Moving day can be stressful. This is true whether you're just changing apartments or going halfway across the world--either way, you'll still need to make decisions about what to bring and what to get rid of. When moving abroad, these decisions become even more crucial; certain household items and belongings can be extremely expensive to ship overseas, or may not even match the culture found in your destination country. In this short list, you'll learn about three items you should almost always toss, store, or sell, rather than bringing them along with you.

Your Car

It may be difficult to part with your vehicle, but in most cases, shipping a car, truck, or SUV overseas is nothing but time-consuming, costly, and difficult. Vehicles are usually shipped via freighter over the ocean, and freighters are notoriously slow. While the actual cost to ship a vehicle across the ocean can vary greatly, conservative estimates can reach as high as $3,000.

You may also need to consider import taxes, as some countries require them for imported vehicles of any kind, not just new cars.

Depending on where you're moving, all these fees and costs may end up being more than the cost of buying a new vehicle overseas. A brand new car in China may cost as little as $4,000 USD. If you're moving to New Dheli, your options are even better, especially if you simply need a vehicle to get you around the city; a brand new smart car can sometimes run you as little as 200,000 Rupees--less than $3,000 USD.

To sum it up: Double-check the prices for vehicles in your destination country, and then double-check the cost to ship your vehicle. If it doesn't make sense, sell your vehicle domestically and save the money you make; you can use it to pick up a new vehicle on the other side.

Your Furniture

Furniture is one of the single-most expensive things to move overseas, usually because of its sheer weight and size. If you have a queen or king-size bed and frame, along with a couch, love seat, and armchair, you're going to find that moving costs add up quite quickly when moving abroad.

Furniture is typically shipped in a 20-foot or 40-foot freight container, with costs running between $2500 and $4500 USD. It's also notoriously slow, and it's not very much space for an entire house full of furniture.

Furthermore, depending on where you're moving, your old furniture may not even fit in with your destination country's new culture. 

Japanese beds tend to be thin and comprised of just a small amount of padding laid on the floor, rather than an elevated frame with a thick mattress. Apartments are also much smaller in Asian countries, so your current furniture may not even fit into the door!

There's nothing wrong with shipping one or two highly-treasured items, especially if you're going to be in your destination country for several years. But leave the bulky stuff in America; you'll have the fun of choosing all-new pieces when you arrive on the other side.

To find new furniture, think smartly about where you shop. Consider putting an advertisement in the local classifieds when you arrive, or check with local military bases, universities, and dormitories for ESL teachers. People from each of these categories may move frequently, and thus may sell off their used items quite cheaply--something you can take advantage of.

Major national retailers and big box stores are your best bet for new items, especially if you're in a metropolitan area like Nagasaki or Tokyo. Most of these will also ship if you're outside of the city. Salvation Army locations, second-hand stores, and thrift stores are also an option in most countries.

To sum it up: At the end of the day, every country is a little bit different, so be sure to research your destination country's furniture options and prices. Then, factor in the cost of import, duty, and tax to bring your current furniture with you. The decision to buy or ship should always be based on whichever is the cheaper overall option if you want to save the most money.

Appliances and Electronics

Before packing away your dishwasher, refrigerator, or even your microwave, consider carefully whether these items will work in your destination country. Consider that most U.S. appliances are configured to use a 120V connection; in contrast, the U.K. uses 230V connections, whilst Italy uses 220V. Other countries may utilize a different voltage all together.

You'll need a separate adapter for each and every electronic device you plan to bring--a cost that can quickly add up, especially for larger appliances.

To make the matter even more frustrating, there are other subtleties that may necessitate a different approach. For example, certain U.S. dryers rely on a 220V connection, and may need a specialized adapter. Certain countries, like India, may also experience unstable power fluctuations frequently--you'll need a transformer to protect your appliances from these surges and brownouts.

To sum it up: Items like laptops, computers, stereos, and other small electronics can probably be shipped--they're small, lightweight, and only require an inexpensive adapter to work on the other side. Anything large or bulky may end up being cost-prohibitive to ship and/or get working on the other side. 

Moving abroad is a fantastically fun, albeit stressful, experience that thousands of American ex-pats successfully navigate each and every year. Having a knowledgeable moving company on your side is extremely beneficial. If you're having trouble deciding what's best to bring along and what's not, consider scheduling a consultation with your local office's organizational specialist. He or she can help you to find the information you need to make sound decisions, increasing the chances that your next move will go off without a hitch. Bon voyage!

For more information, contact a company like Bekins Van Lines Inc