It’s become commonplace to move cities, and sometimes countries, for your job. In 2013, the percentage of workers relocating for a new job was up 35% from a year prior, the highest growth since the recession.

You’re excited to cover new ground! But ensure your relocation package is solid before you make the move. Negotiate a good one, and it can be seamless. A bad one can make the entire experience a nightmare.

Relocation packages are offered in three ways:
1. A lump sum amount (clarify if this sum is pre-tax or a net figure after taxes),
2. Payment of all “approved” receipts turned in for all relocation expenses
3. The relocation service covers the move up to a given dollar amount.

Most baseline relocation packages cover moving your possessions from point A to point B, and any expenses accrued during that move. You usually also get reimbursed for two meals a day during the move, and gas to get from point A to point B in your vehicle.

A package from a relocation service paid for by the prospective company commonly includes:

1. Transportation costs: Airfare, or any other transportation for you and your family
2. Moving costs: Packing, movers to transport goods, and unpacking
3. Housing aid: Assistance with house sale (if applicable) and finding areas to live in the new location
4. Assistance with settling the family (if applicable): Finding new schools, spouse’s career advice.

Remember, there are parts of the executive relocation package that are negotiable. For example, getting temporary housing if you can’t find a house right away. When negotiating, have your facts and figures ready, down to the penny.

Also beware of the hidden costs of a move. For example, temporary housing is not always a part of the package but can be very helpful if it is difficult to find housing.

I recommend speaking with a realtor about the area you are moving to, especially when children are in the mix. Another trap lies in the house hunting trips – usually there are only two included. That is a lot to get done in a short period of time!

Also, ensure you know the timeframes for refunds. Missing them can be costly. Read the fine print in your relocation package, and you’re all set to jet!