5 International Moving Tips

Moving abroad is exciting, but can also be very stressful. There are so many things that require your attention, it’s so easy to lose track. To make everything easier, we asked our moving consultants and coordinators for their most valuable moving tips. 

1. Start on time!

This sounds obvious, but in reality, this is where it often goes wrong. As a result, everything happens last minute, paving the way for potential mistakes. Save yourself the unnecessary stress and start planning your international move well in advance. This way, you can be sure that the move will run smoothly and that all your belongings will arrive at your new home on time. We recommend approaching moving companies and requesting quotes 3 to 6 months before the move. You can opt for air or ocean shipping. Air freight is fast, but also the most expensive form of transport. The more cost-effective solution would be to have your belongings shipped via ocean freight.

2. Save costs with groupage

Are you familiar with groupage? This is a method used for international relocation. Your household goods are shipped to your destination along with other shipments using a sea container. This considerably lowers the cost of transport. If you are flexible with the delivery date, then groupage is the best option. The transfer time will take a bit longer, but if you start planning on time, it shouldn’t be a problem.

3. Gather the necessary documents

International relocation also comes with gathering all the required documents. Tickets, visas, insurance documents. These are all possible documents you might (or might not) need. Every country has its own laws regarding this. There are countries that require specific documents to be legalised before they can be processed, like for a work visa. We recommend that you travel with a passport that is valid for at least a year. If you have children, find out if school records are required to enrol at the new school. For people with driver’s licenses, find out whether an international driver’s license is required. If possible, try to arrange this while you are still in the Netherlands. This prevents a lot of hassle upon arrival. These documents are important, so make sure you keep them safe. We advise that you keep a hard copy and a digital file, just in case. 

4. Handle medical matters

Make sure you request your medical documents from your general practitioner, specialist and/or dentist in advance. It is often possible to remain registered as a patient, which will allow you to visit your doctor when you are in the Netherlands. If you are on medication, double-check if these medications are also available in your new country of residence. Furthermore, find out which vaccinations are required in your destination country. You can check this with the GGD, but mention that it concerns an international move, as this can change what is required. Also, check with your insurance company if you can declare the costs of the vaccinations. Finally, don’t forget to sign up for (expat) health insurance.

5. Avoid extra costs

Before your international move, cancel your current memberships and subscriptions (at least the ones that you can’t use abroad). Think, for example, of magazines, gyms, utilities, home insurance and phone subscriptions. Usually, these subscriptions will have a cancellation period of a month or longer, so check this in advance. Additionally, don’t forget to terminate your rent or, if you own a house, decide what you would like to do with it. You can sell your belongings and put the house up for sale, or you can decide to rent it out until you return. When renting out, you do need to have minor repairs carried out as soon as possible, so that it is ready for rental on time. 

Bonus tip for baggage

Pack your luggage in time and use up all the space in your luggage. Bring enough clothes. “What do I really need?” is a question you will need to ask yourself regularly. You will have to make do with these suitcases until your shipment arrives, so make a packing list. Don’t panic if you have forgotten something. Even abroad, you will find a solution for (almost) everything.

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