When you move, mistakes can be costly and annoying.
When moving internationally, those mistakes can make the cost and annoyance grow exponentially.
Here are 3 of the most common overseas moving flubs.
When you move overseas, you'll probably be moving some items and putting others in storage, so you'll need to be thorough about which are which, and make sure your movers know. You'll also need to be ruthless when it comes to choosing what to move and what to sell or throw away: moving overseas is much more expensive, so the less you move, the less you'll spend.
You'll also be on the road longer, so make sure you have enough stuff with you to withstand some pretty lengthy shipping times. These items include extra clothes, toiletries and medicine.
You also need to keep on hand any important documents that you need for the move: passports, important visa documents, and any other documents that would be an incredible pain to replace overseas. Your best bet is to keep these items at a neighbor's home or in a room that's sealed off from the movers.
You'll also need to be well aware of what you can and can't bring into the country where you're moving and you'll need to have all the proper documents together well before the move.
Unless your shipment is small enough that it could travel by air, your goods will most likely be shipped by a large cargo ship. And you will need an international moving company that is qualified to pack your things to withstand the rigors of the sea. Your items will be placed in a large metal container, which will be loaded onto a ship by a crane, usually stacked several containers high. There can be shifting inside the container while it's being lifted, and also while the ship is at sea.
Make sure your moving company is very familiar and experienced with packing for international transit, and specifically ask how many international moves they handle a year. If they're evasive in answering, or don't seem to know, get another moving company.
When moving internationally, logistical snafus - not to mention weather, traffic, and manpower - can wreak significant havoc on tight schedules.
Leave enough time in between the last day of your move (when everything is loaded on the truck) and when you are scheduled to leave the country - this is especially critical in booking air arrangements.
Also realize that any estimate for delivery is just that - an estimate. Make sure you have enough necessities to tide you over if your items get delayed. For most overseas locations, it will be several weeks before you see your things. From the U.S. to most western European nations, it will be a month at least. To inland countries away from a seaport, it could be over two months.
Also be aware of any medical clearances you'll need to get, particularly for your pets. The time to obtain these can often be very lengthy.
Finally, in the opposite scenario: if there's a chance your goods will arrive in country before you do, be aware of any port storage costs you could be liable for and plan accordingly.