7 Steps to a Stress-Free International Move

7 Steps to a Stress-Free International Move

International Move Coming Up? 7 Ways to Stress Less

Planning an international move?

With plenty of excitement and adventure, an international move also inevitably brings a fair share of undesired stress.

In fact, research has shown that moving is seen as more stressful than divorce, relationship breakdown or even starting a new job.

But that doesn’t have to be your experience. Implement the following steps to plan for a stress-free international move.

1. Begin the search for an international moving company early.

As soon as you decide to make the move, begin the process of searching for an international mover.

An international move is a big experience in your life. You need to hire a company you can trust to ensure all of your belongings make it to your destination in good shape and by the date that you need them.

Ask your friends and family for referrals. Hire a reputable mover who has been in business for a long time and has plenty of experience with international moves. You want a company that has worked with service providers overseas.

Knowing you can trust your movers to get your belongings to you in a timely manner will keep you from constantly worrying about the condition of your things.

2. Hire an experienced freight forwarder.

In addition to your international moving company, you may want to hire a freight forwarder to handle the importing and exporting of international shipments. A freight forwarder handles the entire process of the move, serving to coordinate shipping details and make the move go as smoothly as possible for you.

Serving as the middle-man between you and your moving company, freight forwarders ensure that your shipment gets from your old home to your new place of residence on time. In addition, they help to make your move stress-free by arranging your airfare, arranging the documentation you need to clear Customs and connecting you with any other services you may need, such as air, ocean and ground transport services.

When hiring a freight forwarder, make sure they have plenty of experience. Also, check that he or she is a FIFI member. You’ll also want to make sure that the freight forwarder is certified as a Registered International Mover (RIM) and is ISO 9002 Certified.

3. Pack appropriately.

Packing for an international move is more complex than moving within your own province, state or country.

With high shipping costs and long transit times, you’ll want to pack as little as you can manage with for your international move. You may also want to consider storing items that you are not ready to part with.

For international moves, furniture is a big thing to think about early on. If the home you are moving into is not furnished, it is often cheaper to buy new furniture once you are there. You can find cheap furniture on expat forums from people whose contracts have finished and are returning home.

If you shipping your furniture and you plan to sell your house in your home country, you will then need to put your furniture in storage or sell it. Either way, you will want to plan these things ahead of time.

It also helps to know what you are not allowed to take with you. Your moving company should give you a list of household goods, such as plants, foods, and flammables, that cannot be shipped internationally. You should also be aware of regulations in order to identify any materials that are prohibited in your destination country (such as liquor, firearms or ammunition).

4. Make a documentation checklist.

Determine the documents you will need upon your international move early to avoid complications at your destination. As early as possible, apply for the following applicable forms:

  • Passport
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Visa
  • Residence and work permits
  • Medical and immunisationon certificates
  • International driving permits
  • Marriage certificate

Keep these documents on you when you are moving and keep them in a waterproof bag in a fireproof safe in your home.

Getting all of the proper documentation together is a lengthy task. Start early and break them up to save yourself stress as your moving date gets closer.

5. Get the appropriate vaccinations.

Because some immunizations take a while to kick in, this is another step to take early on when you have made the decision to move internationally. Find out if any vaccines are mandatory for the country you are moving to.

If your destination does not require you to get a new vaccine, you’ll still want to ask your doctor to complete an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis booklet for you. You may need this international record of all your immunizations when applying for a visa. This will also be handy if there is a case of an epidemic and you have proof that you’ve been immunized against it.

6. Expect to pay your mover immediately.

Many international movers require payment at the completion of the load. Your shipment is then released when the payment is received. If you do not make your payment right away, your belonging will sit at the port and cost you in storage cost.

When you get your price quote from the international mover, ensure that it shows what the Destination Port Fees and Destination Terminal Handling Charges (DTHC) will be. You will need to pay them even if they are not listed in your quote, so make sure you ask what they will be. Expect them to be at in the range of $1,000-$2,000 or more, depending on the size of your shipment.

7. Pack essentials in your suitcase.

You will be living with only what you pack in your suitcase until your shipment arrives, so make sure you pack the important things you’ll need for the meantime.

Not having the things you need creates stress, and you want to enjoy your first few days at your new place of residence. Make a list for what you’ll need and check several times that you have everything you can think of.

An international move is an exciting time of your life that you don’t want to worry or stress over. Hire the right professionals and know which steps you can take care of early on. Doing so will save you from plenty of stress and allow you to truly enjoy your new adventure.

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