Summer is back and that means Americans are on the move. Whether it’s spending some time at the cabin or going to visit relatives, travel always picks up when the weather gets warmer. But with a stable housing market and a strong economy, lots of people are planning more than a weekend outing — they’re moving across the country. Taking on a cross-country move is never a walk in the park. But there are things you can do to avoid the major headaches and even make it a fun adventure. So whether you’re a family looking to make a change or a new graduate getting your start in a new city, here are some tips to make your cross-country move a successful one.
Moving your entire life across the country requires some serious planning. It can be a pain, but the consequences of not planning could be a lot more painful. Plan everything in as much detail as possible, including your route, your moving date, utility shutoff and hookups, driver’s license changes and more. Also, prepare for your move by getting a tune-up on your car, or throw a garage sale to get rid of some of your stuff. Then, as you begin your actual move, use a moving checklist or to-do app to make sure you don’t miss any important steps.
There’s no way around it: Moving can be expensive. From paying movers to buying meals on the road, small costs can add up quickly. But there are ways to limit your expenses. For example, plan picnic meals for the road, rather than eating out at restaurants. For overnight stops, rent a room through a site like Airbnb instead of booking a more expensive hotel room.
You can also save money on how you move. A moving truck rental company like Penske can help you save money by offering unlimited miles on one-way long-distance truck rentals — something other companies charge extra for. You can also typically save money by getting your moving supplies and your truck rental from the same company.
Make it a vacation
People hate moving, but love vacations. Why not turn one into the other and use your move as an opportunity to see some of the country you might otherwise not experience? Maybe you drive an extra few hundred miles to include a stop at the Grand Canyon, or maybe you just make time to see old friends in a city that was basically on your route anyway. Regardless of where you decide to stop, even spending a few hours in a fun, new place can be enough to turn a long drive into a true road trip.
You likely have a schedule to stick to, and taking a detour can feel counterproductive if you’re eager to get settled into your new city. But if it transforms your move from a burdensome chore to a fun and memorable experience, what’s really the harm?
Keep everything in perspective
Yes, moving across the country is a hassle. But you don’t have to look at it that way. Maintaining a positive attitude is one of the best ways to ensure a successful move. Focus on why you’re moving, the excitement of exploring a new city and the adventure that awaits you. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the landscape on your drive and try to take something away from every place you stop and every person you meet — even if it’s just a five-minute stop for gas. There will surely be times that try your patience. But by keeping everything in perspective, you’ll have a better experience and a more successful cross-country move.