For the hyper-organised, moving abroad can be a delicious whirlwind of planning, lists, packing boxes and Making Arrangements. For the rest of us mere mortals, it can be stressful as hell, frustrating, confusing and overwhelmingly time-consuming. And even the hyper-organised need help sometimes.
That’s where comparison websites come in: efficient and typically free to use, they do the legwork for you when it comes to, well, life. However, they can be particularly useful if you’re planning on moving abroad and need a helping hand getting your shit together before you head overseas.
Here are eight of the best comparison websites for moving abroad that you should be adding to your favourites bar.
Often considered one of the best flight comparison websites for travellers who are more than happy to do a few random connections and really value lower price-points over the ease of their flight paths, Kayak is also pretty user friendly and popular to boot.
All in all, it’s ideal if you’re trying to move abroad on the cheap, especially where airfare is concerned.
Alternatives to Kayak include Kiwi, which has a more visual flight search interface and the ability to input several possible departures and arrival destinations, which might be better for some users.
If you’re not sure whether flying is the cheapest, fastest or best option for you to get to your new country of choice though, then taking a look at Rome2Rio isn’t a bad idea.
This nifty little website lets you input a start point and a destination, providing
plane, train, bus and driving options. It also includes travel times and approximated prices for each option which can really help guide a decision in the first place.
It’s also great when you get to your new country and need to find your bearings, as it gives routes and accurate timing info.
Once you’ve considered how you’re getting to your new location, you probably need to think about how your stuff will get there.
Are you moving alone? Do you travel light? If you answered yes to both of these, skip this section.
However, if you’re in the majority that said no to one or both—perhaps you’re travelling with children or have a ton of furniture that it doesn’t make sense to stick in storage or sell—keep reading!
Buzzmove is a national and international removals comparison website, which partners with the best removals companies around the UK and further afield to help make sure your stuff arrives in one piece!
Not only is this comparisons website fab for moving abroad, it can help you ‘remove’ the stress of lugging everything you own in suitcases on planes and trains.
Plus, the price you’ll pay for professional removals is probably more cost-effective (and easier) than paying for extra baggage anyway!
Travel Money (Money Saving Expert)
Best for UK-based people planning to move abroad, Money Saving Expert’s Travel Money website is a great one-stop(ish) shop for comparing where you’ll get the best bang for your buck when exchanging your money online.
Simply enter the amount you want, make a note of when you plan on travelling, and you’ll be given a list of the best places to make the exchange.
You might wonder why it’s necessary to exchange cash in the first place when moving abroad, but relying on foreign cards isn’t always the best idea in many countries, so it’s a good idea to have some emergency cash stashed away for when you arrive.
It may not be a ‘true’ comparison website, but for would-be expats either bound for or leaving from the UK, Trainline makes for a decent option if you want to suss out affordable public train prices.
(There is a Europe version too!)
Simply enter your UK destination and arrival stations, plus a date and any relevant railcards you might have, and let the website do the rest of the work for you. You can then flick between different departure and arrival times to figure out the cheapest time of the day to travel.
However, Trainline does, rather annoyingly, charge a booking fee for buying with their site though.
You might be moving abroad, but unless you’ve already sorted a house or have a kindly relative with a spare sofa, the chances are that you’ll need somewhere to stay in the interim.
While there are all manner of accommodation booking comparisons websites out there, some of which may admittedly have a greater presence in one country over another, a great worldwide option is Booking.com.
You can browse any number of excellent properties, get live-time updates about room availability and, perhaps most importantly if you’re feeling a bit cash-strapped, you can book without needing to pay a penny until you arrive. And cancellation is often free and easy!
If you’d rather use a website that lets you check different prices for the same accommodation though (instead of just comparing different accommodation options), then Trivago is excellent too.
Alternatively, if you’d like to pare down the planning a move abroad stage a bit further, then Travel Supermarket does what it says on the tin, being a one-stop shop when it comes to insurance, flights, hotels, car hire and more.
While the results may not always be the cheapest on the market, Travel Supermarket does make it a true breeze to get an overview of the average going rates. That way, you can either pay upfront or shop around for a better deal if they’re still a little out of your budget.
Finally, if you’re still deciding where to even move to in the first place, then the cost of living comparison website Expatistan might help you make up your mind.
There, you can compare your current (or current favourite) location with other countries in the world, to figure out which ones might suit both your lifestyle and your budget.