How to Move With Multiple Pets

Having pets can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, especially if multiple animals live with you. However, while your pets can add richness to your life, what happens when you need to move to a new apartment or house? Knowing what to do and how to handle the situation is easy, but your pets may not be so understanding.

Fortunately, moving with multiple pets doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. With the proper planning and coordination, you and your animals can start enjoying your new place in no time.

Step One: Start Preparing Your Pets

Depending on what kind of pets you have, you may need to do some legwork to get them ready to travel. For example, if you have indoor cats that have never been outside, you should start bringing them outdoors to gauge their reaction. Similarly, if you’ve never had to use a pet carrier or harness before, you should practice putting it on your pet.

This step can help acclimate your pets to the various elements required for moving. If you spring it all on them immediately, they’ll be stressed and nervous throughout the trip. However, if you make a fun and rewarding experience, your pet may look forward to the move, even if they don’t understand what’s happening.

Step Two: Determine Logistical Needs

As a rule, dogs and cats are relatively easy to move with if you have a pet carrier for each animal. It’s best to keep them all separate during the move so they can remain calmer. Prepare them by getting them used to a crate using high-value treats and incentives. Begin this crate acclimation process weeks ahead of your move.

If you have more exotic pets like fish, lizards, or birds, you may have to transfer them to a smaller tank or terrarium for travel. Again, acclimating your pets to this experience can help them adjust more quickly when it’s time.

Also, consider whether you need to wrap or protect your pet’s equipment. For example, a glass aquarium could break during travel, so you should cover it in bubble wrap before transporting it.

Step Three: Consider Timing

Moving happens in stages, so you must determine the best stage for moving your pets. For example, maybe it’s best to have them move first so they can get used to the new house before you bring furniture and belongings. Alternatively, moving them last after all the big stuff is gone might be best. This way, you can focus on one thing at a time and give more attention to your pets.

That said, you may have little luxury, depending on your situation. If you’re moving across the country, everything has to happen simultaneously, although it’s easy to arrive before your belongings do. Also, for long-distance moves, take longer so you can stop for breaks regularly to help ease your pets’ stress.

Get Help Moving Your Belongings

One of the best ways to make moving pets easier is to get someone else to handle your furniture and belongings. Contact a full-service mover to handle your move so you can focus on caring for your pets from point A to point B.

Should Your Office Empty File Cabinets and Desks Before Moving?

Even in this digital age, your office has file cabinets and desks to move to your new location. A common difficulty is whether to empty them of their contents. Although the answer depends on the overall weight and construction of the furnishings, here are some general guidelines.

Two-Drawer File Cabinets

Two-drawer file cabinets are generally light and easy to move. Although removing the contents can make the move easier, your professional office movers can move these small cabinets while full.

Four-Drawer Vertical File Cabinets

Movers have particular office moving supplies and use straps and dollies to move vertical file cabinets, and the process is relatively easy. You’ll need to empty the top two file drawers, however. Otherwise, the top weight will bend the bottom of the cabinet, which could destroy it. 

If your file cabinet is full, consider emptying the contents of all the drawers. A well-built, full four-drawer vertical file cabinet is quite heavy and may require more than two people to lift. If the cabinet is heavy enough to require three, some moving companies may require you empty the drawers on moving day, which will be much more chaotic than emptying them ahead of time.

Horizontal File Cabinets

Horizontal file cabinets are challenging to move because they distribute weight over a wider area. These cabinets are also generally made of lightweight materials, so the force of extra weight in some drawers is more likely to damage the cabinets. You should empty the contents of every drawer before the move.

Desk Drawers

Businesses also often wonder whether they must empty desk drawers before moving. Ideally, they should empty the drawers. Often, desk drawers contain smaller items, such as pens and paper clips, that will move during transit. Also, although movers will tape the drawers shut, the tape can come loose during the move, spreading these small items all over the truck.

Full desk drawers can put too much force on the drawers, damaging the sliding mechanism that helps open and close the drawer. Also, remember that movers will be tilting the desk to move it in and out of spaces. Fragile items like jewelry may move around and break if they remain inside the drawer. Also, full drawers make the desk harder to maneuver and increase the likelihood of marks on your new walls.

