LACMA Moving Event 2019 – Panama Convention Coverage

This year Schumacher Cargo Logistics went to the LACMA convention in Panama 2019. The LACMA convention gathers movers who work in the Latin American community to discuss the industry. Every year they choose a different country, and this year it’s in the LACMA hometown of Panama. Check out our coverage of the event from loading ships in the canal to the ruins of Panama City.

The Panama Canal opening for ships to enter

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Reasons to Move to New Zealand – Pros and Cons

There are many great reasons to move to New Zealand as an American. Ultimately, they offer a great experience to both expats looking for work and expats looking to retire. However, there are pros and cons of living in New Zealand for Americans to look at first. We’ll take a look at them and why there are still enough reasons to move to New Zealand.

Beautiful Scenery Is A Reason To Move To New Zealand

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Retromobile 2019: The First Major Auto Show Of The Year

Retromobile is the start of the year for major classic auto shows. Since 1976, this show has been hosted at the Paris expo Porte de Versailles in Paris, France. Every year they bring out legendary cars and showcase some of the most coveted vehicles on the planet. This year’s event takes place February 6-10 and we begin coverage a few days before it starts. Check out some fun stories and cars from Retromobile 2019!

The 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta

The 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta

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Gift Ideas for Someone Moving to Another Country

Gifts for expats and overseas travelers

This holiday season, we prepared some of the best gift ideas for someone moving to another country. The soon-to-be expats in your life will really appreciate any of the gifts here. With this in mind, these gifts are sure to bring a smile whenever they are thinking about home. Be quick as the holiday season is coming fast!

Moving Away Gifts

Before they become an expat, they need to move out of their home. In this case, a gift that functions during their move is a great way to go.

Luggage

Gifting luggage for travelers overseas

A new luggage might be the right gift this year so they can bring all their favorite goods with them overseas. Just make sure its durable for the long travels.

Travel Gifts

The expat in your life will need to travel to their new home. A gift that helps while they are travelling could be the difference between comfort and a screaming baby for 12 hours.

Headphones

headphones for traveling

Headphones may prove the perfect gift for the traveling expat. International flights are often over 10 hours long, and a good pair of headphones really makes these bearable.

Gifts for Life Overseas

It helps to be prepared for the changes in a new country. A gift that sets up the transition overseas can be great for easing them into their new life.

Power ADAPTERS

European power adapter for Americans

In the event that your expat is moving with electronic items, a power adapter is a definite necessity. In order to actually use these items, you need to be able to plug them in. An adapter is sure to be a welcome addition in any expats bag because of this.

Weather specific gifts

Expat traveling through rainy night town.

Depending on where they move, a gift for the local area’s weather may be appropriate. A nice coat or umbrella is a great gift for people traveling to cold or rainy areas. Whereas sunglasses would be a better gift for a sunny country.

The Gift of Local Experiences

One of the most common things an expat will feel is nostalgia for their old home. Send them off with some moments only found in their area.

vintage photos of experiences moving around the world

A great gift before they travel is taking them to their favorite places around town. Places like their favorite restaurant or local amusement parks are destinations they may miss abroad. Pick up a souvenir or two so they have something to bring with them as well.

Gift Cards OverseasBuy a gift card for shops overseas

Although gift cards are usually an easy purchase, buying gift cards for expats presents a new opportunity. As your loved one moves away, the stores they are used to shopping at may not be there. By taking time to find shops near them, you can ease their transition with gift cards to these new stores. Not to mention the small size allows expats to carry more essentials while they are traveling.

If none of these gifts seem right for the expat in your life, you can always help their move out with some items on our Essential Things to Pack When Moving list.

Start your international move today with Schumacher Cargo Logistics!

What You Can Expect From Your Move To France

Written by Alex Bach

Just as there aren’t cheeseburger-eating cowboys shooting guns on every street in America, not every street in France is lined with baguettes, not every Frenchman is anti-American, and not all sparkling wines are Champagne. Knowing what to expect when moving to France is crucial if you want to get the most out of your stay. Here are some of the things, both good and bad, that you can expect to find when you begin your French expat journey.

And if you need help with the logistics of your journey, we’ve helped hundreds of families relocate all over the world and can make your move to France as painless as possible.

Managing Your French Expectations:

  • The bread really is as fresh as everyone makes it out to be. Made daily, your bountiful bread options in France are going to be better than almost anywhere in the world. Ditto their pastries.
  • French women aren’t necessarily the friendliest towards female expats–possibly because they feel all their french men are out to woo them. As with any move, you should try and find a community of other expats to help cut down on the loneliness from time to time.
  • Shorter workweeks! In France, the national full-time work week is 35-hours.  If you work any longer than that you automatically get paid overtime–which you can spend on more crepes, wine, and cheese.
  • Speaking of which…the food really is just as good as its made out to be. Seriously, even the smaller, street fair could pass for Michelin-rated cuisine in America. Part of that is due to the abounding freshness of the ingredients as they joined with many other European countries in banning GMOs.
  • Speaking of “speaking,” you will need to know passable French in order to enjoy your stay in France. Remember Ted Nugent’s infamous quote from a while back “Speak English or Die,” it’s kind of like that, but with French! France’s aversion of catering to your linguistic needs (even if they speak English) is probably the most realistic stereotype you’ll encounter. But don’t think of this as a downside: the more French you learn the more you’ll feel at home and the less you’ll be treated as an outsider.
  • Lastly, moving to France will not be easy. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to get legal clearance to move to and work in France. But know that once you do you will truly be in for one of the greatest adventures of your life.

