Moving to a brand new country is exciting, but it costs a lot of money. Sometimes quite a lot of money. Just when you think you have dealt with one thing, something else crops up. If you are not careful, things like shipping, visas, and flights can set you back a considerable amount of money, and that is before you have even got there. But you should not let money worries put a downer on your plans. Fortunately, we have provided these 11 easy ways to save money when moving internationally to help you cut moving costs and we are delighted to share these tips with you.
1. Choose sea freight instead of air freight
The cheapest international shipping option is by sea. Shipping your belongings across the sea is leagues better than doing it by air. You can move a lot more on a ship than you can on a plane and at a fraction of the cost. Apparently, a ship will take longer than a plane to reach their destination, but that is one of the reasons they are so much more affordable. A plane full of cargo can get from the United Kingdom to Australia in around two or three days, while a cargo ship will take up to a month.
2. Give yourself enough time
Almost every part of your relocation will benefit from getting it organizes sooner rather than later. Once you know where and when you are going, nothing is stopping you from scheduling a date for the shipment of your things. If you leave it too late, then you will be left with two undesirable choices, shipping your things by air for a considerable price or arriving several weeks ahead of all your cargo. And we are not done yet, your visas, work permits, and pet passports can also be more expensive if they are applied for at the last minute. You do not want to be paying premium prices for fast-tracked visa applications and expedited shipments.
3. Book flights at the right time
The cheapest time to purchase plane tickets is not as soon as possible, but actually at a very particular time. This exact moment varies depending on the flight, although some studies have tried to figure out a general rule. Skyscanner calculates that seven weeks in advance is the best time to buy tickets for short-haul flights and eighteen weeks for long-haul flights. So, it is better to hang on a bit instead of just buying the tickets as soon as they are released. If this advice is not strangely specific enough, airlines also recommend Sundays as the best day of the week to book plane tickets. Off-peak seasons naturally provide the best opportunities for finding cheap flights, so you should always try to fly when there are not a lot of tourists heading the same way. If you have the luxury of choosing when you go, that is.
4. Sell everything you do not need
When you are moving to a new country, you should take half the items you think you will need. It is time to be completely brutal with your things. Pick something you currently own and try to imagine life without it. If it feels alright, you do not need it. Once you have decided what you are leaving behind, you can then start to sell it all on websites. If it will not sell, donate it to a charity or give it to a friend. If nobody wants it then maybe just recycle it.
5. Use groupage shipments
If the total amount of your belongings is small enough, then it is possible to share the space with other people’s belongings. There are two main options when it comes to shipping by sea, and they are: full container load and less than full container load, and less than full container loads are a lot more cost-effective. If your cargo is no more than twenty cubic meters, opting for less than full container loads will give you much better value.
6. Open an international bank account
An international bank account will help you avoid a lot of money headaches. Moving money abroad and earning a new salary in foreign currency can make things complicated. You will be subject to exchange rate fluctuations and all sorts of transaction fees. Luckily, there are smart ways to deal with your finances during an international relocation, and it can save you a lot of money. Most importantly, an international bank account will allow you to hold several different currencies at the same time, so you do not have to convert your cash.
7. Move to an affordable country
For some people, moving abroad is more about getting away from their home country rather than their new location. If it is merely hot weather you are after, sunshine and humidity come much cheaper in Southeast Asia than it does in Australia. Fuel, food, and beer are more affordable, too. However, you have also got to think about more serious things like healthcare and education.
8. Learn the local language
It is a good idea to at least familiarize yourself with your new country’s native language and have your kids learn some of it too. If they arrive with a solid grasp of the local language, then public schooling suddenly becomes much easier. If you know the language, then you will save money in all sorts of ways, primarily by being able to integrate more efficiently with the locals. Nobody will have better knowledge of your new town or city than your neighbors and colleagues. If they are nice people, they will tell you where you can get the best value for your money, from bars and restaurants to hairdressers and shops. If you are going ultra rogue and moving to a country that uses different numerals, learn them to help you find the best bargains.
9. Sort out your taxes
Once you know you are moving to another country, make sure that you inform your current government about it. People can often end up paying their income tax twice and only enjoying the benefits in the country they have moved to.
10. Pack your things
This depends on how determined you are to save money. Doing your packing takes serious effort, but it means you avoid paying for a moving company to do it for you. It is essential to make sure all your belongings are packed neatly to minimize any movement or damage during transport. Your moving company should help provide you with free packing materials, and if that is not enough, then you can usually find other supplies for free online or your local stores. Make sure that you get a few friends to help you to pack, and it can take up to 5 hours to load a twenty-foot container.
11. Find the best price
For most routes around the world, there is more than one shipping company operating on it. That means you have a choice, and we want to help you make it. The best prices do not necessarily mean the lowest prices, so make sure that you check with each moving company as to what their offer includes. Door-to-door services and cargo insurance are usually good things to look for.
Now that you have read about these 11 easy ways to save money when moving abroad, what do you think? Do you have any questions about international shipping and moving? Our representatives at I Love Moving would love to help you out with your international move. Contact us, and we will promptly help you along in any way that we can.