10 big first-time move questions answered
April 5, 2017
Before you make your plan to relocate to your dream country, you might need a little advice. Here’s where we come in with answers on everything from packing and shipping to settling-in and schooling.
1. I’ve got a year. Is that too soon to arrange a moving quotation?
While a year might seem like a long time to plan an international relocation, you may be surprised how fast the time goes by—especially when you are researching and planning your move. Also, depending on where you’re going, you may need a year or more to receive your visa.
Give yourself plenty of time to arrange relocation quotations, appoint a relocation company and finalize all of your arrangements. We recommend you make contact a minimum of three months prior to your planned moving date.
2. I want to make my move smoother, but I’m worried about packing…
There are many expatriates out there with just as many concerns as you do. Packing your possessions can be a process, particularly at the beginning of the move. If you hire professional packers, they are fully trained to make sure your possessions are well protected and perfectly safe throughout the entire process of your relocation. Check out our packing tips for inspiration.
3. Do I need to do anything to prepare for the packing day?
Prior to the packers’ arrival, make sure you dispose any items you do not wish to take with you. Disconnect and defrost refrigerators, drain the washing machine and thoroughly clean the house.
Don’t forget to keep separate any items you will need to take with you when traveling, including passports, money, travel documents, important paperwork, jewelry, valuables and suitcases.
4. Do I really need transit insurance?
It is important to remember that your goods will be traveling by ship, plane, truck or other mode of transport—each of which carries inherent risks.
For your peace of mind, get a transit insurance that provides full replacement cost coverage on a door-to-door, all-risks basis. Find out if additional protection is available to cover pairs and sets, electrical and mechanical derangement and damage through mold and mildew.
5. Can I use my smartphone to track my shipment?
Most relocation companies have a common platform for communication and operation. This means that before you arrive at your destination, you will already have up-to-date information on the online tracking system.
6. How do I know where to stay and how to get around?
Every destination offers a wide range of accommodation styles to suit the needs, lifestyle and budget of everyone. Visiting forums and joining online expat communities are a great way of getting a feel for your new area. Check out our destination guides. It covers all the necessary things you need to know before you arrive.
7. Is previewing the location going to make life easier?
There's a big difference between visiting a place and living there. Taking on a preview trip at your destination can give you insights regarding housing, education, communities and lifestyle. Just make sure you’ve worked out a few specific concerns, ensuring the visit is effective and objective.
8. What about schooling for my kids? What should I expect?
Changing schools and adapting to an international or local curriculum can have a big impact on your child’s development. Most destinations provide a good mix of schools, international, private and public.
Expect to go through admissions process, compare each school’s curriculum, entrance requirements, and application procedures. It’s also vital that schools have as much information about your family in advance of a visit as possible.
9. I hear a lot about “cultural shock”. Is there something to it?
It’s important to remember that all of the feelings experienced at the first stage of culture shock are based on your perspective of the new culture and these can easily be changed. The truth is you’ll gain confidence from learning how to communicate, and the satisfaction of integrating into the local culture, ensures a positive foreign experience and better integration.
10. Is there one thing I’m likely going to forget?
Home comfort. You will miss the comfort food you always have in your home country that you may not easily find at your destination. Whether it’s English breakfast tea, Vegemite on toast or Reese’s chocolate. You will feel at ease when you have these comfort goodies with you.