What costs are involved in moving overseas?
When you’re planning to move overseas, expenses you may not even have been thinking about can add up. You want to make sure you have enough cash both to get you to your destination and to settle in comfortably once you arrive.
Among the costs you’re likely to encounter are:
- Visa fees: These can vary greatly from country to country. Plus, some visas require proof that you have a specific minimum balance in your bank account.
- Travel costs: These include flights to your destination as well as domestic travel once you arrive.
- Insurance: Having insurance is important for avoiding potentially high medical costs should you get sick or injured while overseas. When you do your research, look into both coverage and costs. If you have a job to go to, find out whether your employer’s insurance covers you. Make sure coverage encompasses medical expenses for injury and illness, theft, luggage damage and flight cancellations. Get quotes from a number of reputable insurance providers and be sure to choose a policy that meets your needs and that will cover you for the duration of your overseas adventure.
- Shipping costs: If you’re just taking a giant backpack, then shipping costs won’t be much of an issue for you. But if you’re packing up your life and perhaps a family, then sending your possessions overseas can be pricey. Again, it’s a good idea to get and compare estimates from a number of international removalist companies. These estimates will vary depending on how much you’re shipping, the distance you’re moving and whether you opt for door-to-door or door-to-port shipping. (Door-to-door shipping is the more expensive option, but door-to-port shipping requires you to collect your belongings at the other end, which may be an additional expense.)
- Initial accommodation costs: Depending on whether you have a home to go to, you may need to stay in a hostel, hotel or serviced apartment when you first arrive. Make sure you allow – and calculate – for this possibility.
- Deposit and bond for rental accommodation: If you do have a home to go to, or when you find one, make sure you have enough for up-front costs like rental bonds.
- Initial living costs: If you’re not working for a portion – or all – of your travel, you need to make sure you have enough funds to cover your day-to-day expenses, such as food, clothing, transport, and phone and internet costs.
- Ongoing cost of living: Whether or not you’re working overseas, keep the general cost of living in mind. What are typical rents for the areas you’re considering? Are they likely to increase in the next year or so? What’s the average hamburger cost? Again, these incidentals can add up.
- Pets: If you’re planning to bring your pet with you, this can add a significant expense. Depending on veterinary appointments and vaccinations, quarantining policies and airline flights, packing up your pet can run into thousands of dollars.
If you’re going overseas on a work visa, your new employer might cover some or all of your relocation costs – just make sure you try to get an idea of when exactly the funds will come through so you can organise yourself properly.