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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The Top 10 Best Countries to Retire Abroad in 2019

pair of chairs on a beach

Ah, retirement. The golden age of new opportunities and looking back on a life full of hard work. You have the time now to pick up new hobbies or take on the adventure of a lifetime. And while many retirees may feel inclined to stay close to home and loved ones, this is the perfect chance to settle down someplace new and discover a whole new world.

Every January for the past 29 years, International Living updates its list of the top 10 countries for retirees to move to every year. These countries receive an average score based on the International Living Annual Global Retirement Index. This index considers the overall quality of life for expat retirees, according to a number of metrics.

So if you’re soon approaching retirement and planning this next chapter, already retired and looking for a change of pace, or even years away and simply daydreaming, consider an international retirement! There is no better time than now to pack your bags and jetset for a new life across the world in the best international retirement locations.

The 10 Best Places to Retire Abroad in 2019

10. Spain

Spain

This western European country is a prime beach destination for the rest of the continent. And since it’s a first world country, expats will find a comfortable standard of living and many of the familiar amenities of home. Traveling around the country and to other parts of Europe is easily done via train.

The country’s warm provides long farming seasons, meaning there is plenty of fresh and inexpensive produce at the market. The southern region, close to the Mediterranean Sea, is hot and dry, while further north toward the Pyrenees Mountains is mild and cool.

Spain boasts one of the lowest costs of living in western Europe. A couple could comfortably live on $2,500 a month in many parts of the country. Additionally, the World Healthcare Organization ranks Spain as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

9. Thailand

Thailand

Nestled in southeast Asian, Thailand is a tropical paradise. The tropical and humid climate means there is no threat of a cold winter; perfect for snowbirds.

The cost of living is considerably low; a modern studio apartment can be rented for $400 a month. Utilities and groceries are also low. Travel within the country is also inexpensive, and it’s easy to hop on a plane to explore the rest of southeast Asia.

For those who are really looking for an all-immersive experience, Thailand boasts a rich culture that’s completely its own. The country has never been colonized by western or European countries. However, there are plenty of bustling expat communities for you to make plans with new friends.

8. Peru

Peru

This mountainous country of ancient Incan ruins and llamas has recently become a favored retirement location. There is a large number of expats living throughout the country. In Lima, the country’s capital, you can find incredible restaurants, art museums, galleries and theaters. The international airport is constantly seeing direct flights to and from neighboring South American countries.

The weather is mild with sunshine for 300 days out of the year. This temperate climate means that fresh and local produce is always available at a low cost. The overall cost of living stays low, too. A couple can easily live on a budget of less than $2,000 a month in most regions.

Since there are not many English-speakers, anyone moving here should learn Spanish to fit in and get around. However, the community is still friendly and welcoming of expats.

7. Portugal

Portugal

Portugal is known for its friendly community. The people are happy to share their culture with others, and they make an effort to welcome visitors and expats. English is widely spoken in the more populous urban areas of Porto and Lisbon, so English-speakers can easily get around.

Portugal is the second least expensive country in Europe, just after Bulgaria. You can modestly live here on a comfortable budget of $2,500 a month. Additionally, the 2018 Global Peace Index rated Portugal as the fourth-safest country in the world.

6. Colombia

Colombia

If you can’t start your day without a cup of coffee, Colombia might be the perfect place for you. The country is known for its incredible coffee industry, and the Coffee Triangle offers beautiful and lush mountain scenery. If the mountains aren’t calling your name, don’t worry. You can head down to the Caribbean for tropical and hot beaches. Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, so there is no shortage of incredible landscapes.

Retired expats can easily attain a retirement visa that’s good for three years. You’ll also have easy access to affordable yet high quality healthcare. The World Health Organization ranks Colombia’s health system at #22 (for perspective, the United States is at #37 and Canada is at #30).

5. Malaysia

Malaysia

Malaysia is a popular choice for those who love an outdoor lifestyle. More than 878 islands make up the country’s geography, and there are amazing hiking trails through the beaches and rainforests. Discovering the rest of Asia can be done through direct and inexpensive flights right out of the Penang International Airport.

Don’t worry if you don’t speak Malay; English is the unofficial first language. Malaysian law is based on the British system, and all road signs are in both English and Malay.

A couple can comfortably live on the island of Penang for $1,800 a month, including rent. And don’t forget the affordable healthcare. Medical services can be done day-of and on a low budget, so it’s an especially attractive feature for expats.

4. Ecuador

Ecuador

There is something for everyone in Ecuador. Choose to live along the tropical coast or up in the temperate Andes mountains. Get caught in the bustle of the big-city life and all of its conveniences or choose to watch the world go by in quaint villages. You’ll find a fascinating mix of indigenous, Inca and Spanish cultures, great for those always trying something new. There are plenty of expat communities that take advantage of the local laidback lifestyle, and you’ll want to jump right in.

Another benefit is the affordability. It’s entirely possible to buy a beach home for less than $150,000. Utilities, household help and personal services are also low cost. The warm climate allows for year-round growing seasons, so food is fresh and inexpensive at local markets.

3. Mexico

Mexico

Mexico’s proximity to the United States has made it a popular vacation destination for generations, so why not choose to move here? Expats will find incredibly affordable healthcare and a low cost of living. Depending on the location, a couple can comfortably live on $1,500 to $3,000 a month, including rent and healthcare. After you are granted residency, you can sign up for a national healthcare plan. Residents over the age of 60 can also acquire a national senior discount card.

Geographically, Mexico is a huge country. The vast landscape includes farmland, beaches, mountains, oceans and lakes. You can choose to live in the warm beach towns or up in the spring-like Colonial Highlands. Wherever you go, you’re sure to find a community that is welcoming to expats.

2. Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a healthy history of a peaceful culture and stable democracy. The country abolished its army in 1948 and dedicated that budget to its education and healthcare instead. The country has plenty of options for healthcare services, and the socialized medicine program is available once you acquire residency.

For active retirees who love the outdoors, there is no shortage of activities to get you outside. The tropical rainforests, pristine beaches and lush mountains supply the perfect backdrop for fishing, golfing, horseback riding, hiking, yoga and diving.

Costa Ricans, locally known as Ticos, are warm and welcoming to expats. There are plenty of expat communities as well to help you fit in.

1. Panama

Panama

One definite perk to Panama is its location. It’s warm and tropical near the Caribbean, but it’s also outside of the hurricane belt. It’s located close enough to the United States that a visit home is easy; Miami is only a 3-hour plane ride away. The U.S. dollar is the country’s accepted currency, so no need to figure out a new exchange rate.

The capital, Panama City, is Central America’s only first world city. This bustling metropolis also boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Outside of the city, you’ll find amazing mountains and beaches.

Retirees in Panama have access to the country’s Pensionado Program. It’s considered one of the best retiree programs in the world and is open to everyone. Program participants have access to incredible discounts on everything from medical expenses to entertainment and travel.

How International Living’s Global Retirement Index Works

The Retirement Index was developed in 1990 and weighs the financial, health, lifestyle and governance pros and cons of each country. Such metrics include Cost of Living, Fitting In, Healthcare, Climate and Development. Every factor is carefully considered to determine the best retirement destinations abroad.

These retirement havens are given scores based off of International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. These scores are then averaged and the highest scores make the list for the new year. Additionally, the International Living team is spread throughout 5 continents and is able to provide a personal take on what life is like for an expat in these countries. With their help, International Living annually publishes who’s on top of the Global Retirement Index list.

Retire Overseas with Schumacher Cargo Logistics

Ready to take on the next chapter in life in a new and foreign land? Our Moving Specialists are here to tell you how to move abroad. With 40 years of internationally shipping vehicles and household goods, our team ensures a safe and efficient move. Whether you’re moving just across the Atlantic to Spain or around the world to Malaysia, you can get your free shipping quote and call us toll-free at 1-800-599-0190 today.

Move Out Cleaning – The Ultimate House Cleaning Checklist

man mopping kitchen floor

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

It’s moving day. The heavy furniture is packed into a trailer. Your belongings are put away in boxes and loaded into the car. The place is empty, but now what? Before handing over the key, do yourself– and the next inhabitants– a favor by cleaning the home. While it may be tempting to hire someone offering move out cleaning services, it can save you a lot to DIY it.

So how clean should a house be when moving out? That depends. If you’re a tenant, a deep clean could be the difference between getting your security deposit back or not. But if you’re a homeowner and not on a lease, doing a final sweep is still the neighborly thing to do.

As experts in moving household goods and vehicles around the country or overseas, we’ve seen our fair share of clean, empty homes. Use our move out cleaning checklist as you prepare for your big move.

