Moving – whether it’s across town or half way around the world – has been classified as one of the most stressful things you can do in your life. What you might not be aware of is that moving during the holidays takes the stress levels up quite a few notches.

If you must make your move during the holiday season, we’d like to give you a few helpful international moving tips to keep the stress levels down and some ways of how to deal with it so that the holiday period can still remain a time of good cheer, joy and family fun.

1.      Plan in advance

First of all, moving internationally requires planning farther in advance than you normally would. Because it’s a busy time of the year, many movers will probably be booked up and not finding the mover of your choice is liable to add to your stress. Do your due diligence, check out the options and make sure the international moving company you choose has a strong reputation. Ask for testimonials, experience with international moves (like NY international Shipping), and customer reviews. Try to book them at least 2 months in advance.

2.      You don’t have to do it all at once

Plan to bring only the most essential items that you will need when you arrive in the new country in your luggage. Arrange a temporary housing solution (like Airbnb) so you can have a furnished place while you wait for your shipping container to arrive and get through customs. Everything else can go in a storage facility in the country of origin- especially if your stint abroad is only short term. Non-crucial items can be put in the shipping container and scheduled to arrive after New Year’s. Try to arrange to move from the temporary housing to your permanent residence at this time.

3.      Keep the holiday cheer

Give yourself and your family some holiday surprises: pack some holiday gifts, decorations, and treats into your shipment so that when you open it up, you’ll find familiar and fun goodies waiting for you. You can also consider decorating your moving crates and boxes for your international relocation with holiday stickers and themed labels or holiday colors. Instead of a plain black marker to write “kitchen” on the box of dishes, use a green marker or a Christmas tree sticker.

4.      Rethink how you give gifts to family and friends

Packing boxes and suitcases with gifts laying around the house is difficult. Instead of shopping in a physical store and gift wrapping them at home, shop online and have the gifts shipped directly to the homes of your family and friends. For your kids and partner living with you, have the gifts delivered to your new home, so they can be there awaiting your arrival.

5.      Try to incorporate your holiday traditions into the moving process

If your tradition is eating Chinese food at a restaurant, you can do that on the way to the airport. If watching “A Christmas Carol” is a tradition in your family, download it on your mobile device and watch it on the plane. Play festive holiday music while packing – and serve up some eggnog and Christmas pudding, or latkes and “sufganiot” (doughnuts) during breaks!

6.      Don’t let the stress get to you

Change your attitude and look at this as an adventure, not a chore. It’s a fresh start in an exciting new country with new experiences waiting for you. Take the holiday spirit with you, no matter where you’re celebrating.

Remember to breathe deeply, and take everything in stride. Moving away from home during the holidays is stressful, but if you follow these 6 tips, hopefully it will make for a much more enjoyable moving experience.

Written by Einat Mazafi
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.