Moving is a big deal, no matter the context. There’s always a lot of complexity to any organized cross-country move. There’s a lot to consider. Now magnify that complexity tenfold to get an idea of just how difficult an international move can be. Relatively speaking, moving yourself overseas is easy. It’s moving your belongings that might just prove a little bit harder.
Mesa Moving and Storage is here to make your move as stress-free as possible. So here are the seven most important questions to ask before moving your belongings internationally.
1. Is This Essential?
It might seem like common sense. But when you’re preparing your belongings for transport overseas, it pays to keep things simple. By exercising a little bit of discretion beforehand, you can save yourself money, heartache, and stress. When you’re sorting through your personal effects, ask yourself, “Do I really need to take this with me?” before you pack it. Consider selling or storing items that you don’t need so that you and your belongings can travel light.
2. How Long Will I Be There?
Is your trip going to be short-term? Alternatively, will it be long-term or even permanent? If you are moving for job-related reasons, is your position contract-based or temporary? To know how to correctly proceed with moving your belongings overseas, you have to know how long you’ll be living abroad for. Your answer will give you a better idea of how much you need to get rid of. Also, it will help you consider options like paid storage to keep precious non-essential items safe until you move back.
3. What Are the Costs Involved?
It pays to do some research before jumping into an international move. Obviously, there will be shipping costs to consider, depending on how you choose to send your belongings. But you should also consider whether there are:
- Any licensing fees.
- Additional taxes or duties on the items you intend to ship.
- Hidden transport costs to and from the port or airfield once your belongings arrive.
4. Should I Get Insurance for the International Move?
Whether by sea, land, or air, you are about to send your personal property across a long distance in someone else’s care. If the items have any level of value, then you should consider buying some type of transport insurance before sending them.
5. What Documentation Do I Need?
In order to successfully ship your items abroad, you will need a number of different documents. To start, you will need a packing list that catalogs all the items you’re shipping. Include each item’s weight and dimensions on this list. If this document is missing or filled out improperly, your belongings may get held up at customs. You may also need to fill out a terms and conditions form. This will state any additional particulars about your cargo, depending on the country you send it to.
You will also need your passport or another form of photo ID for every step of an international move. One last requirement is something called a bill of lading. This establishes proof of ownership so you can take receipt of your cargo.
6. What Are the Local Laws?
Before shipping your belongings, it is in your best interest to study up on the local laws for the country that you are heading to. Most countries share common restrictions. For example, you can’t transport liquids, food, tobacco, alcohol, live animals, or explosives to most countries. But it may be worthwhile to make sure that nothing else that you are transporting will get flagged by customs upon arrival.
7. How Are You Going to Ship It?
If you are moving to a country that shares a border with your current country, transporting items by roadway is an option. But if you will be going a longer distance, consider either sea or air transport. Both have their pros and cons, as well as their own associated costs.
With sea transport, for example, you may be faced with the decision of sending your belongings FCL or LCL. These acronyms stand for full container load and less than container load, respectively. LCL presents a cheaper option if you have fewer items to ship. But it might not be available in every case. It is worthwhile to evaluate the advantages of each method before choosing.
Find Help for Your International Move with Mesa Moving and Storage
There is a lot to consider when preparing for an international move. From costs to logistics, everything may seem overwhelming at first. Mesa Moving and Storage has the experience and resources necessary to help you plan your international move. We can also help make your relocation as stress-free as possible. We partner with more than 1,000 shipping centers in 180 countries to give you the widest network of global moving services available. Please contact us today to plan your international relocation.