Nothing is more of an adventure than packing up your bags and moving your family halfway around the world. Unfortunately, moving your family and all of your belongings might seem like a daunting hassle. Here are two tips for overseas relocation success, so that you can avoid problems.

1: Know Your Prohibited Items

You might not think twice before you pack up your kitchen junk drawer or hall closet, but customs officials might have something to say about that box. Although you might assume that shipping regulations are fairly standard, the fact of the matter is that some countries have some pretty unique restrictions. Here are a few examples of prohibited items that might delay your shipment or land you with steep fines:

  • Germany: If you are moving to Germany, don't even think about shipping an opened pack of playing cards or those extra video camera batteries. Only unopened packs of playing cards are allowed, and lithium batteries are banned altogether.
  • Singapore: In addition to restricting the transfer of butane lighters and travelers checks, customs officials in Singapore also prohibit lottery tickets and advertisements for charms—so you should probably leave that jewelry catalogue behind.
  • India: Before you board that plane to India with your cell phone and your tablet in hand, keep in mind that some consumer electronics are prohibited. However, you might be able to maintain access to your electronics as long as they are worth less than 200 Indian rupees, and a customs official stamps your items with the words "released on caution."
  • Mexico: Mexico might seem like a sister nation if you live in the states, but the shipping restrictions are extensive. In addition to leaving behind electronic cigarettes and anything considered perishable, tickets, lists, and advertisements for foreign lotteries are also restricted.  

To stay on the safe side, become familiar with the restrictions in your destination city before international movers arrive. In addition to eliminating frustrating delays, it might also keep movers from being subject to liability for transporting prohibited goods. 

2: Load Freight Containers Carefully

After you know what to pack and what to leave behind, you might be ready to load that freight container. However, if you make a few mistakes, you might end up wasting money or damaging your things. Here are a few things to remember as you load that freight container, and why it might matter down the road:

  • Watch Furniture Sizes: That couch might seem like the perfect size, but will it fit inside your new European apartment? Although most people don't realize it, United States citizens tend to enjoy larger homes—but that isn't as common in the rest of the world. In fact, while the standard US home size tops the charts at around 2,300 square feet, places in England average less than half the size—around 818 square feet. Instead of packing large or bulky furniture items, consider selling them and buying a new version after you know where you will be living.
  • Avoid Heavy Items: Since freight container shipping is typically priced based on weight, try to avoid packing heavy objects that you won't really need. For example, you might decide to leave behind those garden stepping stones or that brass sculpture. Instead, keep heavier items in a storage unit back home.
  • Keep Movement in Mind: If that freight container is being shipped by sea to your destination country, the objects inside might move slightly during the journey. As you pack, keep movement in mind. To ward off trouble, pack your freight container like you would a backpack. Store heavy, sturdy items on the lower level and lighter, more fragile items on top. That way, if things shift slightly during the trip, your light things are less likely to be crushed.   

By understanding the international moving tricks of the trade, you might be able to save a lot of time and frustration. Visit resources like for more tips or assistance.