We didn't have the option of air freight when we moved to South Africa and it was an expensive mistake.
To move from the UK to South Africa, your visa to live there has to be stamped and in your passport before you fly, therefore we could've sent the air freight in advance and we could've moved into our new home on arrival and also stayed in our own home until we flew rather than a combination of spare rooms, sofas and splitting the kids up.
Due to a delay with customs in SA and the UK companies failure to book the shipping on time, we ended up having to purchase a lot of unnecessary items that arrived 6 weeks later, namely school supplies, basic kitchen items, bedding and towels. We did however have additional checked in luggage and took 2 suit cases each.
So upon our move to Dubai from SA we were given the option of air freight or additional checked in luggage. We opted for air freight, we remained in our home for a further week after the shipping container was sent and packed minimal clothing, a few christmas decorations, cards and the last few bits and pieces left at the house to include the wifi box and phone. We also packed a few towels, an air bed and sheets.
This decision has been a mistake as we cannot apply to have the air freight sent until our residency visa is approved, our container sits in Dubai in storage as this can't clear customs either and our air freight will take between 13-12 days including customs clearance and will arrive after our shipping.
As we have our 19 year old with us, but he is not part of the relocation having left home last year, we are liable for his costs in regards to accommodation and therefore will now be purchasing additional items here so he can stay in the house with the cat and dog and reduce the demands on me to get to the house every morning to feed them both. This was not an expense we had budgeted for.
In an ideal world, based on the information we were given and advise from the relocation people and personal experience on moving to South Africa, we packed the following:
All electrical items. Laptop, chargers, plug convertors, the last paper copy of every document relating to the UK, SA and Dubai, change of clothes, to save unpacking on arrival, toiletries.
Checked in baggage
Emergency christmas decorations and cards, clothing for destination, minimum clothing from country of departure, family bibles and DVD's as they cause a problem with shipping and customs, emergency bottle of wine, telephone and internet box as you'll be using those right up until you leave, airbed and sheets for son to live in house in Dubai to look after cat and dog.
know your allowance, for us we flew with Emirates who allow 30kg per passenger and check with airline what items are forbidden.
Everything you need to live in your home once your shipping has been packed, ours included the following:
1st aid tin and contents, air bed pump, airbeds, bed linen, belt, binoculars, blanket,
BOWLS, cafeteria, cake cases, camping fridge, cast iron pan and lid, cat bed, cat carrier, clock radio, cutlery set of 4 settings, decorative tin, dog toy, dresses,
dressing gown, electric razor, extension cables, extension towers, face cloth, football, frying pan, glass oven dish, GLASSES, global knives, gloves, hand bags, hat, jacket, jug, jumper, kettle, kitchen linen, mirrors, MUGS, ORION TV, pet bowl, pillow cases, plastic container, plastic files, PLATES, printer, ring binders, rucksack, sandwich toaster, saucepan, scarf, set of 2 telephones, sheets, shirts, shoes, shorts, skirt, stool, suitcase, tent poles, toiletries, tool box, torch, towels, trophy, trousers,Tupperware, water bottle, wicker basket, christmas presents (assuming air freight arrives before your shipping and on time as promised by HR)
Some of the above stuff was left behind after shipping and/or there was room to pack it.
All belongings were carefully sorted and items no longer needed for country of destination were donated to various local charities. Your shipping company can make arrangements for this if needed.
EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING has to be itemised and a replacement cost given for renewal in your country of destination for insurance purposes, again the shipping company can arrange an appraisal for you, but you need to know to ask for this prior to packing.