House Cleaning Tips

Before you get started, keep these tips in mind:

  • When packing, do not pack your cleaning supplies. Set those aside and clearly mark them so they aren’t stashed into the moving van before you’re ready.
  • As you work your way through the home, triple check that you’ve packed all your essential belongings.
  • Open windows to air out any smells left by cleaning supplies.
  • If you’re on a lease, read through it very carefully for any sneaky fine print that requires certain cleaning standards.
  • Use microfiber towels instead of paper towels or plain rags. These are eco-friendly, reusable and streak-free.

Deep Cleaning House Checklist

Use this first checklist to get a general start on cleaning the home:

  • Vacuum every room. Mop any tile, linoleum or laminate floors. Apply a treatment oil to wood flooring. If the carpet is extremely dirty, rent a carpet cleaner.
  • Dust everything. This includes corners, fans, window sills, built-in shelves and cabinets, lights, and any other permanent fixture in the home.
  • Remove any nails, hooks and similar hardware. Repair these holes with some spackle, then repaint the spot. This will give the wall and rest of the room a fresh look.
  • Repair any damaged wall fixtures like a clothing rack or lighting fixtures.
  • Wipe down all the doors, trim, baseboards and crown molding.
  • Clean all windows– both sides– with a streak-free glass cleaner.

After you’re done with the initial groundwork, follow these cleaning checklists for specific rooms in your home.

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Use grout cleaner on tiled areas. Apply it early so it has time to work.
  • Clean out the exhaust fan.
  • Use special bathroom cleaner, usually with a bleaching agent, on the toilet. Clean all surfaces of the toilet.
  • Scrub the shower and tub with a soap scum fighting cleaner.
  • Clean the countertops, sinks, towel racks, lights and any storage areas.
  • Clean the mirror with a streak-free glass cleaner.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • If the refrigerator, oven, microwave or other appliances are staying, clean the interior and exterior of those. Take advantage of the oven’s self-cleaning feature, if there is one.
  • Clean the floor below and wall behind the appliances.
  • Empty out cabinets, drawers and shelves, then dust the insides. Wipe down the front of cabinets.
  • Scrub the countertops, backsplash and sink.
  • Clean out the exhaust fan and garbage disposal.

Living Room, Office and Bedroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Dust light fixtures, ceiling fans and any built-ins. Then wipe down with an all-purpose cleaner.
  • If applicable, clean out the fireplace and chimney.
  • Dust window blinds and sills.
  • Clean out air vents and replace filters.

Outdoor Home Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean out the gutters of any leaves, twigs or build-up from rain and snow.
  • Sweep dirt, grass and other debris out of the walkways.
  • Mow the lawn, bag up fallen leaves, and do basic grooming of any other landscaping.
  • Replace burnt out bulbs in exterior lights.
  • Clean out dirty outdoor trash cans or recycling bins.

Moving Tips from Schumacher Cargo Logistics

Moving out of your old home and into a new, unfamiliar place can be a daunting and exhaustive process. Keep your head on straight and use our packing tips and moving guide to help ensure a smooth move. Heading to foreign lands? Our international moving guide will also keep you on the right path.

With 40 years of moving and shipping experience, the moving specialists at Schumacher Cargo Logistics know how to safely get your items from Point A to Point B. Whether it be within the same area code or halfway across the world, call our moving specialists today to get a free quote on our services.

How to Choose the Best International Moving Company

Moving Boxes

Why Hire a Moving Company?

From finding a new home to getting accustomed to the new culture and lifestyle, moving is already a stressful feat on its own. Especially when it’s an international move. The last thing you want to worry about is transporting your vehicles and household goods from Point A to Point B. That’s why choosing a trusted moving company for international shipping is vital to a successful relocation.

How Much Does A Moving Company Cost?

Get at Least Three Quotes

Request and compare estimates from at least three separate reputable shipping companies. You can see the differences between how much different moving companies charge you. Check every detail on these quotes, including the time frame, shipping method, packing materials, and if there are any fragile or precious items in the shipment.

Additionally, the final cost of your shipment will depend not only on the amount of items included. There’s also the space it takes up and the special services provided by the company, like door-to-door delivery or packing and unpacking for you; these features can drive the cost up or down. Deciding which special services are most important to you will help determine which company to choose.

How to Evaluate Moving Companies

Start your research early

Waiting until a few weeks before your move may put you in a tough spot. You run the risk of a hefty upcharge for the last minute accommodations, or you may not even find a company with available space for your items. So don’t put it off until the last minute. You’ll want to do extensive research on which companies ship to your desired port, what items you’re allowed to ship, and how past customers enjoyed their experience with their company. Give yourself plenty of time to decide.

