.

3. Do some research to avoid hassles

Take time to enquire about the different services offered by companies specialized in international and overseas relocation.

  • Companies catering to international moves have certain obligations with regard to their clients, and are familiar with the customs procedures of different countries.

4. Find out the best transport methods

For example, personal belongings will be packed in wooden or aluminum containers, depending on the nature of the items.

  • Reusable plastic containers are also available from several moving companies.
  • Be sure to ask about the best transport method for your belongings, fragile or not, to ensure they arrive intact and on time.

5. Explore your options – airfreight or by boat?

You can choose whether to move your items by airfreight or boat.

  • While air transport is more expensive, it’s preferred for shipping parcels and packages or for moving the contents of a small apartment.
  • People who have more than a few isolated objects and furniture to move would seriously benefit from renting a private or shared container on a boat.

6. Plan when your belongings will arrive

Finally, note that transit takes time.

  • Items traveling by air will arrive quickly.
  • Goods transported by boat may take a few weeks to arrive.
  • Wait times differ depending on the destination country.

Even if all of your belongings arrive long after you do, ensure you have the means to carry out all of your daily activities like clothes for work, pots and pans for cooking and toys for the children.

Save money

Moving overseas can be an expensive undertaking. To help you save money and avoid problems:

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of a "declaration of value". This is a list showing the approximate total value of each item you bring with you. In case of damage or loss, you'll need this to be adequately compensated.
  • If you're moving for work, check with your boss to know what percentage of your moving expenses are covered by your company.
  • Select the date of your move strategically. Transportation fees are always highest during the holidays or during other busy periods.
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