10 hidden costs of moving abroad

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Have you always dreamed of moving somewhere out of the country and have finally decided to do it? There are quite a few things you need to know about moving internationally. It’s not really as simple as a local move. However, don’t let this scare you. It just means it requires more effort due to the bigger distance and moving from one country to another. One of the most important pieces of information about an international move is the cost of the move. If you are moving for the first time, you might not be aware of some hidden costs. That’s why we are here to inform you about the 10 hidden costs of moving abroad.

Hidden costs of moving abroad

You are moving abroad and it’s a very exciting experience for most people who choose to do so. Because of this, you might not pay attention to everything that determines the cost of your move. However, you can always check out international moving quotes to get a general idea of how much the move will cost you. It’s certainly not as simple as packing your bags and heading to your desired destination. We’ll guide you through these hidden costs of moving abroad. That way, you can avoid any shocks about the cost of the relocation process.

woman walking on pathway while strolling luggage
Don’t forget that traveling to your new location is also a part of the cost of your move

1. Travel costs

Before we start talking about the transportation of your belongings and other necessary moving costs – let’s talk about the travel costs. Your belongings are not the only things moving to a new country, you are as well. Whether you plan on driving to your new home in your own car or traveling by plane – you still have to spend money on gas or buy a ticket. But be careful with using your car for this purpose. In some countries – it’s not allowed. But don’t worry, you can always use international car transportation to transport your car to another country.

However, these are not the only things included in traveling costs. Before buying or renting a home in another country, you’ll have to go there and look for a place that suits your needs. Even if you did find something online, you will go and check if everything’s as described before moving in. This means it’s an additional trip that adds to the cost of moving.

You are planning on going back home to visit your family once in a while? That means you’ll also want to move somewhere not so far away. Having in mind how much it costs to do that will save you a lot of money in the future.

2. The cost of shipping your belongings

Let’s move on to solving the problem of how can you transport your belongings to your new home. Generally speaking, there are two solutions to this problem. You can either use international moving services or transport them yourself by renting a truck. You’ll see that renting a truck and moving by yourself is a cheaper option at first glance. But is it really cheaper? Considering the fact that you are not a professional, you are putting your belongings at a higher risk of getting damaged. If you don’t pack and secure your belongings well, you can cause more damage to your things than you might expect. Repairing the said damage will, in most cases, cost you a lot more. To avoid that, you can simply hire professionals to help you with your move.

Professional moving companies have well-trained employees who are experienced and know how to handle moving boxes overseas and almost any kind of move. This is why you’ll be spending less by hiring a moving company than renting a moving truck and moving by yourself.

3. Customs duty charges and taxes

Another thing on the list of hidden costs of moving abroad that you might not be aware of. It’s something you need to do good research on before moving. This is because it solely depends on what country you are moving to. The reason for this is that every country in the world has its own regulations regarding this matter. In some countries, you will be free of customs taxes and duties and can freely transport your belongings without paying anything for that. However, a lot of countries in the world will charge you for this, which is why you need to be well-prepared and do your research on time.

a black woman sitting on a chair with her laptop thinking about hidden costs of moving abroad
Make sure to check if the country you are moving to has any special regulations regarding customs duty charges and taxes

So how much will that cost you in case you are moving to a country that will charge you for this? This is something that entirely depends on the number of things you are transporting, their weight, and such. There could also be some custom taxes connected to transporting specific items, so you better look into that too and see if you possess anything of that kind and want to bring it with you.

4. Taking your pets with you

You are a pet owner and plan on bringing your little friends with you to your new home? Well, that won’t be free either, so it’s one more of the hidden costs of moving abroad that will raise the cost of your move. Now that you’ve heard that it costs money to transport your pet to another country, you might think it’s not that expensive. It can’t be, right? Well, to your surprise, it can get pretty expensive. There are many things you need to do in order to prepare your pet for this trip. What’s more, the cost can rise up to thousands. It might sound shocking, but those are the rules.

