Dealing with the Logistics of an International Move

Every year the world gets a little bit smaller. The lyrics of the once-famous Disney song, It’s a Small World After All, ring truer and truer. But for those moving internationally, it can seem like a great big world of rules, regulations, and logistics to solve.

People make the decision to leave the United States and move abroad for many reasons. Some marry outside the country. Some are bringing their families along for military service on foreign soil. Others are moving for career advancement and opportunities, while still others are seeking adventure and excitement in exotic cultures. Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery, getting an education, or making a calculated career move, international moves can be quite complex, initially.

One of the most important things to do when moving internationally is prioritizing which items you need to bring with you. It costs money to move things from one country to the next and the more you bring with you, the higher the costs will be.

It is often wise to consider storing some of your possessions in the United States rather than moving them or selling them to help finance your actual relocation. Many items you might want to bring with you can be purchased easily where you’re going, and sometimes, less expensively. One of the primary considerations is whether you plan to come back to the United States. In other words, how you choose to deal with the possessions you choose not to take with you depends, largely, on whether you intend to someday retrieve them.

The organization My Move, in partnership with the United States Postal Service, recommends getting a quote from an international moving company to help you accurately budget for your move well ahead of the actual moving date. Not only can these professionals help you navigate the red tape of international moves, as there will always be red tape involved, but also offer invaluable suggestions about items you may wish to leave behind, items that may be quarantined, and best practices for packing valuables.

Beyond experts, talk to people who have been there and done that. Look for expats living in the county where you’re moving and seek their advice on things like documentation, immunizations, taxes, banking, pet records, etc. so you can make the transition as smoothly as possible. Finally, leave your expectations out the door and enjoy the adventure of an international move.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.