Risks to avoid when moving overseas

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 risks people take when moving to another country.

Relocating overseas is hard work and there are plenty of potential problems to trip you along the way. I’m going to share with you the six major risks or 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.

False premise:
Vacationing at your destination will be the same when you live 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. Minimize risk by researching daily living at your destination.

Not doing your 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.

Job over-commitment:
Just because you’ve always dreamed about teaching English in Brazil doesn’t mean you will love it. 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.

Purchasing too soon:
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.

Not learning the language:
Limit risk by learning 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.

On vacation 24/7:
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.

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!

Tips to moving your car overseas

Once you secure a good mover and you have a car you want to ship overseas, I have some tips to be able to rev the engine internationally.

Your moving overseas and what do you do if you want your best friend to come with you? That nice shiny four- wheeled friend has taken you all over the place. And now you want your cool car with you when you move. Depending upon where you are moving, you can have your four-wheeled friend shipped overseas by us through an international auto transport company.

There are some other things you need to consider before your car is revved up to be shipped across the Atlantic or elsewhere. Do your research and find out about the country or city’s public transportation system. This varies from country-to-country and you will be able to assess how much you will need to drive your car and what kind of driving conditions you can expect.

Here are some factors to keep-in-mind and to know about:
• Is your automobile street legal in your new city? Remember that Japan, Britain, Australia and other countries require you to drive on the right-side of the road.
• Make sure your professional mover knows about any import tariffs. Your mover lets you know about any of these potential fees so you are not surprised by any unexpected costs.
• Drivers licenses – Most countries will allow you to drive with your existing American driver’s license but only for a specified period.
• Research your new country’s driving regulations and laws before your international move so you know when you need to obtain a new license.
• Purchase insurance – When you move, things can happen so make sure you buy moving insurance for your car especially if it’s a new car. This will provide you peace-of-mind if something should go wrong during the transport.

Follow these tips and ensure you hire a reputable moving company so that your four-wheel friend is taken care of during your overseas move.

Safe moving!

Tips to avoid moving scammers

There are plenty of scammers in the moving industry but unfortunately, people don’t look out for the warning signs of crooked movers. Many so-called “discounted movers” are unethical, shady and disreputable moving outfits who are more interested in liberating you from your cash than delivering your possessions safe and sound.

Disreputable movers
Some of the signs are obvious. Poor phone manners should be a big red flag. A website that looks woefully out of date is another. Likewise, a general feeling that the movers are disorganized or lack experience shouldn’t be ignored. None is proof that a company is dishonest, but if your instincts say there’s something fishy, go with your gut and move away from them as soon as possible.

Tips to avoid scammers
• Company’s reputation, business licenses – Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) and do your research to insure the moving company you may be hiring is legit and reputable in the industry. Don’t call the company of interest but talk to other people and organizations to check if they are in good standing or not.
• Visual inspections – Ensure the company is willing to come to your home to do visual inspections of the items you wish to move. They will send out a surveyor or assessor with an electronic handheld machine to enter information about your belongings, an estimate of how much possessions you have and the weight of it etc. If someone provides you a quote over the phone without coming to see your stuff, that’s a bad sign.
• Payment in advance – If a moving company requests, demands that you pay in advance or provide an abnormally large portion of the payment before the organization does the move – that should set off alarm bells.
• Insurance policy – Ask if the moving company has an insurance policy for at least $1 million. Most businesses or buildings etc. will require movers to have their own insurance policy before they can enter any building or area. If the movers accidentally ruin the property, the building owners know their property will be covered by the mover’s insurance policy. Request their policy number and ask the name of their insurance company, make a call to insure the mover is insured.

It ultimately comes down to common sense and doing a little homework on your part. Before you commit to a mover, ask around. Check out websites and references. If a company has a bad reputation, somebody will have written about it online. You don’t want to take a chance when it comes to your belongings. Do your research, and you’ll be far less likely to get burned by disreputable and crooked movers.
Safe moving!

Steps to follow with on-site custom crating services

In our previous blog, I provided you tips about when you should utilize custom crating services. This week, I’m going to let you know how custom crating services work and what steps you are expected to take in order to take full advantage of custom crating packaging.

First – Your mover such as myself can get you in touch with a reputable and solid custom crating service for you. This is after you have had an in-home assessment of all of your household goods. Once you know the number of valuable items you need to be shipped in crates, an assessor will come to your home.

