Tag Archives: PSS

A City Guide To Vancouver

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Vancouver is a coastal sea port on Canada’s south west coast on the mainland of British Columbia. It has over 600,000 residents and is the largest city in British Columbia.

Weather:

Vancouver has one of the warmest climates in the country. You’ll find relatively mild winters – with temperatures staying above freezing and a distinct lack of snow, and in the summer the heady highs will be around the mid 20s. That said, you haven’t found a weather nirvana. It rains, and rains a lot, in Vancouver It will rain for 17 days a month through the winter, so you’ll need a raincoat! Due to its location it may also be quote foggy and windy. Given the fact that much of Canada is under inches of snow, you’ll get off lightly in Vancouver.

Housing:

The most recent reports show that house prices in Vancouver are going down. The average home price is $1.1 million (£656,767), which is a 24.5% on the three months prior to the survey. This might still be quite steep in terms of costings for many Brits so it’s worth thinking about this before you move. Due to its location, locked in by mountains and sea, much of the accommodation is high rise apartments. There are great suburbs of Burnaby, Langley and Surrey. Renting is always an option. Check out both options on online.

Schools:

There is a good array of co-ed free schools in Vancouver. To find out more about the school system, see here. All districts have catchment areas for certain schools so it’s worth considering this if you definitely want your child to go to a particular one. Your child cannot attend school unless you have a Confirmation of Landing or Permanent Residency. The school year runs from September – June and if you’re moving within these months, it’s worth remembering you may not get a place in your favourite school.

Parks:

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest park, covering 400-hectares of the natural West Coast rainforest as well as wonderful views, mountains and historical landmarks. There’s an aquarium, swimming pool, the Stanley Park train, tour buses and plenty of walking and cycling tracks. Not to be missed are the First Nations art at the Brockton Point Visitor Centre and the nine Totem poles. A true oasis in the heart of the city.

Museums:

There are a large number of public art trails around Vancouver and more information can be found here. The Museum of Vancouver and Vancouver Art Gallery has a wide range of exhibitions and family event. Also, look out for Science World British Columbia, UBC Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Restaurants and Bars:

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy really good, fresh and sustainable food in Vancouver. Everything from five-star cuisine to food trucks offer great options to diners. Wild salmon, spot prawns and mussels are just some of the delicious ingredients available. Be prepared for international cuisine with chefs taking their influences from places such as Japan, Germany and India. If you want to find out more about where to eat and what to eat and when, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: Coal Harbor, Vancouver by tdlucas5000 published under creative commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Working Your Way Through A Gap Year

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Taking a year off from studying is a popular choice for young adults looking to spread their wings before returning home to start university or a job. UCAS, a UK body which helps connect young adults to higher education, said in 2015 5.4% of accepted applicants deferred a year (28,805 of 532, 265). Clearly they won’t all be seeking world travel, but for those that did the options of how to spend the time off are vast.

Choosing a destination is the first decision most students have to make. Rough Guide has listed the most popular places gap year students visit with Thailand, Australia and USA taking the top three slots.

For many, the focus of the gap year will be to travel and experience different cultures.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to spend a year doing something valuable and rewarding:

Volunteering on a conservation and environment project: Protecting the rainforest in Peru, rehabilitating an injured falcon in Mexico or working with giant pandas in China are just some of the activities you can partake in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Companies such as www.projects-abroad.co.uk are good places to start for ideas.

-   Running an American summer camp: A nine week placement at an American summer camp will offer up all sorts of exciting possibilities. As either a kids counsellor or someone helping to run the camp, companies such as Camp America help you find the best spot. After camp you can travel around the US for 30 days and Camp America even arrange their own treks around tourist hot spots such as the Grand Canyon. The perfect payback for all that hard work.

Helping build local communities Living in a country, whilst helping to improve people’s access to safe water and sanitation or support a local business are two of the ways, volunteering can make a real difference. Raleigh’s International Citizen Service (ICS), which is run by the VSO and funded by the UK government, takes students abroad for 10-12 weeks to help contribute to the lives of those living in poverty.