Things You Need to Know About Your Move to Switzerland

Written by Jason Lowder

Before moving to the land of neutrality, chocolate and Cuckoo clocks, there are a few things you need to know about Switzerland. Some of these things might be splendid, some unusual, and a few you should probably watch out for or keep in mind.

Moving is made of two components: the excitement and the hard work.  Let Schumacher Cargo Logistics handle all the hard work for your move to Switzerland, allowing you to focus solely on the excitement!

Things To Know Before Moving to Switzerland:

  • Switzerland has one of the best economies in the world–700 years of neutrality and the world’s most recognizable banks will do that. With that stable economy comes a great quality of living(high cost), well paying jobs, and a strong openness for foreign residents and workers.
  • You’ve got Mountains and Mediterranean Climates! A gorgeous repository of mountains and lakes, Switzerland’s close proximity to the Mediterranean also gives it a very temperate climate that makes summer and spring unforgettable.
  • Finding a job in Switzerland is competitive as an outsider. If you’re looking to make the move try and find work before you go, either with some of the larger Swiss companies or with American companies that have offices in Switzerland, they might be able to help you transfer.
  • You can also take advantage of Switzerland’s three-month grace period for foreigners. This period allows non-residents to stay in the country for three months while they try and find permanent work.
  • Income taxes are lower in Switzerland but that’s because the costs of living in Switzerland are so high.
  • Leave the guns at home. Switzerland does not feature much of the same second amendment fervor we have in America which possibly has something to do with the fact that they are a neutral country…either way, leave the guns back in the states.
  • Baby names for Swiss residents have to be taken from a pre-approved list. Don’t expect to be able to pop your baby out and name him Apple Pie Asterisk. If you do, you’ll have to request official permission from your embassy which will be a long and tedious process.

Prepping You For Your Move to Norway

Written by Alex Bach

Norway is one of the most fascinating countries in the world: they convert their garbage into fuel and even import garbage from other countries.

In summer you can schedule a midnight tee-time since the sun does not set. Also the country is considered a kingdom and they’ve even knighted a penguin. And with an excellent cost of living, moving to Norway is one of the best decisions you can make for a quality expat experience.

Economy:

Norway has an excellent economy at the moment. It would have been even better had the financial collapse not decimated the country’s retirement fund, but they’re still very well off. Most jobs offer very competitive living wages…much more than their US equivalents. The country offers free healthcare and college tuition for their residents as well.

On top of that, the US dollar to Norwegian Krone is trading very favorably to the US; approximately $0.17 to 1 Krone. As such, the US dollar will help make up for the higher cost of living.

Rent:

Rent is very affordable in Norway.  Even their most expensive 1-bedroom apartments in the city center are cheaper than in your average American city: approximately $1,600 a month, which would be hard to put you into a studio in Manhattan! And while the city can be a bit competitively priced to other American cities, the suburbs offer much cheaper solutions.

Transportation:

Norway’s public transportation system makes it very easy to get around the country. They have long-distance buses that can carry you from city to city, as well as the more traditional trains and planes. A local ticket will typically cost around $5.50 USD. Gas in Norway is about 14.74 Kroners per liter, or about $2.46 USD.

And if you want to bring your car with you, Schumacher can assist with that major move as well. Find out how we can ship your car to Norway.

Food:

Due to certain shipping restrictions, getting quality groceries in Norway is not always an easy or a cheap thing. US citizens accustomed to grocery stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods will be in for a rough surprise. So while it might cost a bit more to find quality produce and foreign items (kiwis, tea, lemons), you can still get your staples like milk for fairly cheap.

Top Universities in Spain for U.S. Students

Spain has long been one of the more popular destinations to study abroad for U.S. students. This is likely due to the popularity of the language as well as the beauty and intrigue of the historic and cultured country.

Not every university in Spain will be right for you. Each pro and con plays a big part before making a final decision. Here are some of the best schools for U.S. students to study in Spain. Notably, Americans rate these as the top universities is Spain for expats and we agree.

Prepping your visa and brushing up on your Spanish will take some time, so why not let Schumacher Cargo handle all your moving needs? We’ve helped hundreds of families and students make international moves and can get your belongings to and from Spain without hassle.

University in Barcelona Spain Skyline

Top 4 Universities for U.S. Students in Spain

SLU Madrid:

Saint Louis University is a great option for American students trying to study abroad in Spain. Not only is the University a reputable American based university ranking in the top 100 universities, but the school also allows for a 4-year degree program. Here you have the privilege of studying in one of Europe’s greatest cities while attending an “American” university–meaning troubleshooting any problems that may arise will be much easier. American universities in Spain give an easy way to transfer credits if you choose to go back as well.

