Five Tips to Moving Internationally

By Jessica Socheski, 20 January, 2015

Moving internationally, whether for a short time or more permanently, is a big ordeal. While it is exciting and adventuresome, there is quite a bit of planning that needs to be done in order for the process to happen as smoothly as possible. Instead of falling victim to the complications of international moving, here are five tips to get you prepared for what’s ahead:


1. Professional Moving Company

Moving internationally is a time consuming process. Unless your shipment is very minimal, it is more than likely your items will be shipped by ocean. Typically this means your shipment will be placed in a large metal container, loaded by a crane onto the ship, and stacked several containers high. Plus, there will be shifting in the containers while out at sea. If you have not packed everything properly, there could be some damaged items.


Hiring an international moving company like North American will give you some peace of mind that your items will be packed correctly and protected. Additionally, because mistakes do occur, an international moving company can provide you with shipping insurance.


2. Get Organized

While staying organized is a wise idea for a move across town, staying organized for an international move is crucial. If mistakes occur, such as shipping the wrong boxes overseas and leaving the right ones in a storage container here in the states, it will be a huge hassle to correct that mistake.


Ahead of time, separate out everything that is going with you, what will be staying behind, and all the information that needs to go on your person. Separate out all items that cannot be packed, such as passports, important documents, irreplaceable heirlooms, or medications.


Remove any hazardous materials that cannot be included in your shipment, such as paint, aerosol cans, or propane tanks to save yourself the stress of having to deal with the problem on moving day.


3. Communication

Stay in communication as much as possible. Keep a phone line you will have access to connected through the time of your departure. Check your email constantly, and download international communication apps. In case anything goes wrong, you will be well connected to communicate about the problem.


If possible, give the moving company contact info of someone in the US should a problem arise while you are in transit.


4. Time

When it comes to moving, things notoriously run behind schedule. Do not book a flight the same day the moving company is coming to pack up. Leave at least one day in between your scheduled flight and the date the movers are coming to pack up as a buffer.


5. New House Rules

Moving to a different country means learning a new culture and a new set of house rules. Be sure to review any regulations the country has on importing goods, as some countries prohibit the import of certain goods like firearms and alcohol. Check with the US Embassy to get a complete list.


When moving internationally, use these tips to help you stay prepared so that your move will be as stress-free as possible.


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