Working your way around Australia: As one of the most popular destinations, Australia is well set up for gap years. Once you’ve applied for your Working Holiday Visa (WHV) you’re able to work and travel in Australia for a year. There are some great career opportunities including being a dive instructor on the Great Barrier Reef, teaching sports at a Perth college or pouring drinks in a Melbourne bar. The choice is yours. To find out more about the Working Holiday Visa, see here.

Finally, as with all travel, there is an element of risk involved and the UK government has pulled together a checklist of what you need to do before signing up to any new experience. The document pinpoints the highs and the lows of gap year travel and recommends you are fully aware of what you are entering into. For more information, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image Courtesy: Zach Dischner (www.flickr.com/photos/zachd1_618/15207970946), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr

Spanish Life, Pick The Best Region For You

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

If you are considering a move to Spain the choice of regions in which to live is vast. Whether you’re looking for culture or sunshine or a large expat community or indeed a mixture of all three, Spain has plenty to offer in terms of options.

But where to start? Our list of options below should help you make that all important choice.

1.Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca which houses the popular resorts of Alicante and Benidorm, is still in great demand with expats, Brits in particular. Over 30,000 Brits already live in the area. This may, or may not, be your cup of tea. That said, whilst the population is thriving in the popular resorts you’ll certainly be able to find quieter areas with plenty of sunshine on offer (and a world class golf course, or two). The coastal town of Moraira is popular with retirees and Benissa allows expats to be incorporated into the Spanish community.

2. Costa Calida

Known as the ‘warm coast’ Costa Calida’s micro-climate offers warm weather for much of the year. It is also famed for its numerous golf courses and the La Manga coastline, which is where most of the tourism is based. The coastline is becoming increasingly in demand with expats, and small communities called “Voortrekker” communities are flourishing. The towns of Lorca, Caravaca and Mula are most popular.

3. Costa Almeria

Situated in Andalucia, the Costa Almeria is an area that attracts many expats due to its glorious climate which reaches 30 degrees in the summer, but only dips to 16-20 degrees in the winter. It also has the added attraction of being an unspoiled and traditional region of Spain. Almeria is the capital of Andalucia and with a growing tourist trade this is a good place to find employment, especially in the retail trade. If you want to avoid the crowds however there are plenty of small villages to find some tranquility.

4. Costa del Sol

What’s not to like about the sunshine coast? One of the most popular regions in Spain thanks to its all-year-round sunny climate. With thriving resorts such as Marbella, Malaga and Torremolinos this is not the area to head to for laid-back living. It’s busy. And busy most of the year. That said, if you’re looking for somewhere with good expat schools, medical services and golf courses it might just be the place for you.

5. Costa de la Luz

Situated facing the Atlantic Ocean, Costa de la Luz has a different feel to it with a huge array of natural reserves and natural attractions. Mostly popular with German and French expats, it is becoming increasingly occupied by Brits too. House prices are reasonable, although rising, and crime in cities such as Cadiz is minimal. Head to the larger areas such as Jerez de la Frontera for good schools and employment opportunities.

If you are thinking of moving to Spain PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: Playa La Mata by Costa Insider: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

How long should you give yourself before deciding to come home from a move abroad?

A moment to reflect

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Any expat that tells you they never wanted to come home is probably not telling the whole truth. It is par for the course that the expat blues will set in at some point, as the adrenaline of a move to a new country wears off and the holiday vibe gives way to normality.

Many expats describe being hit by homesickness that’s almost like grief. They mourn the loss of family, friends and everything familiar. Grief is a good analogy, because the emotional stages an expat goes through are very similar: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. But, for a small minority, the feeling of comfortable acceptance of their life in a new country, is elusive.

