"Many tiny houses are built on towable trailers, making them ideal for adventurous people on the move. But what are your options for moving your tiny house abroad?"

The goal of the tiny house movement is minimalism. These small houses are built on towable trailers, making them ideal for adventurous people on the move. Unlike RVs and camper trailers, tiny house models are built for year-round living. Plus, they look like real houses. However, they aren’t exactly built with frequent travel in mind. So, what are your options for moving your tiny house abroad?

The good news is that you can relocate your tiny house relatively easily. And since your home has wheels of its own, you’re not limited to trying out new locales and even countries! In this two-part series, we dig into practical planning for your move as well as preparing your tiny house for the move, so be sure to read up on both!

Practical Planning for Moving Your Tiny House Abroad

Regardless of whether you’re making a short-term or permanent move, there are a few crucial aspects you must consider before attempting to move your tiny house abroad. If you’re ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime, here’s what you need to consider to ensure success:

Living Overseas in a Tiny House

Even with some proper planning, permits, and equipment, there are various hurdles you’ll encounter on the journey of moving your tiny house overseas. Naturally, the first and biggest focus point is the transportation of your tiny house. Anyone that wants to ship their tiny house abroad will need to ensure it adheres to the requirements of international shipping.

Roll-On / Roll-Off Shipping

It’s best to ship a tiny house in a shipping container since the container already adheres to all the codes and guidelines of international travel. Yes, there might be downsides to building your tiny house according to the dimensions of a container (like lower ceilings and less aesthetic appeal). Still, it’s one of the safest routes and eliminates much of the burden that comes with the terrain when you ship a tiny house.

Since your tiny house needs to get into and out of a container for international shipping, the roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) option offered by professional shipping companies allows you to do this easily. The RoRo option makes it effortless to drive your tiny house onto the container and eliminates the need for specialized equipment or a heavy-duty pickup truck.

Insurance and Legalities

Before you start planning tiny house a move abroad, you need to figure out if you’re eligible to move your tiny house to the destination you have in mind. Depending on where you’re planning to move to and what you’ll do when you get there, there might be visa restrictions in place.

Getting a visa can be the most troubling part of moving abroad. The United States alone has185 different types of visas! We recommend working with a skilled immigration attorney on this unless you have a deep understanding of the visa options in the country you’ve got in mind!

On top of ensuring you’re legally relocating, you’ll also need insurance that covers the move and your tiny home. And the kind of insurance we’re talking about here should cover your travel and parking for tiny houses, so be sure to clear that up with the insurer.

The other thing you need to keep in mind is the rules and regulations in place for tiny houses in foreign countries. European companies often have strict building codes in place that can make it impossible for you to move your tiny home to one of these countries. You’ll also need to ensure that your house is compatible with the local electricity, sewage, and water hookups, which requires a great deal of research and planning.

Budgeting for Your Tiny Home Move

You’d be surprised to find out how easily overspending happens if you don’t set up and stick to a strict budget. And this is where you’ll need to do your homework with regards to pricing differences and currencies.

Your budget needs to account for travel documents (passports and visas) as well as the cost of living (gas, food, parking fees, etc.), and then some. In fact, it’s best to add roughly 15% to your initial estimate so there will be enough funds for unexpected expenses.

Translations

How did we end up with a language service for the sake of moving tiny houses abroad? Well, since you’re moving to a foreign country, you must translate your legal documents into the official language. They also need to be authenticated before they can be used outside of your home country.

If you’re moving to a country that isn’t part of the Apostille Convention, all your official documents must be authenticated and legalized for official use in the country. This is a multi-tiered process that involves High Court Authentication and Legal Translation.

If, however, the country is part of the Apostille Convention, your documents go through a simplified authentication process whereby they are stamped with the apostil seal to verify their accuracy and authenticity for official use abroad.

Parking for Tiny Houses

Winging it is definitely something you can do if you’re relocating your tiny house overseas, and parking is one of the most crucial aspects you need to account for in the process. You can research RV parks and camping grounds suitable for tiny houses in the country you’re traveling to, but networking with local tiny house owners is also a great way to find a suitable parking spot!

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About the Author
Jennifer Hahn Masterson
Jennifer Hahn Masterson
If one thing is true about Jennifer, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on.
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