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7 Tips for Moving Internationally on a Budget

Author: undefined Published: 9th November 2020 04:38

Moving is one of the most stressful events you have to face in your lifetime. When it comes to moving internationally, these stresses can increase ten-fold, as you leave behind friends and family, navigate complex requirements, manage costs and adapt to a new country.

You cannot do much to avoid strict international customs processes, or the struggles of culture shock. However, there are some things you can do to minimise your expenses and move internationally without breaking the bank. Here are 7 tips for moving to another country without stress and on a budget. 

1. Set your Budget

The cost of moving internationally can be expensive, especially when you uproot your life to move across the world. In order to keep costs as low as possible, the first thing you need to do is set your budget. Having a clear idea of the necessary expenses, how much you can expect to pay for them, and how much you can afford to pay, is the best way to avoid costs blowing out of control.

Contact moving and transport companies and other service providers for detailed quotes. It is usually a good idea to request at least three estimates as well as looking in to companies you are considering by checking customer reviews. Insuring your possessions for the move is also important so make sure that this is included in your budget. You should also get a quote for professional packaging and then use this to decide whether prefer to hire the service or pack everything yourself.

2. Decide what to Include in the Move

One of the critical aspects of moving is deciding what to bring to the new country. The more possessions you decide to move with you, the more you will need to pay to transport them. Therefore, it is important to organize and give priority to all the objects that accumulate throughout life: personal documents, mementos, furniture, decorative objects, books, clothing and more.

Although it may be tempting to move all of your possessions, you can save significantly by limiting the number of things you take with you. It can often be more cost-effective to take only the essentials and sentimental items, and buy everything else you need in your new home country.

3. Make a Detailed List & Report Thoroughly

How you pack your possessions for the move is important, as appropriate packing will avoid the loss or damage of items which can get very expensive. Additionally, a detailed record must be kept of all the items that you bring into the new country, as this information will be required by customs authorities at the port of entry.

It is important not to make omissions since immigrants generally have the right to enter all their belongings tax-free for one year. However, these must be duly described and declared to customs personnel to comply with local laws. Failing to do so comprehensively and honestly could expose you to hefty duty or fines.

4. Take Valuables with You

All valuables, such as legal documents, computers, personal electronic equipment, photographs, and jewellery, are best carried with you in your airline luggage. On the other hand, you should use an international moving service only for the transport of furniture, decorative objects, furnishings, books and clothes.

Although moving services are generally trustworthy and you should make sure all items are insured, it is better not to risk your valuables being lost in transit. On the other hand, you can avoid paying for excessive air luggage, by shipping most of your clothing with an international moving service.

5. Simplify Transportation Wherever Possible

A good way to save space as well as expenses can be to digitize all personal papers and photos, and transfer them to an external memory disk or save them in the cloud. Meanwhile, you can ask a friend or family member to store the originals for you back home.

Of course there are some documents you should take with you, such as academic and identity documents. In these cases, you should carry the originals with you in your hand luggage. Music is another good example of something that can be transported digitally to save space.

6. Avoid Transporting What Can Buy in your New Home

Generally speaking, it is good practice to buy as many items as you can on arrival. In some cases, this can also make more sense: for example, if you are moving to a colder climate it is usually cheaper and easier to buy winter gear at your destination.

Similarly, appliances can sometimes be better bought in your new country as they may not use the same voltage, or they may simply make the move more expensive. However, this can also be a false economy depending on the cost of furniture and other items at your new home, so be sure to check into prices and weigh this up against freight costs.

7. Check Rules and Limitations

Moving internationally involves many rules and regulations, from duty and customs limits to maximum allowable airline baggage. Having a clear picture of these limits in advance and sticking to them religiously can save you a lot of hassle, not to mention saving you financially by avoiding fines or having to pay for excess baggage.

Moving internationally can be stressful and it is important to handle the situation with good humour and optimism. Be prepared, do you research, but also be sure to maintain a positive attitude at all times!

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