5 Things You Should Do Before You Move Abroad

Research Shipping vs. Storage

Strange but true: When relocating to a far-off locale, bringing along the car, furniture and other big-ticket items you already own can cost you more than buying new (or new-to-you) stuff once you arrive.

It can seem counterintuitive, but in many (if not most) cases, the shipping costs of an international move can be so high as to defy the financial logic of using things you've already paid for. Especially if the move is overseas, you can end up paying thousands of dollars just to get your car to the new destination, not to mention furniture, clothing, books and other dear objects -- and that's just for the overseas part. You'll also have to pay to get those possessions from your current home to the shipper's starting point and from the arrival point to your new home on the other end.

You'll have to do the calculations, of course, and if you plan to make your international move a permanent one, you may decide it's worth it to have certain large items at your new location. But if you anticipate returning in a year or two, you'll probably find it's more affordable to store your belongings at home and buy what you need when you get to your new location. A fully furnished apartment and locally purchased car (which would then meet local emissions, safety and driver-side standards) can go a long way toward simplifying, both logistically and financially, an international move.

Next, don't forget your shots (for a start) ...