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      What you Need to Know Before Moving to Australia

      September 15th, 2020
      Orbit Moving

      photoholgic
      A move to Australia brings most to the other side of the planet. While a move to an English-speaking British colony may be of some comfort, the distance and differences between home and the land down under are plenty. Before you spread some vegemite on toast this is what you need to know.

      Sort Out Your Visa & Work Plan In Advance

      Whether you’re going on a working holiday visa or are moving to an iron-clad permanent job offer, don’t leave home until you have your paperwork in hand. For those on a working holiday visa, remember you’ll only be permitted to work with each employer for six months. The holiday working visa will also require you to complete three months of regional (often farming related) work. If you want to extend your holiday working visa from one year to two, make sure you have your regional work completed early in your stay.

      Expat Tip: Beat the heat on your holiday working visa by completing your regional work in the cooler months (often May through September).

      Cash is King

      Find out if your credit cards and bank account can still be used in Australia, and if not get some that will. Don’t forget to call your bank and credit card company to report your move, otherwise your cards may get flagged and suspended for unusual activity, an unnecessary hurdle to overcome. It’s also recommended you have enough cash in the bank to cover at least 6-8 weeks rent, since many accommodations require at least a four-week deposit.

      Expat Tip: Bring less stuff and more cash. If you’re travelling in the Outback, you’ll have to pay a premium for food and drink. A tin of pop can even be more expensive if it’s cold vs. room temperature.

      Where to Live

      Many outsiders assume that Australia is relatively small and warm; Australia is roughly the size of Europe, and small portions of Australia see more snowfall than Switzerland. Whether you’re planning to travel during your stay or want to figure out what clothes to pack and where to settle based on your interests, seasonal preferences, and job opportunities this regional summary may help.

      You’ll see all four seasons in Melbourne, the second largest city in Australia, thanks to its oceanic climate (sometimes in the same day). Temperatures peak in the low to mid 40s°C in February and dip just below 0°C in July. Melbourne is known for fine dining, art, and is often selected among the most livable cities in the world.
      Enjoy Sydney for mild winters and warm summers (think North American West Coast weather) with highs of 26 °C in January and lows of 8 °C in July. Sydney has a vibrant night life and wonderful beaches.

      Brisbane has more of a tropical climate with 280 days of sunshine. This is the third most populated city in Australia with a diverse and quickly growing population.
      Perth has hot and dry summers and wet and mild winters, and is famous for being one of the most geographically isolated large cities in the world.
      Darwin’s closeness to Southeast Asia makes it appealing to anyone who wants/needs to travel to Asia. This is the most northern major city in Australia and has a tropical savanna climate with both dry and wet seasons. If you like heat and culture this is the place for you.

      relaxation

      Expat Tip: Wear lots of sunscreen. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Make sure you look for “Reef-Safe” sunscreen to ensure you aren’t impacting the aquatic life in the area.

      Finding the Right Accommodation

      Many find it’s helpful to pre-book a hostel or place to stay in advance for a few weeks to allow them time to find a more long-term living solution suitable to their needs. Most Australian apartments are rented without furniture, so pack and ship accordingly. When searching for a place in a hotter climate, air conditioning is vital. Finally, if you’re on a tight budget find out when the next “Hard Rubbish Day” is in your area. This is when locals leave large items, think furniture and appliances, out for collection and you can get yourself some used items for your home at no cost.

      Staying Connected

      Australia isn’t known for public Wi-Fi or speedy internet services (it was ranked 50th globally for internet speed). If you’re traveling the outback bring a map because as great as GPS is, you’ll want a backup plan for places with spotty service. You may want to purchase a portable Wi-Fi router to save yourself headaches, and don’t forget a portable cell phone charger and universal power adapter while you’re at it.
      Keep all these things in mind and you’ll be ready to say G’day mate to Australia in no time.

      Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

      We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.

