Moving from the U.S. to another country? Fantastique! Magnífico! You are beginning a great adventure. But of course, first you need to get there with all of your belongings. Whether you are single, or moving a family and pets here are key factors and to-dos to manage when moving abroad.
First, I am sure you are wondering how much will it cost to move overseas? The cost of an international move is determined by the volume of your shipment, which is measured by either cubic feet or weight depending on the final destination of your international move.
Here are some factors that will affect the cost of your international move:
• Which country are you moving to?
• How much stuff are you moving?
• Would you like door-to-door or door-to-port service? If you're looking to save money, a door-to-port service will get your belongings to the port or airport of your choice, and you can take care of the final delivery yourself.
• Would you like packing services for your belongings?
• What type of cargo insurance will you require while your shipment is in transport?
• Will you need any storage services?
• Will you prefer an exclusive container for your shipment? Or, is the consolidation of your smaller shipment with other overseas clients' shipments acceptable?
The answers to these questions will help you manage your international move, so you can budget and formulate an overseas move that fits your needs. It is important to select a moving company that is affiliated with an established network of freight forwarders who can deliver your belongings from the United States to virtually anywhere in the world. Ask if the country you're moving to is one of their frequent routes. Make sure the U. S. moving company is experienced with international moves and can guide you through your international moving needs.
Here is the checklist of to-dos before your move abroad. "Move" through this list EARLY and alleviate the last-minute rush and any confusion as your moving date nears.
1. Ensure everyone's passports are up to date.
2. Meet with the Embassy of the country where you are moving. Make sure you have all the emigration paperwork, the correct visas for all family members and documents for pets in place. This can be very time intensive, require medical exams, vaccinations, financial statements, etc.
3. Start to inventory your belongings: Decide which items to donate, recycle, move with you and which items (if any) need to go into short-term or long-term storage. Remember, the more you take with you, the more expensive your shipping costs will be.
4. Arrange all flights and travel arrangements.
5. Sell, donate or store anything you won't need abroad such as your car.
6. Visit your doctor and pediatrician for any needed vaccinations.
7. If you have pets, do the same for them. You will need to get your pet micro-chipped by your vet and have your pet immunized against rabies and other vaccinations recommended by your vet. You should also contact a professional animal transportation company for assistance in transferring your pet.
8. Ask doctors, dentists and veterinarians for medical records. And, refill all prescriptions. Get prescriptions transferred to a new pharmacy abroad.
9. Research and secure health insurance coverage in the new country.
10. Arrange to transfer local bank accounts and notify your credit card companies. If you don't have online banking already, best to set one up. Be sure your credit cards are international friendly.
11. Arrange for moving insurance.
12. Collect and back-up of all of your important documents such as birth and marriage certificates. Take pictures of your documents and save them to your smart phone. Be sure your phone has a password for security and that you have secure backup or encrypted cloud storage. You can also email the pictures to yourself and save them on a removable flash or external hard drive, or consider using a secure cloud-based service. Don't pack them in the moving boxes, take them with you.
13. Notify the following of your change of address:
o Post office
o Social security
o Insurance companies
o Credit card companies
o Credit bureau and/or other creditors
o Employer (to forward W2s)
o Friends & family
14. Arrange to transfer children's school records.
15. Make arrangements to discontinue current providers & utilities:
o Cell phone service
o DSL/Cable/Phone line for internet access
o Electricity (check for refund)
o Gas (check for refund)
o Fuel oil
o House cleaners
o Dog walkers
o Pool Service
o Newspaper delivery & Magazines
o Gym membership
16. Update your voter registration, arrange for an absentee ballot.
17. If you plan to drive a car abroad, find out about international driving licenses.
18. Pack travel documents, passports, currency, and medicines in your luggage.
If you check off all of these items, your international adventure will be off to a brilliant start. Just remember to send loved ones a postcard, so they can be jealous of your new international lifestyle! Bon voyage!