Moving abroad is already stressful in and of itself, even without the worries of transporting your belongings from one country to another. And apart from the costs of flight tickets, new housing, visas, and every other expense that comes with relocating overseas, you also have to think about the costs of moving your stuff.
The good news is that moving to a new country doesn’t have to be overly expensive. While there are countless ways you can save money on this endeavor (getting airfare discounts, choosing a cheap country, etc.), we’re focusing on how you can save money on transporting your stuff to a new country, which tends to be expensive.
Downsizing is one of the best things you can do when moving to another country—not just for cost savings, but for your peace of mind as well. With fewer belongings weighing you down, you will be better able to adjust to a new life in a new environment, and you wouldn’t have to worry about leaving stuff behind.
Start by getting rid of all the unnecessary things in your house, as well as the items that you cannot bring abroad. This usually includes furniture, appliances, and other bulky items that would be too expensive to ship. After that, gather all the items that you maybe want to bring, then sort out what you really want to take with you to your new home.
If there are some things that you don’t want to let go of but will be impractical to bring along, you can either keep them in a storage unit or store them at a friend’s house. Just make sure that they are properly packaged and labeled so that whoever you ask to store your belongings doesn’t lose them accidentally.
Compare shipping quotes
Before you choose a courier to ship your package, compare shipping quotes from at least three companies first. For instance, if you want to send a package from the Philippines to the USA, get quotes from around three local shipping companies to determine which one has the best price.
However, don’t base your decision solely on the price. You also have to consider the reputation of the company, how soon they can ship your belongings to your new home, and the quality of customer service that they provide.
Opt for sea freight
Shipping your belonging via sea freight is often cheaper than shipping them by plane, especially if you have a lot of cargo to bring. However, the downside to sea freight is that it takes longer to arrive, usually a couple of months, depending on which country you are moving.
Fortunately, you can work around this issue by shipping your belongings way ahead of your arrival to your new country. If it takes four weeks on average to ship cargo via freight from your home country to your new one, ship your belongings at least five weeks in advance to prepare for any delays. Of course, make sure that your most important belongings are with you on the flight.
Research customs fees
Do due diligence and research the country’s customs fees. Each country has a different set of rules when charging customs tax on belongings shipped into the country, regardless of the method of transportation. You can usually look up this information on the government website. If it is not available, you may have to ask other ex-pats in the country using online forums or groups on Facebook. It is also a good idea to contact the customs directly to address your concern, especially if you are shipping large items like furniture or vehicles.
Preparing for customs fees can help you make the move easier and avoid unnecessary expenses when you’re trying to get your belongings past the border. Furthermore, you can gain firsthand experience of what it’s like to move stuff from one country to another, which you can use when you return home or move to another country.
Buy the essentials when you arrive
Don’t fill your luggage with stuff that you can readily buy in the country when you arrive, especially if you are already paying for extra luggage weight. This includes toiletries, over-the-counter medicine, and baby items. Unless you need a specific brand, just buy the item when you get there to avoid adding unnecessary weight (and cost) to your luggage.
Relocating to a new country is a new chapter in life, albeit a little expensive. To make this move as cheap as it can be, keep these tips in mind when preparing your belongings for shipping.