How to Move Cross Country

Long distance moves can be one of the most challenging things you might ever undertake. There are many choices to make in deciding the best way to move your household state to state, including full service moving with long distance moving companies, and various do-it-yourself moving options. Here is your pro and con list regarding the various interstate moving options.

Move using only your own vehicle.

Pros:

  • You can save money by driving your own car yourself. All you need are gas, caffeine, and pit stops.

Cons:

  • You have to pack up your items and your car yourself.
  • You have a finite amount of space; so, you can only take a smaller amount of items and may have to leave a lot of things behind that will need to be replaced at your new location.
  • This strategy may work for people without furniture or college students moving out of dorms, but most people will have difficulty fitting all their belongings in their personal vehicle..
  • Depending on the length of the move, you may have the expense of staying overnight in a motel(s), if moving across the country.
  • It is recommended that you pay to get a checkup for your car to avoid problems, such as breaking down in an unfamiliar place while driving state to state.

Rent a trailer.

Pros:

  • Renting a trailer allows you to take more of your things with you than a personal vehicle. If you have a small amount of furnishings and want to do it yourself, this could be a good option.
  • You may save money vs. other options.

Cons:

  • You need to clean, declutter, and pack, load, and unload yourself.
  • In order to pull a trailer you will need a trailer hitch that is connected to the wiring of your car for safety signals, which may be an added expense.
  • Depending on the size of the trailer, you may need a larger SUV or truck with towing capability.
  • You may be unfamiliar with driving a trailer and have some unease maneuvering, parking, backing up, etc.
  • Your gas mileage will take a hit when pulling a trailer; requiring more frequent stops to fill up.
  • Motel stays on interstate moves; and more difficulties parking a long trailer.
  • There may be toll charges state to state.
  • Most truck rental companies charge extra fees for mileage.
  • You may be required to pay insurance fees for the trailer.
  • Moving one way will require a drop-off fee.
  • Typically, you have one day to unload or incur late fees.
  • You have to clean, unload, and set up your new place by yourself after a long drive.
  • You may need to obtain permits and endure other logistical hassles at your old or new location to keep the trailer in a convenient location for loading and unloading.
  • You may also need to clean the trailer before returning or incur an additional fee.

Rent a truck.

Pros:

  • You will probably be able to take most of your belongings with you, depending on the size of the truck and the amount of items you need to move.
  • Renting a truck, loading, unloading and driving it yourself may save a little bit of money.

Cons:

  • You have to clean, declutter, and pack yourself.
  • If you have a lot of items, you may need help loading the truck.
  • Moving heavy furniture usually requires more than one person and can be exhausting on top of all the other work involved..
  • You may be unfamiliar with driving a larger truck and feel uncomfortable driving.
  • Moving trucks need to make more frequent stops for fuel as the larger trucks have smaller range than personal vehicles and have very low gas mileage (usually around 10 miles per gallon).
  • You may need to pay tolls for toll roads along your interstate move.
  • Longer moves will require motel stays; parking a moving truck at a motel is cumbersome and difficult.
  • Most truck rental companies charge extra per mile and gas charges; among other fees.
  • You may be required to pay additional insurance fees for the truck.
  • On most moves, you are moving one way, so you will be required to pay a hefty fee for dropping off the truck in a different city than the one you picked it up in. The longer the move, the higher the fee.
  • You generally have one day to unload the truck; returning it the same day you arrive tired and worn. Incur late fees if not returned that night.
  • You may need to obtain permits and endure other logistical hassles at your old or new location to keep the truck in a convenient location for loading and unloading.
  • You have to clean, unload, and set up in your new place by yourself..
  • You will need to clean and refuel the truck, or incur hefty additional fees.

Rent a small container.

Pros:

  • All fees are included in your quote. You do not have to pay many of the extra fees and costs associated with renting a truck or trailer, including: truck rental, mileage charges, fuel surcharges, insurance, lodging, food, tolls, drop-off fees and storage. Insurance is also included with the quote.
  • Some rental firms provide packing services and loading/unloading services (for an extra fee).
  • Rental company drives the pod to your new destination.
  • Containers are locked and sealed with a key you keep in your possession.
  • You pay for pods by the month, so you can take your time unloading.
  • Containers are at ground level, so you have easy, ramp-free loading; no climbing with heavy furniture.
  • No need to rent storage, if needed, as you have the pod for the entire month.

Cons:

  • You pay for an entire month. Pod rentals start around $800 and go up based on the distance traveled.
  • Some of the pod rental companies contract out the loading and unloading; so your objects are being handled by someone you did not hire.
  • Containers are flimsy with a basic frame and a plastic material covering them, your items may have greater chance of being damaged.
  • You may need to obtain extra insurance to cover any damages, theft, or missing items.
  • You may need to obtain permits and endure other logistical hassles at your old or new location to keep the container in a convenient location for loading and unloading.

Hire an interstate moving company.

Pros:

  • Many employers cover part or all of the cost of full-service movers.
  • With a reputable firm, all fees are included in your quote; no nickel and diming.
  • Many full service moving companies are now offering cleaning, decluttering and recycling services.
  • Long distance moving companies can provide packing supplies, eliminating one additional item from your to-do list.
  • Full service movers load and unload your truck; no heavy lifting.
  • Reduced stress from planning, organizing, packing, moving, driving, unloading, and so forth.
  • Professional movers are experienced at all of the aspects of a move.
  • Assembly and disassembly of furniture can be provided.
  • Short and long term storage is offered.
  • Door-to-door pickup and delivery.
  • Interstate moving companies carefully handle and protect your objects and can provide furniture placement.
  • Cleaning is available from many long distance moving companies.
  • Recycling and disposal of moving supplies is provided by most interstate moving companies.
  • Quick moving schedule; as quick as 8 days cross country.
  • Comprehensive moving plan based on your specific requirements. You can choose the date for pickup and you can delay the drop-off, if needed.
  • Extra services, including moving of your personal vehicle/s, at your request.
  • You can fly or drive to your new place without worrying about all your possessions.
  • Time is money. You have more free time to work, organize, or do other activities.
  • Hiring a moving company is a financial investment that can avoid all the headaches that moving yourself involves.
  • Reputable cross country movers are licensed and bonded.

Cons:

  • You pay more than do-it-yourself.
  • Take the time to research and vet the company to ensure that they are reputable. Some professional moving companies don’t wrap your belongings, are not licensed and bonded, or may charge hidden fees.  

 

In the end, there are great reasons for each of these choices; money savings versus less effort and stress. Hopefully, these lists have helped you decide which choice to make, but if you still have questions, contact us. We’re happy to provide an honest evaluation for your needs and provide you with an estimate.

Whichever type of cross country moving you choose, we hope you have a safe move!