If you’re jetting off on holiday then, in principle, you can leave everything to the last minute if you really want. After all, the worst that can happen is that you have to cancel your holiday. If, however, you’re planning an international move, especially for study or work, then it is very much recommended to start your planning as far in advance as you can and put the time to good use. Here are some tips.
Save as much as you can
An old backpacking adage is “take half the amount of stuff that you think you’ll need and twice the amount of money”. This doesn’t necessarily translate exactly to international moves, but the general principle is still good. Any change at all has the potential to lead to unexpected expenses and the more significant the change, the more likely it is that you’ll wind up overlooking something and need to find extra money for it.
Decide when to buy and when to DIY
In other words, decide when you would benefit from using professional services and when you can just do things on your own. As a rule of thumb, the more complex a task is, the more inclined you should be to hand it over to a professional. For example, if you’re undertaking a semester abroad as a student, then there is a good chance you’ll be able to manage your immigration requirements yourself and then literally just pack your bags and go. If, however, you want an employment visa and you’re going to need (or want) to take a lot of luggage with you, then you’ll probably save yourself a whole lot of money (and certainly hassle) if you just get professionals to take care of it for you.
Make a checklist of all the admin you need to do
Basically, as you go through your day, make a note of all the tasks you do and ask yourself if you’re likely to need or want to do these overseas. If the answer is yes, research what will need to happen to make that possible and take action as necessary. For example, in the UK, driving requires both a driver’s licence and insurance. You can often use your UK driver’s licence overseas, at least for a certain period, although there may be a limit to this, you’ll probably need to sort out insurance. Do as much as you can before you leave so you maximise your chances of hitting the ground running when you arrive.
Start sorting out your belongings as early as possible
This is probably not going to be fun for anyone, but it needs to be done and the earlier you start, the less likely you are to wind up having to deal with everything in a stressed-out rush.
Moving forward, you’re going to have to treat your belongings in one of four ways: digitise, dispose of, store and pack. Digitise means exactly that, you take physical items and make digital copies of them. If you have a lot of documents and photographs, you can save an amazing amount of space going through this process. Obviously be careful about throwing away important documents after digitisation, you might want to keep a paper copy as well, just to be on the safe side, but a lot of the time papers and photos can just be digitised and recycled. Dispose of just means getting rid of something in some way, it could be selling, donating or recycling it, rather than just binning it, but the end result is that it’s out of your life.
Anything leftover needs to be either stored in the UK for your return or packed away to take with you. The one exception is perishable consumables, e.g. food, which you should aim to use up before you leave and if you can’t try to find some way for them to be moved on to a new home rather than just binned.
When it comes to packing precious items, this is where you really do need to let the professionals take over. We can ensure that they are packed for temperature changes, altitude and for both road & sea freight. There is a lot more to moving aboard and so it pays to ask for help where you can. Please contact us to find out how we can help you pack safely.