And You’re Off (To Australia)

10 February 2013

Moving to Australia

This is our second blog about relocating overseas, moving home and shipping to Australia. There’s a lot to go through, you see, so we’re breaking it up a bit. This time we’re writing about travel plans.

So that’s it. You’re off. You’ve made all the necessary arrangements, hugged the rellies goodbye and watched your last episode of whatever terrible soap opera you've been glued to. So how do you make the transition as smooth as possible (presuming you've already hired Seven Seas Worldwide for all your international shipping needs)?

Presumably there will be friends and family to help during this time, so just the simple act of letting everyone know your whereabouts will make your journey easier. Draw up a little spreadsheet that explains your movements and contains addresses, phone numbers, etc. during this busy period. Make sure all your contacts both home and in Australia have a copy. Oh and make sure they read it otherwise that tip won’t work.

Australia’s customs are the among strictest in the world - as an excess baggage company, we know all too well. You’re probably aware that most animals and plants cannot be taken into the country but there are other items that could lead to a dreaded ‘inspection’. For instance, if you’re taking shoes or boots with you, wash them thoroughly before packing. Any mud on your footwear could lead to them being confiscated. (We told you they were strict.)

If you find you have packed a fair amount of household items and furniture for the move, it may be in your best interests to ditch some of it. Sorry we meant ‘eBay’ some of it. It’s understandable that you would take items of sentimental value but if you can replace an item with something similar in Australia, take that option. It will cost less and you won’t have to worry about transportation.

Yes, we know this blog is linked to Seven Seas Worldwide - but just think of this tip as a selfless act on our part. We're nice like that. We smell good, too.

Posted in: Moving Abroad

Why Move To Australia?

06 February 2013

Moving to Australia

A lot of people are moving abroad by relocating to Australia. The two standout reasons for this lay at both ends of the gamut – adventure and retirement. Many young couples take a year out to travel throughout Oz, taking in a few major cities, sampling the lifestyle, the scenery and the culture. Others look to Australia as a way of putting on the brakes; in contrast to the UK, Australia seems like a more relaxed setting in which to approach semi-retirement. The weather helps too. If you’re in either bracket, you may find the following tips in this blog entry (and future blog entries) useful ahead of any decision you make.

Many people choose Australia for its intoxicating coastlines. It’s true that the country has numerous hotspots for swimming, snorkelling, surfboarding and much more, but if you’re on a limited budget, remember that the closer a home is to the coast, the more pricey it’s going to be.

There’s no denying that if you’re moving to be with friends or family who have also made the big jump, then you will be in a better position than someone who is not. But this doesn’t mean that those without that familial safety net with come trudging back to Blighty six months later, deflated. You just have to know how to make a connection. If you like sports, join a local club or a gym. If you have children, get them involved in community activities. Unless you’re moving to the far reaches of the Australian outback, you will be moving to a neighbourhood that will provide ways of making a connection.

One of the most off-putting factors about moving to Australia for many is the presence of spiders. Here are the facts: Yes, some of them are big. Big and crawly. Yes, some of them are poisonous. However, no one has died from a spider bite in Australia for over 30 years. So if you can get past the size thing, you’ll be fine. Here's some more about Australian spiders and other unpleasant creepy-crawlies.

We’ll be posting more of these blog entries soon so remember to check back. And please get in touch if you have any queries, or just grab a free online quote if you need any shipping to Australia, or anywhere else.

Posted in: Moving Abroad, Moving Home

Don't Buy This Stuff (2)

03 February 2013

Excess Baggage Ideas

Once again, your faithful shipping service, Seven Seas Worldwide, has trawled through the web to find some of the more quirky travel items for sale. And when I say ‘quirky’, I mean ‘useless’. Yes, this is the blog for those of you who make rash purchasing decisions based on novelty value alone. Okay, there’s a recession on but have you seen this Swiss Army Lampshade? Only £174.99!

From Firebox.com comes the Biolite CampingStove. Now if you’re partial to the odd weekend away huddled underneath polycotton canvas in a remote field, this could actually be of some service. 

After you’ve pitched your tent, embark on a little biomass-gathering expedition, collecting a sufficient pile of wood, twigs, pinecones and whatever else you can find. Then drop it all into the Biolite Camping Stove and its internal fan will create an enduring, super-efficient combustion fire for keeping you warm and cooking your food. Not only that, the heat generated is converted into electricity, allowing you to charge your mobile devices via a USB port. Pretty nifty.

If you’re lucky enough to be shipping abroad for a beach holiday offering eye-catching marine life, why not fit an underwater camera to your face? Well, why not?

The 8MP Digital Camera Mask is a combined snorkeling mask and camera, allowing you to show what you saw beneath the waves to friends, family and other people who aren’t interested. If you’ve ever watched one of those expensive, sea-based, BBC documentaries and thought ‘I wish I was filming that seahorse’, this is the gadget for you.

It’s a little-known fact that posh adventurer Bear Grylls is actually a wuss. Everything that takes place in his survival programmes are staged and choreographed to make it seem like he’s some sort of expert. But he’s not. He shrieks like a little girl when he walks through a cobweb. However, his brand remains strong and some of the items being sold under his deceitful name are actually pretty good.

Take the Bear Grylls Compact Multi-Tool for instance; an excellent contraption containing screwdrivers, knives, a wire cutter and a bottle opener. This is an essential item for those who transform into Bear Grylls just because they took a wrong turning whilst travelling from the hotel to the local shop and only ever end up using the bottle opener anyway.

Speaking of tools... 

Have you ever seen a child at the airport riding their little wheeled suitcases or ‘Trunkies’ and thought ‘I wish I could ride my luggage’. Well now you can with the Micro Suitcase Scooter. It folds away neatly and is permitted as hand luggage. I tried finding an image where the person using the scooter doesn’t look utterly ridiculous but this proved impossible.

Something that’s taken the ‘Useless Gift’ world by storm in recent months is the Scratch Map. This is a regular world map without any detail – until you scratch away the surface as if it were a big Lottery Scratchcard. Hang it up somewhere and scratch away each area you’ve visited. It’s a fun and novel idea and if you hang it somewhere where people can see it, you can show them just how well-travelled or strangely unadventurous you are. 

I’d also like to remind you that if you're prone to buying useless accessories on a whim, this may well result in an excess baggage-related situation while abroad. I'm just saying.

Posted in: Travel, Packing