Kayla Coco-Stotts
August 30, 2021
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International Moving

Tips and Tricks on Keeping the Costs of Your International Move Manageable

Many who choose to move abroad are often surprised by just how expensive moving internationally can be. But when taking into account the method of shipping your household goods, different countries’ customs duties, and how long it may take, international moves are expensive for a reason.

Below, we’ve covered everything you should expect to pay when moving your household items internationally and supplied tips you can use along the way to keep your costs down.

What You’ll Have to Pay

International moves can easily exceed $10,000. But why are they so pricey? Well, when crossing international borders, certain factors increase the money and time required to get your household goods to your new home.

When estimating the costs of your international move, expect to pay the following:

  • The actual move, which will be calculated according to weight and distance.
  • Insurance and liability coverage, which you’ll definitely want to get if you’re shipping items near and dear to your heart.
  • Customs duty charges and taxes; these differ for each country.
  • Storage fees if you’re not planning to have your shipment delivered immediately.  

How You Can Save Money

The bigger the move, the more you’ll have to pay. Additionally, the further you’re shipping your items, the more expensive your move will become. Most of the charges you’ll encounter for your international move are unavoidable, like customs duties and liability coverage.  

However, there are certain areas to keep in mind where you can keep costs down. Start planning early and be flexible when it comes to timelines. In doing so, you can save a great deal more on nonessential international moving costs.  

Extend Your Timeline

Your household goods will arrive at your new location one of two ways:

  1. By sea freight
  2. By air cargo

Shipping items via air cargo is the most efficient mode of transportation, but also the most expensive. In contrast, sending household goods through sea freight is the most cost-effective, but also takes much longer than air cargo transport.  

To keep transportation costs down, extend your shipment timeline early in the decision-making process. Plan for your items to take 1-3 months to arrive, and you can avoid the high prices of air cargo entirely.  

Consolidate Items

With international shipments, weight plays a key role in determining how much it’ll cost. So, before you begin the process of drawing up an international estimate, go through your household items with efficiency in mind.  

Heavy furniture items like beds, entertainment centers, and tables can all be replaced. By letting go of some things, you can cut costs while still holding onto things you hold dear. Keep your shipment centralized on items you wouldn’t want to live without, like family heirlooms and treasured memorabilia.  

Book Early

If you book your move early, you can see which timelines would be the most cost-effective for your move. Look to move during the off-season to bypass peak season pricing and limited availability.  

By booking your move with availability in mind, you’ll be able to get the best prices available and book with your preferred movers.  

Check Air Deals

Hand in hand with booking early comes checking airfare deals. Plane tickets, when purchased close to your moving deadline, can be unnecessarily expensive. By finding your flight early on, and through airfare deal sites, you can avoid the frustration of high flight prices entirely.  

Here are some good sites that regularly offer airfare deals:

Pack Yourself

Another place where you can consolidate costs is by packing up your household goods. By packing everything yourself, you can:

  • Control where everything goes, making the unpacking process simpler.
  • Eliminate the cost of packing and certain packing materials.

As with any move, it’s important that you pack items so they can withstand the stress of moving. Check out our blog for detailed information on packing your items so they arrive safely.

Avoid Unnecessary Storage

Your shipment will take some time to arrive at your new destination, but if you aren’t there by the time it arrives, you’ll have to pay to store your shipment.

Storage is charged on a monthly basis; a cost you won’t even have to consider if you’re there to receive your household goods. Make sure to time your move so that it arrives after you’ve dropped anchor at your new place.  

You Don’t Have to Be Shocked with Your Final Bill

International moves can get really expensive if your timing isn’t right. With so much distance and many cost factors involved, starting early means you’ll bypass certain money pitfalls.  

As always, clear communication with your estimator and moving company will resolve any uncertainties you have going into your international move. Your movers can suggest money-savers while ensuring you know everything that’s happening every step of the way.