Licenses, Accreditations and Memberships

One of the most important considerations is the company’s licensing and accreditations. Since these are given based off of industry-wide standards and qualifications, you’ll have a third-party guarantee whether a company is worthwhile or not.

The most prestigious accreditation for a moving company to have is the FIDI/FAIM membership. FIDI is the Federation of International Movers, and it is considered a worldwide standard for top quality movers. The FIDI Accredited International Mover (FAIM) Quality Management Programme is a quality certification reserved for the best international moving companies.

Other licenses to look for are:

  • FMC – Federal Maritime Commission
  • AMSA – American Moving and Storage Association
  • IAM – International Association of Movers
  • DOT – Department of Transportation
  • OTI – Ocean Transport Intermediary
  • NVOCC – Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier

Tracking Information

You feverishly refresh the “track package” page while waiting for an online order to arrive. Why shouldn’t you have the same comfort when moving? One of the greatest advantages of modern technology is the ability to keep track of your shipment status. Choosing a company that gives you this option can relieve the tension of wondering when your household goods will appear.

Experience with Foreign Ports and Customs

An international move is completely different than a domestic move. Each country has its own customs protocol and requires different shipping documents. Shipping with an experienced international moving company that knows how to handle these logistics will make your move much smoother.

Ship with Schumacher Cargo Logistics

Schumacher Cargo Logistics fulfills all of these expectations listed above. That’s what makes us one of the top international moving companies. We offer plenty of shipping services designed for a variety of customers. Get your free moving quote today!

The Most Common Export Documentation

Passport and others identity paper and cards

At Schumacher Cargo Logistics, we’re experts in shipping vehicles overseas or exporting household goods. However, not everyone knows what’s required and we receive a lot of questions about what documents our customers need when moving internationally. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a helpful guide to explain some of the most common documents required when exporting an automobile or household goods.

Documents for Vehicle Export from USA

  1. Passport
    • A clear scanned copy with the passport number
    • If it’s a U.S. passport, it needs to include the Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    • If it is not a U.S. passport, no EIN is needed
    • Receive your Employer Identification Number with the EIN Assistant
  2. Certificate of Title
    • The shipper’s name has to be the current owner of the vehicle listed on the title
  3. Bill of Sale
  4. Power of Attorney, depending on the port

Documents for Exporting Household Goods

  1. Passport
    • A clear scanned copy with the passport number
    • If it’s a U.S. passport, it needs to include the Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    • If it is not a U.S. passport, no EIN is needed
    • Receive your Employer Identification Number with the EIN Assistant
  2. Valuation of the shipment, as required by U.S. Customs
  3. Signed Schumacher Quotation
  4. Marine Insurance Form, if applicable

For Temporary Exports

If you are only exporting your vehicle for a temporary amount of time, you can get an ATA Carnet. This specialized document allows you to bring your car and household goods overseas for up to a year, and then the item(s) need to be brought back. For example, you would use this document if you were shipping your car overseas for a race or a show; after the event, the car would be returned to the United States.

Using this document gives you the benefit of bringing your vehicle and household goods into the country duty and tax free. In addition, you cannot sell the item(s) with a carnet overseas.

Documents for Exporting Items, by Country

Note that the lists above are not exhaustive; these documents are only the most commonly required. Each country will have its own specific requirements for exported items. Here are some examples of the different documentation required by Australia, France and the United Kingdom.

Australia

  • B534 Form – Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement

France

  • Inventaire pour la Douane Française / Inventory for French Customs
  • CERFA 10070*02
  • Certificate of Non-Resale

United Kingdom

How Schumacher Cargo Logistics Can Help You Export Your Items

To keep things in order, Schumacher Cargo Logistics provides to our customers a checklist to ensure that all required documents are received, as well as assistance if you need help completing the documents. In addition, you will receive a booking confirmation letter containing details of your shipment and information for the documents required by your destination country.

For more information about moving and shipping internationally, call our moving specialists toll-free at 800-599-0190 or request your free shipping quote today.

The Essential Things To Pack When Moving

pile of Moving Boxes

When you’re in the midst of a move, it’s hard to nail down exactly what you’ll need on hand to help you pack. Here, we’ve compiled a handy list that you can use as your go-to packing guide.

