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Tips for Moving Internationally for Cheap

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Moving abroad is expensive irrespective of the country you choose for the relocation. There are several aspects affecting the cost of an international move that can't be controlled. However, the cheapest way to move abroad is to make wise decisions at every step by following some money saving tips.

Tips for Moving Internationally for Cheap

To save your money, go through these tips on how to move internationally at a low cost.

Draw a plan for your budget

Since moving abroad with no money is not an option, you'll have to work on a plan to keep the move within your budget. Before you approach any moving company, fix your budget so you know how far you can exceed the expenditure. If you don't have a figure to start with, the overall cost of your international move will most likely surpass your spending capacity. Also, avoid any unnecessary expenses and plan the entire move keeping your budget in mind. Although you are free to make adjustments, it's better to have an idea as to what your available options are.

Compare quotes from international moving companies

First and foremost, instead of looking for the cheapest international movers, it's better to look for a company that gives you the best value for your money. After checking out at least 3-4 international moving companies, make sure to compare their quotes and go for the most suitable option. Also, look for reviews so that you can make an informed decision. The more efficient and experienced the moving company, the smoother your move will be.

Explore cost-effective shipping methods

In an overseas move, the items are either shipped by air or sea. If making an international move at a low cost is a big concern for you and there is no time constraint involved, choosing sea freight over air freight can help you bring down the cost significantly.

Furthermore, sea freight also gives you two options- Full Container Load (FCL) and Less Than Container Load (LCL). When the size of the cargo is less, you can opt for LCL and pay only for the used space thus sparing the rest of the container for some other cargo.

Make sure that you weigh all the options and get yourself acquainted with the pros and cons of all available shipping methods before making any decision.

Sell the items you don't need before your move

Selling everything you don't need is a great way of moving abroad at a cheaper rate. As the cost of shipment is determined by weight, the less you bring, the cheaper the rates. However, this doesn't mean you have to part with your most valued belongings.

For example, if you're moving to a country where it's warm a majority of the year, it's pretty likely you don't need to bring all of your jackets and coats. Go through your belongings and make a list of things you need to have and what you can live without. For the things you can live without, sell them on sites like eBay, Letgo and Facebook Marketplace to make some extra cash for your move.

Timing of your international move

The timing of your move is arguably a big factor in determining the cost of your international move. Firstly, stay clear of the peak moving season and even avoid festive occasions in your host country when planning to move abroad. Moving is usually costlier during such times. Secondly, book the moving company far in advance so you have enough time to sort everything out at home and enjoy great potential deals.

Also, if you are going to fly to the destination, it will help to keep the tickets costs low if you get the bookings done at the right time. According to, the best time to buy a plane ticket for some of the top international destinations are:

  • Canada: 66 days from travel date
  • Mexico/Central America: 70 days from travel date
  • Caribbean: 207 days from travel date
  • South America: 110 days from travel date
  • South Pacific: 197 days from travel date
  • Asia: 120 days from travel date
  • Europe: 160 days from travel date
  • Africa/Middle East: 199 days from travel date

There are also sites like Hitlist and JacksFlightClub that send you email alerts when there are cheap flight deals.

Keep your documents ready

If this is your first time moving internationally, you'll need to prepare yourself to move abroad for the first time well in advance. Make sure that you have all of the documents needed for international relocation much in advance. The expediting of last-minute passports, visas and work permits can tack hefty fees onto your move. You can save money on your international move by avoiding such a situation.

The processing period for a US passport is four to six weeks, and the renewal process can take up to 8 weeks. Processing times for visas vary greatly from country-to-country. For example, the processing time for a UK visa ranges from 24 hours to 15 workdays, but a US visa can take anywhere from 60 days to 6 months to get processed. It is common for countries to consider each applicant on a case-by-case basis, so it is recommended to apply for the documentation as early as possible in order to avoid additional charges.

Open an international bank account

Another great option to save money on an overseas move is to open an international bank account, which allows you to hold several different currencies at the same time. Moving money abroad can subject you to fluctuations in exchange rates and a myriad of transaction fees.

International bank accounts are great for managing your finances during an international move because when you do need to transfer money abroad, these bank accounts come with good exchange rates and low fees.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on October 2, 2018

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