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      What to Bring When Moving to Europe

      August 31st, 2020
      Orbit Moving

      Europe Flags
      Europeans are known around the world for castles, art, music, great food, and historical sites. While these items, along with family, a job, or education may be the reason you’ve decided to skip to the other side of the pond, they don’t provide any insight on what you should bring with you when moving to Europe. Thankfully, this article will save you a lot of time, space, and headaches.

      Getting Started

      Before any major move, it’s good practice to reduce what you own. Donate, sell, and store items that aren’t practical to bring with you. This will reduce the cost of your move simply because there’s less to transport. Once you’ve done this, go through everything again. Most of us are guilty of underestimating how much we own. On the same note, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t get rid of easy to move items and end up purchasing again after your move.
      Expat Pro Tip – Living spaces in Europe are often smaller than in North America. This includes elevators, doorways, and staircases for moving your furniture into your home. Think twice before packing your oversized armchair. It may not fit.

      Daily Items

      These are the items you use in your everyday life like clothes, medication, computers, and converter plugs. You’ll want these items to arrive at the same time you do. Bring portable battery packs and chargers to allow for using your cellphone more often. You will likely use Apps like Google Maps and be in regular contact with family post move and won’t want to end up with a dead battery. Many phone providers offer universal ports for purchase so you can take and charge your phone in virtually any country. Check the climate around the time of your move and pack accordingly for what goes with you on your flight and what arrives via shipment/air freight. Also, if you’re moving anywhere that they never see snow, sell or store your skis, snow parka, or any other items that you know you won’t be using. If you’re an avid reader consider buying an E-reader because books are heavy to move and take up a lot of space.

      Expat Pro Tip – Before you purchase a large converter for your appliances, for several hundred dollars, consider the practicality of it as you’ll need to move it around your new home, particularly in the kitchen. It may be easier just to purchase a few new appliances that will work with the plug outlets in your new home country after your move, depending on your needs.

      Documents & Legal Items

      Paperwork is an important facet of your move. Marriage licenses, visa, employment letters, insurance policies, wills, passports, prescriptions, credit cards, letters of entry, housing documentation, tax documents, and more should come with you (on your person) during your move. It also never hurts to make copies of these items before you move and have someone you trust keep the spare set in a filing cabinet, lockbox or safe should something get lost in the shuffle.

      Expat Pro Tip – Those bringing computers with them should take the time when they arrive to change the settings on their systems to reflect their new time zone, including the standard European date format (day, month, year) and adjust all margins in your programs for A4 paper instead of letter. Since paper is a different size, don’t bother bringing your printer with you.

      Sentimental Items

      Some framed family items or an old stuffed animal might be the personal item that helps make your new location feel like home. Many ex-pats find that the holidays are the hardest time of year and it helps them feel less homesick if they ‘splurge’ on packing some Christmas or seasonal decorations to remind them of past traditions. Sentimental items could also include a small amount of dry food items that you won’t be able to get in Europe but will miss.

      Expat Pro Tip – Arrange for close friends or family to visit you a few months in. Not only can they bring you a few additional personal or sentimental items on their travels, but they can also help you explore your new home through the eyes of a tourist.
      Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert
      We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, contact us at 416-661-4228.

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      Exploring Groupage Shipments To Spain

      August 20th, 2020
      Orbit Moving

      Shipping container

      Whether you’re a minimalist, on a shorter term move, on a tight budget, or simply bringing a few larger items to Spain with you Groupage shipment may be the best course of action for your move.

      How Groupage Shipments Work

      Much like a ride sharing, those using groupage shipping combine their cargo with other people shipping within the same, individual container, sometimes with multiple stops along the way. This is also called consolidated shipping. Once the container arrives it is unloaded and claimed by the appropriate parties. By sharing your container with others, you enjoy a significant savings on the cost of your move. This type of arrangement is best for someone who only has a smaller shipment.

