It’s all official and you’re in. All that’s left now are all the final practical preparations. You will want this relocation to NZ to be as stress free and smooth as possible, so careful planning, down to the last detail is required here. Find that military precision in you because what you are about to do is just as strategic as putting together your next force.
You have jumped through all the hoops and filled in the forms, completed the interview and now it is time for the practical things that have to be done before you move abroad. There will be many matters to sort out and I will only go into detail about the main ones, Making Travel Arrangements, Shipping and tying up accommodation.
Making Your Travel Arrangements
You have now reached the stage where you need to book flights and the dream is moving closer to a reality. With the advent of the internet, never has it become so easy to complete this step. Make sure that you shop around if you have flexibility on your dates in order to obtain the most competitive prices.
Some airlines, such as Singapore Airlines, so I understand, can sometimes offer additional baggage weight allowance, if you can prove that you are only going one way due to emigrating so it is worth enquiring about. Some airlines have a larger than the average 20kg allowance anyway such as Emirates Airlines.
Do your homework here for the best prices and the best luggage allowances. Check whether the excess fee for baggage is better than paying for an extra bag? I know that Air New Zealand allowed us to pay a fee to take an additional bag at a very reasonable rate. Bear in mind that if you are stopping overnight en route, then you will be charged twice as it is considered two separate journeys and you will have to pay two separate excess luggage fees.
Personally we managed with a suitcase each between us and one extra suitcase which we paid excess baggage allowance for. You will need to allow for your shipping to take at least 8-10 weeks to New Zealand. These are rough estimates and some shipments can come quicker or later than the estimated dates so you need to be prepared. Also pack essentials items into your suitcase that you may need within these shipping time scales.
The All-important Shipping abroad or please do not damage my precious items
Now that you have worked out the best way to transport yourself to your chosen destination, the question will turn to shipping the rest of your precious items.
You should try to obtain at least three quotes from shipping companies. Make sure that they are suitably accredited; this is not the time to go for fly by night companies to save a few pennies. After all your most precious items are going to be placed in a container and shipped across some choppy waters.
I chose my shipping company based upon the service that I received starting from the first phone call I made to their reception desk, the greeting and service that I received from there on.
Secondly, I judged the company by the representative that came to the home to give me a valuation. Remember that whilst you are comparing prices this should not be the only factor that you should base your decision on.
First Impressions Do Count!
Most shipping companies will be desperate for your business and will tell you anything to make you go with them. I personally do not like pushy salesmen. There is a difference between a courtesy call after and constantly calling for an answer, the latter gets a thumbs down in my book.
Go with your instinct and the first impressions that you get when you first contact the company. For example, take note of how the call is answered and what service you get. Do you have to go through an automated system, telling you to press, 1 for reception, 2 for shipping, 3 for customer service. Which do you prefer, this type of annoying push button system or being able to speak to a real person immediately? This is usually an indication of the latter service you will receive from the company. Remember once they have your money, do you want to deal with a rude receptionist, pushy salesman or automated system just because they are the cheapest or make claims they can’t possibly fulfill?
Ask to see previous customer references to ensure the company will be able to provide you with a quality service. Making sure that they are a reputable company is imperative, as a quality company will be more experienced in the processes of an international move and should be able to help with any related issues that may arise.
If possible, select a company that has a permanent presence in your intended destination, as this company will be familiar with the country in general and any laws and regulations regarding the importation of goods. They will also be much easier to contact once you have moved. If not then enquire as to which company they partner with in the destination country and check this company out as well.
I’m Jenny and I whilst I love being an expat in Auckland I could not find any reliable advice or guides online from someone who had actually made the move to New Zealand. So I decided to create this blog which offers free advice for expats by an expat. Hopefully you will find everything you’re looking for (and what I wish I knew before) here but if you can’t please do contact us.