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How long does it take to move items from one country to another?

Moving abroad is an exciting event, but the process of moving your belongings overseas can take a long time. Find out how long it will take to move items to your new home abroad, and the shipping methods available.

How long does it take to move items from one country to another?

Moving overseas is an exciting adventure and it will be one of the most rewarding things that you can do, offering you a new perspective and an insight into another culture.

Whether you are moving somewhere else for work, to live with your partner or simply because you love the other country, the process of moving can be a long and complicated affair. 

Our International Moving Checklist provides a break down of all the tasks you'll have to do when moving abroad.

Moving Items Abroad

As you are planning out this move, you might be wondering “How long will it take the move by items from one country to another?” The simple answer is that it really depends on where you are moving and how many items you will be taking with you. Also, it will depend on whether you are moving your items yourself or if you are hiring a moving company to move your items.

Shipping methods

In addition to the country you are moving abroad to, the method you use to ship your items will significantly affect the length of time it takes to move items from your current address to your new overseas home.

Whether you choose to ship your items by road, sea or air, the time it will take for your belongings to reach your new home will differ. For example a 3 bedroom house move from Manchester to Alicante will take,

Road: 3-5 days (approx. £3,100-£3,900)
Sea: 25-31 days (approx. £2,900-£3,600)
Air: 8-10 days (approx. £5,900-£7,300)

By getting shipping estimates with reallymoving.com, you’ll find out an approximate timeframe for each shipping method to your destination country.


Get a European removal quote for your big move abroad.


Tips for Moving Items

So how can you make it more efficient to move your items and get them to another country? Here are some ways that you can make the move more quickly:

Work with a full service international moving company

They are professionals with a lot of experience with international moves and they will know how to move your items as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Downsize your belongings

Go through all of your possessions and get rid of anything that you don’t need to take with you. The fewer items that you need to take with you, the faster it will be to move them. Try to downsize your possessions to find a method of transporting them where you will be able to take them all at once.

Consider whether you are better off selling the item, you can always buy another in your destination country if you decide you need it later. 

Dispose of restricted items

Make sure that you are not taking any restricted items that are forbidden by customs in the country that you are moving to. The items will be inspected by customs and bringing in items that are not allowed will cause delays and possibly get you in a lot of trouble. Your removal company will be able to advise you about the custom restrictions in your destination country. 

Organise documentation

When it comes to the customs inspection, make sure that you have all of the necessary documentation associated with your items – including receipts and registration.

Our International Packing Checklist will help you organise all the items you'll need to pack to take with you for your international moving day.

These are just a few of the factors that will affect how long it takes to move your items to another country. There is no definitive answer to the question “how long does it take to move items from one country to another?” The amount of time it takes will depend on your individual situation and if you can plan ahead and streamline the process as much as possible the move will be more efficient. 

For more information on how long it will take you to move home abroad, view our article, How long does it take to move internationally?.

page last updated June 2015


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Please note: as we are awaiting information about the UK’s exit from the EU, this information is only correct up to 28th March 2019. As soon as we have more information, we will update these pages.

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