Finally, desks are heavy. Some executive desks weigh more than 200 pounds when empty, for example. If you add full drawers, the weight can top 300 pounds. 

Movers must spend more time and energy moving heavy objects. Emptying the desk drawers can help the move proceed more efficiently.

How to Empty Drawers

Plastic totes or banker-sized boxes are the easiest way to empty the drawers. Put the contents of each drawer in a separate tote or box and label it thoroughly. Using the totes or boxes and a labeling system will make putting the file cabinets back together easier after the move.

Ask Your Mover

Your professional commercial mover can advise on emptying drawers based on your specific situation. 

How to Move With Motorized Equipment

Many people love driving on motorized equipment, whether an ATV, dirt bike, lawnmower, or motorcycle. However, while these vehicles are fun to drive and use, what happens when you need to move to a new location?

You must devise a strategy because driving these rigs to your new location is not feasible. Fortunately, here are some top tips on making it happen.

Step One: Make Your Equipment Travel-Ready

While you could just drive an ATV or riding mower onto the back of a pickup truck and call it a day, cleaning your equipment as much as possible is best. Also, check elements like tire pressure, oil, and gas levels. Ideally, you won’t have a full gas tank.

Step Two: Find a Suitable Transportation Rig

You’ll need a large flatbed trailer if you have multiple motorized vehicles to transport. If you’re moving long distances, you’ll want this trailer covered so your equipment doesn’t get stolen or rained on during the trip.

The closer the trailer is to the ground, the better. This way, you can rely less on ramps, which can cause problems if you don’t use them correctly.

Check with your professional mover. Full-service professional movers can transport your vehicles using their equipment.

Step Three: Secure Your Ramps

If you’ve seen videos of people trying to drive an ATV or dirtbike on a truck, only for the ramp to fall and damage the vehicle, you know why this step is necessary. Use tie-downs or other materials to ensure the ramp won’t shift or move as you drive the vehicle onto the trailer or truck bed.

Also, verify that the distance between ramps is suitable for the vehicle. Don’t secure them and then discover they’re too close or far apart.

Step Four: Secure Your Vehicles

Once your motorized equipment is on the trailer or truck bed, tie it down. It’s also a good idea to put a spare tire in front of the first vehicle so it doesn’t damage anything during the trip (or get damaged itself). Also, with trailers, you want the bulk of the weight to be at the front, where the trailer connects to your truck. Otherwise, you could fishtail out of control.

Step Five: Bring a Jack and Spare Tire

Hauling such heavy equipment can put a substantial load on the trailer or truck tires so you might have a blowout in transit. So, it’s best to be prepared with a flat tire kit and a spare (in addition to the one protecting the first vehicle). Also, make sure you know how to use the jack and that it’s rated to carry a sufficient amount of weight so it won’t collapse while changing the tire.

Step Six: Double Check Everything

Pieces of your ATVs, dirt bikes, or riding lawnmowers can fly off if the trailer is open, so make sure each piece is secured or removed and stored somewhere. You want to avoid arriving at your destination to discover missing parts.

Get Moving Help

Full-service professional movers have experience moving various vehicles. They can give you peace of mind knowing your equipment will arrive on time and in excellent condition. 

Moving? Packaging Tips for Breakables

If you’re packing fragile items for a household move, you probably worry about them breaking in transit. However, with careful handling and a few tricks, even fragile objects can be packed and moved without damage.

1. Choose the Appropriate Carton

Selecting the ideal moving box and supplies is essential when moving fragile items. Use clean, sturdy boxes. Pack heavy, delicate items in the smallest carton possible. Small boxes are easier to handle and provide less space for the item to roll. Add additional padding to the extra space for protection.

You can protect glasses and stemware using specialty cartons like glass packing kits designed with corrugated dividers. Expert movers will likely have these specialized boxes on hand, but you can purchase dividers for standard boxes if needed.

Placing your TV or monitor in its original packaging provides optimal protection. Remove the cables and protect them with bubble wrap if you don’t have the packaging anymore. Then, use bubble wrap to protect the screens, and top that with a moving blanket or plush towel.

