Expats 'can be sensible' when relocating belongings abroad

Most international movers tend to be “quite sensible” when it comes to sorting out what to take with them and what to leave behind, according to Sean Tipton, a spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta).
“I don’t think many people would think ‘Oh I have to take an iron with me’ or those sorts of things because they know they can buy it when they get there,” he said. “So I think people would take sentimental and high-value articles and their clothes with them.”
He explained that one of the reasons people are quite good with organising their belongings ahead of a move is down to cost. This makes sense. A lot of expats when relocating abroad are not necessarily doing so permanently.
Bearing that in mind, it is more economical not to move everything overseas, as the likelihood is that you will simply have to bring it all back at the end of a contract. While that might mean you won’t be able to take your comfy chair with you or your precious family rug, it does make sense to be prudent as one expat has experienced.
In an insightful blog posted on her website Design Mom last year, the graphic designer Gabrielle Blair reflected on the challenges heading abroad can pose, especially if it involves big families.
“We’d heard that towels weren’t as big and fluffy in France as we’re used to in America, so we shipped a box of towels,” she recalled. “I regret this.”
While it might not seem like such a big deal, for Mrs Blair, every little thing had to be debated. This was simply down to logistics. She and her husband Ben have six children and, to say the least, it was a mammoth endeavour.
“Clearly, if you’re contemplating a move abroad, your packing list will be very specifically tailored to your family and situation,” she added. “Mostly, it’s good to remember that anything we really need we can get here, and if we can’t get it here, we can live without it for awhile.
Therefore, think about whether you actually need to take something with you, Mr Tipton suggested, agreeing with Ms Blair that certain objects and furnishings can be replaced easily.
This brought him onto the subject of insurance, which is vitally important, especially for precious belongings. There are ample providers out there catering for overseas contents insurance, which is something that is overlooked more often than not.
Expats should ideally do this ahead of a move, as insurance can be extremely difficult to arrange when abroad, due to factors like language, currency discrepancies and regulations.