Even short roadtrips can get out of hand, so imagine all the horrible possibilities that can arise on a cross-country move! You have your belongings packed in a truck, all the kids and pets in tow, and are stopping to stay in hotels in new cities at least twice before getting to a house where you just have to unpack all over again!
Ok, calm down. We have three life-saving tips for a cross-country move that will make everything go easily. Ready? Here they are:
1. Traveling with Kids? Play the Money Game
This brilliant idea belongs to Jayme Payne, and we found it on Pinterest. The Money Game goes like this: each kid gets their own clip with $20 one dollar bills (or you decide the amount – maybe it’s the cost of a new toy or their spending money at King’s Island). When they fight, whine, are ugly to each other, or disobey, they lose one dollar. And they watch you take it away, which is more effective than an imaginary dollar count.
Image by Jayme Payne
Don’t forget to give kids a chance to earn their dollars back, though. When they help their siblings, obey the first time, help pick up the hotel room or throw away car litter, or put on a cheerful face even though they don’t feel like it, be sure they earn back a dollar.
2. You’re Gonna Need a New Data Plan
This is an especially great tip for people without kids, since we’re more likely to be entertained by music, audio books, John Oliver’s YouTube channel, and so on. Most cellphone providers will bump your data usage up for just one month when you explain you’re moving or without cable for a couple of weeks. If your provider isn’t willing to give you just one month’s more data, ask about any specials or promotions going on that you might apply for – most cell providers can find some way to help you out.
And now, with all your new, shiny data, here are your options:
– Download audio books for a reasonable price from Audible (or use the native Podcast app on iOS).
– Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, and others are really great music apps for a low cost or free.
– Stream YouTube channels that will keep you laughing. We recommend starting with Jimmy Fallon, John Oliver, Miley Cyrus and her best friend Mandy, The Lonely Island, Jenna Marbles, and 7 Minutes in Heaven.
– Hulu Plus, Netflix, and iTunes are great for streaming movies, but be sure to check if your cable TV provider offers a streaming service before you cancel – sometimes you can watch TV on the go!
3. Choose Healthy Snacks
Instead of loading up on empty carbs, sugar, and caffeine, fill your cooler up with apples, peanut butter crackers, string cheese, mixed nuts, grapes and strawberries, carrots and broccoli, hummus, water and green tea, and rice cakes or popped chips. Junk food gives you a little bit of a high, but the crash afterwards isn’t worth it. Try healthy, filling snacks that will help you be focused and alert instead of sluggish or exhausted – you are driving across the entire country, after all. That’s a long way!
Got another tip that saved your life on a cross-country move? Tell us!
Featured image by Krissy Venosdale/Flickr