So, when is it ok to say: I’m not happy; I’m going home? If the feeling of being unsettled persists, how long should you wait before you throw in the towel and book a return ticket?

The answer is that it’s completely individual. The important thing is to do some honest soul searching before you make any rash decision. If you stopped beating yourself up about your understandable feelings of loneliness and displacement, could you take one day at a time?

If you decide you can manage the 24-hours-at-a-time approach, there are a few strategies you can try to immerse yourself in expat life and find a sense of belonging:

1. Stay connected

When you’re an expat, it’s OK to be a smartphone addict. Stay connected with people at home through email, Facebook, Instagram, and Skype. Your phone is also your best friend when it comes to researching and exploring your new area.

2. Read/write expat blogs

Reading about other people’s expat experiences will make you face the fact that you aren’t alone. Everything you’re feeling right now has been felt by thousands before you. The courageous act of moving to another country is fraught with anxieties and these are well documented in expat blogs, forums and Facebook communities.

If you feel brave enough to start your own blog, this can be a great way to share your new life with people back home. Many expats also find it therapeutic to use their blog to offload their feelings, both when expat life is rosy and when it feels less so.

3. Immerse yourself

Keep busy with work, volunteering, studying and social engagements – when you’re busy your mind has other things to focus on than anxieties. Getting out and meeting people is also crucial – once you have people to say “Hi” to, or even go out for a coffee with, you will start to see the potential for making new friends.

4. Indulge in some home comforts

Keep some of your favourite foods from home in the cupboard, stream your favourite TV shows or radio programmes from home. There’s no need to leave it all behind!

5. Plan a daily adventure

Try something new every day… A different route to the supermarket, a coffee shop that caught your eye, taking the train, or saying hello to someone you pass on your walk to work. You’ll feel good about taking small steps towards being at home.

6. Do what you love

Discover exercise classes, revive your hobbies, go for a walk, join a book club. One thing hasn’t changed – you are still YOU, so give yourself time and space to do the things that you enjoy. Exercise and hobbies are a great way of living in the moment, practising mindfulness, and escaping the stress of looking to the past, or future.

Taking a day at a time, and making an effort to integrate, helps overcome the hurdle of homesickness and allows expats to continue living abroad for as long as it suits them. Most adjust, although it’s common for it to take six months or longer to really feel ‘at home’.

Many expats do come home eventually, with the top five reasons being: financial difficulties, cultural differences, visa expiration and lack of social interaction. However, it is now thought that 1.2 million British people live abroad and that number is rising. In the year to September 2015, around 40,000 more British nationals left the UK to live abroad than came back.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: ‘A Moment to reflect’ by Jonathan Combe https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding Australian Politics

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

The British Queen is Australia’s Head of State, which means the country’s makeup owes much to a political framework that Brits are familiar with. They too have a Prime Minister who is elected predominantly from within two major parties. As the UK has seen in recent years, a Coalition Party has successfully hauled most votes, and given Australia a sense of political certainty.

But where did it all begin?  Australia’s political framework has its early roots in the 1850s when the eastern and western states began to form their own political and parliamentary systems. That said it wasn’t until four decades later when the Labor Party was formed that a real sense of political governance began to take shape.

It wasn’t until the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia on January 1 1901 that the country became united as a whole. It saw the six independent British colonies agree to become one nation as a union of states under a central authority.

The Australian Constitution was created by a British Act called the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901. It held the rules of how the government was going to function. It decided to work within a federal system and a Federal Parliament was agreed. This meant that the powers were divided between central government and six state governments.

The national government consists of the Federal Parliament that includes the Queen (represented by a Governor-General), a Senate and House of Representatives. As in the UK, the government is lead by a Prime Minister who selects their cabinet from a pool of senior ministers all of whom report to parliament. An Australian PM leads the country for three years, after which they have to call an election.  All ministers attend Parliament House, which is situated in the capital city of Canberra.

