How long an international move takes and how to make it faster

Are you thinking of moving to another country? If you’re contemplating an international move for work, study or residence, you’re probably wondering how long it will take to make the move, how long it will take for your belongings and furniture to arrive in the destination country and what you could do to make your move to another country as quickly as possible.

In this article, we tell you how long it takes to make an international move and how to organise your move quickly.

How long does it take to move to another country?

Making an international move can take between one and three months, including: The time it takes us to find a home in the destination country that meets our needs, the preparation of a moving list with the furniture and belongings we want to take with us, the packing of the belongings, the shipping and delivery of the move to the destination residence.

We could say that the average time it takes to make a move to another country is six weeks. However, it should be taken into account that this time could be extended or reduced depending on several aspects that need to be taken into account.

Destination country

What country are you going to move to? What is the distance between the country where you currently live and the country where you are going to move to? Are they part of the same continent? What kind of commercial, economic or political relationship exists between the two countries?

The answer to all these questions will affect the total time it takes to move to another country. However, in relation to the countries between which you are moving, there are two aspects that should be highlighted: The distance between the countries and the customs and immigration regulations.

Moving list

The amount of goods you decide to take with you on your international move will also have an impact on the time it takes to make your move. While a large move (more than 4 rooms) may take longer to be packed, loaded into the moving vehicles and/or containers and transported; a small move (household goods and furniture of less than 2 rooms) will take less time and consequently, less time will be needed to make the move to another country.

However, we should not fall into the trap of believing that the less belongings and furniture we take with us in our move, the quicker the move will generally be. Remember that if the total weight of the removal is less than 70 kg, the shipment will have to be managed by a parcel delivery company, and taking into account the high volume of orders that these companies carry out on a daily basis, it is more than likely that the arrival of the removal will take much longer to reach the country of destination.
On the other hand, we must also consider that not all removals are the same. In some cases, objects and furniture with very specific characteristics will have to be transported, such as musical instruments, works of art or antiques.

For all the objects on the removal list that have extraordinary characteristics, it will be necessary to dedicate extra time to packing them. In this way, we will avoid any kind of damage to the goods during transport and they will arrive safely at the removal destination.

Shipping method

The type of transport we choose to carry out our move to another country will also determine the time it will take to make the move. The three types of shipping methods available for an international move are By road, sea and air.

  • International Road Moving: This type of shipment is only possible for countries between which there is access by land. The move will be transported by truck during the entire journey and the time it takes to make the move will depend on the distance in kilometres between the countries. The approximate time to make a move by road will be 3 to 5 days.
  • International removal by sea: This is the cheapest type of shipment available and is recommended because of its versatility and the possibility of grouping several removals in the same container. It is the most used method of sending removals for intercontinental and transoceanic removals. An international removal by sea can take between 25 and 31 days.
  • International removal by air: Although this method of shipping is the most expensive (it can cost twice as much as a sea move) and is used very infrequently, it is the most advisable if we need to make an urgent or express move to another country. Moving by air usually takes between 8 and 10 days, but it will depend on the distance between the countries and the availability of flights that can load the goods in the cabin.

3 Tips to make your move in record time

Some tricks to make your move faster are:

  1. Lighten your moving list: We have already warned you about the consequences of including too few items on your moving list and why this can be counterproductive if you want to make your international move fast. However, if you take stock of your move, you will probably find that you no longer need the items on your moving list, so instead of waiting to get rid of them when you arrive at your next residence, you can throw away or donate anything that you no longer want or need. A good solution is to apply the Konmari method, which proposes getting rid of those belongings, furniture and objects that do not make us happy. 
  2. Request air transport for your move: If you need to make your move urgently to another country and money is not a problem, ask the international moving company with which you are going to contract the service to send your belongings by air.
  3. Organise your move 3 weeks in advance: Requesting the removal service just a few days before your trip to the new country of destination is a bad idea if you want to move into your new home immediately after your own move. Instead of waiting until the last moment, it is advisable that you inform the removal company with which you want to contract the transport of your belongings 3 weeks in advance, so that the company has enough time to coordinate the service and request the relevant permits. In addition, having previously made an inventory of the belongings and furniture you wish to take with you during the move and providing the company with a list of the items to be moved will help speed up the process even more and reduce the time it takes.

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