      The Advantages of Groupage Shipping

      Usually if you only use three quarters of a shipping container you still pay for the entire space. With groupage shipping you only pay for the room you take up, with another person (or multiple people) filling up the remaining space. Many times, groupage shipping has less handling of the product, which means a lower risk of damage during travel. High volume shipping ports, such as Spain, are efficient places to receive a shipment, meaning you may have to wait less time to receive the items in your move.

      Things To Consider Before Booking Consolidated Shipping

      Consolidated or groupage shipping isn’t right for everyone. By sharing your container, you need to spend more time ensuring your items fit into the required dimensions. Since your items will be sharing space with someone else’s there is less wiggle room. If timing of the arrival of your moving items is important, speak to the moving company in advance to get a timeline along with the pricing for each moving option available before you decide.

      Possible Issues

      It may be more difficult to find a mover offering groupage shipping. Some companies do not want to take on the complex nature of a groupage shipment. Thankfully many experts, like the team at Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd., have years of experience with consolidated shipments and will get you the best price possible thanks to their robust network of carrier connections.

      North America & Spain

      Economic relations are strong between Canada and Spain. Many credit this tie with the Canadian-European free trade agreement (CETA). Restricted items for this type of shipment are the same as any country, and include food and food products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and electronics. You may need to get explicit permission to ship such items. Speak to your moving specialist before placing anything in question into your shipping pallet.

      The Ports of Spain

      Spain is a port destination, meaning that there are numerous locations to receive goods from a distance depending on your needs, whether it’s receipt of your items in Valencia (a public terminal known for container shipping), Algeciras Bay (known for its ships connecting Spain with Africa, Asia, America and Europe), Barcelona (providing a sea access port for the whole Spanish territory), Las Palmas (an international port) and Bilbao. Letting your goods cruise on over to Spain may be the best and most cost-efficient way to manage your move.

      Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

      We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.

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      How to Ship Personal Items Internationally

      July 30th, 2020
      Orbit Moving

      Airoplane - FedEx

      A local or move to the other side of the country can be as simple as loading up a moving truck and unpacking at your new home. When it comes to an international move, things get more complicated. In addition to deciding what you sell, donate, store, ship, and buy for your new home you also need to figure out the best way to ship your personal items internationally. Fortunately, with some expert help you can ensure your personal items arrive safely and on schedule for your move.

      Shipping by Container

      The great thing about shipping containers is that they can store and send virtually anything. From clothes to appliances, furniture, and even cars, you’re covered. An experienced international moving company, like Orbit International Movers, can help you navigate the ins and outs of various timing, insurance, and customs related to your move.

      Knowing What You Can Ship In A Container

      Shipping containers are versatile, but this isn’t the issue. What you need to be mindful of is customs and what you are and are not allowed to move. For example, most personal items that you use in your day to day life, like your clothes and furniture will be shipped without a problem. However, you may want to cancel your Costco membership several months before your move because, if you pack a dozen jumbo bottles of shampoo, a customs officer may flag your container, believing that you’re bringing supplies for a hair salon. Same goes for alcohol or anything that may be mistaken for a commercial import. You can ship one or two of most items, but anything more will likely be flagged and you’ll pay duty.

      The Six Months Rule

      Many customs protocols won’t consider your belongings personal property unless you’ve owned them for six months or more. While customs aren’t going to question those jeans you bought last month, major purchases like appliances, televisions or other big-ticket items may be flagged, particularly if you pack it in the original box. For new looking items, you will want to have proof, like credit card statements or receipts, that you in fact made the purchase more than six months ago.

      Just Don’t Pack…

      You’re probably best to take valuable jewelry or small expensive items on the plane with you, inside your carry-on luggage. Items like weapons or firearms should not be shipped via container, and you will need to check with the authorities in your destination country and your airline as to whether you are allowed to bring them into the country, as well as the proper documentation and procedure for moving them legally. While many containers aren’t inspected when leaving the country, spot checks for contraband happen. Make sure there is nothing illegal in your storage container and if you’re unsure of an item, just ask the experts.

