Photo: Arch Moving

By JUAN DE JESÚS BREENE

As more and more U.S. and Canadian citizens discover Mexico as a great place to work remotely, more are moving to Mexico to live and work.

Having met countless expats who are in Mexico for a month or so to “try things out,” after the philosophical discussions of how the United States has gone to hell in a hand basket (usually expressed with more colorful terminology), these soon-to-be expats tell me how much they love Mexico.

And then I ask them, “So, how are you going to move your things here?”

Sometimes the response is a blank stare. At best, I get a vague, “Well, I guess there are international moving companies.”

Yes, Mexico has a one-time provision for those issued temporary residency called maneje de casa, which allows for itemized household goods to be temporarily imported, a somewhat cumbersome process, but worth looking into if your company is paying for your move and you have a spouse and several kids who want and need their stuff.

However, most of the digital nomads I have been meeting are single, making (and will continue to make) over 100k a year, and are looking to actually purchase a condo in Puerta Vallarta, Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Escondido.

Those beach view properties will all be sold furnished, down to the coffee maker. You will only need clothes and strong internet to be able to move into them.

But the question still remains, “How will you get all of your stuff here without paying a small fortune, if Mexico will become your main residence?”

Moving companies take months.

Here are some practical tips, whether you are going to buy or rent, to get what you need to Mexico with you:

For most international flights on non-economy airlines, you can get two checked bags if you pay for them. You can store a roller-board in the overhead compartment as well. For a fourth bag, get a credit card with that carrier, which gets you an additional bag for free.

If one of your parents has a platinum American Express, you can be reimbursed up to $200 yearly if they get an additional card in your name. And if you are earning six figures, you should be able to afford one yourself.

That will buy you four more free bags, so now you are up to eight for free.

Do not buy extra luggage. Go to Costco and buy the plastic storage bins and check them as luggage. They are easy to keep secure with duct tape. At the counter, they will have you take them to the oversize luggage area with the golf clubs and skis. Once in your new place, you now extra storage.

The huge advantage of this approach is that everything will arrive with you. If you still need more stuff, paying extra luggage is likely still cheaper than a moving company. And it will be worth it to have the items you really love beyond your clothes with you.

Another easy move is to pack a few more bags with items you will not need right away, like Christmas decorations or items you only use sporadically. Give these packed bags to different family and friends who will visit you. They will be able to check two bags when they come to visit you, their own and the one you left with them. They will also have an extra empty bag to take back and souvenirs or purchases made while visiting you. Everyone wins.

If you plan your initial arrival well, you should be able to bring everything with you that you want for free, or at least, a minimal cost when compared with a moving company.

Happy trails!

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