International relocation: how to avoid unexpected costs

11 July 2016

So - you’ve planned your move carefully, you’ve done your research and you’re ready to leave. But as you stand in the check-in queue for your flight, nervously checking your passport for the umpteenth time, do you still wonder what could possibly go wrong?

One of the benefits of planning ahead, and of partnering with an experienced relocation specialist is that they will know what to do when problems occur – and help sort it out. But to help you prepare for the unexpected, here are a few tips:

Pack the right things

Some things to take with you | FIDI blog

Take a few essential items in your own luggage, particularly the things you need during the first few weeks. This includes clothes, bed sheets, towels, shoes and other similar items of daily use, as well as a good supply of your favourite toiletries and, of course, any essential medication. This will avoid the need to source essentials at short notice and high expense in a strange country. (And of course, the shops will be shut for a national holiday.)

Also, particularly if you are travelling with children, remember a few mementos and personal items, eg soft toys, favourite blankets, photos, pictures to help them feel at home when they arrive.

Pack things right

An experienced international moving company will not only advise you on what to pack, but will also help you with the job of packing it. They are experts at making awkward shapes (like chairs) fit into oblong boxes, thus minimizing the volume of your load, and keeping your shipping costs down. Get them involved early to minimize your costs.

Prepare properly for customs and clearance

Prepare properly for customs and clearance | FIDI blog

Don’t make the mistake of forgetting the documents you need for customs clearance. Different countries can mean different rules. Some of the most expensive expat problems come down to local bureaucracy or failing to observe regulations. For example, some countries prohibit the import of alcohol or firearms, for example, and it is generally not allowed to ship any perishables.

Port storage charges may also be incurred if your belongings arrive before you do, or indeed if pets do not have customs clearance and need to go into kennels. 

Don’t forget the ride can be a rough one

Rough sea in international relocation | FIDI blog

The nature of the container shipping process means that damage can occur. The sea can be rough, and the cranes are not always gentle with their loading…

If your goods are packed correctly, they are more likely to withstand the rough and tumble of the voyage – another big reason for using experienced international movers. But also bear in mind the value of a fully insured, expert international moving company if problems do occur. They will be able to not only compensate you for the loss, but also to help speed through the inevitable paperwork – the last thing you need to be thinking about as you start your new job…

Make sure you have a home to go to…

No place like home | FIDI blog

Your property may not be ready, forcing you into unexpected interim stays in a hotel (which brings unexpected costs of course). And have you (or a trusted local colleague) actually seen the property? An online walk-through is usually available, and it gives you the reassurance of seeing everything – and ensuring there are no problems with cleanliness or maintenance…

It is also essential to have utilities set up before you move in to your new house. If there is ever a time that you need hot showers and reliable broadband, it is when you have just arrived…

Get peace of mind with a FAIM-certified specialist

You can never be 100% certain that things will go without a hitch. But if you have the support of an expert relocation partner, such as those accredited by the FAIM label, you will not go far wrong. If you want to know more about the FAIM programme and its distinct qualities, head over its webpage.

FAIM The world's most recognized standard for international movers

FAIM, short for FIDI Accredited International Mover, stands as the world’s most recognized quality label for professional international movers and relocation companies. Highly regarded and revered for its stringent demands and rigorous auditing process, the label ensures that only the most reliable and performing movers can bear the seal. The FAIM label is your assurance for a smooth, safe and comprehensive removal process.