Tape the bottom of any box containing delicate items for added support.

2. Select Proper Packing Materials

You will need a variety of packing materials to protect your fragile items. 

  • Packing peanuts – Cushion your fragile items by filling the empty spaces in the box with packing peanuts. 
  • Bubble wrap – Each bubble is filled with air and encased in thick plastic, so wrapping items in bubble wrap will prevent breakage.
  • Packing paper – Use packing paper to protect the exterior of fragile items and fill empty spaces inside them.
  • Padded inserts – Wrap larger items in this special padding


3. Wrap Your Fragiles

If you’re packing something delicate, wrap each component separately. For example, you should wrap a teapot and its lid independently. Likewise, you should individually wrap each glass. Wrapping may add more time to the process, but it’s worth it.

4. Prepare the Box

Place layers of cushioning material on the bottom of the box. For instance, use packing peanuts or crumpled packing paper as a base layer to cushion the shock.

5. Place Heavy Items First

Place the heaviest item in the box first, followed by the lighter, more fragile items at the top.

Also, use packing paper and bubble wrap to ensure no extra space inside the box. This is especially important to prevent items from moving around and breaking inside the box.

6. Label Every Box as Fragile

An essential part of packing fragile items is proper labeling. Put the word “Fragile” on all sides of the box. You can purchase labels labeled fragile or use a Sharpie. Consider using colored tape on boxes containing fragile items as well. Place the boxes containing fragile items in a designated area for your professional movers. Then, let the movers know when they arrive that you have a section of moving cartons containing fragile items.

7. Allow Plenty of Time

When faced with the daunting task of moving, rushing through the packing process can be tempting. Packing fragile items carefully, however, is a must.

8. Let the Movers Pack for You

Professional movers have the experience to pack and handle your fragile items. Allow them to handle the packing and transport for you for a stress-free move.

Business Relocation Timeline: What to Know

Although business professionals possess time management skills, relocating the entire company may prove challenging. Moving is a one-off event, unlike the systems you have in place to increase productivity and workflow. That means there won’t necessarily be a post-project review to help streamline the process.

But the good news is an abundance of resources are available to minimize disruption. Reaching out to experienced moving professionals and creating a detailed timeline can make your business transition relatively seamless. These are things decision-makers need to know when planning a move.

Begin Planning 

Industry leaders often plan their next product or service rollout months in advance. Moving timelines require long-term planning as well. Consider primary organizational efforts at least several months before you anticipate transporting office furniture and equipment.

These typically involve contacting experienced moving companies and establishing a ballpark budget. Then, company leaders can gauge what services are available. It’s not unusual for business leaders to have professionals handle all the logistics so they can focus on establishing a new footprint.

Make Crucial Decisions

Eight weeks out, completing a moving budget, negotiating a deal, and securing a date with an experienced office mover is critical. Although this may seem too far in advance, given the logistical issues your team members may be grappling with, top companies can be booked months in advance.

That generally means companies seek end-of-the-month dates to reduce financial waste. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to secure a top-flight moving company. The essential point is to make decisions about professional moving services.

Identify Non-Essential Items

Consider tapping office personnel or department leaders to itemize things that won’t be making the trip. For example, storerooms sometimes become dumping grounds for outdated equipment and old files. Your relocation may also involve new office furniture and electronics waiting on the other end, rendering equipment non-essential.

Once a list of this property has been created, have the lead person craft a plan to sell, donate, house it in a storage unit, or recycle it. A full-service moving company can transport items where they need to go at a reasonable time.

Start Packing

Gather moving supplies and start packing items unnecessary to daily operations. By boxing and labeling these items and placing them securely, supervisors better understand how long it takes to pack. Consider setting a meeting with team leaders after you complete this phase. One of the critical questions to consider is how long employees need to pack items they use every day. If you feel having non-professional packers will result in an unnecessary operational delay, contact your full-service mover promptly.

Tidy Up Loose Ends

In the final few weeks, the minutia can seem overwhelming. Updating items such as subscriptions for the waiting area, post office change of address forms, and memberships to professional organizations must be handled. IT technicians must download your digital assets into backup drives as the clock ticks. This strategy holds even if you’re a Cloud-based organization. If you have not converted to a VoIP system, phone lines may also need to be transferred.

