Moving abroad on a budget can be an exciting and exhilarating adventure, but it can also be overwhelming and very expensive.
Getting visas and overcoming language barriers are the common challenges of moving abroad. But one area that is often forgotten or ignored is the financial cost of moving to another country. Just when you thought you’ve dealt with everything, new challenges pop up.
Moving overseas can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to empty your bank account. But with a little groundwork and good decision-making, you can move overseas without draining your bank account.
In this article, I will present you with the top 10 valuable tips to help you move overseas cheaply and keep some extra cash in your pocket:
Give Yourself Time
If you’re moving overseas, you must give yourself time to make tough decisions. This is a vital step for success in moving to any foreign country. Once you know where and when you are going, research your host country and find out what life is like for locals and tourists over there. What is acceptable and what might not? What are the major social problems and crime-related issues? What is the work and business culture like? Etc.
Almost every aspect of your research will benefit you immensely. This will give you enough time to recover from minor setbacks without worrying about pushing back your “D” date or paying a huge amount of money for last-minute services. I advise you to start planning your move at least three or four months in advance.
Prepare For Overseas Finance
When you want to move abroad, creating a detailed budget that includes all estimated costs associated with your move will help manage your spending and avoid overspending. Using financial services online can help you to manage your money efficiently.
Moving overseas can be quite expensive, so I recommend you start saving the moment you consider moving. To completely move and have flexibility on your budget, you will have saved a minimum of six months’ worth of expenses in your savings account. You should also consider informing your financial providers about your move so as to maintain your credit score, pay outstanding loans, and avoid getting cut off from your money at an unfortunate time abroad. You will need to take more steps to prepare your finances so that you don’t find yourself in a difficult situation overseas.
Research Shipping Options
When it comes to moving overseas, you usually have two main transit options for international shipping: Air freight and sea/water freight.
Air freight comes at a premium. It is faster and more efficient than sea freight. If you are moving in a hurry, air freight might be your only option. While a container ship might take weeks to travel to any country, a freight plane can go over in a very short time.
When you are looking for the cheapest transit to move your belongings overseas, sea freight should be your number one choice, because international container shipping costs are significantly lower. According to the World Bank, sea freight is typically 16 times cheaper than air freight. Due to the current massive overcapacity in the global sea freight industry, supply is more than demand and keeping prices low. To ship bulky stuff overseas, you should choose Full Container Load (FCL) sea freight option which is very costly
But if you have a relatively small shipment, I recommend you consider sharing a container with other individuals who also want to move their stuff overseas by choosing less than Container Load (LCL) sea freight option since it is cheaper. This will significantly reduce the costs of shipping for you, as you will split the expenses of shipment with others.
Downsizing and Packing Items Yourself
When you are about to move to a new country, you should take half of your belongings and twice the money you will need abroad. It is time to be ruthless with your belongings.
Before traveling, you should go through your belongings and determine what you truly need to move with. If you are finding it difficult to decide which property to move to, an important factor to consider is whether the cost of shipping that item will exceed the cost of buying it again in your new destination.
After you have decided on which of your belongings you don’t need anymore, I recommend you sell them and get yourself extra money for your journey. Selling them will allow you to carry fewer properties and help you save cost on shipping.
Another great way of reducing costs when moving overseas is to pack items yourself. Some people find packing items stressful. Instead, they hire the service of moving companies and end up paying a huge sum of money.
To park your item properly, all you need to do is separate your items into different categories: clothing, personal items, books, kitchen or toiletries, etc. You should pack up as many belongings as possible.
Make use of as much space as you have available when packing your belongings. Pack smaller size items inside bigger items, use vacuum bags to compress your clothes and bedding, and dismantle furniture if possible. Packing properly can help you save shipping costs.
You will also want to look into international transit companies to move your properties to the ocean or the closest air freight station.
Buying Flights at the Right Time
Purchasing airline tickets to move overseas during off-season periods can save you a lot of money. Discount rates are usually offered by airline companies during off-season periods, such as during holidays. Avoiding festivals or peak seasons to buy flight tickets can help you get more affordable moving rates.
The best way to get a good deal on tickets is to search until you see any discount or special promotion to travel to your destination. This will help you save a lot of money off common flight prices. You can sign up for a few websites to receive alerts via emails when flight ticket prices drop. Kayak Alerts, Skyscanner.com, and Airfare Watchdog are the famous website that offers such services.
