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    The Impact of COVID-19 on Expats

    May 28th, 2020
    Orbit Moving

    immunization

    There is no question that COVID-19 has impacted how everyone is living right now. One group that may be feeling this sudden change more than others is expats, those who live abroad from their native country. Many are far from friends and family and some don’t know when the next time is that they’ll be able to visit home or entertain family in their new country, often causing anxiety and feelings of isolation. Here are how four groups of expats are being challenged in the face of COVID-19.

    Newcomers

    Those who had just set out on their new life as expats, particularly those without a steady income, an established support and social network, or set residence, may have found it easier to hit the eject button on their journey abroad than stay and struggle. Some have requested government assistance to get them home as quickly as possible and receive the aid they need to afford their travels. At this point nearly anyone entering a country must enter a mandatory 14- day self-quarantine, with some exceptions for front line workers depending on need and regulation.

    Living on the Front Line

    Many expats left their home country for job opportunities, including people working on the front line, knowing they’re making a big difference and feel that it’s their duty to stick around and help where they are needed most. Those, like people from Canada, know that their governments will welcome them back home with open arms should they choose to head home and have some comfort knowing they can leave for “home” when they feel the timing is right.

    Student Impact

    While many post-secondary education institutions have moved their classes online for the foreseeable future so there are no issues there as long as students have access to the required technology. Bigger issues involve those on student visas or expecting student visas for the coming year. Students and prospective students must remain in regular contact with their respective international students’ office to keep up-to-date on whether they’ll be able to head to class virtually (either from abroad or locally) or defer their education. They also must stay informed on exemptions to travel restrictions, scholarship information, and various supports available to them during these times.

    Retirees

    Many people choose to “Snowbird” or divide their time between two international destinations when they retire. Some of these people needed to make a choice when “return to home orders” went out with many receiving notices that their insurance would expire in a matter of days. Others made guesses and vaguely educated decisions on whether they’d stay put or go home dependent upon how bad the outbreak was/is in each of their homes. Many have had to make a choice weighing their finances, weather, and potentially being completely physically cut off from loved ones depending on where they decided to “wait out” this global pandemic. Many retirees have temporarily placed their expat life on hold or are making the decision to return home permanently, in some cases several years before their original plans. Expect a lot of “for sale” signs popping up in secondary residences in the months and years to come.
    Whether you are just arriving in your expat life or have decided to return home for the time-being remember to check your legal and moral obligations in terms of recommendations and regulations surrounding self-isolation, medical testing and more. Stay safe and stay connected to your loved ones online and by phone to help ease the stresses of physical distancing whether you’re ten, one hundred, or thousands of miles apart.

    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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    5 Ways to Prepare for Self-Quarantine During an International Move

    May 19th, 2020
    Orbit Moving

    man behind window
    COVID-19 is changing a lot about the way we live. When it comes to travel many are under a directive to self-quarantine or self-isolate when they return from abroad or after a move. When you’re returning ‘home’ from travel, it’s likely that you have a pantry full of some basic staples, knowledge of local delivery services, and a network of friends and family to help drop off essentials until you’ve finished your time in solitude. When you’re charting new territory in an international move toward your new home, there are added challenges and barriers. This is where the Scout Motto to always “Be Prepared” comes in handy. Here are five tips to help prepare for mandatory self quarantine during your international move.

    Find Out the Rules & Timing for Self-Isolation

    Many places require people, even those with no symptoms, go into a mandatory period of self-isolation of at least 14 days upon entering the country. This often includes a quarantine that cannot involve staying with those deemed a part of vulnerable communities (i.e. over 65 or those who have underlying medical conditions). For those who do not have an adequate place to self-isolate, they may contact the head public health officer in the country they are travelling to in order to find an appropriate place to hunker down. For those who are entering the country as front-line workers, connect with officials to determine what rules are applicable for you and your family. Should you begin to show any symptoms of COVID-19 during your self-isolation period and beyond, notify the appropriate health officials immediately.

    Know How To Travel From The Airport

    Much like the game of Monopoly, when you arrive in your new country you must go directly into self isolation; you can’t stop and pick up supplies on your way there, nor can you entertain guests. Many countries do not allow for those travelling from the airport to take public transit to their new home, but instead you must take an approved mode of transportation (usually a taxi) and you will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face-covering while travelling to the place where you will self-quarantine. Find out the rules in advance and follow them!

