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How to Move Your Belongings to a New Country

This content has been reviewed by the National Van Lines Team
Embarking on an international move is an exhilarating journey, whether it’s for studies, work, or the pursuit of a new cultural experience. While the prospect is exciting, it demands meticulous planning and preparation. National Van Lines is here to assist you in one crucial aspect: moving your belongings to your new destination.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving Abroad

Where Will You Live?
Choosing the right location is paramount. Consider factors like language, cost of living, cultural fit, job opportunities, safety, expat community, and lifestyle.

Can You Afford an Overseas Move?
International moves come with a hefty price tag. Budget for expenses like hiring movers, securing a new place, obtaining insurance, and potential language learning. Learn about international moving costs.

How Will You Move Your Belongings?
Explore options such as sea, air, or land freight. Plan well in advance and consider factors like cost, time frame, and the amount of stuff you’re moving.

Moving Options

Sea Freight
A cost-efficient choice for transporting household items. Choose between Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL) based on the volume of your belongings.
Air Freight
While more expensive, air freight is faster. Consider this option if time is a critical factor in your move.
Land Freight
Limited but feasible, especially for moves to Mexico or Canada from the U.S. Professional moving companies can enhance convenience for your international move.
Moving Your Pet
Don’t forget your furry friends. Research pet import laws, vaccinations, and explore options for safe transportation.
Shipping Your Car
If bringing your car, explore international auto transport services. Ensure compliance with licensing requirements and consider additional costs like marine insurance and customs duty.
Renting Furniture
Evaluate the need to move furniture. Renting abroad might be a cost-effective alternative, especially for temporary stays.
Storage in the U.S.
For items not making the journey, consider renting a secure, climate-controlled storage unit in the U.S.


Additional Considerations


  • Document Checklist: Ensure you have essential documents like passport, visa, work permit, birth certificate, driver’s license, marriage/divorce papers, social security cards, health records, and school records.
  • Tips for Moving Internationally:
    Be aware of country-specific restrictions.
  • Check tax implications on your belongings.
  • Secure insurance to cover potential losses.
  • Keep essential items with you during the move.


FAQs on Moving Internationally

How Much Does it Cost?
The cost varies based on shipping method, items, distance, route, and season. Sea freight is generally more affordable.

Best Way to Move Internationally?
Sea freight is a common choice for its affordability. Air transportation is faster but pricier.

Is Moving Overseas a Good Idea?
While challenging, moving abroad can be a rewarding adventure, especially with proper planning.

How to Prepare for the Move?
Thorough planning is essential. Refer to our moving abroad checklist for a step-by-step guide.

Research visa requirements; obtaining a visa is often necessary.

How Much Money Do You Need?
Costs range from $1,000 to $10,000, plus living expenses.

Good Reasons to Move Abroad?
New adventures, job opportunities, a fresh start, or a lower cost of living.

Effect of Covid on Moving Abroad?
Check country policies, vaccine requirements, and healthcare options.

How to Apply for a Visa?
Employer assistance for work permits; otherwise, contact the consulate of your destination country.

Should I Purchase Travel Insurance?
Check your health insurance; if not covered, consider travel medical insurance.

Making Friends Abroad?
Attend social events, join local expat groups, and explore expat-friendly establishments.

Vaccines for Moving Abroad?
Ensure all necessary vaccines are up-to-date; check country-specific requirements.


Top International Cities of 2023

Thinking of relocating? Consider these top cities based on the EIU’s Global Livability Index:

    • Vienna, Austria
    • Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Zurich, Switzerland
    • Calgary, Canada
    • Vancouver, Canada
    • Geneva, Switzerland
    • Frankfurt, Germany
    • Toronto, Canada
    • Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • Osaka, Japan
    • Melbourne, Australia

Choose your destination wisely, and may your international move be seamless and memorable with National Van Lines. Happy moving!

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