Marbella International University Cenre:

Located on Spain’s southern coast, MIUC lies in the beautiful Costa del Sol. As far as scenery goes you couldn’t ask for a more gorgeous and inspired place to study. Furthermore, the school allows students to select whether they want to take courses taught in Spanish or English. This is a major perk for students who don’t want their studies impacted by their lower comfort with Spanish.

European University Barcelona:

EU Barcelona is part of the European University schools situated across EU countries. This business school in Barcelona is a great opportunity for international students. They can study in a small, intimate classroom setting with other students from the same country. The fact that it’s located in the famous Bonanova neighborhood doesn’t hurt either!

The Instituto de Empresa School of Arts and Humanities:

For a well-rounded education located just outside the major city of Madrid you can do no better that the IE School of Arts and Humanities. The school prides itself on providing a balanced liberal arts education to both undergrad and graduate students. And, again, you’re only 20 minutes away from the bustle of Madrid.

Each of these universities are great to study as an American student. The local culture will be different, but there is also an environment that is familiar with the other students.

Once you are ready to move get a free custom quote on your move to Spain!

The Cost of Living in Hong Kong

Written by Alex Bach

Living abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of any lifetime. But depending where you go, it is not always the most inexpensive experience especially if that place happens to be Hong Kong. We’ll go over the cost of living in Hong Kong, what you can expect when you get there and what you’ll need to stay.

To get your belongings there, we can make moving to Hong Kong one of the lesser stresses you’ll have to worry about. We’ve helped hundreds of families make international moves and can help get your possessions to to your new home without a hitch.

Rent and Housing:

Hong Kong is the most vertical city in the world, resulting from the relatively tight space of the city, forcing construction to build up instead of out. As a result, the price of property in Hong Kong is not cheap. Whether you’re renting or buying, you will likely be paying more for lodging than you did back in the States. The average rent for an unfurnished apartment in the city is anywhere from $3,600 to $5k!

Utilities:

Utilities are fairly expensive as well in Hong Kong. You can expect your water bill to be around $50, your gas bill somewhere near $25 and your electricity bill ( the big one) to rest between $130 and $200. Meaning an additional $300 per month on top of the rent.

Lifestyle Costs:

Luckily many of your grocery items and restaurant dishes are going to be relatively the same as you’d find in any major city in America. Fresh baked bread goes for about $5, eggs for around $2, coffee for about $8, local milk $3. Note: Hong Kong has several options for higher level foods, such as free range eggs and Australian milk, which are going to cost significantly more money than their base level counterparts.

Alcohol:

Alcohol is an expensive commodity in Hong Kong. You can expect to pay as much as $35 for a bottle of Tanqueray gin and up to $22 for a bottle of wine. Thankfully six packs of beer, like Heineken, are only about $6 per pack.

Restaurants and Entertainment:

Luckily the cost of having fun in Hong Kong is about the same as it is in New York or Chicago. Certainly not cheap to do every night, but it won’t break your bank to go out once or twice a week. A mid-level dinner for two can be found for under $100 though not including alcohol. And a concert or trip to the theater can range from $13 all the way to $130 for premium seats.

 

Best Places to Retire in Hawaii

Written by Alex Bach

For many, retiring is all about retreating to your dream destination, your paradise. As such, retirees are looking to Hawaii to spend their golden years. Here are some of the best places in Hawaii to spend out the rest of your days. (Though take heed, Hawaii is not necessarily the most affordable place to retire.)

And just because it’s still part of the US doesn’t mean moving there is going to be an easy task. You’ll have to plan ahead and make arrangements to ship all the belongings you want to bring via ocean carrier, but giving yourself time will make the move to Hawaii that much smoother.

If You Can Afford It:

As we said earlier, Hawaii is not going to be the cheapest option for your retirement. But if you can afford it, here are some of the most desirable places to lay down your final stakes.

Kaanapali (Maui):

The beaches of Kaanapali are some of Hawaii’s most iconic and famous. As such, it’s also one of the most expensive. Expect to pay upwards of $900,000 for your retirement home.

Honolulu:

As the third-most expensive city in all of America, Honolulu isn’t going to be the retirement option for many. Still, this major city located right on a gorgeous beach that could make South Beach in Miami seem a bit insecure is the perfect place to retire if you can afford it especially as Honolulu will give you access to prime healthcare.

More Affordable:

Hilo:

This often overlooked city on the island of Hawaii is one of the more affordable places you could retire. Situated between Mount Loa and Mount Kea, Hilo offers over one-hundred miles of fantastic hiking, gorgeous rain forests, waterfalls, beaches and access to hospitals and a major airport.

Kailua-Kona:

On the western coast of Hawaii’s big island is a quiet, volcanic paradise loaded with fantastic golf courses and minimal rain fall: only about 10 inches per year, as opposed to Hilo’s 128 inches. Certainly an exotic retirement locale.

Paia:

Paia is a tiny little beach town on the northeastern side of the ever-popular and eminently-gorgeous Maui. A quiet town, Paia has a population of under 3,000 and offers a small town feel on this popular island. Don’t worry, it’s only a short 8-mile drive over to the main city of Maui, Kahului, where you can find more shopping, restaurants and hospitals.