Final Days Before Moving Trucks Arrive

One strategy that typically helps reduce moving stress is establishing a packing completion deadline of at least two days before the trucks arrive. This provides a buffer in the event unforeseen obstacles cause delays. There’s no reason for concern if your team doesn’t meet the deadline as long as everything is ready to roll when the movers arrive. But if the process is too far behind, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.

Contact a professional office mover today for a business relocation consultation.

Great Places to Find Free Moving Boxes

Moving from one home to another typically involves many expenses. You can cut costs by using free moving boxes to keep your moving budget low. According to CostHelper, boxes can cost between $1 and $3 each, depending on size. When you factor in additional moving supplies, a moving kit for a one-bedroom apartment will cost roughly $70 to $90, and for a four-bedroom home, approximately $310–$400.

By obtaining used or free boxes, you’re saving yourself money and helping the environment, making it easier to pack a little at a time rather than rushing in the days leading up to your move. Here are five ways to get free moving boxes for your upcoming move.

1. Ask Family, Friends, Neighbors, and Colleagues

If you know anyone who has recently moved, they may still have their boxes stashed in their homes. Ask around to see if anyone has boxes; this could be a win-win for everyone; you get the materials you need for free, and your family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues are likely happy to unload them.

2. Grocery Stores and Liquor Stores

Grocery and liquor stores often have some of the sturdiest boxes around since they are constructed to hold heavier items (e.g., cans and bottles). Go around town to ask local merchants if they can coordinate giving away boxes on their shipment days. Most managers are happy to have someone take boxes off their hands because it saves them time and money because employees won’t need to break them up for recycling.

3. Check Online for Free Box Opportunities

It may or may not surprise you to learn that there are numerous ways to obtain free (or at least cheap) moving boxes by searching the internet. Start by searching early in the week since most people tend to move on weekends and will list boxes after they unpack. Top websites and apps you can often nab free boxes include:

  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Community Groups
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • OfferUp
  • Letgo
  • Freecycle
  • Nextdoor

If you don’t see anyone posting free boxes to give away, try placing your own request. You never know who might see it and decide they want to declutter their basements, closets, attics, or garages that are full of boxes.

4. Moving Companies

Many moving companies offer gently used boxes at discounts. This is a good option even with a small charge since you can rest assured knowing the boxes are sturdy, durable, and designed explicitly for household moves.

5. Big Box Stores

You might score great boxes at local chains and big box stores. Good places to check with a manager include Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Walgreens, and CVS. Check out local dollar and pet stores as well.

Ready to Plan Your Upcoming Move?

Packing is an essential piece of the moving process. Obtaining free boxes in the months and weeks before your move can save on costs and reduce stress. Before taking any free boxes, carefully examine them before bringing them home. Check each one to ensure they are sturdy, damage-free, and contain no hitchhiking pests.

The Full Cost of A DIY Move

Are you facing an upcoming move? When it comes to residential moving, people have two choices: handle the transition on their own or enlist the help of a professional moving company. While working with the pros is recommended, many people will opt for alternatives to movers to save money. A DIY route while moving can be less expensive; be careful not to underestimate the cost of a self-serve move. 

The first thing most people consider when moving themselves is a truck rental for places like UHaul. This may be the single largest DIY mover expense. But, it is usually the little things that surprise people and eat away at the moving budget.

1. Multiple trips will mean morefuel.

Whether you rent a moving truck or use your vehicle, you may have to make multiple trips to get your belongings moved. Multiple trips while hauling a heavy load of furniture and belongings will also mean a lot of stops to refuel the gas tank along the way. Therefore, many DIY movers tend to spend far more on fuel than they expect during a move. 

To avoid surprises for fuel, do some quick calculations. A typical rental truck will get between 8 and 14 miles to a gallon with a tank of about 35 gallons for up to a 16ft truck. The larger trucks 926 foot) will have up to a 50-gallon tank. The mileage will vary based on your load, driving habits, and traffic conditions. 

