Wednesday 8 October 2014

Luggage allowance and airfreight for expats relocating

We are relocating from South Africa to Dubai in the next 2 months. When we came to South Africa, the company provided NO support for our move, other than hubbies work contract and visas.

This move involves a relocation firm and package which includes flights and air freight as well as shipping our household furniture.

When we moved to SA, I took the last dated document for all our paperwork in my hand luggage, we took clothes, toiletries, some basic food items so we could have a 'touch of home' for the kids, their sports gear. In the kids hand luggage they brought their laptops, chargers and xbox plus games. We had 9 suitcases between the 4 of us and some major hassle at Manchester Airport with Air France over the cost which you can read about here.

Luggage wise, we will be flying with Emirates and they have a generous 30kg allowance, however if we go over that, it is rather expensive as they charge per kilo. I'm hoping by the time we leave, hubby will have reinstated his Gold membership and we can take 2 cases each, plus hand luggage, but without his passport, which was stolen 2 months ago, his next flight is likely to be when we move to Dubai.

It will be the middle of summer when we leave SA and the middle of winter when we arrive in Dubai, but that doesn't matter, we won't be needing to pack winter clothes, maybe a cardi and a jumper but that's it.

Hand luggage will be full of electronic items as it's too risky to pack them in the cases, what with the thefts that occur at OR Tambo airport. As an expat, with the need to travel frequently, hand luggage is packed very differently than when you're a tourist and the allowance of 7kgs with most airlines really isn't sufficient, but the secret is to make it look like it is light weight and not heavy.

So I'm not sure what we should put in our air cargo that will arrive around a week later. We're not moving with the kids this time, so only our stuff needs to be packed.

I'll find out by Friday after the removal companies come round to quote, the size and weight allowance of the air cargo. I assume I should pack some extra clothes and shoes, paperwork, but what else?

The container takes 42 days to arrive, our temporary housing allowance is only for 30 days, so that leave 12 days, do we arrange to move into an empty house and hope the container arrives early? We did that on the move here and ended up having to buy basic kitchen equipment, beds, towels and bedding, plus 3 beds. The house had patio furniture we used to sit on and came with curtains in the bedrooms. Obviously we can't pack beds in the air cargo, so it looks like bedding, towels and basic kitchen equipment is a must, but do you have any other suggestions as to what we may need to take?

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