But why is it so expensive? First, you need to pay for your pet’s ‘airline ticket’. Second, you need to make sure your pet is healthy and can endure the trip to another country. This includes:

  • taking them to a vet for a checkup
  • getting a health certificate for them
  • quarantine fees
  • Other things that might be more specific depending what kind of pet you own

5. Replacing home appliances

This might be a very unexpected cost of moving abroad for some people moving for the first time. Depending on what country you are moving to, you might experience your old appliances going defunct. They might also work way worse than they usually do. However, it doesn’t mean your home appliances are broken or anything. Something like this often happens because of differences in voltage and electrical plugs that are used on appliances.

a photo of vegetables beside grey electric kettle
Due to differences in voltage in countries all over the world, you might have to replace your home appliances depending on where you relocate

So, before moving to a new country, you need to be ready for home appliances shopping. The sum of money you’ll have to spend on this depends on how many of them you have and how many you actually use on a daily basis. Therefore, there is one way to save money on this – buy only what you really need. Living in one place for a long time can lead to unnecessary things building up in your home that you never really use.

6. Visa

One of the most troublesome parts of moving abroad is getting your visa. It doesn’t matter whether you are permanently moving or for some short period of time, it can get pretty exhausting. Not only is it hard to get your visa, but it costs quite a lot of money as well. This is another thing that solely depends on what country in the world you want to move to.

Let’s take Australia as an example. If you want to get a visa that will grant you entry to this country as a skilled worker, you will have to pay nearly 4,000 Australian dollars only for a base application charge. But that’s not all. A certain number of countries in the world will require that you do a health checkup before getting your visa. This is something that only adds to the cost of your move and you might not have thought of it before.

white and red labeled box
Never forget to count your visa expenses as an additional moving cost as it’s an essential part of your international move

7. The costs of moving insurance

Another very important thing about moving abroad is keeping your belongings safe. Since we are talking about an international move here, your stuff needs to be able to endure a pretty long trip. This goes especially for people renting a moving truck and performing the relocation by themselves. This means that your belongings need to be insured so you can have a stress-free move. In case you are hiring international relocation companies to help you with your move, they will be obligated to provide basic mover’s insurance by law. However, in most cases, this kind of insurance will not be enough to cover all your belongings. This happens because the value of your belongings will probably be higher than the value insurance is supposed to cover.

In this kind of situation, you can either purchase a full-value coverage from your international household movers, or you can simply go for a third-party coverage to protect your items. You should always talk about this matter with your mover in order to determine what type of insurance suits your needs best. Since this depends on the amount of stuff you want to transport, the cost of insurance will also be different depending on how much stuff you have.

8. Packing supplies

If you are hiring professional movers like door to door international movers for this matter, the cost of packing your belongings will be included in your bill. This means you’ll have a clear picture of how much it will cost you. However, for those who choose to move on their own, it’s very easy to overlook how much buying packing supplies will cost. It’s not always easy to determine how much material you actually need. For those who have never moved before it might be even harder. This is because they most likely won’t know the prices of packing materials.

red duct tape and packing peanuts inside a carton box
People often forget to include packing supplies in their moving budget even though they are something you can’t move without

It might sound paradoxical, but the best way to save money on your move is to invest in quality packing supplies. As we’ve mentioned before, your belongings need to be able to endure such a long trip. This means that you need to secure them well in the best way you can. If you don’t, repairing the damage caused by improper packing will cost you way more than you can imagine. This especially applies to moving furniture overseas as it easily gets damaged if not handled properly.

9. Moving specialized items

Something you need to have in mind when hiring movers is that not all of them are trained to safely move some specific items even though they offer that in the list of their services. This specific scenario happens with unreliable movers that present themselves in a different light. One more reason to do your research and be careful when choosing a moving company.

These types of items include things like fine art and sculptures, antique dishes, and such. So if any of these are in your possession and are of big emotional value to you, don’t worry, there is a solution for that as well. All you need to do is look for a multi-faceted mover that will be able to transport these items for you without damaging them. 

The last option would be hiring one more moving company that specializes in moving these kinds of items. For example, you can hire international piano movers to safely move your piano overseas.

a piano placed in the center of a bright room
If you are moving something more delicate, like a piano, you can hire movers who specialize in moving that kind of item

10. The costs of storage

This is the last thing on our list of 10 hidden costs of moving abroad. Something you might need during your overseas move depending on how much stuff you have is storage. Why would you need it? It can be very hard to coordinate your moving date to the shipping dates of the professional moving company you have chosen. You can’t store your belongings just anywhere. It’s important to choose a reputable company you can place your trust in to take care of your belongings.  In case you still haven’t found a place to buy or rent in your country of choice but have already started the moving process, storage is a good solution for that as well. Your stuff will be safe and protected and you can look for your new home stress-free. 





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