    Get The Basics

    By ensuring that you arrive with a cell phone with reception you can prepare for other potential obstacles, like it taking a day or two or for your internet or home phone to get connected. Attempt to make arrangements for internet, phone, cable etc. to be set up before you arrive. Work with a reputable international mover to ensure your packed essentials arrive on a schedule that will work for you. If your move is for work you can have someone from your organization head to your place to test this out on your behalf, and have contact with the appropriate internet service providers since you won’t be able to once you arrive, for several weeks. In addition to this, that co-worker may also be able to drop off the items required to allow you to begin work remotely, since you won’t be permitted to go into work for some time in most instances.

    Order Food Like A Pro

    Research delivery services before you leave and, if you can, place your order before your move to ensure that the items will arrive on your doorstep just in time. More and more grocery stores and delivery services are making contactless delivery a part of their services. If all else fails, pizza delivery will have to do, just be sure to let the people know that you are in self-quarantine and they’ll need to knock, leave the food, and go.

    Staying Social, Together Alone

    This is where having a working internet connection is important. Just because you can’t see people face-to-face for some time, it doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in touch. Utilize networking sites like Facetime, Zoom Meetings, and Facebook Video to keep connected with friends and family, while you isolate. Use online gaming platforms to keep up with a weekly card game, Words With Friends, or other virtual games to stay in touch and engaged with the outside world. If all else fails, never underestimate the power of a phone call.

    Stay healthy, safe and take care of each other!

    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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    Tips For Moving To Hong Kong & Other Major International Destinations

    May 4th, 2020
    Orbit Moving

    Ship Moving to Hongkong

    Is the distance of Hong Kong, but familiarity of a major city calling you abroad? Maybe you’re from a smaller town and the buzz of living in a big metropolis appeals to you. Whether it’s a major move for work or an item on a bucket list that has you looking into an international move to a big city, many of the same tips will apply. London, Hong Kong, New York, and beyond, here are five simple tips to help you manage your international move to any major city in the world.

    Set Your Moving Date & Then Plan Backwards​

    An international move has a lot of steps. Time and organization will be the best way to ensure your move goes smoothly. This will allow you to budget time and money and create a plan that will allow you to pack up and move, and still have plenty of time to visit with friends and family before you set off for your new home. Hire a reputable mover to help you pack, store, and send your items to your new destination within your budget and timeline.

    Big City Equals Smaller Home​

    Big cities are known for great nightlife and entertainment; however, they aren’t known for spacious living arrangements. The average size of an apartment in Hong Kong is just over 600 square feet, 495 for a London flat, and in Japan micro apartments that are roughly 100 square feet each are on the rise. This means you’ll want to cull items before you leave – donate, store, and only move essential items that you know you’ll need.​

    Big City Budgeting

    It costs more money to live in a big city than a small town. ‘Big opportunity’ comes with high costs of housing, food, and transportation. Make sure that your budget allows for some room for unexpected expenses and the ‘big city tax’ needed to survive and thrive. Business Insider ranked the most expensive cities to live in around the world in 2019. Cities included in this list were: LA, Tel Aviv, New York, Copenhagen, Seoul, Osaka, Geneva, Zurich, and Hong Kong.​

    Job Hunt In Advance

    If you don’t already have a job offer in hand it may be more difficult to obtain a work permit. It never hurts to hit the job boards before you move and get a few applications out before you’re unpacking at your new home. If you are employed, work with your employer well in advance to ensure there are no hiccups in obtaining a work visa before you leave home.​

    Research Your City

    Look into housing items and neighbourhoods to figure out what you can afford, and map transit options to and from your work to make sure they’re convenient and logistically possible to fit in with your schedule. Look into weather on a month by month basis to figure out which items you need to pack to wear straight away, which items you’ll need to purchase, and which you can ship to arrive after you’ve settled in.​

    Moving During COVID-19​

    There are various rules and restrictions that vary country to country, region to region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check in with your mover, employer, airline, and embassies to ensure that you are apprised of any changes or regulations that may impact the timing of your international move. Rely on the expertise and networks of a professional mover to ensure that your move is as smooth as possible during these uncertain times, so adjustments can be made to get your items to you as quickly and safely as possible. Stay healthy!​

    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 COVID-19 May Impact Your International Move

    April 14th, 2020
    Orbit Moving

    covid-19

    Health, safety, and ever-changing rules and precautions are at the front of everyone’s mind in the face of COVID-19. The moving industry is considered an essential service, and as such management and workers are doing what they can to ensure timely and safe moves during this uncertain time. Here are 5 things you need to know about how COVID-19 may impact your move.