Within the Australian Senate there are 76 members who can be voted in for terms up to six years. They are very powerful and able to block legislation sent through from the House of Representatives.

The 150 members of the House of Representatives belong to a certain area within the country, sometimes called a ‘seat’. Like the PM they face elections every three years.

Local government is also very powerful within Australia. The six states and two territories, each has its own Parliament. The states have their own Governor and a Premier. These roles are similar to those of Governor-General and Prime Minister at national level. The states also all have their own Supreme Court.

Where national and local governments crossover is within their voting systems. Each follows the rules of an instant run-off system, which sees voters ranking the candidates in order of their preference. The winner is the candidate who secures more than half the votes.

Australia has two main political parties. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Coalition Parties that include the Liberal Party of Australia and the Nationals.

The Labor Party are considered centre-left, the Liberals centre-right and the Nationals, conservative.

Currently the Coalition Party are in government. In September 2015 Malcolm Turnball was voted in as the Liberal leader of the Coalition, defeating Tony Abbott in a leadership election. In 2016 he won his own federal election and remains the country’s PM. He is Australia’s 29th Prime Minister.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: Old & New Parliament House, Canberra, ACT by Brenden Ashton https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Teaching English as a foreign language – when is it useful?

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

The opportunity to work and travel the world at the same time, may seem like a pipe dream to many but teaching English as a foreign language is one very real way to achieve that goal. You can add another skill to your career bow whilst ticking off your bucket list at the same time.

The good news is there are plenty of opportunities to teach English abroad and plenty of ways to go about doing it.

The British Council runs a scheme called Study Work Create and offers students the chance to work as Language Assistants. They work with schools across four continents, from Europe through to Asia and Latin America, including countries such as India and Thailand.  Each year around 2,500 posts become available allowing applicants to work in Primary, Secondary or University education.

Applicants will need to have completed two years at higher education and be native English speakers, but unlike some courses there are no formal qualifications or enrollment fees. You will also earn a wage of between €700-1,100. Some countries such as China will pay for your flights and offer you a place to stay. There are specific entry requirements for each country, so please see here for more details.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language or TEFL is another common way to gain a qualification in teaching and travel the world.

TEFL is a professional qualification that equips, “you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to teach across the world.”

There are a huge number of TEFL courses across the globe, ranging in teaching hours to cost. Make you do your homework, gain the correct course for the country you are hoping to enter, and check the course credentials. To find out all about choosing the right course, see the Love TEFl website.

As well as offering qualifications through online courses, TEFL also can help with internships and job placements. Internships are the ultimate teach and travel package and for a fee of around £1,000 you could find yourself in Colombia, South Africa or Cambodia. Job placements for TEFL jobs are for those with previous teaching experience and if you head to Madrid, one of the most popular destinations, you could earn around £850 a month. Current jobs on offer are also in China and Thailand.

Whatever way you decide to teach and travel, working visas may play a part in what you are able to do. If you are from the EU, then in most instances, you wont need a visa, however this won’t be the case wherever you globe trot. The British Council offer advice on the visa situation around the world, as do the British government. If in doubt, ask for official advice before you set off on your language adventure.

Thinking of moving abroad? PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

Image credit – Classroom by Lead Beyond https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Should the Worst Happen, Writing a Will

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Getting your finances in order is crucially important if you are an expat living on foreign shores. Writing a will may not be the first thing on your mind when you’re thinking of a new life on Bondi Beach, but should the worst happen you’ll need to make sure your property and belongings are passed to the right people. Different countries have different rules about the division of assets so without a Will, your finances may be in legal limbo for years. Making a Will guarantees whoever you want to receive your assets, will receive them.

Having assets in two different countries slightly complicates your financial arrangements, but not to any great length where you might feel it’s just all too much hassle. You will need to keep a copy of the Will in both your home country and your new place of residence. This is vital especially if you still have property back in your hometown, not to mention family members. Your home country tends to be the place a Will is administered, but again some countries have different rules, so it’s worth checking out the legalities in your new place of residence. Don’t assume all countries are the same. Seek legal advice to insure you are not caught out.

