The 20 Cheapest Ways to Move Cross Country

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George Arkin
George Arkin is an experienced writer focusing on online car auctions and the full car transportation process.
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Moving to a new home can be a time-consuming and expensive process, especially if you're moving across the country. It can be hard to keep your move cheap when you have to worry about getting all of your belongings from point A to point B in one trip.

How can you pack everything you need without having to spend a fortune?

When it comes to the cheapest way to move, you have many options to make your trip less expensive. Here are some tips on how to move cross-country without draining your bank account!

What is the Best Way to Move Across the Country?

When it comes to moving across the country, you have a few transportation options at your disposal. Here are the different ways that you can get your belongings from point A to point B.

Take Your Own Vehicle

Do you have a decent-sized vehicle that can make the move cross country? If so, then you may want to consider taking care of the move yourself! This will save you a great deal of money on moving costs, making it the cheapest way to move across the country.

If you are unable to fit everything into the back of your vehicle, then you can rent a trailer to carry your larger belongings. While this is the most affordable option, your car may be put under strain during the long drive; keep this in mind while you plan your move across the country.

Truck Rental Companies

If you aren't able to take your own truck, then here is another tip on how to move cross country. Renting a truck is a great way to take some weight off of your own car is to rent from a truck rental company. That way, you can load up your belongings into the truck and tow your own vehicle behind the truck.

However, if you are unaccustomed to or uncomfortable with driving a larger vehicle, this option may not be realistic for you. Recognize your own driving comforts before considering renting a truck.

Shipping Containers

For those with smaller vehicles, taking all of your belongings cross-country may not be realistic. Instead, you may want to ship your belongings. This option is great for those who have a lot of items to move across the country at once.

To save money, you won't have to ship all of your items. Load up your own vehicle with what it can carry, then ship the remainder of your belongings. This will prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle during the drive.

Hire a Professional Moving Company

If you are uncomfortable with shipping your items and don't believe that you will be able to move your belongings on your own, then a professional moving company may be your cheapest way to move cross country. They are one of your best bets to safely move cross-country without risking your belongings or your vehicle.

There are a variety of different companies that you can choose from, so make sure you do your research before settling with one specific company. Although moving across the country is a difficult feat, you don't have to do it alone! Many companies offer very reasonable prices and will protect your belongings well, making them still one of the cheapest ways to move without worry.

What is the Cheapest Way to Move Cross Country?

There are ways that you can cut down the expenses on any transportation method you choose. Here's how you can make your move cheaper.

Pack Your Belongings Yourself

Consider how much stuff you are planning to bring with you. Do you really need a moving company to help you load your belongings? If the answer is no, then you should try to do all of your packing and loading on your own. As mentioned above, you may also want to ask your friends and family to help with this process, but you don't need to spend extra money on moving assistance if it isn't necessary.

Ask Family and Friends for Help

You're going to have quite a bit of packing and loading to do, which can be a difficult feat on your own. To save money hiring a moving crew to help you get everything loaded, reach out to your close friends and family who may be willing to help.

Not only can they help with the packing process, but they may be able to store items that you are unable to take with you while cross country moving. Whether you are trying to sell the items you're leaving behind, or if you want them sent to you at a later date, you're bound to have someone who is willing to hold onto your belongings for you.

Make sure to supply whoever helps out with plenty of food and drinks for helping out. You're likely to spend far less money on drinks than on hiring a moving crew for help! Your relatives and friends may even have additional tips on how to move cross country, so don't be afraid to ask.

How to Move Cross Country Cheaply?

When you're searching for moving companies, don't settle for the first price you see. Search around for inexpensive companies, as well as any companies that are offering deals to help with moving cross-country. Many companies will give out discounts to hold onto your items for a period of time before the move so that they can haul more in one trip.

Shopping for a moving company doesn't have to leave a hole in your wallet. Searching for discounts can make hiring a moving company one of the cheapest ways to move!

What Does it Cost to Move Cross Country?

Various moving and rental companies will charge different prices to ship your belongings. It's important to figure out exactly what your local companies charge before selecting your method of transportation.

Before settling on a moving company, be sure to ask around for estimates for moving across the country with a variety of different companies. While you shouldn't choose a company solely for the estimate, as the prices can change due to unforeseen circumstances, these estimates can give you a better idea of how much you'll be spending.

Have the contractor you speak to break down the price estimate into its individual parts. That way, you'll know exactly where your money is going, as well as if there are any services the company offers that you can opt-out of. This will help you save money while still getting the assistance you need.

