6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Prepare for an International Move

An international move is a wonderful way to learn more about cultures around the world. However, the process of moving can be quite costly. Planning ahead, shipping seasonally and only taking what you can’t replace is critical

1) Start Early

Finding a job in your new country may not take long, but getting your documentation in order and getting approval to work can be worrying. Your permits and work visas need to be in good order before you get on the plane, the boat or the highway. Having a stable home base to work from will speed the process along.

2) Lighten Your Load

Set up international transport for items you must have, but be prepared to either get rid of things or store items you can easily replace. If you have a bed that full suits a health concern, transporting it may be well worth the money, but a

  • table and chairs
  • living room furniture
  • basic cookware and kitchen gear

can easily be picked up. You may actually need new appliances once you get to your new country due to electrical differences. Store items of value, sell the basics and move the essentials.

3) Pack Smart

Airport foods are expensive and not the healthiest choice. Depending on the time you need to spend from your old front door to your new front door, paying for each meal, snack and bottle of water can be quite costly.

Carry your electronics in a carry-on so everyone has the chance to stay entertained and charged up. In another carry-on, pack

  • healthy snacks, including nuts, granola bars and fruit
  • collapsible water bottles for each member of your traveling group
  • cleanup supplies, including wet wipes and disposable baggies

By keeping everyone from getting too hungry, you can keep folks calm and hopefully avoid major blow-ups.

4) Study Temperature Expectations

If you’re headed to a warmer or a colder climate, consider buying outdoor gear in your home country. You can find things in your size, and you may be able to find things second-hand. Finding the right size in another language may be a challenge in your new location. Be prepared to pack this gear into a heavy duty box and ship it overseas to reduce flight charges if you’re not moving during the cold season.

5) Work With Your Employer

If your employer is part of the reason you’re moving, work with them to find easy access to

  • shopping
  • services
  • entertainment

venues that will serve you and your family. If you are moving to a new country without having a job lined up, check out expat groups in your new country and city to help you find easy access to products and services that will make your life easier.

6) Stick With the Basics

In many parts of the world, you can easily protect your budget by buying new items slowly and focusing on the basics. Your grocery shopping will be much more expensive in Costa Rica, for example, if you buy processed foods. However, if you can stick with basic produce and keep your consumption of meat and pre-packaged foods low, you can actually save quite a bit on your food bill.

Every new region is different and each will have special bargains, as well as particular challenges. Do your homework and try to save as much as possible so you can have ready cash for your move.