Second – A great moving company will always send an assessor to your home. Avoid moving companies that claim they can do this through email or by phone, watch out, they are probably scammers. The assessor will properly evaluate your valuable items and will provide the proper packing options that will keep your goods safe.

Third – Once the assessor completes the evaluation, a price will be generated through our moving electronic system and will be included in the overall moving price quote. Make sure your mover highlights the custom crate services in your moving invoice.

Fourth – Once the price quote is generated and upon your approval, skilled custom crate experts will then come to your home and will build the crate to perfectly fit all of your valuable items and goods to be shipped.

Fifth – Custom crates will have two layers of protection, soft shell that goes around the valuable items itself, and the hard-protective shell that is the hardwood walls of the crate. High-value items will be packed tightly so the items won’t move during shipping. The experts will do specialized blocking with bracing elements so your valuables will be completely immobilized.

Custom crating is the way to go to insure your expensive and valuable items are safely moved during transit. As I say frequently, always purchase moving insurance just in case.

Safe moving!

Planning to move this summer? Book now!

In the last two blogs, I covered tips for the military moving overseas and testimonials from our customers who were happy with our services here at Rainier Overseas. With summer months literally just around the corner and practically here already, book now if you plan on moving this summer.

Summer is the busiest time of the year for us here at Rainier Overseas, so it’s important that you act fast to schedule a professional move. Almost one-third of all moves takes place in the summer, peaking in June, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The busiest times overall during summer are often near the end of the month and on weekends going into the Fall.

Scheduling your move mid-month or mid-week can reduce stress and sometimes result in savings. Begin contacting moving companies at least one month to two months prior to your move. Reputable moving companies can reach capacity quickly, and procrastinating may result in missing your preferred move date.

Make sure to ask your moving company for referrals and testimonials too (refer to blog #61). Here at Rainier Overseas, we provide free in-home estimates for the move at no obligation to you. Even if you are considering handling the move yourself, you have nothing to lose by inviting us into your home so you can find out if a professional move is the best option for you (highly recommended).

If you decide to go with another moving company, be sure the mover has a federal motor carrier, or MC, number so you know your mover is legitimate. You can verify their status by contacting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by visiting https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/. You can also visit the Federal Maritime Commission for overseas moves at http://www.fmc.gov

Don’t procrastinate, schedule your move now if you are planning to move in the summer and Fall and remember, always purchase moving insurance to protect all of your household goods.

Safe moving!

Steps to follow with on-site custom crating services

  • In last week’s blog, I provided you tips about when you should utilize custom crating services. This week, I’m going to let you know how custom crating services work and what steps you are expected to take in order to take full advantage of custom crating packaging.

    First – Your mover such as myself can get you in touch with a reputable and solid custom crating service for you. This is after you have had an in-home assessment of all of your household goods. Once you know the number of valuable items you need to be shipped in crates, an assessor will come to your home.

    Second – A great moving company will always send an assessor to your home. Avoid moving companies that claim they can do this through email or by phone, watch out, they are probably scammers. The assessor will properly evaluate your valuable items and will provide the proper packing options that will keep your goods safe.

    Third – Once the assessor completes the evaluation, a price will be generated through our moving electronic system and will be included in the overall moving price quote. Make sure your mover highlights the custom crate services in your moving invoice.

    Fourth – Once the price quote is generated and upon your approval, skilled custom crate experts will then come to your home and will build the crate to perfectly fit all of your valuable items and goods to be shipped.

    Fifth – Custom crates will have two layers of protection, soft shell that goes around the valuable items itself, and the hard-protective shell that is the hardwood walls of the crate. High-value items will be packed tightly so the items won’t move during shipping. The experts will do specialized blocking with bracing elements so your valuables will be completely immobilized.

    Custom crating is the way to go to insure your expensive and valuable items are safely moved during transit. As I say frequently, always purchase moving insurance just in case.

    Safe moving!

Tips about crating services

When you plan on moving your household goods and items, most of the time, boxes are sufficient to protect your belongings during an international transit. However, there are at times when professional movers and packers would recommend using crating services.

Remember that custom crate services are more expensive than the standard price of packing. But if you want to make sure your valuable antiques and other types of items are not damaged during the move, crates are the way to go.

