If you’re preparing to embark on an international journey – whether you’re settling overseas for good or planning to return in the not too distant future – you’re going to need help. Quite a lot of help, in fact. But don’t worry, after all the planning, hard work, re-planning and more hard work, it’ll all be worth it.

Cluttered desk

To help you on your way, we’ve put together some of our top tips to make an international move that much easier.

Tip #1 – Minimise

We talk about decluttering a lot when we discuss moving home. The fewer possessions you have, the easier it is to move them – and the cheaper they are to transport. For international removals, this becomes even more essential. Moving abroad is a new chapter in your life, so reflect that by only bringing with you what means most to you – and what you know you’ll need once you get there.

Inventory your possessions and figure out exactly what you can and cannot make do without. You’ll be able to replace a lot of everyday items cheaply, and if you follow the common rule of getting rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year, you’ll be able to parse down your move right from the get-go.

Tip #2 – Buckle down and do your paperwork

The best thing to do with an international move is to embrace the hard work – there’s going to be a lot of it. Paperwork is laborious in all forms, but filling out applications and arranging all your documentation is surprisingly satisfying when you think about that exciting end goal. Some things you need to think about are:

  • Visa – if your destination country requires a Visa, this is something you need to focus on as early as possible
  • Banking – seek professional international economic advice to ensure your finances are in order before you make your journey
  • Service cancellations – If you have any lingering ties to your current country of residence, cut them before you leave. Service providers, subscriptions –  anything no longer applicable to your new home – systematically list and cancel them in one fell swoop

Tip #3 – Brush up on the language

Moving to a non-English speaking country? You’ll probably pick up the language pretty fast while you’re living there, but learn some of the fundamentals before you go. Of course, the more you can learn the better, but a working understanding will get you through the early days.

Tip #4 – Learn the culture

For both English-speaking and non-English speaking countries, you should learn as much as you can about the culture of your new homeland. Some cultures will have very specific dos and don’ts, with seemingly benign actions coming across incendiary to locals. Avoid culture shock – and minimise your chances of offending the local populace by becoming familiar with the etiquette of your new country.

Tip #5 – Book your international removal in advance

Moving country takes coordination, and on this scale that takes time. If you arrange, in advance, a removals service with a reputable international moving company, then you’ll benefit from a strategic moving plan tailored to you. You’ll have time to discuss customs and shipping requirements, arrange a timely shipping window, and get all your other plans in order without the last-minute panic.

Tip #6 – Moving your pet

Removal companies won’t be able to move your pet for you, so this is something you’ll have to research on your own. Different countries have their own requirements when it comes to bringing an animal from overseas, and there are different rules if you’re moving within Europe, or outside of the EU. Whichever the case, research thoroughly and always keep your pet’s best interests at heart – and make sure to discuss all of this with your vet!

Tip #7 – Seek out advice from expats

The best advice comes from experience. Use social media, blogs or specific expat websites to find first-hand accounts and advice from those who have made the move before you. If you can find specific info from people who have moved from the UK to the same country you’re moving to, all the better. But general advice for international moves is also invaluable. You can hear about unforeseen issues and specific obstacles from those who’ve learned the hard way, so you can be as prepared as possible before you depart.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we provide a comprehensive removals service both nationally and overseas. Our experienced team of movers and project coordinators will guide you through the international shipping process from start to finish. We can pack all your belongings to the most secure standards, and can handle the customs and shipping requirements on your behalf. We ensure your international removal is as stressfree as possible, so contact us today to discuss your move with us.