If you’re planning on moving to a new home overseas then you’ll probably want to take your belongings with you rather than buy a load of new stuff when you arrive – after all, it’s usually cheaper to ship your belongings abroad than it is to buy replacements for all the furniture and equipment you need.  

We’re taking a look at international relocations and the specific issues involved that differ from those encountered when you’re moving to a new home in the UK.

Moving overseas means a significant change in your lifestyle and making the decision to move abroad is not an easy one.  While you’re considering the move there are certain questions that you’ll need answers to in order to make a fully informed decision on whether or not to go ahead.  

Which country are you considering moving to?

Some countries are easier to move to than others because they have different immigration policies. Each country will have paperwork and applications that will need completing before you can actually make the move.  

The process takes longer for some countries than it does for others.  You can help things to go smoothly and shorten the time involved in the application process by making sure that you’ve filled out all of the required forms correctly and that you fully understand all the rules and regulations.

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How Much of Your Stuff do You Need to Move?

This may depend on which country you intend to move to and the amount of stuff you have to ship will affect how long your move takes.  The more stuff you have to move, the longer it can take to pack and ship your belongings.  

In some countries, it will be possible to replace some of your furniture and household appliances easily and at little extra cost.  Sadly, some countries will clearly not have the same UK style or quality of furniture available to buy (or it may prove to be prohibitively expensive). So, you may decide to ship all of your furniture and appliances to your new home overseas.

If you just need to ship a few boxes of clothing and possessions, then it should prove a relatively quick and easy process.  In other countries, however, if you intend to ship all of your belongings over then it will take a little longer and you’ll need to make sure all of your possessions can pass through international customs.  

Now would be a good time to declutter and streamline your possessions so that you’re not paying to ship stuff that you don’t really need!

How Will you Move all Your Belongings?

How long your move actually takes will depend on whether you decide to move your belongings by land, sea or air.  For example, moving the contents of a two bedroom house in Leeds to a new home on Spain’s Costa del Sol would take 3-5 days by road and cost between £3,000 and £4,000. Shipping the same belongings by sea would take a lot longer (25 – 30 days) and cost a little less (£2,800 - £3,500).  Moving the same items by air would take 8 – 10 days and cost significantly more (£6,000 - £7,500).

If you’re moving outside of Europe then you may not be able to move your belongings overland so you’ll have to choose between sea and air.  For these more distant destinations, transporting your belongings by sea takes a lot longer than by air and there’s also a significant price difference involved.  For example, moving from London to New Zealand would take 9 – 10 days by air and cost around £15,000 while shipping your belongings by sea is likely to be cheaper (around £4,750) but take a lot longer – 50 days or so.

Are you using a Removal Company?

You may decide to hire or buy a van and transport your belongings yourself by road, especially if you’re moving to another European country.   However, using a professional international removals company makes sense as they know how to make the moving process quick and easy by doing most of the work for you.  

The company will know how to deal with customs in whichever country you move to and they will know the most efficient and cost-effective methods to use for transporting your belongings.

As you can see, how long your move will take and how much it will cost really does depend on a number of factors, including your destination and chosen method of transporting your belongings.

The answers will differ according to your individual situation, so getting in touch with professionals to help you with every step along the way will save you a lot of stress and is likely to make your move easier and more enjoyable, leaving you free to explore your new home and life abroad.

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