Are you ready to pack up and move here? There are many things to consider. What to bring. Over the years you have collected many possessions. You probably own a home, condo or maybe renting. You have furniture, appliances, electronics, clothes, and some personal items you felt you could never do without. Now you need to decide what to bring, sell, give away or just toss in the trash. If you have a lot of stuff and money is not a problem, you can get a shipper that will bring to your home a 20 or even 40 foot shipping container. Just remember most houses here do not have closets and storage can be a problem.
Some shippers will let you use part of a container,they or you will just build a wall separating your shipment from the other shipment. There are shippers that will ship boxes by sea. Depending where you live some will pick them up for a door to door shipment. If you’re on or near a shipping port, you can bring to them or you might need to ship some domestic ground service to the shipper.
International shippers ship by volume, not by weight. You can ship the boxes as individuals or pay a little extra for them to be put on a palate. One thing I will recommend, if possible find double corrugated boxes. Those are boxes with 2 layers of corrugated paper. Also use enough packing materials that the box is tightly full. Anything damageable, make sure it is protected well. I had just used boxes from U-Haul. I used towels, pillows and even sleeping bags as packing materials. When the boxes arrived, most looked crushed. Luckily for me, only one ceramic vase was broken.
One thing to remember, this shipment can take 2 to 3 months to arrive. So with this in mind, make sure you bring necessities with you when you travel here. At the last minute I shipped a few boxes with the postal system. They took 2 months to arrive also. In the boxes I had packed some dress shoes. When I arrived Elena told me we were asked to stand up for a friend of hers sons wedding. Here it is called Ninang (female) and Ninong (male). We went out and bought a pair of semi dress slacks and a Barong. A Barong is the Philippine formal shirt. It is a long sleeve shirt worn out of the slacks. It is a thin material so you need to wear a T-shirt under it. Then we realized I needed black dress shoes. I knew I would live mainly in sneakers or flip-flops here and I had a pair of shoes in shipment. I was not about to go spend a lot of money for a pair of shoes I might need once or twice a year.
One day we were downtown and I mentioned to Elena about checking out some of the Ukay-Ukay shops. Ukay-Ukay is stall type shops that sell mainly used clothes. You sometimes can find items that might be out of date sold and shipped here still with tags on.
For the Philippines, I have trouble finding shoes my size. I am a size 12 E. Well the first stall we looked in had a pair of Florsheim black wingtips, my size and looking at the smooth, unscratched soles, were probably never worn. With a little bargaining I got them for 60 pesos ($1.50 USD).
That brings us back to moving here. If you have any special needs, clothes sizes, shoe sizes, maybe it is better to stock up and ship over.
Another item to think about is your money. What and where is your income coming from? Where will it be deposited and how will you get it here? Most credit cards will work here, just make sure you contact them to let them know you will be out of the country for a while so they do not see a lot of charges from the Philippines and put a stop on your card. ATMs work here too. You can use most credit and ATM cards at ATM machines here. For mail, there are mail forwarders available too. They give you a mailing address or box number and once a month, or how ever you set it up, will package your mail and ship it to you here.
I set up a bank account in the US where my investment payments are directly deposited and then I transfer it to my back account here for a small fee. There are also Philippine Banks that have remittance centers or affiliate banks in the US where your deposits will just be transferred to your account here. I do not have any experience with that yet so I cannot tell you who to use.
My mother is still alive and well so I am using her home address as my American address and things go through her. If you do not have a family member you can use, I recommend a trusted accountant or lawyer with your power of Attorney to be able to take care of financial and legal matters.
There are so many things to consider, I know I am forgetting things, or I have not experienced to mention. If there is something you need to ask, just add a comment and I will do my best to find the answers.