How to save when moving across continents

Moving overseas is very stressful, maybe one of the most stressful events in life. Leaving friends, family, and familiar things for something new and undiscovered for you is a big step. Not only it is difficult, but also, it is very expensive. Obtaining required documents, packing, renting/buying a new home, transportation costs, paying the new school for kids (if you are moving with family), etc. This list is long and it all costs. Is it possible to save when moving across continents? How to accomplish it and to cut some of the moving costs?
It is if you have a guide to follow. Simple tips from people who had moved before on a tight budget overseas. Living on a different continent (other than North America) will be also a cultural shock.

Tips to save when moving across continents

When moving to another continent, the preparation may last 6 months or a year (or even more if you are waiting for a visa). Moving costs will depend on:

  • Moving and transportations costs are the biggest expenses because of the distance. They depend on the size of the move, distance, route, and transportation method.
  • Packing and unpacking costs if you hire a full-service moving company. To save when moving across continents, you may pack for international relocation without a company.
  • Moving insurance is usually about $100-$300, but if you have valuables, it’s going to costs more.
  • Most people when moving to another continent, find a home after the move, not before. So, renting a storage unit until you find a place to live is another cost.
  • Charges and taxes for customs duty depending on the country you are moving to.
  • Visa and lawyer fees.
  • Housing costs also depend on the place you are moving to. Most people rent a smaller home in the beginning until they adjust.
US dollar bills
You can save a lot by following our list of advice

Start preparing documents early

Start early with preparations. Not a few months before, but 6 or more months before the final moving day. How it will save you money? Simple, moving abroad requires a lot of documents, and if you want to get them in a short period of time, it will cost more (a lot more). Visa, passport, ID, work permits, are cheaper if you aren’t in the rush.

Choose sea freight

Sea freight is cheaper than air freight, about 5 times cheaper (that’s a lot, yes). Sea freight is the cheapest option you can choose. It takes longer, but you will save when moving across continents. Another advantage of sea freight is that you can ship more items. Ensure the safety of your belongings, track your shipment and you have nothing to worry about.

Sea fright ship
Sea freight is one of the ways to save when moving across continents

Compare different shipping quotes

There are many different shipping and moving companies you can hire for your next relocation but don’t hire the first one you will find. Choose a couple of shipping companies and compare their quotes are services. Also, try to negotiate to get the best deal. Search online, and find companies on

Choose the perfect time to buy plane tickets

When it comes to buying tickets, you won’t save money if you buy them too early. Or on the other hand, buying them too late also doesn’t have benefits. Experts say that buying tickets 7 weeks before the flight, is the best option for your wallet.

Sell items you don’t need

Moving costs also depend on the size and weight of your move, so get rid of items you don’t need. The best way is to sell them because you will earn money instead of losing. If you can’t sell, donate them. Move only the most important items. Write that too in your moving checklist and make an inventory of all your items.

Open an international bank account

By opening an international bank account you will better manage the monthly budget. It takes time to learn a new currency and new costs of living. Paying for bills, food, housing, utilities won’t be that complicated and also you don’t have to convert your cash and lose money on conversion fees.

Learn a new language

Maybe this sounds crazy, but knowing the local language (the language of the place you are moving to) will save you money after the move. Foreigners have bigger chances to be scammed on the street or in stores. If you are moving with a family, learn it together. Also, by knowing the local language you will be able to talk to the locals and get some tips for saving money, where to shop for groceries, etc.

Three young people talking to each other
Learning a new language is a good idea

Hiring an affordable moving company for moving abroad

Moving by yourself to another continent is possible only if you have just one suitcase. But, most of the people have more items including pieces of furniture, clothing, kitchenware, home decor, etc. Transporting all those items to Europe, Asia, Africa, or South America is going to cost. With all the tips we listed before, there is one more in order to have a more affordable move. You may find affordable movers and to negotiate to get a better deal.
Search online and get some referrals. Yes, a company should be cheaper but the quality must be on the same level as other companies. Check license, insurance, online moving reviews, verify the address, ask for an in-home estimate, etc.
As you can see, it is possible to save when moving across continents and to have a successful move. It is not going to be free, but it can cost lower. Wherever you move, set a moving budget and plan everything in advance. Some costs cannot be changed, such as paying for some documents, but some costs can be cut. Good luck with adjusting to a new place after the move and try to stay calm.