How Long Does a Cross Country Move Take?

Your cross country move will vary in time depending on the time of year and the exact distance you are traveling. In order to properly prepare for the amount of time you are going to spend on the road, there are a few steps you should take.

Select Exact Move Out Dates

To give yourself the smoothest move possible, make sure you plan out your exact move-out dates for your old home, as well as your move-in dates for your new home. That way, if you do need to rent a vehicle or hire a moving company, you know when to rent it out for. This will save you money from mistakes, in the long run, so do all the planning you need.

Choosing your move-in date before moving across the country can also be useful if you are shipping your belongings to your new home. Many companies will allow you to choose the exact date/dates that your items arrive and will charge different prices depending on the speed you need your belongings delivered. Consider this while you are planning your move-in dates to help you save money on shipping.

Clean and Dry Your Belongings

Once you've selected everything that you plan to take with you, you should make sure to clean and thoroughly dry off your belongings. They may be packed away for extended periods of time and become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria while cross country moving, making them unusable once you finally get around to unpacking them.

Take all the time you need to ensure that all of your belongings have been properly cared for before packing them away. This will prevent you from needing to purchase new items once you start unpacking and find something damaged. Ensuring the safety of your belongings creates one of the cheapest ways to move cross country.

Plan Your Route in Advance

During the planning stages of your move, make sure you consider how long the trip itself will take and whether or not you will need to make any stops along the way while moving cross country. You may need to overnight at hotels, so plan accordingly. Know exactly where you want to stop during your travels, aside from emergency bathroom breaks and gas stops, so that you can budget your money and time accordingly.

Look for cheap hotel options that allow you to park whatever vehicle you're driving, whether it's your own car or a rental truck. For one of the cheapest ways to move while driving a truck, you could also consider pulling off at a truck stop for the night instead of booking a hotel stay.

Plan for Your Pets

If you own pets, then your belongings aren't the only things you should plan for. You're going to need to take extra assurances for your pet's toys, furniture, and food so that your pet can make the journey happily with you. Your pets don't understand how to move cross country, so help them with the transition as best you can.

While planning for cross country moving, you'll need to consider where you can stay that allow pets. Take the time to look for pet-friendly hotels and plan to make plenty of stops so your furry friend can eat, drink, and go to the bathroom. It's going to be a long trip for them, too, so make sure to include them in your plans!

Depending on the type of pet you own, you may have to make extra arrangements. Reptile owners will need to find a way to keep their pet in the warmth during the trip, while cat owners should consider getting a high-quality carrier for the journey if necessary. Consider your pet's individual needs to make the move easier on them.

Finally, you'll want to acclimate your pets to ride in a car, especially if they are unused to long trips. Take them for regular car rides several weeks before the final move, extending the drive each time so that they can get used to being in the car. That way, they will be less nervous during the actual move.

What is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Move Cross Country?

Once you've packed up your belongings and are ready to make your move, there are a few things you should know. Here's how to save money while you move.

Don't Move During Busy Seasons

A question that's just as important as how to move cross country is when to make the move. Moving companies experience serious busy seasons during the summer months. Many moving companies will charge additional fees during these months to keep up with supply and demand, as well as to compensate their employees as they assist with more moves.

While planning your move-out and move-in dates, try to avoid moving between May and August. This will save you money in the long run if you need to hire a moving company to help with your move cross country!

Downsize Before Traveling

Before you start packing up your belongings, take a good look at everything you own. Do you really need to take everything with you? It's more likely that you'll be able to part with quite a few of your belongings before making your extended trip.

Hold a yard sale for your smaller items that you no longer want or need. That will clear out many of your unwanted belongings in no time without needing to ship them anywhere.

Any items that you were unable to sell can easily be donated to various charities. You'll be amazed by how much money you'll save by selling your unwanted items before your move cross country.

When it comes to larger items like furniture, you can either place them in your yard sale as well or post them online for a wider audience. You'll likely have to spend more money transporting furniture than if you would buy a new piece once you've moved in. Take account of anything you don't see yourself needing and sell it off if you can.

Ask Your Company to Pay for Your Move

Are you making your move cross country in order to be closer to your new job? If so, then you may be able to write off your move as a tax deduction or have your work pay for the move entirely. Reach out directly to your company and enquire about the logistics of your move; they will be able to tell you whether or not your move can be compensated.

What's the Cheapest Way to Move Your Stuff Long Distance?

Getting your belongings from your old home to your new home can be a challenge. Here's how to avoid burning a hole in your wallet with your move.