      Shipping Your Car

      A shipping container is usually the best option for moving your vehicle, whether it’s a car, van, boat, or motorcycle. Your movers will go over all the documentation you will need to ship your vehicle to ensure a smooth move. Every country has different rules and taxation processes for moving larger items, so ask your mover for their advice about your vehicle well in advance of your move. If you will be taxed 60-80 percent on your vehicle’s worth it may be a better option to sell it before you leave the country. Also consider that if your vehicle is rare in your destination country, service will be costly and slow for the upkeep of your car, and will flag you as an outsider.

      Insurance

      While experienced movers will take every necessary precaution to ensure your items make it safely from point A to point B, insurance is an excellent safeguard against damage or loss. When booking your international moving company, check their insurance and your own personal insurance to make sure you can easily recover costs for your items in the rare instance of damage or loss.

      Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert
      We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.

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      Temporary Storage and Short-term Storage Options for Moving

      July 21st, 2020
      Orbit Moving

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      Not all moves are as simple as from point A to point B, particularly when you’re dealing with the logistics of a long-distance move. Employment contracts, finishing up an academic year, or waiting for paperwork to come through can all mean a staggered move schedule, as can staging a house for sale, and working with differing closing dates on a home. This is where short-term storage solutions can help simplify your life.

      What is Short-Term Storage

      Short-term storage is usually a storage solution for three months or less but is often flexible enough that it can be extended when life’s little hiccups present themselves. Some people end up using temporary storage for 3-6 months and beyond, depending on their needs.

      Why You Need Temporary Storage

      Storage space isn’t just for treasure hunters on reality TV, it’s practical for many stages of a move. Storage space provides a solution for customers with needs such as home renovations, moving (both locally and long-distance or overseas), estate planning, those with kids coming home from university for the summer, or staging a home for sale. Temporary storage is designed to be relatively short term, convenient, and to help simplify your living situation. Storage contracts can be as short as a month, extended as needed, and include containers that can be easily shipped for a move.

      Traditional Storage Units or Storage Shipment Containers?

      The right storage option for you will usually be dependent on the type of life transition you’re about to make. Generally, a fixed storage unit is cheaper than a portable storage solution, but the convenience of storage pods makes up for the price in many cases. Pods can be delivered to your driveway for you to fill at your convenience, and arrange for a pick-up time (and delivery time and location) that works best for your schedule.

      Figuring Out What You’ll Need

      Moving and storage experts can easily help you determine what size units you’ll need to ensure you have the right size space to store and ship your goods. They can also offer customized supplies like boxes and protective wrap to make sure your items remain safe in storage and in transit. An expert team can also help you determine what items go into which unit for priority of shipment and for ease of access (in case you need to access items before your move), as you require them. If your moving timeline or storage needs may change, it’s worth it to research flexibility ahead of time to make sure that you can extend your storage contract into the future.

      Is SIT The Best Option For Me?

      SIT simply stands for Storage in Transit. This means that if you’re hiring a moving company anyway, they can help take your old items out of your home, store them for a predetermined amount of time, and then deliver them to your new home.
      Let Your Storage Provider Know What They’re Storing
      Some items such as electronics, antiques, or art may be more prone to damage than other items, like a family couch. Let your storage team know about any specialty items you are storing and/or moving so they can arrange for temperature and humidity controls within your storage unit if needed. Reputable storage and moving companies will be able to provide you with insight into their systems for security and insurance to make sure your items are safe and well taken care of, during every step of your moving and storage process.

      Making the Right Choice

      Like any big investment, it’s recommended that you compare a shop and find the plan and company that best meets your needs. A lengthy move that requires storage and shipment is challenging enough. By doing the research ahead of time you can rest easy knowing your personal items will be stored and shipped safely.

      Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

      We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time. To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.

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