Mistakes to avoid when moving internationally

When you are moving overseas whether it’s for employment reasons or you just want a different scenery and lifestyle, it’s ideal to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before jetting off. Throughout my career at Rainier Overseas, I’ve seen many blunders and mistakes people make when moving to another country.

Relocating overseas is hard work and there are plenty of potential problems to trip you along the way. Last week, I shared tips on thanking movers after a successful move. This week, I’m going to share with you the six major blunders I’ve seen people make so you can avoid them like the plaque and have a safer and successful move to a foreign land.

Tip #1, Vacation is not the same as living there:
Taking a vacation is a lot different than living there long-term. No matter where you live, you will always have daily frustrations and routines. In other words, unless you are Bill Gates, you will still have to go to work, access public services, and clean your toilet wherever you live in the world.

Just because you live in a picturesque town in a warm climate, you will still have to adapt to a new life and system, potentially new language and adaptations that accompany any relocation. Set realistic goals for your new life and don’t assume that all your worries will disappear and your life will become perfect.

Tip #2, Research:
Make sure you do your research before you move. Research should include looking into local laws, customs, taxes, building regulations, the health and education systems, and the public transport systems. These all will be part of your daily life and in case of things like the health system, we are talking about your health and the quality of it.

Tip #3, Be realistic:
Just because you’ve always dreamed about teaching English in Brazil doesn’t mean you will love it in reality. Don’t sign too long of a contract for work because if things don’t work out, or and for whatever reason you can’t overcome the barriers, it will reflect badly on you with your employer if you break your contract.

Tip #4, Rent before buying:
Be willing to rent for several months before you decide to purchase a new home. This will save you a lot of headaches because you may learn that your new neighborhood is unbearable during the offseason, noisy at peak times, and your beautiful old home is right in the path of floodwaters in the rainy season or beautiful mountainsides are vulnerable to forest fires in the summer. Renting will give you the opportunity to learn where the best places to live in your relocated city or town.

Tip #5, Learn the language:
Become part of the local community by learning the country or city’s language. Your new language skills are best learned by interacting with the natives. It’s easy to fall in the “English” trap by interacting only with those that speak English and not the local language.

Tip #6, Don’t party like it’s 1999:
Spending money like there’s no tomorrow, hanging out in bars every night and sitting on the beach all day are fine for two weeks but insolvency, alcoholism, and skin cancer will do little to enhance your living abroad experience much less your pocket book and liver.

Immerse yourself in the culture and move away feeling like a visitor and become more of a member of the community. Adapt to the local customs, attend local festivals and other events, and live the same way locals do.

Avoiding these six mistakes when moving overseas so it will lessen a lot of stress and hassle. By simply accepting the fact that things in your new country will be different, not necessarily better or worse, just different, you will be on your way to a much more fulfilling life in your new overseas home.

Safe moving!

Thanking your movers

Professional movers do extremely difficult work in moving families, businesses, offices and much more. It’s very appreciated when you can take the time to demonstrate how thankful you are to them. That is, if your move went as planned.

Last week, I covered what things movers want you to know and do prior to moving. This week, I’m going to discuss how to show appreciation to your movers for a job well done.

Here are some tips to consider when thanking your movers:
• Be prepared before moving day – As discussed last week, have boxes labeled and everything ready to be packed before your movers arrive. Per my recommendation, have your movers pack your household goods and ensure your goods are not in the way of driveways, walkways etc. You want to make it easy for your movers to get around.
• Respect movers’ essentials – Provide lunch, snacks, plenty of water and other non-alcoholic drinks for them to keep their energy up for the entire day of the move. Also remember to have plenty of liquid soap, paper towels in your restrooms along with easy access to them.
• Availability – In another indirect way to show appreciation is to be available during the move. If something comes up or they may have questions during the move, be there. Keep in mind not to be a pest though and micromanage the move.
• Tipping – I have covered this in a prior blog but always good to cover it again as a friendly reminder. Tipping is not required at all but if they did a spectacular job for you, please tip them. Always give cash when tipping and give roughly each mover $4 to $5 per hour of the overall move.
• Supervisory thanks – One of the best ways to thank your movers is to thank their supervisors. The “boss” always wants to know how his or her employees are doing on site. Request your movers’ supervisor’s name and phone number, inform them that you are going to put in a “good word” on their behalf for a job well done. This goes a long way and is an ideal thank you to them.

Movers have grueling workdays at times and providing them thanks will show your appreciation and dedication to the fine work your moving experts did on your behalf.

Safe moving!

Tips movers want you to do and know prior to moving

This week, I am going to provide you tips on what movers want you to know when you plan your next move.

To insure your move is successful and on time, I am going to provide you some tips about what movers want you to do and know prior to moving day. These tips are from many of the movers that I have dealt with over the years in the moving industry:
• Packaging – Your household goods need to be packed prior to moving day. This allows for an expedient packaging and moving process. I highly recommend having the movers do all the packaging for you. We are professionals and know how to pack to minimize any damages in transit.
• Valuables – This is something I receive questions about all the time. When you have valuables and or items that can’t be replaced, basically they are priceless, pack them and move them by you. Important documents, jewelry, heirlooms, medications etc., should not be packed in the boxes your movers are taking. You never want to risk it, take those items with you. As far as antique furniture and other big ticket items, make sure to purchase extra insurance to cover those important items.
• Labeling boxes – Please be sure to label your moving boxes. When you arrive at your destination, you will need to know where the boxes need to be located when unloaded by the movers.
• Be there – Make plans to be present during your moving day. Movers are professionals and know what they are doing and don’t want to be micromanaged. However, you should be there to oversee and make sure everything is moved out. In addition, be a good host and provide lunch and snacks for your movers to enjoy while they are doing all the heavy lifting.
• Unlawful items – Last week, I provided a list of items movers can’t move because they are not legal to do so. Plus, many of the hazardous items can destroy your household goods during transit. Throw away or giveaway hazardous items that are not allowed to move.

Follow these tips prior to your move and you and your household belongings will be off on a safe and expedited journey.

Moving to Latin America

Last week, I discussed how to stay positive during a move to another house and country, this week, I am going to provide you important information on moving to Latin America.

The Americas, especially during the summer, is a perfect time to make a move but you need to book early since it is the busiest moving time of the season (see blog #62).

Rainier Overseas is a proud member of the Latin America and Caribbean International Movers Association (LACMA). LACMA’s membership consists of experienced and prestigious moving and relocation companies from the Americas and throughout the world.

Like last year, we attended the 2017 LACMA convention in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico. The convention brought together some of the most innovative and award-winning moving companies in the world. Moving to the Americas can be challenging at times and it’s important to make sure to hire the most experienced and knowledgeable movers in the industry. We work with excellent LACMA members who are well-known in the market for their strong customer support, reliability and availability as well.

LACMA members are the best at what they do and their services are second to none. Your shipments and overall move will be in the best hands possible.

As a LACMA member, Rainier Overseas will ensure your move to be the smoothest and safest ever. If you plan to make a move somewhere in Latin America or the Caribbean, please feel free to email me at cesar@rainieros.com and you’ll receive personal service directly from me and the best that LACMA has to offer.

Please visit their website to learn more at http://lacmassoc.org/index.php for more information.

Safe moving!

Tips to staying positive when moving

Moving can be very stressful time especially if you must move in a hurry and haven’t booked your move during the busiest summer months. You may be scrambling just to get a good moving date as I discussed last week, make sure to book early if you want to move during the summer.

This week, I am going to provide you tips on how to stay positive during a move. Keep in mind, with excellent preparations, moving doesn’t have to be negative and should and could be an overall positive experience. Expect to have mixed emotions especially when moving overseas but a positive attitude will go a long way.

Tips to staying positive during your move:
• Humor – Having a sense of humor can make all the difference in the world. Watch funny movies, read the comics section in your daily newspaper, tell jokes and know that your moving experience is only a matter of time.
• Leave the heavy load behind – I have mentioned this in the past but worth mentioning again, leave all of your packing or most of it to your professional movers. This saves you time, energy and a lot of headaches because the pros know how to pack your household goods so they arrive undamaged and safely.
• Choose to be positive – Yes, it is stressful moving but if you choose to be positive and optimistic, your experience and outcome will be a positive one. List all of the things that will be positive in your life by moving to a new house in your notes section on your phone and review it frequently.
• Prepare early – As I discussed last week, schedule your moving day at least two months beforehand and even earlier if possible. Create a pre-moving list and be organized so your move will go smoothly and will be less stressful.
• Friends – One of the best ways to keep a positive attitude is to visit your friends frequently and have fun. This takes your mind off the move and gives you the opportunity to put your good sense of humor to work.
• Safety – Keep safety a top priority, the last thing you want to experience is a back injury or anything else that could put a big damper on your moving experience and then some.

If you follow these tips, you should have a positive moving experience and less stress when moving to another house in the U.S. or overseas.

Safe moving!

Testimonials about a job well done by Rainier Overseas

Deciding which mover to move your household goods can be daunting. You want to make sure the firm you hire is reputable and insured. When you decide to move overseas or within the U.S., you need to do your research so you find not only a reputable mover but a mover that has a strong track record of ensuring your household goods are moved safely.
Rainier Overseas is a boutique moving company that provides hands-on service to all of our clients. In other words, when you decide to move with us, you will receive personal service from our experienced movers instead of being assigned to a novice mover with little experience like many of our competitors do.
Testimonials are a great way to assess if a moving company has the “right stuff” to move your household goods safely and on time.

Below are some testimonials from last year that we provided before along with some new ones as well.

I’d like to share with you from our customers who used our services at Rainier Overseas and were more than pleased with their moves:

“I’m very thankful for your services and will be quick to recommend you to anyone who might be looking for a moving service.”

Steve B.
(Garden Grove, CA)

“Thanks so much for your help, definitely a much easier process than I expected and the best money I’ve ever spent.”

Meredith L.
(Seattle, WA)

“I wanted to write and thank Rainier Overseas for an excellent job in shipping, storing and delivering our household items to us yesterday. Everything looks great and the service has been exceptional, both in Denmark and in the US. The goods were packaged extremely well and the packaging and delivery people on both sides did an outstanding job. I also appreciate the excellent communication from all parties with regard to our shipment/delivery. My family very much appreciates this level of service.”

PV S.
(New York, NY)

“We thank you very, very much for everything and the amazing job you did we are so very pleased, appreciating your hard work and happy we chose you to do our move if you need any recommendation please let us know.
Have a great day!”

Beny R.
(Gainesville, VA)

“Over the past few months, Cesar Castro’s attention to details, precise information and guidance helped me decide that I should hire Rainier. I had other options and spoke with a few other companies but the service from Cesar and Missy was above expectations. All my questions were answered by him and Missy almost immediately. The agent in Brazil – Denilson – was fantastic! Congratulations on having a strong team.”

Andre Suaid
(San Francisco, CA)

“We received the lift last week and wanted to thank you all for the excellent delivery, everything got to our apartment in perfect condition (and we noticed just how well everything was packed back in Albany) and the delivery went smoothly!
(We just gave our recommendation to another couple in the UC village). Thank you very much for the excellent service!”

Rinat Rosenberg K.
(Miami, FL)

If you have previously used our services and would like to tell us how we did, feel free to submit a testimonial via our website or you can email me directly.

Safe moving!

Tips to military moving overseas

Last week, I provided you tips about what documents you should have when moving overseas. This week’s blog highlights important moving tips for our military when moving and transferring overseas. Moving is complicated by itself and if you are in the military, you know moving your household goods and family can be quite a challenge.

A permanent change of station (PCS) is something every military family will experience eventually.

To make the move a lot smoother, here are some simple tips when heading overseas:
• Personal Property Office (PPO) – Once you receive your PCS, contact the PPO. You might have already done this before but no two moves are alike and they have excellent resources for you. There, you can find your basic entitlements and responsibilities among many other helpful tips. A website you will find useful is the Department of Defense site that offers a lot of basic PCS information.
• Contact sponsor or new command – Once you receive your PCS, your sponsor can help you get to know your new destination and provide you valuable information about what specific belongings to bring or not to bring. In other words, if you are moving to a country that doesn’t accommodate big-sized furniture, your sponsor will let you know so you can put some of your possessions in storage until your new PCS.
• Know your entitlement – Make sure you find out how much weight for your move that the government will pay for you. This is important to ensure you stay within their budget and yours too so you avoid any extra excessive weight fees or charges.
• Papers in order – Before moving, you will need to make sure you have plenty of copies of your PCS available and stored in a safe location. Be sure to have any letters of authorizations, powers of attorney docs, appraisal of high-priced belongings, video or photo identification of your items, and pertinent insurance policies.

One final tip, always purchase movers’ insurance before you move so that your personal belongings are protected when they are shipped overseas, it will give you peace-of-mind. By following these tips and thoroughly preparing before your move, you will know you did everything in your power to ensure a safe military move.

Safe moving!

Documents required when moving overseas

Last week, I discussed what type of moving insurance there is and how you need to insure your household goods. This week, I’m going to list the documents you need with you before moving overseas.

If you plan to move overseas any time soon, it’s important that you have your documents in order before you move. Many tend to forget that you must provide proper paperwork documenting your identity when living abroad. In addition, it’s also important to have employment contracts, lease and rental agreements in hand as well as medical insurance and records especially if there is an unforeseen medical emergency while traveling to your overseas destination.

Documents on the plane
When you are boarding the plane to head overseas, besides your passport and visa, make sure you have the following paperwork not only for you, but for each member of your family too if appropriate or anyone else that’s moving with you:
• Identification
• Driver’s license
• Certificates of citizenship for naturalized individuals
• Marriage certificate
• Adoption papers
• Divorce and child custody papers if your children are accompanying you abroad (if applicable)

Depending on the country you’re traveling to, you may also need passport-size photographs for your visa upon your arrival, as well as the lease or rental agreement for housing in your new country so authorities know where you’ll be living. Also, make sure you make a copy of your passport and visa just in case you lose either one of them or both when traveling.

Emergency documents
In addition to the documentation necessary for your family to enter the country, you also want to have important paperwork close by in case of emergencies. You should include the following:
• Medical insurance coverage
• Medical records
• Dental records
• Property and motor vehicle insurance records
• Income tax records for several previous years
• Wills
• Power of attorney

Gathering this essential paperwork ahead of time will help to ensure you’re prepared for your transition to living in a foreign country.

Safe moving!

Tips to insure your household goods

Having moving insurance is vital to protect your household goods when moving overseas or practically anywhere. Last week, I provided you tips on how to negotiate but noted, not to skimp on not purchasing insurance. This week, the ins and outs and tips to purchasing insurance.

Here are some important tips you should know about insuring your belongings during a move:
Basic Coverage:
Federal regulations require that all moving companies offer two types of coverage to consumers on out-of-state moves.
• Released-value protection covers up to 60 cents per pound. This protection is standard and included in moving charges.
• Full-value protection covers the value of the entire item damaged, and is based on the customer’s valuation of the goods that are being moved. The customer pays about 1 percent of the valuation for the added coverage. If you decide all of your belongings being shipped are worth $50,000, you would pay about $500 for full-value protection.
Expanded Mover Coverage
• Valuation options: You can ask moving companies or a third party if they offer other valuation options, often called “assessed value protection”, that cover damage beyond the “up to 60 cents” coverage movers supply by law.
• Expanded valuations: Declared value allows you to set a per-pound amount for your belongings. For example, if you decide your belongings are worth $6 per pound and your total shipment is 10,000 pounds, you are placing a valuation of $60,000 on the total shipment. That would be the maximum you would receive if the entire shipment were destroyed or lost. Individual items would be replaced with like-kind, a two-year-old washing machine for a two-year-old washing machine. This is important to consider because items such as used clothing have little actual cash value.
• Lump sum value: Also called assessed value, this coverage is basically the same as expanded valuations, except the consumer sets the amount by value instead of weight. This is better if you have a lot of small, high-value items that don’t weigh much.
Whichever insurance you choose, make sure to inspect your goods when they arrive at their destination so you know all your household goods are in great shape.

Safe moving!

Tips to writing an online review for your movers

This week, I am going to take a deep dive and provide you with more useful and explicit tips on writing an effective online review. The best moving company reviews are honest and straight forward. People believe what is written in reviews and take into account when making decisions on which company they plan to hire.

Some of the tips to take into consideration include the following:
• Provide succinct and useful information – Review the facts that you would want to know if you were planning a house move. In other words, think about what customers would want to know about your move when considering the company you used. Focus on customer service, efficiency, trustworthiness and overall experience.
• Be impartial and give a factual account of your moving experience – Don’t get too personal or melodramatic. Like on the long-running series of Dragnet, “just give us the facts ma’am.” List all of the pros and cons of your move to make your review more helpful and objective for your readers. If something did go wrong, don’t blame the movers unless it was really their fault.
• Don’t use offensive language or personal attacks – Some reviewers use bad language and it’s counter-productive. Even if you are correct, if you use foul language, it will demonstrate that you are rude and not credible in your review.
• Use proper grammar, no spelling mistakes – You want to be sure your online review is credible and trusted. A good tip here is to write your review in Word, grammar and spell check it in the document and then cut and paste it in the online box the sites provide for reviews.

Lastly, I would post your review on several websites such as Yelp, BBB, MyMovingReviews.com, and other pertinent sites so your opinion and review will be read and understood literally throughout the world.

Safe moving!