While any type of move has its share of stresses, long-distance moves can be particularly busy. You may not be able to visit your new home in person beforehand, and you may spend many days travelling and staying in a hotel. To help you ease some of the stress, here are some tips to help you out.
Book Ahead if You Can
If you can, it's best to book your moving company as far in advance as you can. Booking early not only allows you to compare estimates between long-distance moving companies, but it also allows you to take advantage of early-booking discounts. If you cannot book early, you should at least try and book four weeks ahead. Otherwise, some companies will only take last-minute moves during the off-season—usually between September and May.
Anticipate All of the Costs
People moving far away may be blindsided by some of the costs if they don't do their homework. You may have to pay for
- Labor for packing/unpacking
- Labor for furniture disassembly and reassembly
- Vehicle fuel
- Hotel stays
- Storage rentals
Also keep in mind that the longer the distance, the higher the overall cost will be. Thankfully, there are ways to cut down costs. For example, you can save money on gas if your truck isn't weighed down too much. Some movers will even cut down on what they charge with lighter shipment weights.
A good way to cut down on the vehicle's weight is by decluttering your household beforehand. Donate items you haven't used within the last year or have a yard sale so that you can make some money to put towards the move. If labor fees are charged by the hour, then having fewer items to pack means that you will cut costs there as well.
Invest in Insurance
You may not want to get insurance for a short move, but it can be worth it for a long-distance move. For example, if you are driving the moving truck in an area that you are unfamiliar with, you could be surprised with a low overpass. Investing in truck rental insurance could help you cover overhead damage repairs.
Check your homeowner's policy to see what is covered or talk with an agent. Some homeowner's policies will cover a portion of your assets if they are being transported or resting in a storage unit.
If you have many valuables, it is worth it to check out cargo-protection policies. These policies may not cover certain electronics or jewelry, but they will cover damage to furniture and other belongings you are moving.
Keep Some Things In Your Own Vehicle
When people go on vacation, they tend to pack as light as possible, but they also still have all their personal necessities. Try to pack some bags as if you were going on a vacation. If the moving company is driving the truck for you, you won't be scrambling to buy essentials since you will already have them in your own car. For example, be sure to pack the following:
- A change of clothes
- A pillow and blanket
- A bag of toiletries
- Snacks and refillable water bottles
Besides packing for your basic needs, make sure that you have all of your personal documents with you. Important documents include things like the following:
- Your Social Security card
- Your passport
- Your birth certificate
- Your insurance cards
Make Sure Your New Area Is Ready to Receive You
If you are moving to a condominium or apartment, it's vital that you contact the management offices ahead of time. Some complexes require new tenants to move in at certain times. You also want to make sure that you will be able to get your key code or door key as soon as you arrive.
Contact the utility services in your area; besides being able to get inside your home, you want to make sure the electricity is up and running on your arrival date.
Lastly, inquire about the roads in the area. You want to make sure that the van with your belongings will be able to access your home easily. If not, then you'll need to start making plans to shuttle certain items.