Relocation Allowance: What’s Included and What Is It For?


A relocation allowance is a support package companies provide to employees moving to a new work location. This financial assistance aims to ease the burden of moving, covering various expenses that can arise during the transition. It’s designed to make the process less stressful. This allows you to focus more on settling into your new role rather than worrying about the logistics and costs associated with moving. Whether relocating across the country or to a different city, this allowance can significantly influence your moving experience, providing a cushion that addresses the practical aspects of starting afresh in a new place.

What Expenses Are Typically Included in a Relocation Allowance?

When relocating for work, especially internationally, the expenses extend beyond the basics of moving household items. Here’s an adjusted overview of costs that a comprehensive relocation package should address:

Moving Costs

The primary expense typically encompasses the logistics of transferring your belongings, including professional packing, shipping, and insurance to safeguard against unexpected damages. Utilizing corporate relocation services can streamline this process. An experienced moving company may provide a single, consolidated fee that encompasses these essential aspects, facilitating a smoother transition for you.

coins in a jar
Relocation allowance covers moving expenses.


The package usually includes air travel for the employee and their family, potentially covering several trips, such as home visits during holidays. This reflects the company’s understanding of the importance of maintaining family connections.

Orientation Trip

A company often supports a trip to your new location before you move. This allows you to explore housing and get to know the area. The trip covers your flight, accommodation, and meal expenses.


If the timing of your move doesn’t match the shipping of your goods, the allowance should cover the temporary storage expenses. This ensures a secure holding place for your belongings until you’re ready to receive them.

Accommodation Costs

Beyond the housing allowance, initial costs for finding and securing a home are often covered. This might include lease assistance, home inspections, and setup costs for utilities and services like cleaning, electricity, and internet.

Home Sale or Lease Termination

Assistance with selling your current home or breaking a lease might be part of the package, including covering the costs associated with these processes, like cleaning and canceling utilities and subscriptions.

Medical Costs

You should negotiate pre-move vaccinations and any necessary medical preparations into your package. This ensures you meet health requirements without incurring out-of-pocket expenses.


The company typically handles or reimburses the costs for necessary legal documentation, including visas and work permits, facilitating a legally smooth transition.


Moving with pets incurs additional fees, from transportation to necessary health certificates, highlighting the company’s support for your entire family.

Spouse Support

Financial assistance might be available to partners needing help with employment or starting a business to support their transition and integration.

a couple sitting on a couch talking
The allowance should also cover your spouse’s moving expenses if you’re married.

Cultural Support

The package may include cultural training to ease your adjustment. This can range from briefings on local customs to extensive language classes. Such support enhances your understanding and comfort in your new environment.


The relocation support should cover moving to the host country and eventually returning.

What Is the Purpose of a Relocation Allowance?

A relocation allowance is fundamentally about easing the financial worry and emotional upheaval you might face when moving for work. This financial aid aims to lighten your load. It lets you focus on settling into your new role and home, not on the costs of moving your life and family. It’s a gesture from your employer that says, “We’ve got your back,” making the entire process less intimidating and more manageable.

Moreover, this support is a key tool for companies to attract and retain skilled individuals. It signals a commitment to employee well-being, making the organization more appealing to both current and prospective team members. It means less stress and a smoother start at your new location, enabling you to focus on what you do best from day one. Ultimately, a relocation allowance isn’t just about moving belongings; it’s about moving forward in your career with confidence and support.

Are There Expenses Not Covered by a Relocation Allowance?

Relocation allowances help cover many moving expenses, like the cost of hiring residential movers in Virginia, but they don’t cover everything. Typically, they won’t cover personal shopping or luxury purchases. So, if you plan to upgrade your furniture to something more upscale or seek high-end services beyond basic moving needs, you’ll likely need to budget for these costs yourself.

Additionally, certain personal expenses that arise during the transition, such as dining out more than usual or entertainment to explore your new city, might not fall under the umbrella of covered expenses. Companies aim to support your move by focusing on the essentials that directly facilitate the transition, ensuring you have what you need to start your new chapter. Knowing these limits helps you plan and set realistic expectations about which parts of your move your employer will financially support.

two men talking about the relocation allowance
Feel free to negotiate.

How to Negotiate Your Relocation Allowance

Negotiating a relocation allowance successfully means focusing on key aspects to ensure your moving expenses are adequately covered:

  • Research and Prepare: Research typical employee relocation expenses to understand the costs associated with your move. A well-prepared cost breakdown will strengthen your negotiation.
  • Prioritize Your Needs: Identify the critical elements of your move, such as housing or moving your belongings, and communicate these priorities to your employer. This helps ensure your allowance covers what matters most to you.
  • Be Clear and Flexible: Explain how the support will aid your transition and, consequently, your performance in the new role. Be open to compromise, as some flexibility can lead to a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Get Agreement in Writing: Once agreed upon, ensure all details of your relocation package are officially documented to avoid future discrepancies.

Focusing on these points can streamline the negotiation process, ensuring you get the necessary support for a smooth move.

The Impact of Relocation Allowances on Smooth Transitions

A relocation allowance significantly eases your transition when moving for work. This financial support covers essential expenses, addressing logistical and financial challenges. It reduces stress and highlights your employer’s commitment to your well-being. With Interstate Relocation handling your move, you can leverage this allowance effectively, ensuring a seamless shift to your new role and environment. The partnership between your employer’s relocation allowance and Interstate Relocation’s services is crucial for fostering a positive and productive work environment. It proves that a meticulously planned move can meet diverse needs, benefiting you and the company by smoothing the path to a successful transition.

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