Moving from the United States to Europe can be a logistical nightmare, and an expensive one at that. Here’s how we shipped our stuff overseas, thanks to UPakWeShip
The last four years have seen us constantly on the move. We have rarely spent more than a week or two in one place, and even when we have we were still living out of suitcases without all the comforts of home. It is amazing how much you miss everyday household items when the necessities of travel mean that you have to go without them.
Recently the idea of creating a home base started appealing to us. We found ourselves wanting a place where we could feel settled and finally call our own, once again. Being the travellers that we are, returning home was not such an attractive option. We aren’t ready for that just yet. No, we wanted the best of both worlds – a place where we feel comfortable and can stay still, but one which gave us the travelling experience. Luckily for us, we had already discovered just the place.
Over the years we have found ourselves returning to Amsterdam again and again for short pauses in our travels. We love how small the city is, but how it packs so much into its streets and canals. The fact that almost every Dutch person you meet speaks near perfect English makes it feel welcoming, and its central location makes it perfect for travelling in Europe (a continent with so much to offer, that it still has plenty more to show us despite our extensive travels there). It doesn’t take too long to fly over to Asia from here either, and the USA is reasonably close as well, making visits home easy. Amsterdam really seemed like the obvious choice for our adopted home.
Four years ago, when we decided to start our travelling adventure, we had a choice to make. Would we go all in or not? As you can probably guess, we went for it, and that involved selling 90% of our possessions. Furniture, clothes, technology – you name it, we parted with it! The only things we kept could fit into sixteen boxes which we put into storage. This largely consisted of things like books, pictures, and a lot of Danika’s purses and shoes...and a few of Chris’s skateboards, from when he started a skateboard company at 16 (yes that’s a true story).
We recently returned home for a short time to catch up with family, and to get those boxes back. We knew by then that we would be settling in Amsterdam for a while and decided that it was time to collect what remained of our stuff. Bringing it all over by plane in our luggage would have been prohibitively expensive, so we hit the internet and spent hours researching the best way to ship things over. Although this was a lot of effort, it didn’t feel like a chore as I was excited at the prospect of being reunited with my collection of ornaments and shoes!
Satisfied that we knew all there was to know on the subject, it soon became clear that a company called UPakWeShip offered the best combination of convenience, security and price. For a flat rate they would send us a crate which we would then pack up, then they would come back and pick it up, before finally delivering it to our front door in Amsterdam. Easy peasy!
For us, the ease with which the process can be set up was a real bonus. We only had a week in the US, and we had so many things to do and people to see during that time. Saying that I was a bit stressed might be an understatement. We were staying at my parents house, which was way out in the middle of the desert near Los Angeles, so this was a true test of their door to door service. Nevertheless, they found us, and we received the crate on time. What a relief!
Even better, the team at UPakWeShip was extremely supportive. Every time I called with a question, they were happy to answer and a live human being always answered! That’s an experience which is getting rarer an rarer these days, and it was refreshing to not have to battle through torturous menu options to get to an answer. Once the crate had been delivered, we packed it up, labeled it and sealed it. Then we filled out all the custom forms, and scheduled a pick up just as we were instructed. That was it. It took no time at all, and soon we were flying ahead to Amsterdam.
Our crate arrived about four weeks after they picked it up from my parents – not a bad turnaround! When it arrived however, we didn’t have anywhere to put it. We didn’t have an apartment in Amsterdam yet and it would take a few weeks to find the right one. No problem, for a small storage fee UPakWeShip can keep your items until you can provide them with an address. We took advantage of this, and were reunited with our precious stuff a few weeks later. I can hardly put into words how nice it was to finally have things again, after so long with nothing more than we could fit into suitcases.
As long as you make sure you are aware of any fees that your local government charges, the process of shipping your stuff could hardly be easier. Luckily for us we didn’t have any of these to worry about, but it’s important to check so as to avoid any surprises. For us, it was all so easy and painless. We certainly won’t hesitate to use UpakWeShip again next time we move. Thanks to their ever expanding list of locations (everywhere from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand), wherever we choose to call home next there is a good chance that we will be able to.
For more information about moving your stuff from the United States to Europe (or almost any other international destination) contact UpakWeShip