The thought of moving round the corner is bad enough, but what about when you gotta relocate overseas? Particularly if this is a first for you, the likelihood of running into some sort of relocation nightmare is unfortunately quite high! Luckily, we’ve gathered these handy, real-life tips to help you out. Read on, and ensure your move overseas goes as smoothly as possible. Take a look!

Pack well, but not too well

33937180_sAs soon as you know you’re moving, make an inventory of your current belongings. Decide what you need and what you could do without. De-clutter! If possible, get a floor plan of your new home to make this process easier. Obviously the less stuff you have to take with you, the easier the move. Make a packing schedule, and stick to it. Don’t pack too well! Set aside a room for items that are not to be included in the shipping inventory, such as sentimental stuff and hard drives with personal information. Clearly label these “do not pack”. Retain access to all important documents, like academic records, medical records, birth certificates, lists of important phone numbers, wills, marriage certificates, passports and work visas. Digitally back up all important documents.

Decide how to transport your stuff

By air or by sea? It depends on your budget and what you need to lay your hands on the moment you arrive. Do your research into the various costings. In short, the stuff that you think is critical to have with you when you arrive should go via air, while anything you don’t need straight away is likely better to go by sea.

Choose an international moving company

Do this as early as possible. Research potential companies well. Select companies with plenty of proven experience and good referrals. Obtain quotes (generally free) from at least three companies. It’s a good idea to select a company that will visit you prior to booking. This way, you get an expert opinion on the volume of your goods, and can discuss customs requirements in person.

Ensure your paperwork is perfect

If you are organising immigration yourself, then you need to pay extremely close attention to the required paperwork. It’s recommended to contact an immigration lawyer or visa arragnement agency to help you do this. Read up well on the paperwork requirements. Know when your deadlines for submissions are, how long the forms will take to process and all rules applicable to the importation of your household goods into your new country of residence.


Think about the sort of auto insurance policy you will need overseas. Will you require a special licence? Contact your health care insurance and life insurance providers where applicable to discuss what’s covered where, for how long. Also, be sure to insure the move itself!

Bank accounts

Do you research early and be aware of what documents you’ll need to open accounts in your new country.

Timing of move

Wherever possible, choose the timing of your move carefully. Relocation services are the busiest at the beginning and end of every month. Know when your new country’s holidays are, and avoid them. Bear in mind, summer is generally busier than winter as far as international relocations are concerned.


32857819_sIf you have pets requiring relocation, get on to this as early as possible. They’ll need shots and paperwork. Some countries require animals to be quarantined for a considerable period of time upon arrival. There are specialist companies providing pet relocation services.