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Surviving Your Overseas Move

Jun 14, 2008
Moving to a new house can be a hassle even when you're only moving around the corner, but when faced with the prospect of moving overseas, it can be downright formidable. Here are some tips for navigating a move overseas for business or personal reasons.

Getting Started
Most people moving overseas find it helpful to visit the new country of residence before the actual move. This allows you to get a feel for the area, decide where you may want to live, if you want to buy a home or rent, check out schools in person if you have children that will be attending school, decide whether or not you need a car, and explore the feasibility of replacing your belongings rather than searching for discount shipping. You might want to check with the U.S. Embassy about any tips or recommendations more specific to the country they have. Another resource is getting in touch with other expatriates that live in the area to get some good advice.

Moving your Household
There are many moving companies that specialize in relocating U.S. citizens overseas for business and private reasons, some of them offering discount shipping rates. Several web sites contain useful information on finding discount shipping rates for international moving companies. Expect the average shipment of household effects to take four to six weeks by sea, perhaps a little longer for the Far East. Of course you can also ship by air. It is more expensive but might be an option if you have few items, or find a great discount shipping rate, and it is much faster, on average five days. In either case, you will need a complete inventory of your items for estimates and insurance purposes.

Moving Costs
Most discount shipping companies will base the cost on the volume and weight of your shipment. Other factors that apply are: labor costs of packing, materials, loading and shipping at point of origin, clearing of customs at destination, and the final delivery. Most discount shipping companies can provide you with an estimate by looking at a complete inventory of your belongings, or will perform a free on-site evaluation for larger jobs. A good rule of thumb is to estimate 1000 pounds per room of furniture. Your items will be packed in discount shipping boxes or wrapped, then crated and loaded on a container for shipment. Usually you should expect to prepay costs for overseas shipment; you will receive refund or be billed for the difference after the job is completed.

Shipping your Car
Most countries have no problems with shipment of a vehicle from the U.S., but as always it is best to check with the individual country before you plan your move. Some discount shipping companies will also ship cars and most will have information on how to proceed. Expect to need three notarized copies of the vehicle's title, the year, make and model, color, and VIN number. Check on the in-country auto insurance requirements, some countries insist on local coverage, and there's no need to have U.S. insurance in that case. However, if you have the option of carrying your insurance with a U.S. company it will most likely be cheaper.
About the Author
InXpressUSA.com (http://InXpressUSA.com) is a premier discount shipping company. The author Art Gib is a freelance writer.
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