Moving Overseas and Abroad

Written By

Machaela Casey
International move images

Overseas Moving

People move to other counties for different reasons. Maybe you’re temporarily relocating for work or school. Or, you’ve decided to make a long held dream come true and immerse yourself in a new culture. No matter the reason, an international move is a major life change.

A globe with moving boxes on a dolly

Remember, you’re not just traveling a far distance. You’re moving people and goods to an entirely new country, one with new laws and customs. It might seem intimidating. But, by creating a timeline and knowing how to plan, you can make moving abroad a breeze.

Establish Your Timeline

Ideally, you’ll have 3-6 months to plan a move to a new country. After you find your trusted moving partner, you’ll have to do three things. First, find out what documentation you need to leave your home country and enter your new one. Second, determine how you will ship your cargo to your final destination. Third, organize details in order to start living life in your new country right away.

Prepare People

Start by making sure that you have the right documents to leave this country and enter your new one. Begin by securing passports for everyone in your party.

Know that the process to obtain a passport may be lengthy. Usually, you can get a new passport within 8-11 weeks. Passport renewal can take less time. You can often expedite the process for an additional fee.

Also, to enter another country, you may need proof of certain vaccinations. Be sure to read up on requirements so that you’re prepared to go through customs in your destination country.

Prepare Pets

You’ll need to plan ahead to move your pet to another country, too. First, research your new country’s pet import laws. Most likely, your pet will need particular vaccines before entering a new country. Plus, your pet may need to quarantine for a set period of time after entry.

To simplify your international pet move, contact the help of a pet relocation company. These companies can simplify this process for you. They’ll pick up your pet, check it at the gate, clear it at customs upon arrival, and even bring it to your new location.

Transporting Cargo: Know Your Options

You’ll need to secure the right international moving services. Know that you can move cargo three ways: by air, by land, or by sea. How much does moving overseas shipping cost? That depends on where you are going and how much cargo you’ll be moving.

Moving by Land

Usually, it’s most cost effective to move using a moving truck. If you’re planning a move to Canada or Mexico, a moving truck will probably be cheapest (and the most convenient) way to get there.

Moving by Sea

If you have to cross an ocean to reach your new country, you’ll probably ship goods via sea freight. This is the most common way to transport cargo to a new country. Shipping this way is much cheaper than shipping by air.

Shipping costs depend on how much your cargo weighs and how far you’re moving it. The most expensive part of a sea freight move is the container rental.

Moving Overseas Shipping Containers

If you’re moving goods or moving furniture overseas, you’ll need to find the best way to get it there. You have two different shipment options to choose from. Your international moving  company will provide you with the container that you need.

This company will then handle the transport of this container from port to port. The type of container you choose depends on the amount of cargo that you are moving.

Full Container Load vs. Less than Container Load

The first kind of container is called a Full Container Load (FCL). This type of container works best for large shipments. If you rent this type of container, you’ll pay a flat rate for the full use of the whole container. This is the more expensive option.

The cheaper choice is to rent a container called a Less than Container Load (LCL). This type of container is perfect for smaller shipments. Also know that with an LCL, you’ll be sharing the container with additional orders.

No matter if you chose an FCL or an LCL, overseas shipping can take time. However, it’s almost always more cost effective than moving goods by airplane.

Moving Cargo by Air

The fastest (and the most expensive) way to get your cargo to your new country is by airplane. If you’re transporting goods by air, there is a weight limit, so you may need to make several trips. However, if you need to get to your new country quickly, air freight may be the way to go.

Shipping Your Car

Before your go through the hassle of shipping your car, make sure that you’ll be able to drive it in your new country. Learn the licensing requirements and regulations for operating vehicles in your new location.

Transporting a car overseas is expensive, but simple. Most cars are shipped by boat. Air freight is possible, but extremely expensive.

To ship your car, you’ll need to provide multiple documents, including a U.S. Customs & Border Protection Vehicle Export Cover Sheet. You’ll also have to prove ownership of the vehicle.

Also, expect to pay additional fees. Typical fees include marine insurance, destination charges, and customs duty.

Moving to a New Country: Health Care, Banking, and Other Life Essentials

When moving internationally, it’s important to establish your safety net. Investigate health care coverage and insurance in your new country, and make a plan. Before you leave, source copies of any medical records you may need.

Also investigate how to open a bank account in your new country. You’ll want to be able to hit the ground running in your new location. Taking care of these important details will help you do that.

How to Keep US Number When Moving Overseas

Keeping your phone number is convenient and important. You might want to keep the same number to stay connected with family, friends, and co-workers. Also, you may need the same phone number to confirm important details when you move, like bank account information.

To keep your number, first research and choose a virtual phone service provider. Popular options include Skype and Google Voice. Then, when you arrive in your new country, buy a local SIM card. You’ll be able to set up your phone easily and keep your original number, all for a low cost.

The Best International Shipping and Moving Partner

At Nelson Westerberg, we’re well versed in big moves. As experienced overseas movers, we offer you customized international relocation solutions. We have the services and the expertise to help you cross international borders safely and efficiently.

We’ll help you navigate the many logistics that comprise an international move. Plus, we know all of the tips and tricks to get you ready. Give us a call to day for your free, customizable quote.