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Tips on Moving Internationally

Relocating to another country or returning back home after a stint internationally is complex, sometimes confusing and not the expertise of most families.  It is easy to imagine the stress levels being knocked out of the ball-park when moving internationally! There’s so much to consider – and you’ll definitely need the assistance of an experienced international moving company to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Consider the following international moving tips when planning your move:

1) Choose an international mover with a solid reputation

The logistics of moving house internationally are extremely complex – from arranging shipping, co-ordinating export and import documentation, to many other complicated considerations. A reputable international moving company such as Isaac’s Moving & Storage will be familiar with all processes and guide you through the move. In addition, an experienced mover will be aware of any extra precautions that need to be taken when making an international move.

2) What to look for in an international mover:

International movers work in partnerships – the company you hire must have a partner in your destination country who will provide service there – movers who are part of an international consortium like FIDI or IAM will have the connections with reputable providers around the globe to guarantee good service.

A good international mover will be aware of customs procedures and paperwork and understand what is necessary to have your belongings pass from one country to another smoothly.

They will pack your possessions professionally so that they are well protected for the long international transport. They will also disassemble and reassemble household items such as furniture and beds.

The best international services will offer door to door delivery right to your new home and will take care of all the steps between (and there are many!).

3) Get your papers in order and make copies

Moving internationally involves a great deal of organization and paper-work. Get your visas and passports in order early, and speak to your international mover about any additional paper work that you may require. Make sure you have birth-certificates, marriage licenses, vaccination records, school records and other family records and if necessary, have them translated and notarized before you leave. Scan all important documents and save them on your computer for easy access, and back them up to the cloud.

4) Take the opportunity to de-clutter

When you’re moving house to a different country, the shipping alone can get very expensive. Taking your entire household with you may not be feasible. Go through your home and make a list of all your furnishings and possessions you want to take and put the rest in storage. Be practical – it may be better to buy certain items when you arrive in your new country and there may be items you don’t really need!

5) Keep it Simple

Some items, like vehicles may be more problematic to ship and import. If you plan on bringing a vehicle to another country, you must check their laws governing the import of foreign vehicles. Even if your vehicle can become legally registered and insured, does that country have the necessary services to regularly maintain it? Think of things like oil filters, brake pads, headlight bulbs…the products specifically for your vehicle may be hard to find.

6) Practicalities

Everyday conveniences like your mobile phone, bank account and healthcare coverage becomes a little more complicated when you move to another country. To make your transition a little easier, check out international plans with your current phone service provider to cover the first month or two, take out travel insurance until you get local coverage, and find out if your bank has a local affiliate or partner as this will make things like ATM withdrawals or money transfers easier without racking up enormous fees. This will give you time until you find service providers in the country you’re moving to.

Your employer will probably offer you local healthcare and other services and check with your local colleagues for recommendations about providers that are most friendly to foreign residents.

7) Bring Money

In many countries, you don’t want to arrive without some cash in the local currency, as odds are, taxis, stores and restaurants are not going to take money from your home country and may not accept your credit cards. Find out in advance where is best to exchange currency, Airports are notorious for low exchange rates.

Make sure you estimate your initial expenses and have funds accessible to use. You don’t want to run out of funds to pay the expenses before you have figured out all the local issues.

8) Use the Orientation Visit to get Organized

While the primary purpose of this trip is to give you and your family a glimpse of daily life in your host country, you can use this time to make inquiries about things like banking, cell phones, doctors, schools and much more, making the eventual move much smoother.

9) Speak to Other Expats

For a smooth international relocation, it can be helpful to ask returning expats about their transition experience. Seek out their international relocation tips, especially with regard to moving children abroad.

10) Take some basic language training

Being able to understand basic greetings, prices, directions and customs will reduce the stress so if your destination speaks a language you and your family are not familiar with, take time to learn some before your move.

11) Join online discussion communities

Many forums including on LinkedIn, Facebook, and dedicated relocation forums are valuable places to find information and advice. An example may be a car swap rather than the hassle of having to sell or ship yours or buy a new car when you arrive.

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