Find Free Moving Boxes

Before going out and buying boxes or crates for your belongings, look for places that are willing to give you free moving boxes and supplies for your trip. You can ask friends and family for any spare boxes they have lying around. Some businesses may also be willing to give you their old boxes from shipments for your items.

Of course, you should also consider searching for items such as bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing tape for your move across the country as well. This will help you keep your belongings safe during the move.

Don't forget to search online for these moving materials as well. Many people are willing to give away old moving supplies for free to get them off their hands. Happy searching!

Find Reusable Packing Materials

Are you planning on settling down in your next home for the foreseeable future? If so, then this tip may not be relevant to you. However, if you are making temporary living arrangements while moving cross country, then finding packing materials that you can easily use again is a crucial step you should take.

While it is relatively easy to find free packing materials, it's unlikely that the materials will last through more than one move. If you are to purchase your own materials, make sure they are decent quality materials so that they won't experience as much wear-and-tear during the move; that way, you'll be able to use them again when the time comes.

Inventory Everything

Having items go missing or getting damaged during a move isn't uncommon. As you are packing your belongings, make a detailed inventory of everything you are bringing with you. Label each of your boxes as well so that you know what is in each.

Once you arrive at your new home, take your inventory into account as you unpack. That way, you can immediately identify any missing or damaged belongings. Once you've made the connection, you can decide if you want to continue looking for the original item, or if you'd rather purchase a new item altogether.

Think About Getting Moving Insurance

When thinking about how to move cross country, you should consider the value and fragility of the items you're taking with you. Moving insurance is a great way to protect your belongings while moving across the country. If anything ends up missing or damaged once you begin unpacking, you will be compensated for the error.

This insurance is particularly useful if you are shipping or hauling more expensive items, such as furniture and electronics. While you will have to pay upfront for this insurance, you will be grateful if something does wind up broken or missing.

How to Find a Good Quality Moving Company

If you choose to hire a moving company to help with your cross country moving, there are a few ways that you can make sure they are qualified to move your belongings. Here are some tips to help you get the best moving company possible for your cheapest way to move cross country.

Look Through Company Reviews

Any reputable company should have a review page either on their own website or listed on sites like Yelp. Look through the reviews thoroughly to see how they have handled previous clients.

If you notice any red flags while checking through their reviews, then you may want to continue searching. A moving company should take great care of your belongings regardless of the difficulty of the move.

Avoid Paying a Large Deposit

If a moving company tries to force you to pay a large deposit before moving your belongings, then they may not be as reputable as you first thought. While some companies may charge a small fee upfront, most companies won't charge you until after your belongings have already been moved. Paying upfront could put you at risk of having your belongings held for an unnecessary amount of time, or worse, stolen.

If you must pay any fees upfront, be sure to pay with a credit card. That way, you will have records of the payment and can protect yourself from fraud.

Look Them Up in the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau has lots of information on moving companies, including any names the business used to be under. Look them up and see how many times the company has changed names. Any companies that frequently change their name should bring up red flags in your mind.

The BBB should also tell you about the company's licensing and registrations. Do your research into the company to avoid being scammed.

Ask Ahead About Additional Fees

Once you've opened communications with a moving company, you should ask them plenty of clarifying questions about their services. One thing that you should make sure to bring up is additional fees. This will involve you sharing as much information as possible about your new location.

For example, if you are moving into a home on a narrow street, you may be charged to have the moving company transfer your belongings to a smaller truck that can fit on your street. Are you moving into a home with more than one story? Your company may add a surcharge for moving your belongings upstairs.

Be thorough as you discuss the move so that you don't have any surprise fees once you move in. It will be much harder to ask about those extra charges after the move is already completed. If you're cautious and ask ahead, you can make this one of the cheapest ways to move cross country.

Get Everything in Writing

You should never sign a blank contract with a moving company. Any contract you receive should have a detailed explanation behind their different charges so that you know exactly what you're paying for. Otherwise, your company may spring additional fees on you after the fact or hold onto your belongings longer than necessary.

Invest some time in going over your contract in detail. Make sure everything is in writing, including your entire inventory of items that you are moving. That way, if something doesn't show up at your new home, it will still be accounted for in the contract.

Spend Less with the Cheapest Way to Move Cross Country

You don't need to spend a fortune while moving across the country. With the cheapest ways to move, you can rest assured that your belongings and your wallet are safe and sound! If you're planning a move in the near future, keep these tips in mind to make your move easier on the whole family.

Are you planning a move soon and need a reputable company to help you?

We're here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about your move, and continue reading our blog for more helpful tips.

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