Tax can also be an issue if you have properties and assets in two different countries so take time to investigate how you can avoid paying huge amounts of it in both places. Legal advice in both countries is essential so you don’t end up losing large sums to the tax man. There may also be complications if you marry overseas and you will need to continue to update your will, whenever your situation changes.

Making a Will is easy. The UK government offers a step-by-step guide to ensuring your Will is legal.

Their key points are as follows:

1. Overview

You can write your Will yourself, but you should get legal advice, for example from Citizens Advice, to make sure your will is interpreted in the way you wanted. You need to get your Will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid. If you want to update your Will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a new Will.

2. Write your Will – what it should include:

- who should look after any children under 18

- who is going to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes after your death (your executor)

-  what happens if the people you want to benefit die before you

-  who you want to benefit from your Will?

3. When you need legal advice:

You can get advice from a professional if your Will isn’t straightforward, e.g.:

- you share a property with someone who isn’t your husband, wife or civil partner

- you want to leave money or property to a dependent who can’t care for themselves

- you have several family members who may make a claim on your will, e.g. a second spouse or children from another marriage

- your permanent home is outside the UK

- you have property overseas

- you have a business

4. Keep your Will safe:

You can keep your Will at your home or store it with:

- your solicitor

- your bank

- a company that offers the storage of wills – you can search online

- the London Probate Service

More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/make-will.

If you are looking to emigrate and want some expert advice, PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves. Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

Image: Legal Papers by Trevor Turk https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

 

What you need to know about living in Thailand

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Thailand is an appealing country for many of expats. It is very cheap, very beautiful and has fabulous food and a relaxed approach to life.  It attracts a wide range of expats from retired people, the business community, students and teachers.  So what’s not to like?

As with all big moves, it’s good to find out exactly what you can expect before you get there, to avoid any major surprises.

1.     Climate

It is relatively hot and humid all the time in Thailand but there are distinct seasons that vary depending on which part of the country you are in.   The weather in central, northern and north eastern Thailand (the landlocked provinces) can broadly be split into three seasons, whereas in the southern coastal regions, it is only two.

So inland, November until May is mainly dry and November to February is mainly cool with the hot weather starting in March.   In May, the rainy season starts and lasts until November.

On the west coast, where Phuket, Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands lie, there are heavy storms from April to October, whereas on the east coast on the Gulf of Thailand where Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao lie, September to December are the main rainy times.

Bangkok is six hours ahead of GMT.

2.    Currency

The currency in Thailand is the Thai baht (pronounced – baaht). One baht is made up of 100 satang and coins come in denominations of: 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht, as well as 25 and 50 satang. Banknotes come in denominations of: 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 baht.

The most commonly used coin is the 10 baht and the most commonly used note is the 100 baht.  Banknotes feature a portrait of the King. The Royal Family are highly revered in Thailand and you should never joke about, or criticize, them. More of this later.

 3.    Housing

In Thailand, foreign nationals are not allowed to own land, although they can buy an apartment as along as no more than 49% of the building is occupied by foreigners.

They can also buy detached properties but cannot own the land that it sits on, and can only lease it for 30 years at a time.  This has led to some expats entering into complex legal arrangements to get around the Thai laws, whereby they set up a company to buy the land and they find a Thai national to ‘own’ the company but not have a financial interest in it.  But beware that these arrangements can end in disaster, and also the Thai Government is cracking down on such deals which aim to bend the rules: those who fall foul of the tough new laws could be deported.

Renting is therefore your safest bet and compared to many countries, it is very cheap. Location is the key however and prices will vary enormously according to what you choose.  In Thailand, expats live in anything from an incredibly modern apartment in Bangkok to a shack on a beach on one of the islands and anything in between.  A good place to start your property search is one of the main property portals. From a budget point of view, a high specification apartment in Bangkok could be THB 30,000 or as little as THB 2,000 for a small studio.