What You Need For Packing For A Move

  • Boxes of various sizes
  • Plastic tubs with lids for storage
  • Packing material like bubble wrap, newspaper, packing peanuts, etc.
  • Tape and tape dispensers
    • Duct tape
    • Packing tape
    • Masking tape for labeling
    • Painter’s tape for quick touch-ups
  • Scissors, box cutters
  • Stickers for labeling and color-coding boxes to each room
  • Permanent marker
  • Trash bags
  • Furniture pads and covers (blankets work just as well)
  • Dollies and hand trucks
  • Rope, twine, bungee cords to hold things in place during transport
  • Padlocks if items will be in the moving van overnight
  • Toolbox
  • Cleaning supplies

Once you’ve moved past the packing supplies, you’ll want to make sure you have your personal essentials easily accessible. The last thing you want to do on your first night in your new house is unpack a hundred boxes trying to find your toothbrush. Pack these items up last, as you’ll want to make sure they’re the first things you grab from the moving van.

Moving Essentials and Travel Necessities

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Dish soap and dish towel
  • Paper towels
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Plates, utensils, napkins
  • Pet supplies
  • Emergency kit, first-aid kit
  • Flashlight, candles, matches
  • Shower curtain
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other related items
  • Personal information, like birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, etc.
  • Clothes for the upcoming days
  • Toiletries
  • Backpacks and school supplies
  • Electronics and accompanying chargers
  • Cooler, ice or ice packs
  • Medicine, prescriptions
  • Cell phone
  • Sheets, blankets
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping bags
  • Anything else you may need within 24 hours of packing and moving

The 3 Best Cities for American Expats

Expat Insider is a global survey that gives an in-depth analysis of expat life around the world. In the 2017 survey, more than 12,500 expats from 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries responded with new insights. There were 13 subcategories within the survey, and they all fall into four larger categories: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, and Finance & Housing. With these results, three capital cities stood out as the best cities for expats to live.

Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain landed at #1 on Expat Insider’s country ranking, so it’s only fitting that the country’s capital, Manama, was also ranked highly. The city’s friendly attitude to foreigners is appealing to expats. You don’t need to be fluent in the Arabic language to get around either, as English is widely spoken.

Other perks include housing and finances. Accommodations are easy to find, and the average annual household income for expats is over 200,000 USD. However, a third of the respondents said that local transportation could use improvement.

Skyline of Manama, Bahrain

Skyline of Manama, Bahrain

Prague, Czech Republic

Expats in Prague are happy with the affordable housing and healthcare. Local career opportunities, transportation, and safety are high scoring categories. Prague is also a city full of culture and sustainability movements, giving it high points for local leisure activities.

Respondents living in Prague gave the city a low score in the Getting Settled category. This includes friendliness of the local population, generally speaking and toward foreigners, and learning the local language, Czech, which can be difficult to learn.

City of Prague

City of Prague

Madrid, Spain

Madrid’s sunny climate gets high scores, and the warm temperatures are reflected in the local community’s friendliness to foreigners. Expats can get settled and feel right at home in Spain’s capital. Affordable housing and healthcare are both available, and local leisure activities are easy to find.

However, many of the respondents from Madrid gave negative opinions on the local economy. And while a majority like their work-life balance, many are unsatisfied with their jobs and career opportunities.

Madrid at Sunset

Madrid at Sunset

Ship With Schumacher To Move Overseas

We are experienced movers ready to safely ship your belongings to where you need them. Our shipping services cover a variety of cargo shipping. Get your free shipping quote and book with us today!

Retire to the Philippines for $100,000

beachfront pool and relaxation in the Philippines

Retirement is a chapter of life that many look forward to. It’s a time for relaxation, but also adventure. Retiring abroad is a popular move for seniors, as you finally have the time and savings to travel and discover a foreign country. With a literal world of options, it’s hard to choose. Consider the Philippines, an archipelagic Southeast Asian country situated in the Pacific Ocean. With over 7,000 islands, the geography ranges from beaches and tropical rainforests to volcanoes and mountains. The Philippines is among the top 25 countries to retire to on International Living’s “The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2018.” It scores 90 for cost of living, higher than its 2017 score of 85. Other high scores for the Philippines from International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index for 2018 are 96 for fitting in and 94 for entertainment & amenities.

Cost of Living in the Philippines

The Philippines has a generally low cost of living. International Living reports that you could comfortably live on $800 to $1200 a month, covering housing, utilities, food, healthcare and taxes.

