How to Move Cheaply Across Country: Tips From Experts

Moving across the country is not easy. It requires a lot of preparation, planning, scheduling, and coordinating. Besides all these arrangements, the cost of long-distance relocation is high. While it’s difficult to predict the average price, a professional moving company can charge between $1,500 and $15,000.

The cost will depend on various factors, like the distance, the volume of the items, location, and the service option you choose. Fortunately, some strategies can help you move cross-country cheaply. This guide will assist you with understanding the cheapest options for moving across the country, when to hire a long-distance moving company, and ways you can reduce moving expenses.

Two Happy Male Workers Loading Stack Of Cardboard Boxes In Truck

What Are the Cheapest Options for Moving Across the Country?

While moving across the country is expensive, cheap options can make this long-distance move affordable and less stressful. Here are a few options to consider:

DIY Move

One of the cheapest options for moving across the country is a do-it-yourself move. A full-service moving option is expensive, but you can reduce the cost by doing most of the work yourself. You will only pay for the truck rental and gas by eliminating the labor cost.

Although this option is affordable, it will cost you time and labor. It will also take longer to pack and label your belongings since you will do all the work yourself. But if budget is your priority, this is a convenient way of reducing the cost of a cross-country move.

Rent a Moving Truck

This option will save you money if you can drive across the country. Truck rental costs include fuel, a set rate, and insurance expenses. Note that you will need to fuel the truck if its fuel capacity runs out before you reach your destination. Also, before picking this option, make sure you are comfortable and qualified to drive large vehicles to avoid accidents.

The cost of renting a moving truck varies, depending on the time of the year and location. Compare different truck rental rates and settle for the best deal.

Consider a Hybrid Move

If you don’t have a lot of stuff to move, you might choose this option. A hybrid move combines DIY and hiring professionals to help. Instead of the expensive full-service moving option, you can do all the packing and hire a moving labor company to help you move your stuff into a rented van. You can also choose to hire another team to help you unload when you reach in your new location.

On the other hand, you can do all the packing and loading and hire a moving company to transport. In this option, you can pick a part of the move to do yourself and leave the remaining process to professionals.

Rent a Portable Moving Container

Also known as moving pods, these containers are an excellent alternative to full-service movers. First, they are cheaper than hiring a professional moving company. Secondly, you can utilize them as a storage container if there is a gap of time between moving out from your old home and moving into the new house.

You can conveniently pack, fill the container up, and schedule for a pickup by the portable moving container company, who will ship it to your destination. The cost of renting a moving container depends on the size and the length of time you rent it. While you may pay a flat rate for every container, the delivery fee varies from company to company.

Remember to insulate items sensitive to extreme cold or heat, such as personal care products, electronics, expensive art, or perishable food. These containers aren’t temperature controlled. Instead, you can carry sensitive belongings and other personal items, especially if you plan on driving your vehicle.

Ship Your Possessions

Another cheap option for moving across the country is shipping your belongings, especially if there aren’t many. It is one of the most convenient and a fast moving option that can save you lots of bucks.

You can use USPS, FedEx, UPS, or any other top shipping company and pay a lower price by using their ground service. Additionally, you can consider shipping providers, like, for shipping larger items at competitive rates. However, you can ship some things and move the rest using a moving truck for more savings.

Use Freight Transporting Company

If you are hauling a large home, a freight trailer is a better option than using a moving company. You pack and load the trailer, and the freight moving company picks it up and transports it to your new home.

You have a limited number of days, mostly three, to pack and fill the freight trailer. After the third day, the moving company picks it up and drives it to your new destination. The cost varies depending on the items you have and the space they occupy. If an extra space remains, the moving company sells it to another customer.

How Are Moving Expenses Reduced?

Moving across the country is often very expensive and time-consuming if not planned adequately. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce these expenses. Here are a few tips to help you move on a budget.

Avoid Moving During Peak Season

Your time of moving can impact the cost you incur for relocation. If you move during the off-season, you will pay a lower price than during peak moving days. If possible, avoid weekends, along with May through September, as these are peak moving seasons. The cost of moving is more during this period, due to the increase in the moving business.

You can choose to move between October and April, but avoid weekends. Demand is low during mid-months and mid-week. Therefore the moving cost is likely to get lower.

Use Free Moving Supplies

One of the easiest ways to cut moving costs when relocating across the country is to gather as many complimentary moving supplies as possible. While these supplies may look insignificant, they can save you money in the long run. You can get used boxes from nearby retailers, grocery stores, or people who relocated recently.

Look Out for Deals and Discounts

Before settling on a moving option, look out for moving companies that offer deals and discounts. These discounts are sometimes so big that they significantly reduce the cost of your move. If you are serving or have served in the military, you can find various companies offering military discounts.

Declutter, Donate, or Sell

If you have accumulated a lot of stuff you no longer use, you can declutter, donate, or sell it before moving. This reduces the number of items you must pack, making the packing and unpacking process more manageable. It also saves you time and money.

You can have a garage sale or sell your stuff online through digital marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and many others if you have enough time. If selling is not a convenient option, you can choose to donate stuff you don’t need.

Ask for Help

Asking your friends and family for help instead of hiring moving labor can save you money and time. Instead of doing all the work alone, extra help will make packing and unpacking easier and more efficient.

Also, you can have a friend or family member drive with you to your destination. This will make the long trip more enjoyable and reduce fatigue.

Take a Second to Look at the Mover’s Contract

After you settle on the moving company, please take a second look at the contract and scrutinize it. Check out the insurance and liability options you have. Also, look for extra fees and add-ons in your estimate and ensure you are not overcharged.

Get Quotes From Different Moving Companies

The cost of moving varies from one moving company to another. Make sure to compare quotes from three or four movers before hiring any. You can interview them to understand the cost and other extra fees involved fully.

When to Hire a Long-distance Moving Company

Hiring a long-distance moving company can eliminate many concerns and potential issues that long-distance moving brings. These movers have the right equipment and knowledge to handle the moving process hitch-free. However, hiring a professional long-distance mover is often expensive.

If you are on a budget, you can consider many cheap options to move across the country. You can also search for the best cross-country moving companies with excellent services. If you don’t like packing your stuff by yourself, you can hire professional movers that offer packing services. They are also efficient at packing valuable personal items and moving heavy furniture.

While the DIY move is a cheaper option than full-service moving companies, it consumes a lot of time, and you bear the whole burden of packing and labeling your belongings. If convenience and time is your priority, you may want to consider hiring a long-distance moving company.

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