 4.    Schooling

The vast majority of expats who choose to live in Thailand with school age children, choose an international school.  These are located almost entirely in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket and offer high standards of education taught in English. Beware trying to cut costs with education, as although some establishments offer lower fees, standards are often much lower.  Obviously getting your children’s educational needs met will be of the highest priority, so do your research well – here is an excellent source of initial information.

5.     Transport

Bangkok is notorious for its congestion not aided by the Thai’s love of double and triple parking!  Although public transport is good for getting around the country, you may still want to have a car and for this you will need an International Driving License. A license from most major western countries including UK, USA and Australia would be valid but if you are not sure, contact your local Embassy.  After three months, many insurance policies will not cover anyone on a foreign license so you will have to apply for a Thai one from the Department of Land Transport Office, which has a series of local offices.

You will need to take a series of documents, fill out an application and take various tests, so take a Thai translator with you!

6.    Public Transport

Travelling around Thailand is relatively easy by plane, train, bus, car or boat. However in rural areas it may be a slightly chaotic.  Generally speaking, it is a good idea to book trips well in advance, although as the options are plentiful, you can normally get where you want to go.

7.     Language

The principal language spoken in Thailand is Thai, although there are large numbers who speak Chinese, Lao, Khmer and Malay. A large percentage of the Thai population speaks English though, and aside from official bureaucracy where you should employ a translator, you can get by with English.

8.     Culture

Thailand is about 95% Theravada Buddhist, and a lot of its customs and culture derives from that. One of the most distinctive and well-known Thai customs is the wai. This is used in greetings, leave-taking, or as an acknowledgement, and it comes in many forms which is determined by the relative status of the people greeting one another.  Generally speaking, it is a very positive culture and smiling is very important: expats are advised not to use argumentative tones in discussions.

9.    Law and Order

Thailand is currently under military rule, although life has carried on much as normal and in some respects, it has become safer.  There are no special instructions for travellers and expats, although that is always worth checking in the run up to your departure.  However, it is worth noting that this situation may affect your insurance, and you should be careful not to offend the Thai regime in anyway, which includes posting anything disrespectful about the Royal Family or the ruling military, on social media channels. Keep an eye on sites like this one to see what the situation is, as well as the international sections of large media outlets.

If you are considering a move to Thailand PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: Thailand – Wat Mahathat by Melenama https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

International Removals – The Easy Way

PSS

For other useful articles and tips on moving to new countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

10% off your Excess Baggage order here: https://www.pssremovals.com/facebook 

Whether you’re taking your entire household belongings with you when you move abroad or just a car and a few boxes, PSS International Removals offer a streamlined service, at competitive rates. Is your move happening quickly? No problem. Time is not an issue for PSS. We can send your goods through our express service, taking the stress-free approach to moving thousands of miles away.

So how do you go about arranging your removal service? Getting a quote for the shipment couldn’t be easier. First you need to visit the PSS website  www.pssremovals.com and pick from one of the many options available, be it International Removals, Excess Baggage or Car Shipping. You will receive a competitive quote within 60 seconds. Alternatively you can speak to one of our Baggage Consultants to talk through your requirements. Call 0800 988 3711 for more information. There is even an option on the website to request a call back.

Excess baggage is easy to accommodate and especially handy if you just have a few boxes of belongings you want to take with you. The boxes come in different sizes and we can also arrange for unusually shaped items such as guitars and skis to be shipped separately. This is a great value option for smaller shipments. No need to pay for a container when all you need is partial space within it.

If you are sending a full or part household we will call you to arrange, a free, no obligation home survey. A consultant will then arrive to run through the whole process, informing you of how our service works and what to expect from moving day. Once the booking is finalised you will be allocated a PSS Move Manager who will request all the relevant paperwork and arrange the shipping details.