I recommend you book flights on Sundays. The best time to purchase your flight tickets for long-haul flights is to buy tickets about 14-19 weeks before the date or for short-haul flights, buy your tickets around 6-8 weeks before the date. This will give you enough time to find the best flight ticket deal.
Getting past customs check with your belongings is never a simple task and being charged customs duty for your belongings is not good.
Researching how you can easily pass through customs checks and gain express entry can help you evade unnecessary costs when your properties pass through customs checks. Knowing how to avoid incurring more charges, extra paperwork, or unnecessary delays can help you reduce the cost of your travel.
There are some countries that will allow you to move your belongings without paying extra costs. For example, Hong Kong and Germany allow newcomers to move their belongings without paying extra customs duty.
You can also work with international moving companies; they will let you know which items will make you pay additional fees or which item is prohibited in the country you are moving to.
Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork like your Driver’s license, Birth certificate, Work permit, and college degree needed before you move. This will reduce the risk of paying extra duty or getting delayed by customs.
Pick a Cheap and Good Accommodation
Most people usually have rent as their main fixed cost When arriving in a new country. Before getting a permanent home, most newcomers look for temporary accommodation first. Apart from paying rent, if you’re moving into an empty house buying furniture becomes necessary, which is expensive.
One of the ways to reduce accommodation expenses is by finding roommates who have a good and well-furnished apartment and is willing to share his/her space with you. This will help you reduce the cost of buying house furniture and allow you to check different areas before making a decision to get a permanent resident.
There are major websites that will help you easily find roommates online, for example, Airbnb, Craigslist, HouseTrip, etc. helps to find roommates in most cities around the world.
One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary costs when moving is by insuring potential risk. It is an additional cost but it is worth In the event that anything goes wrong, it can save you a lot of money if your belongings get damaged when moving.
When moving abroad, picking the right insurance is very important. So make sure you get the best health, life, travel, home, and removals insurance sorted out on time before you move.
Use the website to compare prices and find the best insurance deal. Having valid health insurance has become mandatory in some countries. Inform your insurance provider that you are moving overseas and ask for recommendations on the type of moving insurance you will need to cover your belongings when they’re being moved.
Research Job Prospects and Living Expenses
Researching job opportunities and realizing how much you are going earn before you move overseas will help create a comprehensive budget that will be estimated all costs related to your move overseas.
With proper job research, you can figure out the cost of living in the country you want to move overseas and create a budget for your visas, shipping, travel, accommodation, and food based on your projected income. This will help you reduce overspending.
Find free resources provided by the country you intend to move to and take advantage of them. A lot of countries offer free orientation programs like language learning courses, job placement services, and immigrants’ social support networks. These free resources can help you settle in easily and save you a lot of money on various programs.
Connect With Your Fellow Expats And Locals
The procedure of moving abroad on a budget is overwhelming, but you need to feel alone. Expatriates are some of the most welcoming people you will find living abroad. Seeking advice from these expatriates and locals is one of the best ways of getting information and saving some money.
There will be things you might take for granted where you live but are pretty serious when you are abroad. That is why you should not be afraid of asking for advice from expatriates and locals who are happy to share their experiences with you.
They are often willing to share their tips about navigating the administration and lawyers, accountants, and other services you will need when navigating the basics of living overseas.
You can also find many forums online for expats. But I recommend you try finding those living within your city, through meet-ups where you can connect with them.
If you have already chosen where and when you are moving, going overseas on a low-cost budget is very possible. By simply following these 10 top easy tips and strategically planning, you will successfully go on your overseas adventure without draining your bank account.
You are not going on a two-week trip, so give yourself enough time to properly prepare before moving abroad. Remember, plan ahead, stay flexible, shop, and utilize free resources provided in your destination country for newcomers.
I hope these top 10 tips to move overseas cheaply will help you save money on the cost of moving overseas and the start of your new and beautiful life. I wish you the Best of luck.
- How much does it cost to move overseas?
It cost an average of about 1,000 to 10,000 USD to travel overseas. This will depend on the method of travel you choose.
- Which is the best method to move overseas?
Sea freight is the best since it is cheaper than other like air freight. But, if you are in a rush and you have enough money to pay for air freight, you can choose air transit
- Is traveling overseas a good idea?
Moving overseas can be difficult, but still, it is well worth it. But, moving overseas without any job or a plan is dangerous.
- Do I need travel insurance?
Find out if the health insurance plan in your country covers you outside. If does not, then I recommend you get the insurance necessary for your travel.
- Will I need vaccinations when moving overseas?
Sure, you will need to take some vaccinations before moving overseas. this will depend on the country you are traveling from.