On an overseas or cross-country move, you’ll probably arrive long before your belongings. Here’s a game plan for what to do while you wait.
Before leaving, get an estimate of how long it will take for your belongings to arrive and plan accordingly. Pack mix-and-match clothes, just as you would if you were taking an extended vacation. Formulate a list of items you’ll need to buy when you arrive to help make the family feel at home.
If you’re moving overseas and the wait is extended, plan on buying a few basic household items, such as dishes and cleaning supplies, to get you through the first few weeks. With kids, the family “survival kit” might also include lunch boxes and school supplies. Finally, be prepared for inevitable delays.
Organize Shipping Paperwork
Safeguard all shipping documents and insurance paperwork during your move. Keep them with you, along with your passports for an international move, birth certificates, and other important documents, so you can refer to them while waiting for your belongings to arrive.
Monitor Progress of Belongings
You should be able to track your belongings, eliminating surprises such as your belongings getting rolled over onto a later ship, which might mean additional fees and delays.
Brush Up on Fine Print
Make yourself familiar with what your insurance does and does not cover during shipping. There might also be several transitions from one place or container to a warehouse and associated fees. Since several companies might be involved, it’s important to be well versed in the fine print of these contracts.
Study Up on Transportation Options
Weigh the costs and benefits of buying or leasing a car against using public transportation. A lease offers you a new car without having to worry about maintenance or selling when you leave. Buying a car might save you money if you purchase an older model. But do yourself a favor and strongly consider using public transit systems, which are efficient and commonplace in many big cities and foreign countries, especially throughout Europe.
Embrace Regional and Cultural Differences
Treat your relocation as an adventure. Before you move, research your new location – get books from the library, read blogs and online forums, and join social media groups made up of locals. When you arrive, start participating in local activities right away. You’ll meet new people who can help you adjust to your new home.
When your belongings finally arrive, take the time to check them off your inventory sheets and compare the condition from the time of packing. This may slow the process, but it’s well worth it if your belongings are damaged.
Related – How to Bust the Clutter Before a Move