Depending on how well-prepared you are, a cross-country move could be a great opportunity to start fresh or a complete nightmare. If you’re moving far away, whether for school, work or just because you’re ready for a change, you’ll want to make sure that you’re properly prepared and that you have enough funding to see you all the way through to your new place.
1. A cross-country move is going to be expensive: plan wisely!
If you’re traveling across the country, there’s really no way to do it on a shoestring budget. Though you can always cut some corners, getting yourself and your belongings a few thousand miles away is going to cost a great deal of time and money. If you’re thinking about a big move, make sure you start setting money aside as early as you can. The more you save up, the less stress you’ll be under later when the expenses start to mount.
2. Determine how to get from point A to point B.
When you’re traveling a long distance, there are a few ways to get you and all of your things from your old state to your new one. You can drive, fly or take a train across the nation and your things can travel along with you or they can be shipped to you at your new home. Depending on the size of your family and the amount of belongings you have, one or another of these options may make more financial sense. In order to get an idea of how much transportation will cost, get quotes on airfare, shipping, rental trucks and cross-country drives (including meal breaks and hotels along the way). Comparing your options will let you know which is best for you.
3. Start planning your move well ahead of time.
Moving across town can take anywhere from one to two months of planning. If you’re moving across the country, you may want to start planning as early as six months in advance. Get estimates for moving costs, start budgeting and start thinking about which items you’ll be moving and which ones you’ll need to get rid of. There’s no need to start packing months in advance, but it does help to start thinking about the process early.
4. Get to know your new neighborhood early.
If you have friends, or friends of friends already living in your new city, you’ll want to talk to them about which areas are the best to live in. If you’re truly moving to a new city blind and without anyone on the other end to welcome you, use the internet to scope out your new town. There are lots of tools that can let you see and explore an area from afar.
5. Don’t save anything for the last minute.
The biggest difference between a cross-country move and a cross-city move is that you can’t go back for anything you forgot. Get your paperwork in order early and keep on top of it in the two months prior to your move. Have everything packed a couple of days before the move. If you have your things together before you leave, you’ll be much less stressed come moving day.
Have a cross country moving experience to share? We’d love to hear from you – here, or on our Facebook page!