Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Moving Internationally

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Relocation can be an exhilarating experience as well as a logistic nightmare. While it’s an opportunity to explore life in a new country, you can surely expect the accompanying stress and challenges — the actual downside – more tedious and complex administration.

No matter how careful you are, there are bound to be areas that are overlooked, and that is why we’re here. We cover the missing gaps for you. Here are the top 10 mistakes you should avoid when moving internationally.

1.Moving Somewhere Without Visiting

Have you visited your destination country before? Having to move internationally is worlds apart from visiting as a tourist. If you haven’t, do so quickly! You won’t want to move in only to regret it later.

A change in lifestyle is an understatement. You can expect a plethora of change. Some considerations worth paying attention to include:

  • New language
  • New transport system
  • New culture
  • New neighbours
  • New job



2. Deciding to Move Without Checking In With Your Spouse & Children

Moving house topped divorce as a stressful event in life, who’s to blame? Worse, relocating internationally can be even more distressing. Proper planning with your family and understanding the nitty-gritty of international relocation can get you a head start.

Children are most prone to psychological changes when moving overseas. It never hurts to be more attentive to your kids, especially in the early stages of settling down.

You’re no longer making the decision alone. With a family, your spouse and children are involved too.

You probably should talk to your spouse. Give them time to accept the upcoming changes – ideally a year. Don’t rush them now. Or you might end up sleeping on the couch for a while. It should be a mutual understanding that this relocation is beneficial for the family personally and financially.




3. Lack of Necessary Paperwork

Reality check. Relocation will always have a mountain load of paperwork and administration. What a bummer. Are you looking for an easy way out? Make sure you’ve got all the necessary documentation ready.

Everyone can have their forgetful moments. So, here’s a checklist to keep tabs on all the paperwork you need:

  • Deadlines for Your Passport
  • Visa/Work Permit Application
  • Credit and Background Check
  • Tax Records
  • Medical Records
  • Academic Records
  • Pet Vaccination Records (where applicable)
  • Insurance & Legal Documents
  • Application of New Citizenship (where applicable)
  • Annulling Previous Citizenship (where applicable)



4. Forget to Terminate All Your Existing Obligations In Origin Country

It may sound absurd. Some people have an arrest warrant sent for them when they re-enter the country down the road. It’s not because they’ve committed heinous crimes. Instead, they forgot to close their existing financial obligations and have since been out of reach.

You should notify the respective organisations and close these accounts. If not, you may incur huge debts and get charged in court. Trust us. That’s not an experience that you’ll want.

Here’s a checklist of financial obligations to follow up with:

  • Utility Bills (Water/Electricity)
  • Phone Bills
  • House Mortgage
  • Study Loans
  • Car Loans
  • Investment Policies



5. Using Local Movers to Move Internationally

Yikes! We know. You may feel the pinch with all the upfront payments. However, we guarantee this is one item you shouldn’t scrimp on.

While local relocation services are more economical, they’re often inexperienced in facilitating an international move.

The end result? Less than satisfactory.

Furthermore, your items definitely can’t weather the 1-2 months international journey in substandard cheap packing. After that, the shipment gets transferred to a less capable third-party agent. Our advice? Don’t risk the higher chance of damaged goods.

That’s why established international housing moving services are the way to go. They provide quality end-to-end relocation solutions (from the consultation to the packing and delivery).

With 130 years of global relocation experience, Sanelo has consultants in 38 countries to ensure your goods arrive punctually without damage. Now, that’s some quality assurance right there.




6. Bringing Too Much With You

It’s a near-impossible feat. You can’t pack up your entire home and ship it with you. You can if you’re ok with the hefty shipping cost. What should you do then?


Declutter and organise your items into three categories – to give away, to ship out, and for necessity

It’s a chore to make these decisions. Why not visit Sanelo’s consultants? They help to optimise your packing according to your lifestyle needs.

Don’t worry about your valuable belongings. We’ve got a team of specialists who assist with the customised packing and shipping for such items. What’s more? All your items are covered with the appropriate shipment protection.

Isn’t that a relief? Get all your treasured items shipped safely without having to lift a finger.



7. Underestimate The Moving Time Frame

Classic textbook mistake. Often, many don’t anticipate the extensive preparation required, including the moving time frame.

Unlike moving house locally, your shipment through sea freight takes an average of 1 to 2 months to arrive. This means you better start packing and shipping now if you want them to reach the same time you do.

How much time do you need then? We say at least three months before your departure. It’s good to set time buffers in case of any shipment delay.

That sounds like a lot of logistic planning. Fret not.

Sanelo provides door-to-door moving services, and we’ve experienced consultants to guide you with the packing process. Here’s one more item off your to-do list. Now you prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for your new life overseas.



8. Not Knowing The Destination Custom Inspection Regulations

Expect some things to not go your way. In this case, it may be your possessions. Entering a new country means new laws to follow. Certain products may be prohibited and remanded at the customs due to their rules and cultural sensitivity.

For instance, Australia and New Zealand strictly prohibit importing wood/outdoor furniture to protect their local ecosystem (the wood pieces may be infested with pests or mould). Other cases include Thailand prohibiting sculptures replicating Buddha.

You won’t want the constant anxiety of risking confiscation during an inspection. If it’s too much to handle, Sanelo got you covered. Our consultants can filter out the relevant information and process the necessary documents for you. We ensure all your belongings pass through customs and arrive safely at your new home.



9. Missing Out on Tax Payments

You don’t want inadequate record weeks into your relocation. Reading up on tax regulations can be a chore. However, being ignorant about taxation and other expenses can cost much more.

Depending on your residency status, different rules may apply. If you hold U.S. citizenship and live abroad, you’re obliged to pay taxes for both the U.S. and your resident country. U.S. Citizens must report their foreign financial accounts annually by filing a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR).

Filing deadlines can differ in each country. Make sure you keep track or risk getting fined.



10. Poor Money Management

Most people don’t budget for their expenses and overspend within the first few weeks of settling in. Depending on the location, your cost of living can become more expensive or more affordable.

Don’t rush into your new life. Why not take some time to adjust? After that, you can better gauge your actual expenditure. It never hurts to be more conservative in your spending.

Being new, you may come across obstacles you’re unprepared for. Always have an emergency fund to cover emergencies and necessities (e.g. visa, permits, rent, lawyer fees, groceries, utilities, and transportation). We mean it. The last thing you want is to live on the streets like a homeless person.





Truth to be told. It’s a lot of work to relocate. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Head over to Sanelo – your one-stop solution for all international relocation needs. Sleep well tonight knowing that an experienced global shipping company manages all your packing and logistics planning at great prices.



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