What to Pack to Move Abroad

Store the Treasures

We gave away most of our furniture to family and friends. Our kitchen items, some clothes, and our most treasured items are living in a storage unit back in the US. We used the PackRat system to move and store, and with great luck we had it packed and ready for pick-up just as a big Colorado snow storm was rolling in.

Rob loading boxes for what wasn't moving abroad
Loading the PackRat Storage Container
PackRat storage unit in the snow, packing getting ready to move abroad.
Loaded PackRat in the Snow

Ocean Shipment versus Air Freight

We moved during Covid Days, when global shipping was taking longer than usual. Shipping items by air freight took 6 weeks, but by boat would take up to 6 months. The hitch is that air freight requires a minimum volume and weight. We opted to ship the minimum to be settled in our new place as soon as possible.

What Items We Should Have Shipped

The biggest thing we should have shipped and didn’t, is our bikes. We both had great bikes, and this is a wonderful area for bike riding. There are lots of paths running through beautiful countryside, including vineyards. We bought bikes here, but the inventory is very small, so we took what we could find.

Another thing we could use more of is cold weather gear, which we have plenty of back home in storage. The decision to use air freight happened only a few days before we moved, so we scrambled to re-pack and pare down what we shipped. If you’re moving to Germany, make sure you bring things like winter jackets, cold weather boots, really anything warm and waterproof, which we had to purchase new.

What Items We’re Really Happy We Shipped

Airplane on runway in NYC, we chose air freight to pack to move abroad.
New York City in the background as we leave America

It’s a Big Project

It’s impossible to know exactly what you’ll need to pack for your own move abroad, but hopefully our experience will be of some help. We still think bringing the minimum seems like the best idea. Once you get settled, you can replace needed items from either Amazon or your local shops. Of course, when we eventually go home and unpack our storage unit someday, it will be like finding treasure to see all of our belongings.😀

Rob and Barbara with Guinness, packed and ready to move abroad
Cautiously excited before the Big Move


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