1.1 Unforeseen truck rental costs. 

Reputable truck rental companies will be clear about the different costs involved. Understanding these costs before committing to a truck rental is important to avoid surprises. Ask about:

  • Insurance (your auto insurance likely won’t cover a moving truck like it may a rental car.)
  • Per-mile charge. Some rentals come with a mileage charge. Be clear on the amount and what is involved in your move. The mileage between two points (old and new home) is only part of the travel. 
  • Return truck fee. If you are moving to a more remote area, the rental company may charge you to cover the cost of moving the truck to a different location.
  • Clean-up fees. These can be avoided by taking proper care of the equipment. But, depending on what you move and where, things may get messy. 
  • Moving equipment rental is often available with truck rental. Special equipment may be needed to move larger items and secure items in the truck properly.

2. Consider the costs of moving equipment

As mentioned above, moving equipment is helpful when moving from one house to the next. A few items you may need just to effectively maneuver large pieces of furniture and other items safely include:

  • Rolling utility dollies to move heavy boxes and appliances
  • Moving blankets to protect items from scuffs and bumps
  • Ratcheting straps to secure heavy items in place before transport
  • Bungee cords to secure heavy boxes to a utility dolly
  • Tarps or plastic wrap to protect items during inclement weather

When considering the costs, include either the rental or purchase of any equipment you may not have access to otherwise.

3. Damage to your belongings or property

It is easy to say, “We’ll just be careful,” but damage is a common occurrence during moves. For minor damage, you may be able to simply accept it as a scratch or dent or just repair it yourself. But if the damage is significant or happens to the house you’ve just sold, you’ll need to cover the costs. Professional movers have some level of insurance to cover these issues. On your own, you’ll need to take care of this out of your pocket.

4. Indirect Cost: Taking time off of work

While a move with professional movers will require some of your time, it is much less than managing an entire move as a DIY mover. While using paid time off is an option, or you may be able to take unpaid leave, this indirect cost of a DIY move is often underestimated and quickly dismissed during the planning process. Be sure to give this reasonable consideration.

5. Injuries while moving are a real possibility and a costly event

Moving involves strenuous activity. Activity most people are not accustomed to. Beyond simply lifting heavy objects frequently, they also have to be carried while navigating stairs, potentially slippery services, and inclines/declines. Go slow and take care to minimize the risks of injury.

Using Pros or DIY Moving

While hiring professional movers will be more expensive than the direct costs involved in a DIY move, the difference may be less than you think. Consider the full range of costs in your planning, and you will make a better decision for you and your family when deciding how to handle your move.

How much should I tip movers?

How much to tip movers is a tricky topic. Like any service for which you usually add a tip, a lot depends on the level of service you receive. It gets more complicated because, unlike dining out, people don’t move often enough to get a feel for how much to tip.

Amounts for the Movers’ Tip

There are no hard and fast rules about tipping movers. But here are some of the more common approaches

  • 15%-20% of the move cost split among the movers. Some recommend a 10% tip, but that seems low if the service is good.
  • $5-$10 per hour per mover for long distance, $4-$6 for local moves.
  • Flat tip of $20 – $50/ mover
  • Minimum of $20/half day of moving work.

Keep in mind that tipping is not mandatory. There may be times when a tip is not earned. If the crew is discourteous, late, slow, or not careful with your belongings, it is within your discretion not to tip or tip on the lower end.

Tipping movers a bit more may be warranted. Are they responsive to your questions or request? Do you have a lot of small or fragile items to which they give appropriate care? Do they take great care in protecting the old or new home during the move? You may find the moving crew does other things that justify a bigger tip.

Beyond Tipping Movers to Show Appreciation

Good movers work hard. In addition to deserving a nice monetary tip, you can show your appreciation throughout the moving process. Simply thanking them when you see them taking care of a special item or letting them know you appreciate the extra padding they’ve laid out can go a long way.

  • “Thank you” means a lot as a mover is working throughout the day and would be welcomed.
  • Providing some beverage options and snacks for them the grab during the day.
  • Clearing a path between the house and the moving truck shows consideration and makes the movers’ job safer.

From tipping to simple words, showing appreciation to your movers doesn’t take much and can go a long way to making the move easier for you and the professionals.

