6 Tips To Prepare For An International Move

Get ready for a big international move with the inside scoop from our moving pros.
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6 Tips To Prepare For An International Move
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An international move is a very complex task, even if you see yourself as a professional at moving. There are several regulations, passports, and visas required with an international move based on the country, and this will determine the level of planning and coordination you will be facing.

You should also create enough time to arrange school transfers, set up a new bank account, get a new driver’s license and learn new languages, and many other things about the new country to fit in perfectly. 

Hiring a professional international moving company that will perform your move for you is the first thing you should do for your successful move. The company can also help you with the whole requirements for the destination country such as obtaining the proper documents, giving you timely and helpful advice to save you from problems when you get into the new country.

Some countries would reject inward shipment if they were not packed by a professional international moving company. This is because the moving company must follow a strict list of illegal items and certain rules of how your belongings are listed.  

Things to Expect During an International Move

International moves are not like that of the local or intrastate move. When it comes to an international move, expect the following:

  • Your move commence with your local moving company who will pack up and load your belongings and haul them to the right port.
  • A freight forwarding company will take care of the arrangement of a shipping container that will be transported to the closest port to your destination home.
  • Immediately your items get to your international port of call, another mover will receive your belongings to be cleared in customs. 
  • When your belongings are clearedfrom customs, a local mover in your new country will deliver your belongings to your new destination home and take care of unloading and unpacking, if necessary. 

It would help if you certainly had all these service providers properly and closely coordinated across the international relocation process.

This can be achieved by having a point of contact with your United States-based international mover. To ensure you don’t face any problem with the move, you will have to organize it well.

How to prepare for International Moves?

How to prepare for International Moves?

Below are certain tips that will make sure you end up with a seamless international move:

1. Define your needs

Firstly, you need to take time to figure out what you want all through your move before you enter into the moving process, especially with a complex move like this.

Identifying your needs, expectations, target, and timeframe in which you need the move completed will make you concentrate your efforts and make sure that you can allow your movers to understand your needs. You will also be required to give proper answers to their questions.

Below are some factors to assist you in completing your task list:              

  • Health: Obtain the entire essential medical and dental records. Get and fill prescriptions that you may need in the new country. Ensure that you and your household members have taken immunization shots.
  • School records: Make sure you collect your children’s school records and any college transcripts you may need. Obtain letters from the institutions if you think they will be helpful in your destination country. 
  • Legal document: Ensure you have every necessary legal document with you before you start moving. The following are to be prepared:  
  • Power of Attorney (allow a friend or family member take care of your local affairs)
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Birth Certificates
  • Passports
  • Storage:If you have some of your belongings for storage, create an inventory of them and move them into storage as soon as you can. 

2. Get ready to purge

I discovered that we had piled up a lot of junk over the years when I started to sort through my household belongings. I was challenged emotionally when I am to decide which item to keep and which to dispose of, but the rule I applied was that, unless it represents the memory, any item we haven’t used for two years had to go.

We organized a moving sale due to the many unneeded items, and we make a lot of cash. 

3. Get the Right Team

You must find reliable people who can complete the job the right way, perfect time, and with the uttermost care and quality. Since these are your valuable possessions, and your only wish is to see them in your new home without getting damaged or lost.

You may be tempted to hire a company that offers the least moving cost, but if you noticed that their quality of service might not match your needs, forget about them and consider another company with higher quality regardless of the cost.

4. Pack properly

Identifying the items to pack for an overseas move can be challenging. The items you move with you on an international move are completely different from what you move with you during a local move.

You should be able to determine the items to move with you or leave behind in an international move. 

5. Paperwork Organization

The most important part of moving aside the belongings that you will be moving, leaving, or disposing of is perhaps ensuring all of your documentation is with you. You will be amazed at the number of papers you may need. I have a simple way of arranging them.

Get a 1 binder and many clear binder sleeves of 20+. Slide paperwork into each sleeve. A sleeve is used for birth certificates, another for a marriage license, doctors’ records, insurance papers, kids’ school records, and so on.

You can then snap everything together in the binder, so you can easily access it when needed. Also, keep it in your backpack so that it remains with you all the time.

You can save a huge amount of time using this system whenever we have to access certain documents. The system is great, even if you are not moving. 

6. Create Checklists and get ready to Color Code

Since your move involves several locations, we recommend you spend some time before the move getting some things done to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible. Try color-codes of all your belongings, such as red for the kitchen, pink for fragile items, green for storage, and so on.

The movers will all be certain on where to keep each item since you used the checklists and color code, and you won’t have to stress yourself much-giving instructions. 

What about my Cars?

Moving vehicles with you in some cases can be tough in your international move. A vehicle may fail if it has a fitness test country in another country. You may also discover that some countries prohibit the importation of some models.

Research the rules for vehicle importation and exportation for your destination country to know if your car’s model and manufacture year are not prohibited.

However, it is sometimes better to sell your vehicle and purchase a new one when you reach the new country. In the case you want to ship your car, there are still some car shipping companies that are reliable in this type of move.

You also need to discover your immigration in advance if you are permitted to drive in your new country. Usually, you will need an International Driving Permit to drive in another country.

Each company implement different rules on this, so make sure you check the guidelines available in your destination country before the move.

This will enable you to do the necessities to obtain your International Driving Permit in your origin country before moving out. 

However, prepare to fill out extra paperwork before you can be allowed to drive when you arrive in your destination home country. Generally, if there are similar driving regulations in the two countries involved with your move, there will not be many issues regarding the driving permit. 


An international move can be costly, considering the number of people involved and the distance your belongings will be traveling. You can best get ready for this type of move by conducting your research and taking enough time to set you on the move to your new country.

Are you moving to another country but blank on what to do? We are here to help. You will be guided every step of the moving process with our moving tips, which include choosing movers and packing up your belongings. 

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