Here are some tips and guidelines to consider when to use or not to use crates. If you own specialty items such as a pool table, piano, hot tub, big pieces of furniture both in size and weight, standard packaging will apply. However, if you own expensive and valuable possessions, consider using crates for the following expensive items:
• Motorcycle such as a Harley that is too valuable to be transported any other way
• Priceless artworks such as paintings, sculptures etc.
• Antique furniture, mirrors, anything valuable, large and breakable
• Collectors’ items worth thousands if not millions of dollars
• Fine wine collection
• Any type of electronic equipment that is valuable and easily breakable

If you have other items not listed here but are concerned whether you should use crates or not, mention it to me when scheduling your move and I will provide you professional guidance regarding packaging options.

Next week, I will give you some insights on how custom crating works.

Safe moving!

Major risks to consider if you move DIY

Whether you are moving to another city, state or country, trying to move yourself is highly not recommended. So many things can go wrong if you plan to do it yourself without the help of professional movers who move daily and know how to avoid the moving pitfalls.

DIY moves can not only be disastrous but can lead to lost time, higher costs and damaged household goods. Here are some of the risks if you decide to move on your own:
1. Time suck – Trying to move by yourself will take you a ton of time. You will need to rent a moving truck and if it’s overseas or just across the country, long time to just move. This doesn’t include trying to convince friends to help and to pack all of your household goods. Professionals can do that for you in record time. And if you make mistakes, it will cost you more time and even days.

2. Increased costs – Many people assume and wrongly I might add, that moving by yourself will save money. Quite the contrary. Remember to take into consideration of the hidden costs of DIY. If you are moving a short distance and have lots of friends to do almost everything for you, not too much of a problem. If not, consider the expenses for truck rental, packing supplies, insurance, moving equipment, fuel and then fuel charges, taxes, hotels etc., it adds up and becomes expensive.

3. Damaged household goods – DIY movers under estimate how heavy their furniture, appliances, large valuable items and other things that are difficult to move. Trying not to damage large household appliances, furniture legs trying to get through doorways usually get ripped right off. Professional movers make every effort to minimize damage plus, they carry moving insurance so if damage is done, you can receive compensation.

4. Home damage – DIY movers also don’t take into consideration the damage they can do to their own property. Scratched hardwood floors, broken and cracked tiles, chipped and dented walls etc. Professional movers know the ins and outs to making safe moves by including pertinent moving equipment, canvass for all floors, and other protective gear not to damage the home.

5. Potential injuries – This is one of the more riskier things DIY movers could experience. Lifting heavy appliances can throw out your back and put you in the hospital for a few days, trust me, it happens frequently. Other injuries could happen by falling down the stairs, equipment lands on your feet or even entire body breaking bones. Remember to the safety of small children and pets during a DIY move.

As you can see, there are many risks involved when moving yourself. Leave it to the professionals to save time, money, less risks of damage but especially of all, your peace-of-mind.

Safe moving!

Tips to relieve international moving stress

Moving can be a daunting task and stressful especially if you have other family members that are moving with you like a spouse, partner, children and even pets relocating somewhere internationally overseas. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times and have anxiety but it can be significantly reduced with moving stress-relievers.

Here are some tips to reduce stress when moving internationally:

Packing/unpacking:
One moving stress-reliever is leaving all the moving to us including packing your household goods. We will come to you with a professional surveyor to itemize your possessions and let the movers take care of it from day one until your final destination. Much of the stress in moving is packing and unpacking. Leave that to us and you’ll have extra time for other important things in your life

Budget:
If your employer has asked you to relocate to another country, more often than not, the company usually pays for your move. If not, ask your supervisor or human resources representative and put together a rough estimated budget (I can assist you with this) and present it to your employer. Your company will be interested in keeping your stress levels to a minimum so you are able to adjust to your new home, location and position without having to stress about moving.

Tax deductible:
When it comes to a financial stress-reliever, your moving is if it’s for work is tax deductible. In addition, there are plenty of resources you can tap into to make your move hassle-free. Rainier Overseas is a member of the International Association of Movers (IAM) and the industry’s largest trade association has plenty of resources for you and services in more than 170 countries. You can visit them at www.iammovers.org.

By allowing a moving company to do everything for you from the beginning to the end, it will limit the stress and free up time for you to focus on the things that really matter to you like adjusting your family, discovering your new city, and getting to know new friends and neighbors.

Safe moving!

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!