Moving Tips&Tricks July 12, 2023

Moving on a Low Budget: A Step-by-Step Guide to Moving Abroad

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

Relocating to another country is an exciting and life-changing experience, but it can also be expensive. However, moving on a low budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality or comfort. With some careful planning and resourcefulness, you can make moving overseas happen without breaking the bank.

Moving across the world on a low budget is possible with careful planning, resourcefulness, and persistence. By creating a realistic budget, finding affordable housing and transportation, efficiently packing and shipping your belongings, and obtaining necessary visas, you’ll be able to adjust to a new country without breaking the bank.

What Does Moving on a Low Budget Mean?

Moving on a low budget means finding ways to minimize the cost of relocation essentials while still ensuring a smooth and successful transition to living overseas. This involves careful planning, efficient use of resources, and making smart decisions when it comes to housing, transportation, and adjusting to your new environment. The goal is to achieve the dream of experiencing life in another country without compromising the quality or comfort of your journey.

What’s the Typical Moving Budget?

The typical budget varies depending on factors such as the distance of the move, the size of your household, and the cost of living in your destination country. To create an accurate estimate, you’ll need to consider all aspects of your relocation to-do list, including housing, transportation, visas, shipping, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Moving to Another Country? Free Estimate

How Can I Make Moving on a Very Low Budget Happen?

To make moving on a very low budget happen, you’ll need to be resourceful, creative, and disciplined. Some key strategies include:

  • Pack efficiently – Carefully decide which items are essential for your move and which can be left behind, sold, or donated. This will help reduce the weight and volume of your shipment, ultimately cutting down on shipping costs,
  • Choose a relocation company – While it may seem counterintuitive when trying to save money, working with a reputable relocation company can help avoid costly mistakes and ensure a smooth, stress-free move. They can provide valuable advice, assist with customs clearance, and often have access to discounted shipping rates.
A woman smiling and carrying a box
Plan ahead and avoid stress

Step 1: Planning and Budgeting

When moving internationally, it’s crucial to create a realistic budget based on available funds and the costs associated with your destination.

Start by researching the cost of living in your destination country and estimating how much you’ll need for housing, transportation, food, and other essentials. Be sure to account for one-time expenses like visas, flights, and shipping.

Save Money Before and During the Move

To save money before and during the move, consider downsizing, selling unwanted items, and reducing expenses. Begin by decluttering your home and identifying items that are not essential for your new life abroad.

Sell or donate these items to generate extra cash and reduce the volume of your shipment. When packing, choose the best-sized boxes for relocating to maximize space and minimize shipping costs. By being strategic about what you bring along, you can make relocation easier and more cost-effective.

Create a Checklist to Stay Organized and Track Expenses

A moving abroad checklist can help you stay organized throughout the process and ensure that you’re staying within your budget. List the tasks you need to complete before, during, and after the move, along with their associated costs.

Regularly update the checklist to track your progress and expenses, helping you stay on top of your budget and avoid last-minute surprises. With a good plan, you can successfully navigate the challenges of international relocation without breaking the bank. If you’re unsure where to start, find some relocation checklist templates online and see which one suits you best.

Blank checklist
You can download relocation checklist templates online

Step 2: Finding Affordable Housing

When relocating to a big city or any destination abroad, researching affordable housing options is crucial for staying within your budget. Some options to consider include renting, house-sitting, and homestays. Local realtors and rental agencies can help you find housing options within your budget.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate rental prices with landlords, as this can lead to significant savings. It’s also a good idea to arrange temporary housing while searching for a more permanent residence. This allows you the flexibility to find the best deal possible and avoid rushing into a costly long-term rental agreement.

The man in the video below presents realistic places for Americans who wish to move abroad and start a new life. He includes various facts and the good and bad sides of each location.

Step 3: Find Cheap Transportation to Your Destination

Finding the cheapest flights is essential for keeping your moving costs low. Use travel rewards points, book during off-peak times, and compare prices across multiple airlines and travel websites to find the best deals. Be flexible with your travel dates and consider layovers to save even more on airfare.

Contact an International Moving Company to Avoid Wasting Money

While it may seem counterintuitive when trying to save money, contacting international movers can provide valuable relocation tips and ensure a smooth transition. They have the expertise and resources to efficiently transport your belongings, navigate customs, and provide advice on the process.

They can often offer discounted shipping rates and help you avoid costly mistakes that could arise from attempting the move on your own. By investing in their services, you can save both time and money in the long run.

Movers moving a TV
Movers can help even those in a pinch; feel free to ask for a quote

Step 4: Take Care Of Packing and Shipping

When preparing for an international relocation, you should pack your belongings efficiently and cost-effectively. This includes finding ways to reduce weight and volume, such as using vacuum-sealed bags or lightweight packing materials. Prioritize essential items and consider selling or donating items expensive to ship or those easily replaceable.

Hiring a moving company that offers international moving services can help you choose a reliable and affordable shipping option. They can provide valuable insights into the most cost-effective methods and may have access to discounted rates.

