An international relocation will always have hidden costs, despite your best efforts. That does not mean you should not try though! Saving money where you can will be worth it, so when those hidden costs occur, you can ride the storm.
I have made four international moves, on 4 different continents, and helped countless families relocate to Australia. Knowledge is nothing unless it's shared, so I wanted to share with you some of what I have learned, maybe it can help you too.
Using the internet:
You may find yourself spending endless hours on the internet doing research. This can be in vain if you don't really know what you are looking at. There is a mindful of information if you know where to look.
Many South Africans, don't really want to move to Australia and mix with other South Africans, but this friendship can really help you during the move. Those who have already walked the road can relate to your anxiety and they will be willing to help.
Join Forums where you can learn from other people's questions or answers, and even ask your own. I can recommend:
Using social media sites such as Facebook, search for local business and services where you can get local knowledge. Linkedin, for professional networking is widely used and the South African community within Linkedin are very helpful. Search for South Business network in the city where you will be living.
I once met a family, who before leaving Johannesburg, they met up with another family moving. Over a Saturday afternoon braai, they shared information, websites and ideas. It turned out their flights were similar times and they ended up moving within a week of each other – sharing their sea freight container saved them R1000's. They kept in contact upon arrival, and shared house searches and baby sitting.
Open your eyes to any connections, and remember, its not what that person can help you with, but could also, who they might know. Knowing how things work here, the processes in applying for a property, what suburb is best for you, transport routes – making yourself familiar with these will save you time, money and most of stress.
My top tips to save money:
If possible, travel outside of school holidays, when hotel rates are lower.
Airfreight some camping equipment, so when you find a house in Australia, you don't have to wait for your container, or hire furniture. Buying and freighting blow up mattresses, fold out table and a picnic set of cutlery and crockery will be cheaper than a week in a hotel. In this freight you can also send linen and additional seasonal clothing. Airfreight normally arrives one week after your arrival; sea containers take over 8 weeks to arrive here.
Choose a hotel that is near public transport, or, even better, if you are going to be city based, seek a hotel near to the free tourist transport. For example, in Melbourne there is a free City Circle tram and the Tourist bus, they are both free hop on and hop off service. Research the tourist information website for information relevant to your destination.
Try to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible. So many people leave this to last, hoping to catch some last minute deals, or just not getting around to booking. Booking ahead of time means will help you with:
- Greater choice
- More opportunity close to free transport
- You can get a larger block of time booked. Rather book for 6 weeks, if you find a home in 2 weeks, you can usually give 48 hours notice to leave. This is a much better option than you booking only 3 weeks, and has to move hotels – luggage and all!
If you are staying out of town, and on a very tight budget, try some of the caravan parks. The parks have self-catering cabins for hire. Most popular caravan parks here are called Big4.
Most towns and suburbs have a library. There is free Internet access at all libraries.
Shopping, dining and services discounts. Australia has a booming online industry where you can buy coupons at drastically reduced prices. Huge discounts are offered on line and during your relocation you should take advantage of these. Meal offers with discounts, or buy one get one free on just about anything. Scoopon, Ouffer sell daily deals, but a site with free printable dockets is www.shopadocket.com.au. You never know what you might need, so take advantage and prepare these before you leave.
Try not to buy groceries at corner stores or Seven Eleven types. Seek out the “Quick Sale” section of larger supermarkets. These are items that usually need to be eaten within a day or two – which will suit you anyway with lack of cold storage. Market shopping is generally cheaper than supermarket shopping.
The larger grocery stores also offer fuel discounts depending on how much you spend – another great saving!
Finally, when you are about to move into your new house, order your first supplies of groceries and cleaning goods to be delivered on move in day. Both Safeway and Coles offer grocery shopping on line. It can take about an hour to do your first shop, but it will be worth it on move in day, when buckets, mops, apples, bread and milk are all delivered.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing a few articles to help you with your move, but, please also feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can get to know us on my Facebook www.facebook/personnelrelocations.com.au.
Good luck! Best regards, Robyn @ Personnel Relocations
About the author:
Robyn is an ex- Durban girl (mostly) but has also lived in Johannesburg, England, Singapore, France and now lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband two children. Robyn started Personnel Relocations to be able to share he knowledge and process of moving with others, in the hope that it would make their move less stressful and give them peace of mind. Find out more at her website: