Skip to main content

There is a common misconception that moving abroad can be too expensive and inaccessible for most people. However, moving abroad does not have to bankrupt you, and while it can be costly, a solid budget can help you immensely. 

Whether you are moving for a new job, to be close to family, or simply to start a new adventure, you will need to think critically about your moving budget. There are lots of hidden costs that can surprise people; however if you are prepared for them, you won’t be in deep water. 

Our team at Overseas Packers & Shippers have been in the international movers business for nearly 40 years. We are experts in making sure our valued customers make it to their new home safely and securely. So we have collated our best tips and tricks to help you keep costs down on your next journey. 

Moving Abroad: How to Budget Your Relocation

How big is your move?

A factor that majorly affects the cost of an international move is the size of your move. How much you are moving and how far are things you need to establish first before sourcing quotes. Moving a single room to New Zealand will be cheaper than moving a three bedroom house to the UK.


There are several options when it comes to moving your items to a new country. Air freight is by far the most expensive, but the fastest option if you need anything quickly. Sea freight is generally the option recommended for most larger moves. 

Sea freight offers Full Container Loads (FCL), Groupage (Shared Containers), and Less than a Container Load (LCL).

LCL is the most expensive option and is sometimes the only option if you are moving to a country that does not accept Groupage. LCL means that you must pay for an entire shipping container even if you are not using the whole thing. 

FCL is the best option if you are moving an entire home. You pay for a full container, like the LCL, but use the whole thing. This is great if you are moving your whole family or are bringing your family home. 

Groupage is the most cost efficient way to move your belongings internationally. With groupage you only pay for the space you use, and share the rest of the container with other people. So if you are only moving some items, or a room or two, this is definitely your best option. 


Your international moving experience can vary a lot depending on your destination. While shipping costs can be greatly affected by distance, your personal expenses can also rise. 

Flights to New Zealand can be several hundred dollars per person whereas flights to the UK or America can be a couple of thousand dollars easily. Especially at the moment with travel demand high as countries open up after the pandemic. 

A good way to reduce these costs is to choose an optimal season to move. Try your best to avoid tourist season and holiday times.

Moving Abroad: How to Budget

Visa’s, Insurance, and more

Moving overseas is an experience that comes with a lot of paperwork and various hoops to jump through. However, all of these costs must be factored in as skipping any of them can negatively affect the smoothness of your move. 


Depending on the type of Visa you opt for and where you are going, you could be shelling out a few thousand dollars. This is likely to be one of your first major expenses, as visa processes can take a long time to get back to you. 


Insurance can also vary greatly depending on your destination, but travel and shipping insurance are some essentials that everyone will need. 

Travel insurance will not only cover you for anything on your trip, but in 2022, will also cover you for COVID-19 related issues. This means if you are forced to isolate and have to pay for your expenses, travel insurance should cover this. Just make sure that COVID-19 related expenses are covered before signing off on anything.

Shipping insurance will cover your sea or air freight contents for any potential accidents or damages. The cost of this entirely depends on the amount of belongings you are moving, as well as the value of those items. If you are moving valuable possessions like fine art or designer furniture, you can expect your insurance costs to go up. 

If you want to cut down on your shipping expenses, try to reduce the amount of valuable items you are moving. But at the end of the day, shipping insurance is definitely the best way to save money if anything were to go wrong. 


Other things that must be considered before moving are things like medical exams and vaccinations, long term storage, and accomodation for your arrival in your new home. Customs and quarantine costs are also something to consider as these can be an expense that catches people by surprise. 

 While these things are smaller, they can add up, and should be budgeted for. 

How to Budget Your Relocation

Shipping Expenses

As we have outlined, international moving costs can vary greatly depending on the value and amount of the items you are moving. While it can be tempting to want to move everything in your home with you, it can be more cost effective to sell these items and cut down. 

Easy places to start are appliances and clothes. Most countries have different electrical outlets and your appliances will need all sorts of extensions to function properly. Donate or sell these appliances and replace them when you reach your new destination. 

Clothes and soft furnishings are also an easy place to cut down. Consider the climate of your new home, and what you will actually wear. It is also a great time to get rid of any pieces that you haven’t worn in a while and donate or sell them. Soft furnishings like sheets, towels, and pillows can also take up lots of room, so it is a good opportunity to reduce these. 

It is also good to consider whether your current furniture will fit into your new home; both stylistically and physically. Homes in the UK, or apartments in big US cities can be quite small, and your sofa may not be a great fit for it. 

Shipping your items overseas can reduce the cost of replacing them in the long run, but we recommend not shipping items you are not sure will work for you in your new home. It will also help immensely to pick a removalist company that has your best interests at heart and has a wealth of experience. 

Our team at Overseas Packers & Shippers offer in-home consultations to assess the cost of your move. We do this so we can give you a quote that is as accurate as possible as early as possible. We understand the financial burden of an international removal and aim to work with you to make sure you can have a successful move.

Moving Abroad for Every Budget

No matter your circumstances, moving abroad can be an accessible option if you stick to your budget and are realistic about costs. This is not to say that moving isn’t expensive, because it is. But if you avoid unexpected expenses and employ reliable services, the chance of being hit with any unwelcome expenses is a lot lower. 
If you want to get a head start on solidifying your moving budget, get in contact with our team today. We would be more than happy to provide a quick quote for your shipping costs to your new country.