Whether it’s moving overseas or across multiple borders, bringing your belongings along for the ride is expensive. So when it comes time to relocate an entire household across the continent, here are a few tips to keep a little international currency in your wallet for when you get there.

Use the Airline Freight Alternative



Image via Flickr by Sean MacEntee

Many commercial airlines offer freight availability for an extra fee. Freight availability is basically cargo space that passengers can use for their extra baggage and boxes. Fees vary from one airline to next and this option isn’t always available, so call the airline ahead of time.

Another option offered by commercial airlines is extra luggage allowance. Again, for an additional fee, passengers can increase the number of bags allowed. Weight restrictions do apply, so weigh all your baggage and use up every pound allowed.

Shipping Pods and Furniture: Travel Buddies

When you hear the word “heirloom,” you probably think of grandfather clocks and grand pianos. It probably also reminds you that these items aren’t synonymous with moving overseas. Luckily for all those jet-setting furniture fans out there, shipping pods and containers are here to the rescue.

There are many companies to choose from when it comes to international shipping pods, so do plenty of research. Pods cost very different amounts of money and can be highly competitive. And, as an added bonus, pods can also act as a secure storage solution while you’re apartment hunting in Paris or house hunting in Hungary.

Moving Personal Belongings by Mail

Everybody has personal belongings they just can’t seem to part with. For those sentimentalists, shipping items by mail might be the way to go. Depending on size and weight, items are easily mailed almost anywhere in the world.

The slower the shipping speed, the cheaper when it comes to shipping by mail, so just make sure you bring the essentials, like a pocket translator, with you so you’re not empty-handed when you arrive. Also, most international shipping companies like UPS and FedEx offer flat rate boxes and insurance, which are both wise options.

Belongings Delivered One Friend at a Time

Slow and steady wins the overseas shipping cost race, so if you aren’t bothered by a slow delivery, have your friends and family bring your belongings with them each time they visit. Chances are they won’t be using up every square inch of their suitcase, so have dad bring along your keepsakes or ask your best friend to tote your favorite books. After a while, you’ll have everything you need.

Have a Garage Sale

This technically isn’t a way to ship your items overseas, but it can’t be ignored. By selling your items before you make the journey, not only will you have some extra cash, you won’t spend any of it on shipping costs. Just remember you’ll have to set some money aside for new furniture and other home goods when you arrive.

So, whether it’s your great grandmother’s nightstand or just a box full of your favorite knickknacks, relocating overseas with your belongings doesn’t have to bust your relocation budget.