If you live on $800 a month, your $100,000 can spread out to about ten and a half years. If you live on $1,200 a month, your $100,000 could last about seven years. The average worker’s Social Security benefit for 2018 is $1404 per month. Your monthly benefit alone could cover your basic living expenses, giving you some comfortable wiggle room for using your savings.

Obviously, your monthly housing payment will depend on where you live and in what kind of space. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is $228.94; go outside the city and that average is $124.77 per month. A three-bedroom property in the city has a monthly average rent for $394.53 and outside the city is $240.59. Something important to note is that non-Filipinos cannot own land, but they can own property. Thus, buying a condominium would be your best bet if you wanted to own your place.

Living in the Philippines as a Retired Expat

Perks for expats include a government agency dedicated to retired expats, and the surrounding culture is welcoming to foreigners. Other incentives for 60+ expats include:

  • Duty-free import of $7,000 worth of household goods
  • Exemption from airport travel taxes
  • Your retiree visa does not expire, and you can leave and return to the country without having to reapply for residency

For a more complete list of what benefits are offered to senior citizens in the Philippines, click here.

Live Like A Filipino

The best way to spread out your savings across your entire retirement is to embrace the local lifestyle. Don’t spend like you’re on vacation, where you might be more inclined to splurge here and treat yourself there. Live, and spend, with the mindset of a citizen in your new country. Find the local markets for your grocery shopping, then cook at home. Avoid the popular shopping centers where prices may be jacked up because of tourists. Limit your entertainment spending and outings to a few occasions. All of these saving tricks are rules you’ve known and followed at home, so apply them to your new home in the Philippines.

Moving to the Philippines

Ready to start your retirement in a beautiful tropical country? Schumacher Cargo Logistics now ships to the Philippines! You can trust us to move your items and household goods safely and efficiently, while you relax and enjoy your retirement. If you’re ready to retire to the Philippines, fill our Online Quote Form to begin the process today.

What to Pack as an Expat

Packing for a move is an exhaustive chore, and it can seem even more daunting if you’re moving to a different country. Not only are you making sure that all your items get to your destination safely and efficiently, you have to figure out a foreign country’s laws, culture and overall way of life. This list of important items to take with you as an expat is a great place to start and refer to during your move abroad.

Packing a Passport for Expats

Important documents to bring as an expat:

Be sure to have copies of these tucked away in a safe spot, and provide copies of these to a trusted contact back home in case of emergency.

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Debit and credit cards; remember to notify your bank of your move so the activity on your account isn’t marked as suspicious.
  • Immunization records, health insurance, and other key medical records for all members of your family
  • Birth certificates, marriage certificates, and any other kind of legal documentation that affects you and your family
  • Physical list of important contacts in case technology fails; don’t forget to have the address and contact information of the nearest Embassy or Consulate of your home country.

Expat Following a GPS Map Abroad

Tech-related items to bring as an expat:

  • In case the plugs are different, bring a universal plug converter
  • Voltage converter
  • Cell phone and coverage plan that both work in your destination country
  • Handy apps for your smartphone: language translator, a currency calculator, navigation and maps that can be saved offline, etc.

Medicine Specific to Your Home Country

Health-related items to bring as an expat:

  • Prescriptions: renew and fill these prior to moving, and do your research to make sure that your prescriptions can be filled in your destination country.
  • Over-the-counter medicines: probiotics, antihistamine, cold and flu care, etc. Living in a new country, your body may take a while to get used to the unfamiliar elements.
  • If you are particular about your brands of toiletries, be sure to stock up on those if they aren’t carried in your destination country.

Nostalgic Photos to Remind you of Home

Comforts of home to bring as an expat:

While you should do everything you can do embrace the culture of your new country, having a couple items to remind you of home can help with homesickness and the ease of moving.

  • Personal mementos
  • Favorite snacks and other foods that might not be available
  • Books in your native language; if you want to lighten the load and save space in your new home, look into an e-reader, like a Kindle, or find downloadable copies of books that you can access on a smartphone.
  • Tape measures, measuring cups and related items in case the system used is different than what you know
  • Clothes or shoes that fit you if you need a specific, hard-to-find size

While this isn’t a definitive list of items you should bring, it’s a good place to start. Feel free to do your own research or contact the Embassy or Consulate of your home country in your destination country if you have questions.

Trust Schumacher Cargo Logistics with your move

You want your items to reach their destination as securely and efficiently as possible. Schumacher Cargo Logistics can do exactly that. Trust Schumacher Cargo Logistics to safely move your vehicle, boat, motorcycle and household goods.