Moving to Ireland? Read the Ultimate Guide to Relocating With Your Family, Pets, and Belongings.

There is so much to love about Ireland. With its medieval castles, lush, historical landscapes, prehistoric monuments, and rich culture, it’s no surprise that over 10,000 non-Irish Americans call Ireland their home. And that’s just from data gathered in 2016. 

But the scenery is just one reason you’re excited about moving to Ireland.  Ireland has one of the highest salaries in the world, with an average take-home monthly income of $2,917.37.  Not to mention, Ireland’s healthcare system is the 12th best in the world.  This is great news for those planning to retire on the Emerald Isle. You get to experience the incredible scenery and rich Celtic culture and have access to the best public and private healthcare services.

Whatever your reasons for moving to Ireland, you’ll want the experience to be smooth and seamless for your family, pets, and belongings.  Read this ultimate guide to find out how to make that possible. 

Do you need experts to move your belongings?

It’s possible to get it done on your own. But with the complexity of international moving, we highly recommend getting professional help. There are many moving parts and teams involved, so managing the entire process of packing, shipping, and dealing with customs can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. 

Our expert international team has a deep understanding of long-distance and overseas moving — especially if you’re moving to Ireland.  We look after the complex but essential procedures, like: 

  • packing, shipping, and door-to-door delivery
  • preparing documents and translations
  • recommending temporary storage for your belongings, if needed
  • helping you understand customs, fees and keeping track of departure and arrival schedules.

Save yourself from stress and anxiety by allowing a minimum of 3 months to plan and prepare for the move. Continue reading this guide to help you plan through the documents and health clearances you need, people to hire, and the budget required for your move. 

5 Things To Do For Your Move to Ireland 

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​Research and contact international movers

We recommend researching and getting in touch with international movers in the early stages of your plan. You’ve decided to move. Now you need to decide which belongings to take with you. You can take your furniture, appliances, antiques, and breakables at a fraction of the cost you paid to acquire them. So, it makes sense to bring these items, rather than buying new ones or keeping them in storage. 

Ask your movers about container shipping options. Your items might not fill an entire 40-foot container, so sharing a container and paying only for the space you need is a practical option. You’ll also want to know how the moving company will handle breakable items. Antiques and breakables require special packaging and handling. Consider this cost when preparing your budget. 

Shipping your items by sea to Ireland can take up to 8 weeks or more. Expert movers will always keep you updated on the departure and arrival dates. They’ll also deliver your belongings straight to the doorstep of your new home.

  • Prepare your travel documents

Aside from a visa and valid passport, you’ll need documents showing that you have received vaccines against measles, chickenpox, and polio, among others. You also need to show that you’ve received an annual flu shot. A rabies shot may seem like a surprise addition to this list, but it’s a good idea if you plan to live in Ireland. Bats are common in the country, even in Irish cities. 

If you’re traveling with pets, you need to show original paperwork and health documents. Make sure your pet has had a rabies shot, received treatment for tapeworm, has an EU passport or health certificate, and has a microchip. 

In addition, if you are traveling with a guide or assistant dog, note that they can only enter the country in one of six ports and airports. Make sure you consider this in your itinerary. Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food handles pets traveling in and out of Ireland. So make a note to check their website for the most updated information. 

  • Store, sell or give away items you leave behind

You might also decide to leave some of your items in the United States. There are several ways to do this. You can leave them with loved ones, keep them in a storage facility, sell, or give them away. If you decide to store them, ask your moving company if this option is available to you. Not all moving companies will also offer storage, so you might need to hire another one for this purpose. 

Just like long-distance moving, you should prepare your items for long-term storage. You want to avoid mold and water damage, as well as damage from insects and rodents. An expert storage company can ensure these things don’t happen – or at the very least, give you effective recommendations to avoid damage. 

If you decide to give away your items, consider using FreeCycle.org, a ‘grassroots and non-profit network of people giving away and getting stuff for free in their own towns.’  But if you prefer selling your items, you have many options like Craigslist and eBay.  Of course, give yourself enough time to find a new owner for your items. 

  • Keep your information organized and updated

Canceling your subscriptions, utilities, and changing your address can be a real headache. So, we recommend creating a list of what needs to get done, and by when. Check out our extensive list of moving tips for more detailed information on what to do in the weeks leading up to your move. ​​​​​

Make a list of everyone who might need to get in touch with you and notify them of your move. The list should include family, friends, work colleagues, school administrators, your doctor, and insurers. You’ll also want to get copies of school and medical records. 

Create a comprehensive list of all your belongings. By having an inventory and a basic box numbering system, you’ll save time tracking down the items and their containers.

  • Be aware of cash limits and duty-free and prohibited items

There are very few things you won’t find in Ireland, but sometimes you just want the same brands you used to enjoy in the U.S.  So before you pack your luggage and hand-carry bags, remember there are limits to the cash and items you can bring to the country.

As a non-EU resident, you can bring a certain amount of goods like tobacco, alcohol, souvenirs, and gifts without paying taxes. Customs prohibits milk, dairy products, and fruits, so make sure you don’t have them in your luggage. 

If you’re carrying €10,000 in cash, you must declare this amount when you arrive in Ireland. Cash includes banknotes, cheques, or money orders endorsed without a payee’s name. Check the Ireland.com website for more information on customs procedures, cash limits, and duty-free items. 

Move to Ireland with confidence

Moving to a new country is exciting, especially if you’re moving to one as scenic and historic as Ireland. But it can also be overwhelming! By giving yourself enough prep time and seeking expert help, your move to the Emerald Isle can be both seamless and enjoyable. 

We also recommend scheduling a home survey with us to determine the cost of shipping your belongings. This is also the best time to decide which items to bring, sell, or leave in storage. 

The Padded Wagon has been helping families and individuals move to Ireland for decades, and we can do the same for you. Don’t hesitate to ask us questions. We always like to make things clear and easy for our customers.