When making a move to London, or any international move for that matter, there are key elements that need to be considered well in advance. A smooth and successful relocation comes from thorough planning and preparation which will eliminate considerable headaches prior, during, and after the process. Here are some important points to ponder if you are considering an international move.

Preparing, Packing and Providers! Oh my!

Making an international move is an involved process and requires a great deal of preparation. The first thing you have to consider is what you’re taking and how you’re getting it there. If you are moving to London from US then you either have to ship your belongings by air or ocean.

It is most advantageous to hire a moving company that will pack up your things and ship them for you. Such providers are professional, can properly pack your belongings for a long trip, and know the requirements for paperwork, fees, taxes, etc for international shipping.

Keep in mind that it is expensive to ship items internationally so it is recommended to eliminate as many items as possible before the packing process. You can either sell or give away items, or store them long-term at storage facilities for a modest price if you will be eventually returning to your country.

You should also do a bit of research to see what items might be irrelevant in your new home. For example, London flats are normally smaller than American apartments so you may find that large pieces of furniture need to be discarded once they arrive. Not only are you out the expense of shipping those items, but you also now need to buy new furniture.

Also, keep in mind that it takes time for your items to arrive to your international destination. It can take between four and six weeks to send items via ship from the US to England and, although shipping by plane is faster, it is also much more expensive.

Insurance: The Necessary Nuisance

As with any move, there is an amount of risk involved in both lost and damaged items and such risk increases with international moves. Therefore, it is advisable to insure your belongings when relocating to London.

When shopping for international transportation insurance, be sure to read any policy details thoroughly and ask any questions so you are completely clear on what it covers as terms can differ widely. Normally, such coverage begins at the point of loading your belongings and ceases once the items are delivered to London homes or London apartments.

You will be required to declare the total value of your shipment. It is important that you carefully inventory and apply a value to each item in the case anything is lost or damaged and needs to be replaced. When doing this, understand that the cost of replacing certain items may be quite different in your new destination. For example, a silver tray that costs $250 in the US may cost $350 in London.

Also, most policies only cover a limited percentage of the value of expensive items such as stock certificates, furs, antiques, and jewelry. It may be a better decision to carry small items of value with you when travelling so you can keep track of them personally.

Have a Happy Home Waiting

It is much more convenient and less stressful to have a home already picked out and waiting for you and your belongings. This is especially important if you are shipping items rapidly via airplane, or are employing moving vans for short distance moves.

The best way to find apartments or houses in London is to utilize the services of relocation consultants. They will have current listings of London rentals in the areas to which you are most interested in locating. They will also be able to provide other important information that will make your London relocation more enjoyable.