international move

15 Tips for International Moves

Moving overseas is majorly life-changing. You will experience a new culture, climate, and government, and you’ll make some personal adjustments as well. You’ll probably have to change banks, get a new car, find a new doctor, and let’s not forget learning a new language. Without question, when preparing for an international move there are some extra arrangements and considerations to make. It may feel daunting, but we can help.

Portland is an international city, and Master Movers has more than 20 years experience moving individuals, families, and businesses from Portland to destinations all over the world. With help from Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, we have the global reach of an international carrier with the local know-how of a Portland business.

Below, we’ve put together some helpful tips for moving internationally:

Make sure it’s a good fit

If possible, it’s best to visit your new country before making your final decision to move there. It’s important to become familiar with the customs, currency, and daily life you might assume as new resident. Ask yourself if the new culture is a good fit for you (and your family).

Keep an open mind

One thing you can count on is that all things will not go as planned. So, don’t assume that you’ll find the perfect job or your dream home right away without any trouble. They way to make sure you can take it all in stride is to be as prepared as possible. Try to save enough money to have a few months worth of living expenses, and start early getting all the necessary paperwork in order (i.e. passport, visa, etc.). Above all else, stay positive.

Create a realistic budget

Keeping track of your expenses could be the difference between a happy relocation and a disaster. Before you make any reservations or deposits, figure out how much everything is going to cost (even after you get settled), and set your limits. You’ll have peace of mind knowing how long your savings is going to last.

Take advantage of benefits and deductions

If you’re moving for your job, your employer may offer relocation benefits. You may also be eligible for tax deductions. To take advantage of these things it’s imperative that you keep and organize the documentation of all your expenses, like receipts and invoices.

Assess the health care system

This is especially important if you or a member of your family has a medical condition that requires treatment or medication. Where are the best doctors? Which emergency facilities are close to you? Do they offer the medications you currently take? If the country’s healthcare system doesn’t suit you, this move may not be a good idea.

What to do with your current home

If you own your home will you sell it, rent it out, or just leave it empty? If you plan to put it on the market for sale or lease, make sure you hire a realtor or property manager who has experience working with international clients. Otherwise, make arrangements with your mortgage lender for making payments from overseas.

Job hunting

If you’ll be looking for a new job in your new country, you could benefit from starting your search ahead of time. You might find that your specific qualifications don’t apply, and you may need to re-train for the position you want. If there was ever a good time for a career change this would probably be it, right? Getting a feel for the job market before you move will also help you figure out what your salary might be like, further helping you set your budget.

Speak the language

Being able to speak or at least understand the language of your new country might have the single most positive impact on your relocation experience. Trying to get out and do normal things like eat at restaurants, take public transportation, or shop for groceries could prove to be very frustrating if you can’t read signs, maps or menus.

The necessary paperwork

Moving overseas can be a bureaucratic nightmare. But, as long as you come prepared with the necessary forms and certificates, you stand a good chance at a stress free move. Things to collect and keep on file include, birth certificates, passports, visas, wedding certificates, medical certificates, veterinary records for your pets, educational certificates, etc.

Your Belongings

If you’ve already found a new home, you should have an idea of what you can bring in terms of your possessions. With everything you have to deal with, you shouldn’t have to worry about the details of shipping your stuff. An international moving company like Master Movers Moving & Storage will take care of everything. And, if you aren’t sure where you’ll plant your feet, we can securely store all or part of your belongings for as long as you need us to.

Getting it covered

Once you decide what you’re taking with you, insure it. You have options regarding how much coverage your belongings will need for the move. Also, if you haven’t made the necessary applications for travel, health, and life insurance in your new country, make sure to do that right away.

Make financial arrangements

Odds are there isn’t a Bank of America branch where you’re going, so you’ll probably need to transfer your money to a local bank. You may be able to keep your current bank account open, but at the very least you’ll need to notify them of your move. Your credit card companies will need to be aware as well.


Depending on the country and how long you plan to live there you may need to apply for a new driver’s license or take a driving test. You may not even need a car if you’re moving to a city with public transportation. But if you do, it’s usually easier to buy or lease a new car when you get there than try to ship your vehicle overseas.

Electrical appliances and mobile devices

One of the most frustrating issues that Americans are confronted with when going abroad is electricity. It’s so ubiquitous here that we really take it for granted. Voltage is different everywhere you go outside the U.S., so your TV, hair dryer, and coffee machine may not work without the proper converters. Phone and internet service providers are also going be different, so you’ll likely need new contracts, if not new devices all together.

Change of address

Lastly, remember to set aside time for a proper goodbye with your friends and family, and give them all your new address. If you’re moving to a place without your favorite creature comforts, like peanut butter or a special cereal, you might need them to send you a care package every now and then. You might also want to get Skype set up with your loved ones so you can stay close even from afar.

From local to international moves, Master Movers Moving & Storage does it all. We understand the chance you are taking and the investment you are making in moving overseas, and we work hard to ensure that your relocation is successful and stress-free. Contact us for a free estimate on a commercial or residential overseas move.