Understand International Shipping Customs and Import Regulations

Before shipping your belongings, familiarize yourself with customs and import regulations in the destination country. This can help you avoid unexpected fees, delays, or confiscation of items.

Research duty-free allowances, prohibited items, and any required documentation for a smooth shipping process. Some relocation companies also offer packing services, which can ensure everything is packed according to international standards and regulations.

A stressed out woman sitting on the floor with boxes
If you understand regulations you'll avoid problems

Step 5: Obtaining a Visa and Other Legal Considerations

Obtaining visas and necessary documentation on a budget is crucial for a successful international move. Start by researching the documents needed for going abroad, such as passports, visas, birth certificates, and immunization records. Apply for your visa well in advance to avoid expedited processing fees and potential delays.

It’s also important to understand potential legal issues and how to avoid them when relocating. For example, research tax implications, residency requirements, and other regulations in your destination country. If you’re not going alone, consider researching the best places to live abroad with a family to find communities with a high quality of life and affordable living costs.

united states documents
Every country's embassy has a list of mandatory documents for your relocation

Step 6: Prepare For Culture Shock and an Adjustment Period

When relocating for the first time, the most valuable tip is to be prepared for culture shock and give yourself time to adjust to your new country.

To deal with culture shock on a budget, learn about local customs and traditions through free or low-cost resources such as online forums, blogs, or language exchange programs. This can help you better understand your new environment and integrate more easily into the local community.

How to Find a Community and Make Friends on a Low Budget

The fear of relocating and having to say goodbye to friends can be challenging, but finding a new community and making friends on a low budget is possible. Attend local events, join clubs or organizations, and participate in social activities that align with your interests.

This will help you meet like-minded individuals who can support you during your adjustment period. Social media groups and expat forums are also great resources for connecting with others in a similar situation.

For Anyone Moving On a Budget, Contacting International Movers Is Often the Best Option

In conclusion, relocating abroad can be challenging, but with careful planning and the right resources, it’s achievable. One of the best ways to ensure a smooth and cost-effective relocation is by contacting Shepherd International Movers.

Our team of experts can provide valuable insights into the benefits of relocating, help you navigate the challenges of relocation stress, and offer affordable solutions for your relocation. By partnering with us, you can make your dream of living abroad a reality without breaking the bank.


Is It Possible to Move to Another Country on a Tight Budget?

Yes, it is possible to move to another country on a tight budget with careful planning, resourcefulness, and prioritizing essential expenses. Researching your destination, cutting unnecessary costs, and finding affordable housing and transportation options can help you achieve a successful relocation.

What Are Some Ways to Save Money When Relocating Abroad?

Some ways to save money when relocating abroad include downsizing, selling unwanted items, booking cheap flights during off-peak times, choosing affordable housing options, negotiating rental prices, and packing belongings efficiently.

How Can I Find Affordable Housing in a New Country?

To find affordable housing in a new country, research local rental markets, use online platforms like real estate agent websites, apartment rental sites, and local Facebook groups, contact rental agencies, and consider temporary housing while searching for a permanent residence.

What Are My Transportation Options for Relocating Overseas on a Low Budget?

For relocating overseas on a low budget, consider booking flights during off-peak times, using travel rewards points, comparing prices across multiple airlines and websites, and being flexible with your travel dates and layovers.

How Do I Pack Efficiently and Cost-Effectively for an International Move?

Pack efficiently and cost-effectively by prioritizing essential items, using space-saving packing techniques, choosing lightweight packing materials, and selling or donating non-essential items that are expensive to ship.

Can I Ship Belongings Overseas Without Breaking the Bank?

Yes, you can ship belongings overseas without breaking the bank by choosing a reliable and affordable shipping company, reducing the weight and volume of your shipment, and understanding international customs and import regulations.

What Kind of Visa Requirements Do I Need to Consider When Relocating on a Budget?

When relocating on a budget, research the visa requirements for your destination country, apply for your visa well in advance to avoid expedited processing fees, and ensure you have all necessary documentation, such as passports, birth certificates, and immunization records.

How Can I Adjust to a New Culture and Language on a Low Budget?

Adjust to a new culture and language on a low budget by learning about local customs and traditions through free or low-cost resources, attending local events, joining clubs or organizations, and participating in language exchange programs.

Are There Any Free Resources Available to Help With International Relocation?

Free resources for international relocation include online forums, blogs, social media groups, expat communities, and language exchange websites. You can also use mobile phone apps like Duolingo, Babbel, and others to get started on the language essentials.

Write down some essential phrases for managing around the city when you first get there or learn more about your area and its specifics so you’re able to ask for directions, even those that hardly understand English.

What Common Mistakes Should I Avoid When Moving on a Low Budget Overseas?

Common mistakes to avoid when moving on a low budget overseas include underestimating the cost of living, failing to research visa requirements, not planning for unexpected expenses, packing too many non-essential items, and not taking advantage of affordable housing and transportation options.

What are you moving?

    Call: 844-789-8118