Long road leading off to a new home for someone moving across the country

A cross-country move can be stressful, especially when it’s your first time. While short-distance moves are also stressful, there’s a certain upheaval involved in a cross-country move that’s unlike anything else. There are a couple of differences between short-distance moves and cross-country moves that make cross-country moves so much more difficult.

Cross-country moves are much longer than short-distance moves, so there’s no way to double back and make two trips, unless you want to spend days and weeks doing so. Cross-country moves also require packing to be done well; there’s no holding objects in place for the trip because of the long distance.

If you’re moving and don’t want to hit any obstacles, then start early and plan. The following are a few must haves you’ll need to move successfully.

Finding Cross-country Movers

It’s important to find movers at least a few weeks before you plan to move. You’ll need that time so that you can talk to a few companies. Avoid settling for the cheapest option. You want reliability and experience, no matter the cost. Try to get a quote from a few companies before you make your decision. Write down whom you called and their quoted price so that you can compare when you’re done with your hunt.

Be sure to check if the company is licensed by checking the DOT number, which should be provided to you. There are scam movers out there, and you don’t want to deal with that because it will add unnecessary stress to your move.

Rented Vehicles

You should also ensure that you have space in your vehicle to transport everything before the day comes. If you don’t, you’ll have to rent a vehicle or hire movers to help. A good way to do this is to estimate the number of boxes that you’ll have and make sure they all will fit. Remember that because this is a long trip, you probably won’t be able to have someone hold things in place like you would if you were only traveling a few miles. Everything you pack must be secure and safe as you drive, even with sudden stops and sharp turns. Movers can be a good alternative if you don’t have the capacity to do this yourself, but they are more expensive, which may be hard on the wallet. If you decide to rent a truck, make sure there is a place you can return it in your new area and that you can return it within any time restraints the company may set.

Updating All the Documents

You’re going to have to deal with some paperwork. It’s best to get everything done as soon as you get to your new home. Even if you haven’t settled in fully, try to get things done so you won’t have to worry about any of this later on.

For some of the document updates you have to make, there are deadlines to meet. Each deadline varies, depending on the state and county you’re moving to. For example, you only have 10 days to update your license in the state of Alaska, while you have 30 days in states like Arkansas, Delaware, or Alabama.

Try to find out what the state requires and how long you have to make these changes. You can call the Secretary of State to get more information. Some updates can be done on the phone, like updating your address with your bank and credit card companies.

Getting Moving Insurance

Okay, so movers offer insurance, but even the best ones are quite limited. If you don’t have a lot of valuables, then the insurance offered by most good movers should be more than adequate. The problems can arise if you have highly valuable items.

At this point, it’s better to look for your own moving insurance company that’s willing to protect your property fully, including valuable items. You may need to talk to a few companies before you make your decision to make sure you’re getting the most coverage for the best price.

It’s important to disclose the value of everything you need to be covered during the move. Read the fine print, especially anything about what might disqualify you from obtaining coverage should anything happen during the trip. The last thing you want is to get denied for something.

Itemized List

Next you should make a list of what you want to bring. As you pack, take down a list of each box you need to bring or each item. You can also list where you packed it. As it is a cross-country move, you’ll likely have multiple vehicles that you’re using to transport yourself and your things, so it would be helpful to know where important items are, like a toothbrush for your first night or your sheets and blankets when you finally get to sleep in your new house.

Food to Go The Extra Mile

Finally, you should have plenty of food packed in an accessible place for your trip. If you’re traveling cross-country, you’re going to get hungry at some point, and you can either stop and prolong your already long trip or pack food to eat on the way. In many other situations, it would be okay to stop and have a meal. On a long cross country move, when you finally get to your destination, you may have a limited time to return rented vehicles or unpack before you want to sleep. For this reason, time is of the essence, and you should try to get to your definition as quickly as possible.


Although many things are the same between a short trip and a longer one, there are a few things to keep in mind with a cross-country move. You need to make sure you remember how much time it will actually take to travel and the practical aspects, and your move should be very successful. The less you have to worry about, the better you’ll feel about the entire move.

We hope you found this blog post Must-haves to Move Across The Country useful. Be sure to check out our post The Ultimate Moving Across The Country Checklist for more great tips!


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