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How to Create a Budget for Your International Move

Budgeting Tips

Moving abroad is an exciting endeavor that many aspire to experience – but the little, unplanned costs of such an adventure can start to pile up if you haven’t accounted for them ahead of time. Here are our tips for creating an international moving budget, and sticking to it.

Make a Spreadsheet

It’s time to get to know your spreadsheet program better. Your budget can be quite simple and still accomplish what you need it to provide: a clear picture of expenses and budgetary needs.

Start by adding the following categories, then filling in the numbers:

Moving Company Expenses

The moving company should give you one, inclusive quote that takes all of these components into account, but as you plan your budgeting they should each be considered.

  • Moving company fee. Get clear on exactly what this entails in your quote
  • Extra moving insurance — highly recommended for complex international moves
  • Tip for the movers on both ends of the move — US and foreign
  • Shipping container — consider that an exclusive container, which holds your items only, costs extra
  • Additional services, like the assistance of professional packers
  • A storage unit in your country of origin for things being left behind

Travel Costs

This always seems to be one area where “the little things” suddenly become a larger sum of money than anticipated. Do your research ahead of time to determine how much these things will cost and save yourself a big headache.

  • Purchase your flights abroad well in advance to take advantage of lower ticket prices, and plug this number into your budget early on
  • Transportation to and from the airport should be easy to budget for. Get a quick quote from a local taxi company and, if possible, schedule them for your pickup ahead of time
  • If your new home isn’t ready in your destination country, plan ahead to find lodging until you can move in. Try AirBnB to find an appropriately sized and well-equipped temporary home for you and your family at an affordable rate
  • Don’t forget about meals! Pack snacks for your trip, and then consider how many meals you’ll need to eat out. Remember that airport meals tend to be a bit pricier than average, so budget accordingly
  • Make sure your passports are up to date — that means that you have at least 6 months left on your passport before it is set to expire, or some countries won’t let you enter. Each country’s visa requirements are different too, and can vary widely in cost. Also: if you’re traveling through any other countries on the way, make sure you’re aware of any pass-through fees they may assess at the airport
  • Customs may be an additional fee upon arrival. Your international moving company should take care of arranging customs fees for your shipment, but whatever you choose to carry with you may be charged
  • Vaccines may be required to enter your new home country! Educate yourself on those requirements and account for those costs at your home doctor before you depart
  • Relocating abroad can be a headache for pet owners, so account for the costs of having your pet’s papers and vaccines completely up to date to expedite the process. Also, consider how much you will be charged for their flights.

Moving overseas can be exciting and fairly stress-free if you take care of these details ahead of time — and hire a reputable and knowledgeable moving company to help make the process go smoothly. Learn more about Unpakt’s International moving services.

Read more on how to pack for your international move!


About the author

Unpakt Team