For most people, the fun part of moving their life and family to Greece is definitely in the early days of the decision. When long weekends are still being filled by impromptu trips to idyllic Greek islands in search of the perfect new home, it’s hard to put a damper on things by thinking of the practical planning that such a move will require.
Practical planning though, is the key to a smooth move from the UK to Greece, so as soon as the decision has been made, the search should begin to find a home removals company that can safely transport your belongings to your new home in Greece. Unlike many other European countries, Greek geography is complex because almost one sixth of the country is made up of its 2,000 or so islands. It makes sense therefore, to use a removals company that know the country inside out, not only the mainland areas but also the many islands, as their local knowledge will be invaluable at the Greek end of your move. When talking to removals companies, do discuss in detail the location of the property to which you are moving and ensure that they are equipped to access the it, particularly if it is located at the top of a steep hill or in a remote village. A reputable company such as K & A International, who are specialists in UK to Greece removals, will be able to offer the support and guidance that you need at this stage of your planning.
The next essential step is to evaluate your current home contents, to decide exactly what will be making the move with you. If this is a permanent move, you will need to be more ruthless in your evaluation than you will if your relocation is temporary. If there are items that you don’t want to take, decide whether it is practical to have them stored in the UK and if not, now may be the right time to have a clear out.
At this point, you should also give some thought to customs and immigration requirements. It is usual for most countries to permit the duty free entry of household goods that are more than one year old, but most will not permit duty free entry of items that are less than one year old. Certain items are also restricted and it is important to get up to date advice and guidance from the appropriate Greek authorities well before your move.
Once you have decided what items need to be shipped to Greece, the best plan of action is to get a survey carried out by a professional haulage company. Only then will you get an accurate quote for your move, as your own estimates of ‘a few crates’ will probably be wildly inaccurate. Many removals companies offer a packing service, to help ease the pressure of moving abroad, so if this is of interest to you, discuss it with them during the survey. Selecting a reputable company will give your precious home contents the best protection during the move, but insurance in transit is essential. It’s quite likely that your home contents insurance won’t cover your property during a move abroad, so it is prudent to check with your insurers in good time so that you can take additional cover if required.
The date of your move to Greece may well be dictated by the start of a new job, which will give you less flexibility in your choice of removal date, but if you can be flexible, try to avoid choosing a date towards the end of a month, as this tends to be the most popular time of the month for most people making a move overseas, so it is also the busiest for all organisations involved in the removals process. The local holiday calendar in Greece should also be taken into account, as national holidays are often different to UK holidays and avoiding them can help to reduce unnecessary delays at the Greek end of your move.
When you are planning the shipment of your home contents, it’s easy to forget about personal travel plans for you and other family members, but don’t leave it too late to book your own flights and other travel arrangements, particularly if your move will be during the peak summer months, as flights often get booked up quickly in advance by holiday makers. If your family members include pets, they will need a Pet Passport and you will have to arrange for their shipment. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can provide you with up to date advice and information on moving your pets abroad.
Official documents such as marriage and birth certificates, drivers license and financial papers should really be packed with your personal hand luggage so that you have everything to hand if required when you arrive in Greece. As you will probably arrive before your shipment, having all your paperwork with you will mean that you can use the time wisely, to sort out the essentials such as a bank account, car hire and medical registrations if they haven’t been arranged before you move.
Careful planning will help you to keep control of your move, which in turn helps to reduce the anxieties of moving abroad, leaving you free to start enjoying your new life in the sun.