How Long Does An International Move Take?

How Long Does An International Move Take?

Moving to a new country is an exciting and life-changing experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the most common questions that customers have when planning their international move is, “How long will it take?” In the latest blog, Gentle Giant’s international move experts answer this question and more. They even provide a useful 5-step guide to help you keep your head on straight!

What is an International Move?

An international move refers to the process of relocating from one country to another. It is typically a large undertaking and involves packing up your belongings, arranging transportation, navigating customs and immigration procedures, and settling into your new home country. Moving overseas can also be a costly experience that requires months of savings. For more information, check out our blog on the average cost of an international move.

What is the Average Duration of an International Move?

The duration of relocating overseas will vary depending on several factors:

  • The time it takes you to find a new home;
  • The distance between your current and destination country;
  • The number of belongings and furniture you plan to pack and move;
  • The transportation mode for both you and your items. For example, will you and your belongings travel by airplane, or will your items arrive separately by sea freight?;
  • Customs regulations;
  • Visas and documentation;

With all of these factors in mind, an international move can take anywhere from one to six months on average.

Gentle Giant’s 5-Step Guide for an International Move:

  1. Preparation and research (3-6 months before move): Research the destination country’s requirements and secure necessary visas and permits. Look into short or long-term accommodation. This could include a short-term Airbnb or a long-term rental unit.
  1. Packing and arranging transportation (2-3 months before move): Sort through your belongings and decide what you plan on selling, storing, or taking with you. Hire reputable international movers. Book your movers at least six weeks in advance. This way, you will have more flexibility in terms of availability and pricing. Ensure all necessary documentation is in order.
  1. Customs and immigration procedures (upon arrival): Clear customs and immigration, provide required documentation, and pay any applicable duties or fees. Don’t forget to reach out to your utility company or landlord to ensure water, heat, and electricity are turned on for your arrival!
  1. Settling in (1-2 weeks after arrival): Register with local authorities and familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood. You may want to locate your nearest coffee shop to help with the long days of jet lag and unpacking ahead!
  1. Adjusting to the new environment (ongoing): Give yourself time to acclimate to the new culture, language, and lifestyle. Establish new routines, make new friends, and explore your new surroundings.

How Can I Make My International Move Faster?

We understand that the process of moving abroad can be overwhelming and long! That’s why our international movers came up with a list of 5 tips to speed up the process.

  1. Sell or donate items, specifically large and bulky furniture. This will lighten your load and reduce your moving costs at the same time.
  1. Ship your belongings by air. If your budget allows, ask your international movers to ship your belongings by air travel. On average, it takes items 8-10 days to arrive by air compared to up to 40 days by sea.
  1. Book your preferred movers at least six weeks in advance. The further in advance you book your international movers, the wider their availability and cheaper their rates!
  1. Stay organized. The more on top of the move process you are, the smoother and likely quicker your move will go. Create a dedicated move folder to store all of your paperwork, including visas, customs, contracts, and inventory lists.
  1. Hire reputable international movers that you can trust. When you hire an experienced moving company like Gentle Giant, you can be sure that your movers will go above and beyond to make your move quick and painless.

Are you planning an international move? Speak with a reputable international moving company like Gentle Giant. We have some great resources to get you started. Check out our moving checklist for information on how to prepare and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your international move.