Planning an exciting international move from California, and want to do it on a budget? Everyone wants to save money where they can, and then they can use it to explore the new country.
Here’s how to avoid paying an arm and a leg when moving internationally.
DO YOU REALLY NEED THAT?
Do you really need to bring that huge juicer?
Now’s the perfect time to downsize, so that it costs less to transport it all abroad. Toss, donate or even sell stuff to add to your travel fund.
When you’re moving with electrical items, make sure they will work with the voltage where you’re going. If not, you’ll need a transformer.
TAKE WHAT’S HARD TO BUY WHERE YOU’RE GOING
Do some online research on what Americans struggle to buy there.
If you have larger than average feet for example it will be hard to buy shoes in Japan. So take enough with you. Alternatively, shop now while you can shop around for bargains.
Do you have very sensitive skin? It may be worth just bringing that economical face wash that took you forever to find. It will save you time and money when you get there.
CONSIDER STORAGE FOR YOUR INTERNATIONAL MOVE
How long are you going for?
Six months? A year? If you’re going for a limited time, get a quote for storage instead of moving all your belongings.
Especially if you are flying. Do you really want to fly all your belongings across the world and back again? Storage is often more economical as well as way more convenient. And don’t forget storage for your vehicles if you’re leaving California for a while.
BOOK OFF-PEAK FLIGHTS
Plane tickets can be super expensive, especially around the holidays or in the middle of summer. If it’s possible, see if you can move when the kids are at school.
Try keeping an eye on a price comparison site for flights over a week or so. And ideally, do this more than a month before you travel. That way you’ll be able to get the best bargains as they appear.
PLAN YOUR ACCOMMODATION IN ADVANCE
Where are you going to stay? Hotels can be expensive so try to move into your new home with the shortest delay possible.
The earlier you start to search, the better your chance of finding a great deal on accommodation. If you don’t know the new country at all, consider using a reputable agency to help you with this.
CHECK WHAT YOU CAN TAKE THROUGH CUSTOMS
Not everything that’s legal in the US is legal elsewhere.
Prescription medicine and even some over the counter medicine may be banned or restricted where you’re going. And the laws about firearms and transporting pets are likely to be complex.
So read up in advance and avoid an expensive airport turnaround.
WEIGH YOUR BAGS BEFORE YOUR INTERNATIONAL MOVE
We always recommend just taking a small carry-on bag for your flight. It will be much more comfortable to carry around the airport than a huge case. And airlines will take a small carry-on bag for free.
PAY FOR OVERWEIGHT BAGGAGE IN ADVANCE
If you do need to check in a heavier bag while you’re flying, be sure to pay for it online before you get to the airport.
Airlines like to charge eye-watering amounts for every extra surprise pound they have to take in baggage. And when you’re at the airport there won’t be anything you can do about this.
Don’t let them charge you hundreds extra for bags when you’ve already paid them hundreds for the flight.
DON’T RISK LOSING IT ALL
There are many moving companies out there. But beware the too-good-to-be-true cheap ones.
Why? They’re often run by criminals who are only too keen to get your cash, only to illegally dump your belongings after your international move.
Look for an economical moving company like Air1 Moving & Storage that is licensed and has good reviews. Make sure they’re insured, so that your belongings are insured too.
TAKE OUT COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE
How much would it cost to replace your valuables out of pocket?
When you’re watching your budget, moving insurance is key. With moving insurance you can relax, knowing you won’t have any sudden emergency costs.
SHIP BY SEA
Seeing the world?
If you’re not in a rush for your stuff, ship by sea. It’s way less expensive than flying all your belongings over.
Likewise if you’re going to Mexico or Canada, moving trucks are a better bet for your budget than flights.
GET HIRED BEFORE YOUR INTERNATIONAL MOVE
Are you moving for work? In that case, see whether you can get a job before you go. It will save a lot of dead time in the new country.
Then when you’re working you’ll have the income stream to really enjoy life there.
WANT TO DO SOME GOOD IN THE WORLD?
A volunteer program could turn out to be cheaper than traveling around and staying in hotels. Do you have a skill that could help people where you’re going? Teaching languages such as English or Spanish are popular volunteering jobs.
Volunteering will also enable you to get to know the locals in a way that you don’t if you’re a tourist.
EAT LIKE THE LOCALS
A little internet research can go a long way when moving internationally on a budget.
In large, touristy cities especially, there is usually no shortage of bad, expensive places to eat. Check out the online reviews, especially those written by locals.
CALL AIR1 MOVING & STORAGE FOR SEAMLESS AND ECONOMICAL INTERNATIONAL MOVES
Moving internationally is an exciting new chapter in your life. And one that doesn’t need to break the bank.