Packing for your household move

There is a lot of advice about packing for your move. It usually involves packing specific items like dishes, shoes, linens, etc. But, discussing types of items may be more useful: fragile, heavy, bulky, etc. Once you know how to pack categories of items, it is easier to decide how to approach individual items.

Generally, considerations for packing fall along these lines:

  1. Weight
  2. Bulk
  3. Fragility
  4. Disassembly

Packing heavy items

As a rule, the heavier the items, the smaller the box. For objects like books and plates, movers use special boxes that tend to be smaller, typically about 1 CU foot or 12x12x12 inches. These boxes also have heavier cardboard construction to hold up under the weight.  

Though you may be able to lift heavier weights than a 1cu f box holds, remember that when you do, you will be moving many boxes and lots of furniture. Lifting one box of books may not be taxing, but along with all the other items, it is best to limit the weight to not strain yourself over time. 

Do not stack heavy boxes too high. Keeping the stacks relatively low makes it easier and safer to move.

Packing bulky items

Items such as clothing, pillow, towels, comforters, etc., that are lighter but take up a lot of space, you can use large boxes. In particular, there are wardrobe boxes for clothing, but you can find other large boxes as well. The larger boxes tend to be constructed with thinner walls to reduce weight. 

When moving the boxes, be careful not to stack too much weight on them. The thinner construction will collapse if too much weight is placed on them.

Packing Fragile Items

Fragile items need to be protected in two ways. One is from other items in the box with which they are packed, and the other is from the external shock that happens in the course of moving. 

From stemware and figurines to televisions and mirrors, the category of fragile spans many types of items. The materials you use to protect them will vary. 

Common types of material that can be used to protect your items include packing paper, bubble wrap, pads, or “packing peanuts.” Which you use is determined by the type of item being packed. 

Items such as stemware of porcelain are better protected by bubble wrap & packing peanuts. The material adds bulk with air pockets to protect each item from others in the box. To add further protection from rougher handling or accidental drops. Be sure not to overpack fragile items in the boxes. Leaving space between items will reduce the chance of breakage.

Using packing paper is good for multiple purposes. Between items such as plates, or flat items, it can protect them from scratches or chips. “Scrunching” packing paper and placing it on the perimeter of the back can help absorb the shock from drops or rougher-than-expected handling. 

Pro tip: Pack plates on their sides rather than stacking them with plenty of padding. This will eliminate the pressure that happens on the lower plates in the stack and reduce the likelihood of breakage.

Mark all boxes, on all sides, as “Fragile” in big lettering. Don’t assume people will look for the warning; make it obvious.

Disassembled/ tear down Items

For items like electronics, computers, or other items that have to be disassembled and reassembled in the new home, there are steps you can take to make it easier. 

  • Firstly, take photos of all components before the teardown. 
  • Secondly, label the components.  Using painter’s tape (that will come off easily), label individual cables and jacks to ensure you can easily know where to reconnect them.
  • Thirdly, keep cords, hardware, and smaller components together. Use sealable plastic bags to hold smaller items and keep them with primary items.

For particularly complicated items, you can often find user guides online. Get these prior to moving. They will help with reconnecting/assembling when you arrive.

Depending on the item, you may be able to find boxes specifically designed to hold them properly. If unsure, you can ask your moving or storage company for advice.  Whatever boxes you use, do not over-pack them. You should easily be able to seal the box closed with tape.

By applying a few basic packing techniques, you can pretty much properly pack everything you need. But if you still want to see about specific items, Mayflower has a decent Youtube Channel.

Moving Internationally? Here are some tips for international movers.

If you are moving internationally,  your to-do list will be full. There will be a lot of items that may not be on a list for a domestic move. Some of these items are obvious to most movers. Others may not become apparent until after your move, becoming more frustrating than if you planned ahead.

For international movers moving for their job, you should have the advantage of company assistance. They can help with proper documentation, initial housing, and even banking.  But, even corporate aid will not cover all of the elements you need to address.

Official Documentations for International Movers

Each country has requirements for those wanting to move from foreign countries. Some requirements may be unique, but some common elements exist. 


