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How to Prepare for an International Move

Sep 14, 2022

Moving abroad can help you reinvent yourself, award you new opportunities, and provide exciting experiences. Learn more about how much it costs to move internationally, how to hire the best international movers, and how to prepare for your moving day.

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How Much Does It Cost to Move Internationally?

Moving overseas can be a new start. Whether you are looking to start a new business, create a new lifestyle, or have more opportunities, moving abroad can be the next best thing for you.

If you plan on purchasing a one-way ticket to your new destination, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the costs associated with an international move. For example, European cost of living can make an international move more desirable — but your future cost of living shouldn’t be your only focus.

The average American homeowner can expect to pay $60,000 to $80,000 to move across the pond. This cost factors in movers, liability insurance, air or shipping freight, storage, your plane ticket, and more.

How to Hire the Best International Movers

When moving to a new country, your belongings will undergo a longer travel time, and it may even take a few months for them to get to you. Hiring trusted movers will leave you more secure in having your belongings handled for that long.

1. Start Planning in Advance

When moving internationally, you will want to prioritize getting everything in order at least six months in advance.

In general, moving from state to state can be a cumbersome process. Moving internationally is not much different. There is plenty to prepare for when moving overseas. Gathering boxes, organizing your belongings, selling or donating bulkier items, and knowing how much you can spend are just some of the few things you will want to start thinking about from the beginning.

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2. Create a Budget

One of the most important steps in hiring the best international moving company is knowing just how much you can afford.

Many people neglect visa fees when creating their budget, but depending on which new country you are moving to, this fee may be substantial. Visa fees typically aren’t required for tourists, but if you’re looking to live outside of the United States, you will have to pay the government of your new country to live there.

In addition, you will have other moving expenses such as:

  • Professional movers
  • Air or sea freight
  • Storage
  • Flight ticket
  • Hotel or Airbnb, if applicable
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Professional cleaning services

Keep in mind that short-distance moves are typically cheaper than moving internationally. This is because long-distance moves take a bit more time and effort for all parties involved.

Moreover, understanding what your chosen moving company offers and the costs associated with their offerings will help you formulate your budget. When researching international companies, look into what they offer and their costs.

3. Research Top International Moving Companies

Just selecting any moving company won’t cut it for an international move. If you know of anyone who has moved internationally before, ask them who they hired to move their belongings. Friends and family members will always be a good place to start when looking for a new moving service to hire, as they likely won’t lead you astray on a recommendation.

Another option is to conduct some of your own research. Looking for reliable and affordable movers through a search engine like Google is going to be your second best bet.

Some of our top picks for the best international moving companies of 2022 are:

All five international moving companies offer reliable and affordable services. The majority have been offering long-distance moving services for more than fifty years. They are also the most recommended international moving companies across multiple platforms.

4. Look for Liability Insurance

During an international move, your possessions have a higher possibility of getting damaged or lost. Hiring a moving company that offers liability insurance will ensure that your belongings are protected. If anything is damaged or lost during the moving process, you will be covered to get the necessary repairs or replacements taken care of.

5. Check If the Moving Company Offers Storage

Oftentimes, moving companies will offer rental storage space. This will become an additional cost to your move, but it can save you money in the long run since going through a third party to purchase storage space can get costly. More often than not, you will wind up either auctioning your storage space or shipping the belongings to your new location.

International Move Checklist

Creating a move-out checklist for your international move will help you remain organized and on track. To prepare your checklist, consider using a binder or notebook to keep everything in one place for you to reference.

Your international move-out checklist should include the following:

  • Paperwork: Make sure to have your license, birth certificate, visa fee receipt, plane ticket receipt, social security card, medical and dental records, and customs papers.
  • Passport: Have your passport updated.
  • Financial Records: Your income tax and financial statements are important to countries like Thailand. They will not let you take up residence without a comprehensive record of your finances.
  • Notify Your Bank: Before moving, let your bank know that you are moving overseas. Charges done overseas without prior approval may not go through. This can leave you in a tight financial pinch if you cannot access your bank account.
  • Health Care: Check out how the country you are moving to handles health care. You never know what will happen as you settle into your new home, and having that extra financial help can be beneficial if you get sick.
  • Postal Services: Notify the postal service that you will be moving abroad to set up a forwarding address.
  • Movers: Once you know who you will be hiring, create a list of what they offer. Keep any receipts of what you paid for, as well. This information will come in handy if anything goes awry.
  • Room-to-Room List of Belongings: Create a list of items you are taking with you per room. This will become helpful in keeping track of your belongings and logging any items that do happen to go missing during the move. Having this type of paperwork will validate any claims of damage or property loss in the event it happens.

How to Track Your Belongings in Transit

Fortunately, technology makes it easier to track your belongings in transit. International moving companies will give you a link to make it easy for you to double-check the status of your possessions as they make their way overseas.

If you notice a moving service doesn’t offer a link, it may be smart to look elsewhere. Reputable moving companies will offer you a way to track your belongings as they are in transit.

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How to Pass Customs Clearance

Having all your paperwork and passport ready and filed neatly will help you pass your customs clearance.

Customs clearance can take up to twenty-four hours to be completed and approved. Having your customs paperwork appropriately completed will ensure that you are given the all-clear to take in your possessions.

Hire a Move-Out Cleaner for Your International Move

Moving overseas is no small feat. You may have gotten everything packed and loaded onto your choice of freight, but there is still one final step you need to take care of: cleaning.

Cleaning your home before moving will give you peace of mind in leaving your old space behind. Starting your new venture satisfied that you are leaving on good terms will help you settle in faster and easier. Also, if you are a renter, you are more likely to receive your security deposit back from your landlord, giving you a little more money to go towards your move.

Hiring a move-out cleaner to do the work for you is the best way to clean before you leave. Professional cleaners will have the skill set and knowledge to have your home left in top-notch condition. Allow the professionals to handle the cleaning as you settle overseas.


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Article written by Angela Rush

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