Top Tips for a Low-Cost International Move

Those who claim that “the best things in life are free” have never travelled internationally.

Moving to a new country is thrilling, but it is also costly.

When you think you’ve dealt with one problem, another one appears. Shipping, visas, and flights, for example, can cost a lot of money if you’re not careful – and that’s before you’ve even arrived at your destination.

However, you should not let financial concerns dampen your enthusiasm for your big plans. Fortunately, our wise heads know how to save money on moving, and we’re happy to share our knowledge with you.

Sea freight is preferable to air freight.

Container ships should be your first port of call if you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship your belongings overseas. Ocean freight is typically 12-16 times cheaper than air freight, according to the World Bank.

What is the reason for this? There is currently massive overcapacity in the global sea freight industry, which means supply is outweighing demand and keeping prices low.

Air freight in Singapore is also more expensive than sea freight because it is much faster. A freight plane can fly from China to the United States in just three days, compared to 20-30 days for a container ship (source: Freightos).

Air freight may be your only option if you need to move quickly, but sea freight is required for any sensible international move.

Prepare for international financing.

You never completely uproot yourself when you relocate to another country. You’re always going to leave a piece of yourself behind.

This is especially true when it comes to money. If you have savings in a bank, you’ll most likely need to use them once you’re settled in your new country.

However, transferring money internationally is costly due to a variety of fees and unfavourable exchange rates. As your hard-earned stash of unspent pennies is transferred to your new bank account, it will shrink.

Compare health insurance policies to find the best deal.

Expats should arrange private medical coverage in most countries around the world. Even if your new country has a well-functioning public healthcare system, getting access to it may take some time; for example, you may need to live in the country for a certain period or obtain a specific type of residence permit.

It’s a good idea to figure this out ahead of time and compare policies to get the best deal.

Estimates for shipping

Every sensible customer does some research before making a purchase. This may be excessive behaviour when purchasing a pint in a pub, but it is sound advice when relocating abroad.

You have a choice because multiple shipping companies are operating on almost every route around the world. It’s critical to weigh your options before hiring the first freight forwarder you come across.

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