(Closed) Has anyone ever moved across the country?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@NightOwlie:  I moved halfway across the country for a 3 month internship last summer. My number one suggestion is to pack a bag (or two) with the real essentials to bring in with you every night you stay in a hotel. Put enough days worth of clothes, toothbrush ect in there, so that you don’t have to schlep a whole bunch of things into the hotel each night you’re traveling. And if you’re planning on bringing anything super valuable or that needs to be kept at a certain temp (my makeup would melt unattended and some electronics attract attention) make sure they are packed last in easy to remove spots.

ETA: If you are driving, locate lots of hotels in advance, so that you know which cities are options for stopping. I had Fiance look up hotels that were at 1 hour intervals of where I thought I would be stopping, and book them for me when I knew exactly when I wanted to stop (he did not accompany me, if you have a smart phone you could probably do it en route). It let me stop early one night when I couldn’t keep my eyes open at 8pm, and drive till 1am when I was wired a different night.

Post # 4
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Yep..i actually grew up in PA moved to Atlanta after college then out to CA a few years later where i live now.

I would take a trip out before you move to see the area and figure out where you want to live.  Find out if you have any friends of friends or anyone from the area you are moving to that could help give you recommendations or even show you around when you go to check it out.   I flew out and had my car and all my stuff shipped out so i cant help with the drive.

What part of CA are you moving to?

Post # 5
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I just did this a few months ago. Moved from Mn to Ca. Definitely have a bag with everything you need that you can take into hotel with you each night as a pp mentioned. My Fiance and I each drove our cars so time in the car was solo. It’s very important as you get further out west in the rural and hilly areas to fill up on gas. On the route we took, there were spots where there wouldn’t be a gas station for a few hours. As for driving alone, load up on songs and even audio books – if they don’t put you to sleep. 

Post # 7
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@NightOwlie:  We packed each of our cars with as much stuff as would fit. I can’t really speak to whether or not shipping packages would be better. We used a moving service for everything else, but sold virtually all of our furniture to keep the cost down.

Post # 8
1820 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@NightOwlie:  You might be suprised how cheap it is to have your stuff moved.  If you can swing it, I would say that it well worth the cost.  You really don’t want to travel with more than the basics in your car.  Not to scare you, but hotels along the main interstates are targets for thieves – I saw a lot of broken-into cars at hotels on both of my cross-country drives. 

The time I moved cross-country, we paid movers to move all of our stuff, then packed the car with things they would not move (i.e., plants), a big book of CDs for music along the way, our overnight bags, a bag of snacks + a cooler for drinks/sandwiches, and ourselves.  We also brought the AAA guide for all the states along our route so that we could pick spots to stop for lunch and go for dinner each night.

Post # 9
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings

Since he is military won’t they cover moving costs? If not, I would think it would be cheaper to pack your car as full as you can. If you need to ship items make it light weight items such as clothing.
When I was 23 I moved from So Cali to TN. My dad kept saying it was REALLY different and it would be like moving to a different country. I totally blew it off. He was right. The culture is drastically different. Hopefully you are more worldly than I was (and you have your hubby with you) and can handle it w/o crying everyday for months…. Just keep the cultural and dialect differences in mind.

Post # 10
18645 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

The first time I moved pretty far it was a U-Haul with a trailer hitch for my car that my dad and I took turns driving.  It was from NJ to CO.  Really it wasn’t that bad, just had to drive carefully.  The next time, we had a moving company for our PCS from CO to AL.  It probably would have been a couple thousand if we had to pay it ourselves.  It might be cheaper to rent a POD or something that you fill yourself instead of having people pack it for you.

I’m not sure if you want to get into the habit of leaving things every time you move.  As a military family, there are a lot of moves in your future and that can really add up over time.

Post # 11
1715 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We have moved 3 times so far half way accross the country and this is with our dog. Make sure youve got snacks and water with you and as recomended a bag with all the essentials which includes clothing toiletries and important items. I suggest even having a list of your favorite stops like chain coffee shops and where they are along the route. A GPS is a really really good idea. Our first time we moved everything we needed in our impala however when we moved out for good it took more space than the car. I recommend a test pack of your car to see how much you can fit. Reusable shopping bags are a great way to pack things like linens and clothing in between rubbermaids and boxes. 

Post # 12
2316 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Old Stone House in Brookyn

I moved from NJ to California and drove. We used a “pod” shipping system to move our mattress and other items that wouldn’t fit in the car – it’s much cheaper than hiring a mover and you want have to worry about driving a truck or trailer. They drop off this big crate in front of your house, you fill it, and then have it delivered to your new location to unload two weeks later.

My main recommendation for driving is to take your time! We took 10 days and made it a sort-of vacation with side trips to the Grand Canyon, etc. It was a really nice break in between the stress of packing and the stress of finding an apartment in our new city.

Post # 13
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’ve moved cross-country multiple times. The first time, I only took what fit in my car (I bought a roof rack and put a roof storage bag on top, as well). I bought furniture when I got there. It worked out great.

This time, we shipped our stuff after selling every single piece of furniture and getting rid of a ton of stuff we didn’t really need. We only owned cheap IKEA crap, so we sold it all of Craigslist to help us pay for more furniture on the other end. We ended up saving thousands of dollars – movers taking a 2-bedroom apartment from Boston to San Fran wanted over $5000. We spent $1000 on shipping, and made almost $4000 off selling stuff!

We didn’t own a car in Boston, so we just flew. You can ship your car for about $500 if you want to, or just make a road trip out of it.

If you have bulky or heavy stuff that wont fit in your car if you only have your car to move, i’d look into PODS. They are way cheaper than traditional movers, and my friend really liked them when he used them.

Post # 14
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Sure did! I’m sure I’ll have to do it again some day, too.

I don’t plan on bringing much of my furniture since it’s all fairly cheap anyway. It may not be worth it to lug it 3000+ miles.

I did not bring much either. Just 1/4 of a truck I had shipped out (desktop computer, mattress, a few boxes) and whatever I could fit in my two oversized suitcases I flew out with.

So I had some questions. Mostly, are there any tips for moving cross-country?

Paying for insurance for the items you’re having moved – peace of mind in a pretty stressful time, it’s worth it.

What’s the best way to go about it?

I flew out and had my items shipped. Whatever I had in my suitcases I had right away. My other items arranged the next day. Everything else I needed I could buy – but keep in mind that you need to actually go and get those things in order to have them, doesn’t magically happen. Things like glassware and water filters I wished I had immediately.

Would it be best to have others helping me?

Helping you how? Drive? Pack? Drive with you to unpack? The whole “moving across the country” thing to me means it’s a do it on your own deal. You’ve got to pack all your stuff really well, too, since there’s that feeling of “everything I own in the whole world is coming with me and if it breaks then I have even less”. I wouldn’t trust others with it.

 Oh, and my best piece of advice – start packing now!! Yesterday! You’ll have so many trash bags full of stuff you’re tossing.

Post # 15
2316 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Old Stone House in Brookyn

@GreenDream:  Oh, and my best piece of advice – start packing now!! Yesterday! You’ll have so many trash bags full of stuff you’re tossing.

I can’t believe I didn’t say this! Yeah, start packing non-essentials immediately. We were up until 3am the night before we had to leave, trying to finish packing, so stupid.


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