Expat Living

Send My Bag Makes Moving Abroad Easy

April 5, 2016
Send My Bag

Send My Bag Makes Moving Abroad Easy

Expats are the experts at moving their belongings and luggage around the world, using their airline miles loyalty programs and packing only the bare essentials in order to save both time and money.

Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way when it came to moving my stuff around the globe. The very first time I moved to Berlin, I shipped eight boxes through an airline freight service and spent more than $1,200 Canadian on the entire transaction! When I moved back to Berlin, I had a painful and terrible experience shipping my items via a shipping company. It took more than two months to receive my belongings and I ended up paying more than twice the amount they originally quoted.

Luckily, there’s a new player on scene who makes the task of sending your belongings around the world simple and easy. Send My Bag makes all of the logistics of your worldwide moves as straightforward as possible, through a quick order on their website and printing off some labels. 

My Berlin expat friend and former work colleague William Toll moved to Berlin in 2014. In this post he shares some insight into his experience of moving his belongings home from Germany to the United States.

Send My Bag Makes Moving Abroad Easy

Send My Bag
I moved to Berlin from Boston in 2014. I made this massive life change for the opportunity to work abroad, with my initial contract scheduled to last for one year.

At the time, I was fortunate to have a great status level with United Airlines that enabled me to move three 70 pound bags (approximately 32 kilos each) to Germany without any extra costs, in addition to my rollaboard and other personal items.

It was late-winter when I arrived in Berlin. I wanted to ensure that I would have enough clothes, shoes, and personal items to set-up an apartment and be in a position to not acquire too many possessions, as I moved into my furnished apartment.

I brought all the clothes I needed for spring and summer and planned on making a visit back to Boston in the early autumn to return my summer clothes and pick up my winter clothes. As I realized my time in Berlin would be extended, for an indefinite time, I started to bring more and more of my belongings over. My life in Berlin was great and I never felt like I was missing anything.

As many expats experience, change was in the works and it was suddenly time for me to return to the home to America. I landed a great job in the Boston area and had to move my belongings back and re-start my life in Boston.

As I reviewed my options for returning home, I realized that my status with United Airlines had changed and I was no longer able to fly with as many bags as I had arrived with and I now had several more bags to return to the US with.

This is when I discovered Send My Bag.

All About Send My Bag

I read the reviews and priced out what I would need. Their website is great – everything you could possibly ask is answered in the FAQs. Plus you can easily check the costs and item counts to determine your moving expenses. I looked at sending boxes and other methods, but all of these other options were more complicated, way more costly and would take even longer to arrive in Boston. In some cases, like Cheryl’s, the wait would be weeks to months.

To start you should know the size and weight of your bags (boxes, luggage, and other items) and then check their website to ensure that they can service your to and from locations. You’ll then be taken through a series of pages and if you’re ready to pay the fee, you can complete your order. Many of the options you expect will be there, from insurance forms, to customs questions, and identity checks. You’ll need to provide a photo of your passport if you’re sending your belongings to the United States for example.

You’ll then need to print multiple pieces of information that for shipments to the US, include an inventory and customs forms, as well as labels. I highly suggest you take their advice and order the shipping label holders, they come with zip ties.

Shipping My Bags to the United States

I packed my five large luggage pieces and weighed them with me holding them, subtracting my weight. Remarkably I got them all to 60 pounds (27 kilos)! My final order included five bags, totalling 60 lbs, and only three days for door-to-door delivery.

Send My Bag Berlin Pickup Send My Bag Berlin Pickup Van

Here’s the truck arriving at my apartment in Berlin with my five bags. It’s so hard to believe that a year’s worth of clothing and some apartment living items all fit in these bags.  

My bags were first transferred to Leipzig before they went on to the United States. When I checked their status online, I was cleaning my apartment and preparing for my flight. At all times, I could see the status of my bags via the sendmybag.com website.

My Bags Arriving in Boston

From Germany, my bags went to New York City, got cleared through customs, and then were sent on to Boston.

Send My Bag Boston Arrival Send My Bag Bostin Dropoff

Here’s the delivery of my bags at an apartment in Salem, Massachusetts. They flew 3,900 miles (6276 kilometers), were delivered in less than four days, and I paid way less than I would had I tried other way less convenient and more expensive shipping options. Best of all, nothing was broken and everything was accounted for.

If you’re an Expat and are looking for an easy and affordable way to move your belongings across the world, Send My Bag simply can’t be beat!

And now, the unpacking begins as I go through reverse culture shock.

Good to Know

  1. Visit my Expat Living archive, to read inspirational stories from other expats or read about about how the concept of home changes when you move abroad.
  2. If you’re thinking about a move to Berlin, check out my Berlin resources page, to find out how to find a job in Berlin, make friends in Berlin, and more.

Disclosure – In order to feature tools to help expats living abroad, we received a slight discount to use the services of Send My Bag and review it here on the blog. As always, any opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Carla April 15, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Wow, I wish I had know about this service before I packed up and moved to Sydney! I ended up leaving heaps of things behind because I just couldn’t deal with all the packing, or the expensive shipping costs. Maybe I can get my parents to pack some of my things for me so I can try this out… 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 15, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Hey Carla,

      I definitely recommend using them over traditional shipping companies. It’s much faster and less expensive! 🙂

      Cheryl

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