When it comes to removal day, our team will arrive to collect your cartons (if you’ve decided to pack for yourself) or start packing your goods, if this is the service you’ve chosen. They will also use a customs seal on your packages. This means that your container will not be opened until it arrives at your destination.

Once loaded onto the lorry, your goods will be driven to a UK port, where the documentation and customs seal will be checked before being loaded onto the vessel. After arrival in the new country, the goods may need to be checked by the official authorities, who will clear goods if they do not contravene agricultural, forestry or fisheries laws in the destination.

Soon after you arrive in your new home, PSS will call to arrange the delivery of your goods to the location of your choice. It really couldn’t be any easier.

For more information about PSS International Removals and our services contact us now at https://www.pssremovals.com

You can also watch this brief video to understand a little more about how PSS International Removals can help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXPZaiLpd1U

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

What’s more PSS International Removals are fully bonded members of the British Association of Removers (BAR Overseas), IMMI (International Movers Mutual Insurance), FIDI (Global alliance) we have also been awarded with FAIM accreditation which is the international removal industries quality standard.

What you need to know about living in South Africa

 

Hout Bay Beach by David Stanley https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Hout Bay Beach by David Stanley https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

There are over 200,000 British people living in South Africa, lured no doubt by 3,000km of coastline, encompassing both the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Growing vibrant cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town offer good job opportunities, whilst the diverse cultural experiences such as safaris and wine tours add to the popularity.

Gaining employment in South Africa can be difficult for those emigrating from the UK and unless you are already in the country, you need to have a job or an offer to gain entry. The South African government has new schemes in place however to allow foreign workers easier entry if they have a number of years employment in certain areas. See http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/scarce-skills-work-quotas for details of qualifications needed to fulfill the criteria.

Once your job is secured, you’ll arrive to find a massively varied climate from region to region. The Western Cape has Mediterranean style weather whilst the interior of the country has a semi-desert climate that is typified by cold, dry winters and summer rainfall. Winters in South Africa start in June and end in August. The cost of living is relatively low and the current exchange rate of the South African rand vs pound sterling is very competitive (1 rand = 0.05 pounds), giving the British expat great value for money.

Although South Africa is predominantly an English speaking country, over 79% of the population of 53 million is black African, who themselves converse in a variety of 11 different languages. You’ll hear the likes of Afrikaans, IsiNdebele, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Sepedi and Sesotho around the country. Rest assured though most employers speak English and you probably won’t be required to know another language in order to work and live there.

The most popular destinations for Brits to settle in are Cape Town and Johannesburg. Cape Town is the provincial capital, and situated on the Western Cape. You’ll find head offices for insurance companies, large retailers and petroleum corporates in this location where many Brits become gainfully employed.

Johannesburg too is a thriving city and has seen a growth in the middle-classes. That said; nearby townships including Soweto still suffer from a huge disparity in wealth and lifestyle. It would be hard not to mention crime levels in South Africa which are still of concern. Although many visit the country with no problem whatsoever the UK government recommend certain precautions. See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/safety-and-security for more details.

Driving is easy for Brits as you continue to keep to the left-hand side of the road and the UK driving license is valued for 12 months once you’re in the country. You can also continue to draw your State Pension whilst living in South Africa, although it won’t go up with the rate of inflation as it would back home.

Health care however is not so familiar and if you are treated in a State hospital you’ll have to pay for it. Fees are based on your salary and number of dependents. It’s worth checking out the recommended immunisations by the World Health Organisation before relocation. If you are thinking of travelling to the Pumalanga Province (including the popular Kruger National Park) and Limpopo Province you’ll need to take precautions against malaria. See www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/south-africa.aspx

Specialist international removal companies such as PSS offer expert advice to take the headache out of relocating to South Africa – a destination in which you can be guaranteed to see a completely different world. Read more about our services here: https://www.pssremovals.com/migration-services/south-africa .