On the Open Road: What to Expect Moving Across the United States

Moving across country is an intimidating experience with the task of driving thousands of miles to a destination you may not fully know. Despite the challenge, millions of Americans take the treck each year to find new roots and opportunities.

Are you considering moving across the States?

If you’re in the majority then you own a vehicle, and your first thought is to drive. There are many positives and negatives with undertaking this journey. This article will share what you can expect with moving across the country.

Gearing Up for the Big Trip: Things to Expect (and Plan)

“Will my car even make it?” is probably the first thought to roll through your mind when ready to drive the (potentially) thousands of miles from coast-to-coast. No doubt, some of you may have older vehicles and feel accustomed to the normal back-and-forth of the daily commute.

Here are some things to do for the vehicle before the trip:

  • Get a thorough inspection of the engine, lines, and brakes
  • Clear any unneeded items to lessen the load and get better mileage
  • Repair any problematic issues you feel may pop up along the road
  • Consider an AAA membership in case you break down on the way

You’ll also want to consider your driving ability — factoring in:

  • Stamina (can you handle 8-12+ hour drives?)
  • Expenses (gas, lodging, food, and snacks)
  • Timing (does a home or job needs you?)
  • Weather (how do you handle mountain/heavy weather driving?)

If you have any shadow of a doubt, you should consider shipping your vehicle and flying, instead. Services like Ship a Car Direct will load your vehicle onto carriers and get your vehicle to its destination for a fair fee. This frees days of driving and hundreds of dollars of expenses from stop-overs.

An added benefit of flying out is having the extra time to scope the area. This would give you a solid 3-4 days to “settle in” to your new location. This is also a great time to kick back and relax on those extra days before getting back into the grind of things.

However, if you’d like to turn this cross-country travel into a trip then create a plan and take it slow.

There are many, fantastic destinations and routes along the way. You’ll have a blast enjoying the sights and microcultures found in each state. Plus, who wouldn’t like to mark that off their bucket list?

Extra Tips for the Open Road (and Cross-Country Moving)

There are many reasons why you chose to take this monumental voyage:

  • Enticing career path
  • A love interest
  • Getting away from the past
  • Taking on a life challenge

Whatever that reason, the tasks found in a local move almost completely apply to a cross-country move with few tweaks to your approach. You don’t get an “Oh, I forgot something. Let me run back” moments when you’re thousands of miles away.

Here are some things to do (and check twice) for when you’re ready to hit the road:

  • Say Your Real Goodbyes — It’s a somber moment saying goodbye because deep down you know it’s unlikely you’ll see some family and friends again. Let it sink in and really say those heartfelt goodbyes. Or, spend a little extra time with loved ones to create one, lasting memory. Sure, you’ll keep in contact but make that last physical contact meaningful.
  • Really Get Rid of Stuff — Know where you’re going, if you truly want to keep items, and what you’ll need when there. You may remain the same but this really is a new life for you. A lot of your stuff may become emotional baggage you’re dragging along. So, set a hard line of what’s coming and what’s getting tossed giving you less to move and a nice, fresh start when you’re there.
  • Tap into Your Network — Do you know anyone where you’re moving? Or, have an extended network of potential friends from the ones you have? Don’t be modest, get in touch! A lot of people will lend a helping hand to help you along the way. You’ll have places to stay, warm meals to share, and local guides to show you around once there. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Moving across the country is a bit like doing so across town just a longer stretch. Plan the best you can but don’t stress too much. Everything will work out.

Let that excitement of the adventure carry your travels and spirit.