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10 Things to Know Before Moving Internationally

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Moving to a new country can be a daunting task, and there will be many barriers that you will need to overcome. Besides the possible language barrier, you might also need to get over a cultural barrier. You're also probably worrying about how to move internationally. To make things less stressful, we compiled the top ten things to know before moving internationally.

1. How do you find a reliable international mover?

The first thing you should look for when looking at international movers is to see if they are members or affiliates with the following:
  • Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux (FIDI) is a quality insurance federation for international moving
  • Registered International Mover Certification (RIM) is a certification provided by the American Moving and Storage Association
  • Overseas Movers Network International (OMNI)
  • Registered as an ISO 9002 certified company
  • Licensed with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
  • Positive ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
If you need more info on finding a reliable international mover, check out this article.

2. How do international movers determine the cost of your move?

International movers determine the cost of your move based on:
  • Weight of your belongings
  • Distance that you are traveling
  • Mode of transportation
  • Any delicate or specialty items

When getting estimates, international mover may come to your house to survey your belongings to give you an accurate estimate on the cost. If your destination has a difficult route to go to, it will cost extra.

The method that you ship your stuff will also influence the price. Shipping by ship will be your cheapest option, while shipping by air will be the most expensive. A truck will most likely carry your belongings for the beginning and end of your trip.

3. Do international moving companies provide storage?

Some international mover companies do provide storage but at an extra cost. The cost of this storage depends on the amount of belongings you want to be stored and the amount of time they will remain in storage.

4. Will international moving companies ship a car?

You can ship your car internationally, but it will most likely be a different company than the one shipping your furniture. When shipping your cars overseas, be sure that you are in compliance with customs and the Federal Maritime Commission.

5. What are some ways to save money when moving abroad?

One of the easiest ways to save money when moving abroad is to be patient with the moving process. If you need your furniture at your new place overseas in a rush, you are going to have to pay a pretty penny. If you can wait a little to have your belongings at your new place, you can ship your stuff via ship and save some money.

Another way to save money is to take advantage of the exchange rates, some days will the exchange rate will work in your favor while others it will not. The key to saving money when moving abroad is to wait it out.

6. How can you protect your belongings when moving internationally?

You should be extra careful while packing your belongings for an international move. If you plan on shipping your items by air or sea, they will experience a bumpy ride. To prepare for that, be sure to carefully pack everything with packing peanuts, Styrofoam, bubble wrap and other protective matters.

You should look into having the movers pack away your stuff; they are professionals who have the right equipment. They will make sure that your belongings are safe and secure, even creating custom wooden crates to minimize damage. You can also look into travel insurance to provide coverage for your belongings.

7. What type of insurance is best for moving abroad?

The best type of insurance when moving abroad is travel insurance. The reason travel insurance is so well respected is because health insurance doesn't apply to you once you leave the United States. Travel insurance will provide coverage for medical emergencies, flight delays, lost luggage and trip cancellations.

8. How can you find out what the customs regulations are?

Find out the customs regulations by checking the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. You should search the regulations of the country you are moving to before declaring items incorrectly.

Food, pets and medication are the biggest violations travelers make when moving internationally:

  • Food for personal use is generally admissible but consult the website for recent exclusions
  • Domestic animals, like cats and dogs, are usually allowed but require paperwork and an examination
  • Some animal breeds are prohibited from entering certain countries altogether
  • Prescription medication and medical devices will need their original packaging and a doctor's note

9. When should you exchange currency during an international move?

The best time to exchange currency is when you arrive at your destination. The exchange rate is often changing, so sometimes it is best to wait to get most bang for your buck. Your bank and account and credit cards will also need to be changed, or you will be charged international fees for use.

10. When do you change your address when moving to another country?

You want to let both the government you currently reside in and the government that you are moving to (at least) two weeks in advance that you are changing your address. Since moving out of the country usually isn't a spur of the moment thing, you might want to let both governments know a month ahead of time.

There are certainly a lot of things you have to do before moving to another country, but that should be expected when making such a drastic change. While it may take a while to get adjusted to life in your foreign home, preparing yourself well in advance can only make the transition easier.

Nicole Schurott  Posted by Nicole Schurott on September 28, 2018

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