8 Tips for Your Cross-Country Move

There’s nothing more exciting than purchasing a new home, especially when it’s in a new state! While there will be an initial rush of excitement, there’s also a lot to consider and plan for. If you want to avoid a stressful moving process, there are a few steps you should take to make your cross-country commute a breeze.

Here are a few tips for driving cross country for a move:

1. Have Your Car Inspected

Before you hit the open road, it’s important to have your vehicle inspected. Even if your vehicle’s inspection was only a few months ago, you should still bring it to your trusted mechanic to make sure that you won’t experience any problems when on the road. Some of the most important features to have looked at are your:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Oil
  • Engine

These are the prime spots where you may encounter a potential issue. Of course, if you’ve been looking to have your tires replaced but have been putting it off, now is the time to do so. Once your vehicle has been inspected from top to bottom, it’s time to start planning your trip.

2. Plan Your Route

Sure, it’s simple to just follow road signs or a navigation system to reach your destination — but there’s a chance that you might be taking a much longer route than what you initially intended to take. Prior to leaving the driveway of your old home, plan a proposed route that you’ll take to get to your new home on the opposite coast.

Whether that includes some stops along the way at popular tourist attractions, or you plan on visiting friends, it’s up to you! Just keep in mind about how much time it will take for you to get to your new home and if you have any room for those last-minute stops.

3. Book Hotels in Advance

This cannot be stressed enough: it’s important to book your hotels in advance. While it may seem simple to score a room at a local hotel on your route, you might be in for a tough time depending on the time of year. For example, if you’re driving in the summer, you might be up against tourists who already booked rooms months in advance — or if it’s the fall, there might be an out-of-town football game that could take over and may make it impossible to even walk inside of the lobby.

If you’re planning on sticking to your route, look at hotels along the way and start to make reservations. You’ll want to calculate your days and see how many stops you’ll be making, in addition to which states you’ll have to book rooms in. Once this is complete, it’s time to pack some essentials.

4. Pack Your Essentials

If you’re moving your entire house or you’re finally moving out of your parents’ home, it’s important to pack essentials in your vehicle. Since a majority of your items will be in a moving truck, you’ll want to keep what you have on hand simple. Some of the most important items to have with you are:

  • Documentation (i.e., Social Security card, birth certificate)
  • Daily medications
  • Chargers for your handheld electronics
  • A first-aid kit

In addition to these items, you’ll also want to pack some snacks, water bottles, and anything else that you can conveniently grab from your vehicle when you need it.

Generally speaking, it’s best to pack your luggage for a trip. Pack enough clothes, medicine, and other supplies for however many days you intend your cross-country move to take. Then add enough for at least two more days, just in case. You never know when you’ll need an extra change of clothes or what delays might affect your trip! Driving cross-country for a move can be tricky; you’ll want to be prepared for anything.

5. Bring a Cooler & Snacks

While you’re prepping and packing food for your move, consider keeping a few refrigerated items you can bring in a cooler and some dry snacks and beverages as well. Instead of throwing out or giving away food like apples, string cheese, nuts, juice boxes, energy drinks, or even bread, pack it and take it with you for an on-the-road snack. Driving across the country is bound to make you hungry, and you might not always want to stop – plus you’ll have some food on hand just in case you’re stranded or delayed at any part of your journey.

6. Multiple Vehicles? Here’s What to Do

If you are a family with more than one car, you will need to get both of your vehicles across the country to your new home. There are companies that will ship your car for you, but you may find it is far cheaper to simply drive the car yourself.

If you plan on driving more than one vehicle for your cross-country move, be sure that both drivers are fully informed of the route and planned stops. Following directly behind another car for a cross-country trip might not be possible, particularly in areas with heavy traffic. If you get separated, meet at the next stop. Use cell phones (hands-free, of course!) to communicate.

7. Fill Up Your Gas Tank

This may seem self-explanatory, but it’s important to fill your vehicle up before starting your journey. Even if you know that your vehicle has great gas mileage, it’s still important to fill your tank up. Many cross-country drivers are too eager to start their adventure and will end up without gas before they know it — and that can happen on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere. If you’re not looking to run into a potential problem, then it would be rather helpful to map out where you may encounter gas stations along your route.

8. Enjoy the Adventure

Once you hit the open road, enjoy every minute of it. Sure, there are some that have driven cross-country and say it’s “dreadful,” but it all depends on how you make the most of your journey. Make time to stop at those roadside attractions, have some meals at a quaint restaurant, take pictures, and have an incredible time. After all, the finish line will be your new, beautiful home on the opposite coast — and there’s nothing better than that!

In Need of a Southern California Moving Company for the Big Day?

Moving across the country requires a lot of time and preparation. Focus on preparing for your move and prevent moving mistakes by letting our team at Affordable Quality Moving and Storage take care of packing and transporting your belongings. Our team of professionals is licensed, trained, and ready to help your move be an easy one!

Contact our team today at (661) 622-2636 for a free estimate!