Relocating to a new country can get quite expensive, but many people manage to do it without breaking their bank. The question is how? In this guest post, ServiceMarket, the UAE’s leading marketplace for home services, brings you tips and tricks on how to relocate to Dubai in the most cost-effective way.

Plan everything

If you hate making lists, now will be a good time to get over your aversion and start writing everything down. You can make a packing checklist, give yourself a schedule to apply for work permits and visas, get pet passports, etc. When it comes to relocation, time is money. If you leave everything for the last minute, chances are that applying for things on a short notice will cost you more. There is also a good chance that you will pack more than you needed to or forget stuff. So organize yourself and give yourself a timeline.

Check if your employer covers relocation costs

If you are relocating for a job, whether for your current company or a new one, it is important to ask whether the company covers any relocation assistance, monetary or otherwise. If you aren’t satisfied by the level of support that they offer, be prepared to ask for more. Reputable international companies have relocation managers that can help you with almost every step of the process.

Buy flights at the right time

When you plan for everything, make sure to consider what would be the best time to buy plane tickets. This varies depending on short or long haul flights and the season you are flying in. Flights can also be cheaper depending on the day of the week you choose to fly out.

This would also be a good time to cash in on those air miles you’ve accumulated on your credit card.

Sell what you don’t need

This one is a no brainer. Instead of trying to lug everything across the oceans, only take what you really need with you. The more items you need to ship, the higher the shipping cost will be. We don’t suggest throwing your stuff in the trash, however. You should try selling everything you have decided not to take with you. You will have a better chance at selling your furniture and appliances if you start early and can use the extra cash to help you with your relocation.

Do your research

Don’t make the mistake of going with the first shipping company that you find online. The relocation company will be shipping everything that you need to start a new life in a new place, so you shouldn’t take hiring one lightly. Do a thorough background check on any company that you shortlist to avoid being scammed. Further, make sure that you get a complete breakdown of any quotes that you receive and know about any exclusions before you sign a contract.

Avoid moving during peak months

Most relocations happen in the months from April to September. This is called peak moving season and prices for shipping are higher. If you want to avoid the higher costs, and have some freedom in deciding your relocation dates, you should consider moving in the winters if that’s a feasible option.

Pick sea freight over other options

Shipping by sea is the cheapest way to get your belongings to the new country. It does, however, take much longer for the shipment to get to you if you choose this shipping option. Its best to be prepared by renting a furnished space when you land so that you don’t have to wait for your things.

Consider groupage

If you were a minimalist, you wouldn’t need to pack more than a few suitcases for your relocation. Consider opting for groupage when you ship your belongings. This is cheaper than booking a whole contained for yourself. In groupage, you share a container with other people to cut down on costs.

Insure against loss or damage

Once you have decided what you will really need in your new place, its best to insure your shipment against loss or damage. You don’t want to leave everything at sea and have no compensation in return. Insurance doesn’t cost a lot and will give you peace of mind.

Do your own packing

You could either get movers and packers to pack everything for you or take on the task yourself. Packing, of course, is an additional service. Therefore, to save money, why not do it yourself? Get packing materials, ask friends and family to help and pack your belongings for shipping.

Packing material costs a lot, especially if they are brand new so try to get your hands on used boxes. If you have a lot of suitcases lying around, especially the new lighter ones, fill them up with your belongings for shipment.

Rent a furnished place temporarily

Since you will have to wait for your stuff to get to you, rent a furnished space temporarily. There is no point in buying things that are already heading your way by sea. Once your shipment arrives, you can move into a more permanent space. Do your research on neighborhoods and costs and thoroughly check the condition of the apartment you are considering renting on a more permanent basis before signing any contract.

Rent a car

While Dubai has a good transportation system, you can also consider renting a car before you buy one or yours gets shipped to you. This is especially important if you have to travel a lot and far away for work from your temporary accommodations. Taxi fares tend to pile up quickly. Renting a car is a more cost friendly option.

So there you have it! Now you know the steps you can take to make your move easier on your pocket.