8 TIPS FOR MOVING ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Chelsea Brinkley

Moving is my absolute least favorite thing to do. I love to travel but actually moving is a whole different story and it’s terrible. It’s time consuming and such a hassle to pack everything up just to unpack it all soon after. All of your belongings are in boxes and you can never find where anything is. Something always breaks or arrives scratched no matter how well you packed it, and there’s that whole setting up a new home and finding out where everything belongs thing. Plus, I’m super impatient (I tend to say “go-getter”) and like things to be organized, so when I move I prefer to have things unpacked and set up within days. Yes, I know this sounds unrealistic but I’ve got goals, okay?

Well, we recently moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Denver, Colorado which I know is not from one coast to the other but in my mind it’s across the country… from the South to the West. It was a 20 hour drive and we split it up over 2 days. We stopped in Kansas along the way, stayed in a hotel, then hopped back on the road early the next morning to finish the 10 hour drive.

Let me just tell you right now that it was an adventure. So much so that I have a few tips for you if you’re ever planning on moving across the country or even just a couple states away.

1. MAKE SURE YOU PACK AN OVERNIGHT BAG

  • You’re packing your life up in boxes so put aside some clothing and toiletry items in a separate bag that you may need over the next few days.

2. TAKE CARE OF VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

  • Get an oil change and your car checked out before you hit the road
  • Make sure the tires on your car are in good shape and can handle a lot of miles to be put on them. If they’re close to needing to be replaced, just go ahead and do it.
  • If you’ll be driving for long distances and pulling a trailer, watch your gauges to make sure your car doesn’t overheat. It will be a lot more susceptible to this and very costly to fix.

3. ACCOUNT FOR MOVING EXPENSES

These expenses tend to just pop up one after the other so be as prepared as you can be. Here’s some to consider:

  • Trailer or truck rental (like a Uhaul)
  • Extra gas money – if you’re hauling a trailer and/or your car is weighed down by boxes, you’ll get less mpg
  • Hotel stay when you’re stopping along the way
  • Setting up utilities at your new home along with their “connection fees”
  • Housing deposits
  • Eating out the first few days before you can get to the grocery

4. IF YOU’RE TRAVELING WITH A DOG LIKE WE DO, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THESE THINGS:

  • Portable water and food bowls (we use THESE collapsible kind)
  • Vehicle harness – just as you put a seat belt on, you’ll want to keep your pet safe (we use THIS one for our pup)
  • Leash easily reachable
  • Food and water easily reachable
  • A few toys and treats

5. KEEP A GAS CAN IN YOUR CAR

  • If you’re pulling a trailer, you’ll use a lot more gas and when you car says you have 20 miles to go before empty, it could be lying to you (I know this from experience).

6. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LITTLE EMERGENCY MONEY SET ASIDE

  • Things just happen on the road and it’s better to be prepared for them ahead of time rather than make you panic when it does (every heard of Murphy’s Law?)

7. LISTEN TO PODCASTS, AUDIO BOOKS, OR MUSIC WHILE DRIVING

  • Download all of this ahead of time so you’re not using your cellular data since you may not have service

8. PACK SOME SNACKS IN THE CAR ALONG WITH WATER AND SOMETHING CAFFEINATED

  • THESE are my favorite cold coffee sticks (and I like THESE to make hot coffee). Just mix with water and you’re good to go!

Published: October 13, 2017

Chelsea Brinkley

Travel Planner with a heart to explore the outdoors as much as possible.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.

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