Where to Start with Planning for an International Move

international movePreparing for a move can be stressful enough when you're moving across town or to another state--but planning for an international move can take your stress to the next level! Fortunately, if an international move is in your future, a little bit of planning and foresight can go a long way in ensuring a smooth transition. Not sure where to begin? We've got a few recommendations to help you get started.

Research Documentation Requirements

One of the most complicated and potentially time-consuming aspects of planning an international move is researching all of the documentation required. You'll need to figure out, for example, whether you'll need a passport, a visa, or some other form of documentation to legally relocate. Keep in mind that applying and getting approved for a passport or visa can take weeks or even months, so this is not something you'll want to put off until the last minute.

Even once you've arrived in your new country, you'll want to have already done your homework on the steps you'll need to take in order to obtain a driver's license, legal identification, or other important documentation sooner rather than later.

Pare Down Your Possessions

Shipping your possessions from point A to point B is generally the most efficient (and cost-effective) option when it comes to an international move. At the same time, as you can imagine, international shipping of large items (such as furniture) isn't cheap. This is why it's best to pare down your possessions as much as practically possible before you embark on your international move.

One popular option to consider in the months or weeks prior to your move is holding a garage sale to sell off some of the belongings you don't plan on taking with you. This can be a great way to acquire some extra cash (which can be used to offset those international shipping costs) and reduce the total amount of "stuff" you need to have shipped.

Of course, if you plan on your international move being temporary, you may also want to consider putting the bulk of your belongings into storage until you return.

Consult with a Financial Advisor

Taxes might be the last thing on your mind when you're planning an international move, but trust us on this one. Your tax situation will automatically become complicated when you move across an international border; there's really no way around it, so the best thing you can do is to plan ahead by consulting with a tax or financial advisor before you move. He or she will be able to help you figure out important aspects of your new-found tax situation, such as where your fiscal residency will be and what special steps you may need to take when it comes time to file your taxes for the current year.

Schedule Your Moving Services

Last but definitely not least, don't forget to schedule your international moving services as far in advance as possible. Scheduling an in-home estimate is the best way to get an accurate quote for your international move while also making sure you end up with the specific services (packing, shipping, delivery, unpacking, etc.) to suit your unique needs.

Planning an international move can be exciting, but it can also be a bit of a logistical mess--so make sure you plan ahead and find the right moving company to trust with all your relocation needs!