    What Your Mover Is Doing

    Important sanitation and distancing measures have been put into place to help protect customers and staff. Your mover is continually monitoring COVID-19 responses and regulations from all health agencies and governments from around the world and is responding accordingly as the situation unfolds.

    Reduction of Services & Limited Options

    There is a reduction of services, whether it’s reduced staffing to comply with social distancing measures or limited resources in packaging. This means local moves may involve smaller crews and options may be pared down for international moves, depending on how particular countries have responded and adjusted to COVID-19. Professional international movers have a solid network around the world to help negate any delays for their clients.

    Some Businesses Have Chosen To Close

    As of the date of the posting of this blog most regions have ruled that moving companies and our supply and storage facilities are essential services and treated as such, are ready to serve their clients. While most movers are still operating, it is a good idea to make contact to find out how COVID-19 will impact your international mover as some movers have chosen to temporarily shutter their business. Increased regulations surrounding borders and shipping, as well as limited staffing, may impact when items will arrive. Orbit International Moving Logistics Limited remains open to meet your international moving needs.

    Border Limitations

    It is recommended that you investigate whether you are permitted to travel to the country of your move, prior to setting out. Several countries, including Canada, have a list of travel exemptions which may apply to you and your move, provided you are deemed to be travelling for an essential purpose. Those moving for work will want to communicate with their company regarding any potential delays of your transfer and how it will impact your resettlement. Within North America cross-border transportation of goods including household movers are not currently undergoing any additional restrictions beyond needing an I-94 to show that they are transporting goods for an approved move. It is recommended that those crossing the border into the US for work have a valid work permit to ensure their entry.

    Prepare for Change

    Just like anything else surrounding COVID-19, impacts and restrictions are changing each day. Many people arriving in a new country will need to remain in self-quarantine for some time after their arrival and this may impact their ability to pick up their items from storage facilities. Rely on the expertise and networks of a professional mover to ensure that your move is as smooth as possible during these uncertain times, so adjustments can be made to get your items to you as quickly and safely as possible. Stay healthy!

    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 Choose the Best International Moving Company

    March 30th, 2020
    Orbit Moving

    car on map
    One of the best ways to save time is to outsource to experts, particularly something as complicated as a national or international move. Selecting the best company for your move will ensure the right fit and that everything arrives where you want it, when you want, and within your budget.

    Look at Referrals

    If your relocation has to do with work, see if they have a preferred company they use and ask to connect with someone else within the firm to get their feedback on whether they’d recommend the company. Expanding asks for referrals from online forums about personal moves as well as your social network can be a good starting point for getting connected to international movers. In addition to that, you can always turn to a Google search to see which movers specialize in your needs.

    Price Comparison

    The rule of three applies to securing quotes. Ensure that you seek out comprehensive quotes from at least three moving companies to get a handle on what is standard for services offered and prices. Read the fine print to make sure what’s being offered is the same, and that you’re getting coverage for the specialty services most important to you, i.e. packing and movement of musical instruments and customs for an international move.

    Get Started Early

    The early bird gets the worm. Starting earlier will give you the most flexibility with the best movers and will allow you to avoid additional surcharges for a rushed move. The best moving companies can provide you with a detailed checklist to help streamline your move and ease your stress levels.
    Dotting the I’s & Crossing the T’s
    The best movers will have license accreditations and memberships to showcase that they meet industry-wide standards. The FIDI (Federation of International Movers) is an industry standard for the top movers around the world. Other acronyms to look for include FMC, AMSA, IAM, DOT, OTI, and NVOCC. Ask your movers where they have affiliations, and while you’re at it investigate their insurance policies to ensure you’re covered should something get lost, broken, or damaged during your move. Look at reviews from people who have run into trouble in their move and how the company responded and resolved the situation when things went wrong.

    Tracking

    We live in the age of information. Find out if you can get real time tracking from your company to ensure you know where your packages are throughout the process. Many people find that selecting a mover with this service puts their mind at ease.

    Buyer Beware

    If your quote seems too good to be true it may be. Verify the company’s address and how long they’ve been in business to ensure they are a legitimate mover. Because you have researched several quotes, you’ll have a good idea what is industry standard for your move in terms of deposit and timeline and will be able to make an informed decision. Businesses who have years of experience under their belt have the expertise and contacts to help make your move as smooth as possible, and a proven track record.
    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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