We recently had an article published in the Yorkshire Post around our top tips for moving abroad. It can be stressful enough moving within the same town so moving to a different country can be a whole new world of form-filling and worry!
So if you are taking the plunge, here are our top tips for making the transition as smooth as possible.
Research – planning and preparation are vital. Make sure you know as much as you can about the place you’ve chosen to live. Visit expat forums, and speak to those who have done the same move. Familiarise yourself with local laws, customs and costs of living. What VISAs will you need? Some of these can take a long time to get so factor that into the timeline.
Keep the relevant people informed– make a list of all the organisations/government offices you need to inform regarding your move, such as the HMRC, and advise them of your plans. Of course you still need to do all the usual house-moving notifications too, such as Royal Mail, medical providers, and utilities.
Moving your finances– if you are planning on moving your savings/pensions or opening a new account at your chosen destination then it’s wise to speak with experts in Foreign Exchange Currency. Fully explore what impact the move will have on your pension and tax obligations.
What to pack– think long and hard about what you need to take with you. Would it be cheaper to replace over there or ship from home? Countries like the USA have different voltage supplies so most UK electrical items do not work there. Also be conscious of items that may cause delays to your consignment – for example, items used outdoors such as camping equipment or garden furniture must be extremely clean before entering Australia and these items are targeted for checks on arrival. Also avoid taking food and beverages in your consignment as these can cause delays.
Storage – are you moving abroad for the foreseeable future, or just for a limited time? It might be worth storing some of your goods whilst away, rather than go to the expense of moving them, only to have to move them back. Or some people utilise storage for a limited time period, while they get settled and find a permanent home. Bear in mind it may take over a month for your goods to reach you, so think about what you really need and when you might need it and plan accordingly!
Choosing your removal company– always use a reputable company, which is a member of the BAR and/or FIDI. Research them and narrow it down to three to provide a survey and quotation for you. If you only have a minimal amount of effects to take then the removal companies can offer what is known as a “groupage” consignment option which keeps the cost of shipping down. What this means is that your items will be consolidated with those from other clients going to the same destination. This method takes slightly longer than it would if you had your own container but the cost saving can be quite high.
Insurance– remember your personal effects can spend anything up to six weeks on the ocean before travelling by road to your final destination. It is always wise to have the correct insurance cover against any accidental loss or damage should the unfortunate happen.
Pets – if you’re planning on taking a pet, it will need to have a pet passport, and be micro-chipped and immunised well in advance of travel – and double check that the country you are moving to will accept the type of pet you have. Speak to a professional specialising in animal transportation to decide on the smoothest way to get your pet safely to your destination.
So whether you’re emigrating with family, moving for work or having a gap year, don’t let the move put you off! Contact us today or check out our international moving page and we’ll be happy to share our 40 years of experience.