When I decided I wanted to move to Vietnam, I had no idea of all the complicating details and costs that would be involved. Here’s a summary of how I’ve prepared the last couple months.
- Getting rid of stuff. I didn’t want to pay for a storage unit or a UHaul. So I sold everything I could, and gave away the rest. I spent months listing and selling on Facebook Marketplace, and held a 2-day yard sale for everything else. I dropped off several car loads at Good Will, but in the end I still had to throw away a great deal of stuff.
+$300 – yard sale
+$250– all furniture
+$300 – piano
+$100 – other miscellaneous
= Total $950
- Moving expenses. The smallest possible moving truck from Texas to Colorado was going to cost over $1,000. With so few possessions remaining, I opted to send them in the mail instead. I used USPS, and out of fourteen boxes, one of them was destroyed and the contents lost. The rest arrived in very poor condition, but still in tact. The cost was approximately $600.
My property management company charged me $320 for a combination of trash removal and “damages”, which I suppose isn’t as terrible as it could have been. So together, these costs add up to about the same amount as my earnings from selling my stuff.
- Dogs. This is a sensitive topic for me right now, but my dogs will be staying with my parents for a couple of months. Before leaving, I took them for a vet checkup, which included getting all their immunizations and medications up-to-date. Cost = $400. If I decide I will be in Vietnam long-term, I will bring the dogs over. The cost for that is probably going to be around $1,000 per dog. Ouch…. but worth it.
- Immunizations. Luckily I had most of the immunizations I needed from prior travel. I only had to get Japanese Encephalitis, but it was a doozy. Two shots, 28 days apart, which cost a total of $675. Ouch – literally, because it’s a shot. But at least it’s tax free thanks to my Health Savings Account.
- Flight and associated fees. I am flying with Qatar Airways. I paid approximately $800 for a one-way flight, in which includes travel and baggage insurance.
- Foreign Authorization of Documents. Frustratingly, I had not heard anything about this process from other blogs or forums. My employer requested three documents to be authorized by the embassy for use in Vietnam. They acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but as I started researching the process, I realized this is a complicated, multi-step process that takes approximately 10 weeks and costs $300+ per document… in my case almost $1,000.
So my biggest advice for anyone else moving abroad is to get your documents authorized waaaaay in advance! Especially if they are from out of state.