For any international travel from the U.S., you will need a passport. Whether taking a trip or moving, you will need an updated passport. Upon arrival to a foreign country, you will be required to present the passport at Customs before entry. 

If the intention is to move permanently and change citizenship, you will need to follow the process for citizenship and apply for a passport in the new country. The citizenship requirements are different for each country and beyond the scope of this article. Just remember that it needs to be planned out well before making any move.

Visas or Work Permits

There are numerous types of visas. Visas are documents that demonstrate your permission to be in a country. From temporary to work Visas to longer-term Visas with the intent to achieve residency, each Visa has criteria to be met.

Read the details for the destination country’s visa requirements. For most, even a “work visa” has many subcategories. Take a look at the work visas for the UK. There are many types of “work visas.” There are other types of visas as well. Be sure you are applying for the correct visa, given the purpose of moving overseas.

Import documents

When moving household goods to another country, you need documentation to show what is being moved, file appropriate forms and pay fees specific to your destination country. Some have eliminated fees, while others generally have nominal fees for personal property.

Your chosen international mover will be able to assist you with the documentation needed and how to fill it out. You may also be able to create a power of attorney for your mover to handle all the documentation without your involvement. If your mover seems uncertain about any of this, find another mover.

Miscellaneous Documents

In addition to the official required documents for moving internationally, you should also bring your personal documents. Like in the US, you may need to provide proof of certain things like education, age, place of birth, etc. Collect and make copies of these documents: Birth Certificates, driver’s licenses, school documents, immunization, and other certificates if relevant to your field of study or business. Don’t forget your pets, you’ll want to have all their paperwork together.

Insurance while Living In Foreign Country

Each country has its own insurance requirements. In addition to mandated insurance, you want to be sure you can protect yourself and your property. 

Health Insurance

Depending on your destination, healthcare is covered by the government, private insurance, or a mix. While there may be government-covered healthcare, residents and visitors do have to pay into the system to be part of that coverage. Since the insurance schema varies by country, you need to investigate the requirements before you move.

Here are some international health insurance companies

Property Insurance

From personal and household belongings to autos to homes (if you purchase), protecting property is important. Researching your options before arriving will make it much easier once you are in your new home.

Depending on your circumstances, you may have other insurance needs. Once in the country, contact an agent or several insurance companies to discuss local options.

Healthcare and medication

For you and your family, establishing your healthcare provider prior to your move is a good idea. Once there, if you find it doesn’t suit you, you can change. But you don’t want to leave this until it is absolutely needed.

Three general healthcare areas to work out before you move:

  • Primary care services for checkups and well being
  • Urgent care/emergency care facilities in your area
  • Prescriptions:
    • Are your recurring medications available? Are substitutes?
    • Where is the pharmacy or dispensary?
    • How do prescriptions work in your new country?
    • Can you bring your medication from the US?

Phones & Communications While Abroad

When moving internationally, you will have options for telephone and internet services in most countries. Conduct some research before the move to be ready once you arrive. You may be able or arrange service prior to your move of you have your destination address worked out.

Cell Phone Service in Foreign Countries

In most European countries and Asian countries, you will likely find cell phone service even easier to access and better quality than in the states. While you may have a domestic mobile phone and plan that can work overseas, you should consider getting a local cell phone service in the new country.

While living abroad for an extended period of time, having a local plan and number will make it easier for new friends and acquaintances to contact you and vis versa. Additionally, there is a lower chance of service issues, and you’ll have local resources to help sort out any problems. 

Most likely, you will opt for the local provider’s pay-as-you-go service. Each country has its own primary provider and there may be decent secondary providers as well. As with all things nowadays, a simple Google search will bring up the infrastructure resources you need.

Internet Services

How you approach internet service overseas depends on your intended usage. If you are working from your home, then establishing a primary internet service provider will be critical. Like cell service, each country, and often local within the country, may have its own provider. Some have national, government-provided internet access (for a fee), while others are commercial. As you look for your new residence, be sure to speak with the agent about establishing service for each location you are considering.

If you are not a heavy internet user with your computer, you may be well served with your cell service. Through your phone’s hotspot wifi settings, you can connect your computer to the internet. This is not ideal for heavy internet users, but for occasional use, it is a good option. Check your local cell provider’s plans to be sure they support hotspots and have decent data allowances.

