Friday, 27 September 2013

Guest Blogger Series: Introducing…Brian Jamesson

Our latest guest blogger, Brian Jamesson, works in the moving industry. In this post, he gives an insight into what to look for when moving abroad.
Moving abroad in a nutshell

Moving abroad is an important step in anyone’s life, especially when it is for the first time. The idea of abiding by new rules and getting accustomed to different cultural environments can be both scary and exciting. Despite the excitement of living and working in a new place, it is important to consider the actual moving process, which requires a lot of effort and planning.

Where to start from?
The first thing to do is to decide whether you will use a full service moving provider to handle everything or use an agent and do the packing and logistics yourself. The first option will be more expensive but going for the second option always bears the risk of things getting complicated and elongating the process. Be considered in your decision.

Organised means effective
When you’ve decided what the best option is for you then it is time to make a plan: write down everything you need to do, the people and companies to call and the institutions to visit. Keep this list up to date and closely monitor the process to avoid missing an important step.

Choose only the best for you!
The smoothest move will be guaranteed by choosing the best international moving company. Conduct some online research and ask no less than three companies for an estimate. When doing your research always pay attention to the international moving companies’ credentials – in some counties an overseas move company must be insured and licensed by the respective government agency (for the USA it is the Federal Maritime Commission). Membership in international business associations is also a big plus. Start looking for a moving company at the earliest stage possible, preferably two months prior to the moving day as leaving it until the last moment will make moving more stressful.

Once you have decided on the list of international moving companies, it is worth checking their reputation. Search for ratings and customers reviews so you are clued up on any issues you may face with the company. Read both negative and positive reviews and try to create your own picture about company’s reputation. Bear in mind that an entirely positive image may not be entirely genuine and could be moderated, especially if on the company site. It may also be worth contacting friends and colleagues who will have first-hand experiences and information.

Keeping the costs low
Now that your list of professional  moving companies is finalised it is time to work out the ways you may be able to optimise your moving budget. Fill in international moving quotes and compare them and look for discounts.  Some companies not only offer relocation help but also provide discount coupons and vouchers for students and for their cross-country relocation services. When comparing quotes have in mind that the cheaper prices may come with a cost of lower quality so balance wisely between price and quality.  To minimise costs even more get organised and decide what items are really important to you – the less you take, the lower the moving rate will be. Knowing the factors that define the final price of the international move can help you make the right choice. The main ones are: the weight/volume of the shipping items, the distance of the move, the additional services (packing, storing, hoisting, etc.), moving insurance and customs clearance. Make sure to ask your mover for all the expenses you will incur in advance – sometimes the hidden costs counts for a significant part of the entire relocation budget.

The last from the list
As a final I would like to remind of some small steps that people often forgot to do but are inseparable part of the moving process. Do not forget to collect all personal documents that you’ll need in the new country of residence – these include doctor and dentists’ records, school diplomas, passports, credit cards, etc. Cancel all utilities (if nobody else is going to use them) and subscriptions, return books and DVDs and even cook up the frozen food in the refrigerator.

About the author:

Brian Jamesson works at Xpress Movers. He authors the moving related tips and articles at his blog. You can follow him on his corporate Twitter account @XpressMovers or you can find him on here.

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