Electronics Overseas

Whether traveling or moving, using your electronics overseas can be tricky. For one thing, your US plug will not work. At the very least, you will need an adapter. But that is not the biggest issue. Around the world, countries have different systems with varying voltage and amps. 

You will likely need an adapter that moderates the incoming electricity to work with your electronics. Failure to use the proper adapters will result in damage to your electronics, if not outright destroy them. Some “universal adapters” are available, though we suggest using adapters that are specifically designed for your new country.

One consideration is to replace your equipment with domestic equivalents. This can be tight on the budget, especially when looking at items like computers. But, it reduces the risks presented by using your US-designed devices overseas. 

Money & Banking Overseas

Since we have become so reliant on credit cards and internet banking, it may be easy to ignore the challenges you may face overseas. Don’t. There are some important steps that will make overseas transactions easier and lower your risks.

Credit Cards

With credit cards, make sure you contact your provider and let them know you will be overseas. If you don’t do this before you leave, your card transactions may be declined. As banks become more vigilant in fraud prevention, the criteria for rejecting charges will likely include foreign institutions without prior notice.

If your credit card is issued by a local financial institution or even a national one, consider obtaining a credit card from an international institution. Access to customer service and issue resolution will be better if your institution has regionally available resources. 

Banking institutions

Like credit cards, a local bank may benefit you, depending on your length of stay. From local deposit to easily accessible assistance, the physical location in your new city will make banking easier. 

Some companies in the US may also have international locations, so it is worth checking. If not, look into local options prior to moving. The rules for establishing an account can vary by country, so don’t wait until after the move to research the requirements.

Hard Currency

Before leaving the US, convert US dollars into the local currency of your new country. While credit cards can get you by in the US for an indefinite amount of time, this may not be true in all places. And, until you are sure your credit cards will be honored, hard currency is a necessary backup. How much you convert will depend on where you go. In some countries, $50 may get you a meal, while in others, it can get you through several days of meals. Check before you go.

Moving Overseas with Pets

If you are bringing a pet, become very familiar with the rules of the country to which you are moving. Some are very lenient as long as your pet has the basic vaccines. Others restrict what animals are allowed to enter. Some countries may require a quarantine period. Given the varied rules among countries, do not assume knowing about one (even a neighboring country) provides the information for another.

Essentials Bag For International Movers

Every move has its uncertainties. Between delays and lost items, you can find yourself without some belongings. The mover’s essential bag is a simple idea: Pack a back of things you will need upon arrival. For domestic moves and international moves, there is some overlap. But, the difference are really important.


You do not want to be without important documents in your new country. Keep a legal size envelope to hold these, not just a folder dropped into the bag. You should also take photos of all your documents as a backup… can never be too safe.

Computers, tablets, electronics

This will seem obvious but double-check. Devices used for work and entertainment can easily be dropped in a box while packing up your old home. Some items are easily done without for a few days. But, if movers are delayed, or it simply takes weeks to ship your items, will you want something you’ve boxed up?

Also, bring the plug/power adapters in your essentials bags.


Have your needed medications available. It is best to bring these in your essentials back rather than checked in lugged.


In any move, packing an essentials bag is important. This bag contains everything you need to make it until your movers arrive with all your belongings. For international moves, clothing is a big part of the contents. 

It may be tempting to pack as if you are going on a vacation. But, you should be practical and first determine what you will really need. Will there be work events that you have to attend or upcoming special occasions that will happen soon after your movers are supposed to arrive? Pack for these, as international shipping can get delayed. Provide yourself with a 2-3 week buffer for your planning.

Beyond the above, consider your needs and what you might need. Make these part of the essentials bag. Each person should have one, and it should be part of your carryons. Do not check in the essentials bag as your luggage.

Final bit for international movers

Ask questions of those who have moved to your specific destination. While planning for an international move, in general, is important, there are nuances for every country that you won’t know unless you speak with someone who has already made a move. Most people who move to a new country will be happy to speak about it. There are online forums, perhaps work colleagues or ex-pat communities. Reach out and get their input.