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How to Plan a Cross Country Move During the Holidays

Moving across the country is an overwhelming task, and doing it around the holidays adds its own set of difficulties. Read on for expert tips that will make your holiday move less stressful.
Plan a Cross Country Move During Holidays

In this article

Searching for a comprehensive guide on planning a cross country move? You’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through every step—from budgeting and choosing a moving company to packing tips and travel considerations. This will ensure your holiday move is as smooth as possible.

Moving During The Holiday: An Overview

Moving across the country is a significant change in your life, and opting to do so during the festive season introduces its own set of challenges. In addition, it offers some advantages that might make it the best time for such a transition.

Since many people are busy with holiday activities, you’ll be able to book moving companies more easily and even find discounts.

Also, people often have time off work during the holidays, which gives them a great chance to focus on moving. You may find it easier to work out schedules with family members who can help, find a place to stay if you’re moving far away, and set up utilities at your new home faster.

Why Moving During the Holidays Is a Great Idea

Moving during the holiday has many advantages. Here are some of the compelling reasons why a holiday move is a great idea:

  • Financial Perks from Seasonal Promotions: Not many people choose to relocate at this time, leading to many moving companies offering promotional rates.
  • Convenient Time Slots: There is less demand for relocation services, vehicles, and storage spaces.
  • Flexibility in Scheduling: Relaxed working schedules or days off during holidays.
  • Efficient Transition: You’ll find it easy to settle in.
  • Creating Memorable Experiences: Unique chances to make lasting memories.
  • Speedy Adaptation to New Educational Environments: Adjustment period for your children before joining the new school.

How Much Does It Cost To Move During The Holidays?

The cost of moving during the holidays will depend on things like where you’re moving to, how big your move is, and what services you need.

Relocating within the same locality or region tends to be more budget-friendly. Many relocation firms bill on an hourly basis. The financial outlay could vary between $400 and $1,500, depending on your residence’s dimensions and workload.

Conversely, covering long distances and fuel expenses can make an interstate relocation substantially more costly. You might find yourself spending between $2,500 and $5,000 or even more, depending on the distance and volume of belongings.

If you opt for a DIY move, renting a vehicle and covering fuel costs could save you several hundred dollars.

Here is a detailed pricing table for DIY, Full Service, and Moving Containers:

Moving With Cross-Country Movers

During the holidays, it can be hard to get things done because of things like shorter hours for banks and utility companies, closed roads, and more shipping delays. You may also encounter difficulty booking movers and renting moving trucks.

Plan your move with holiday-specific cross country movers to avoid surprises.

Pros of Planning a Cross Country Move During the Holiday

1. Time Off Work

Many employers offer extended time off, such as Christmas to New Year’s break during the holiday season. This extended time away from work provides a convenient window for you to make the move without affecting your professional life. Moreover, you won’t need to tap into your leave days.

2. New Beginnings

There’s something inherently symbolic about starting anew at the end of the year. A move during this time aligns with this sense of renewal and can give you a psychological boost. It’s a concrete step into a new chapter of your life, neatly aligned with the New Year.

3. Reduced Workload

If your move is job-related, you’ll likely find that many companies are closed for the holiday season. This offers a smoother transition without immediately jumping into a hectic workload.

4. Less Competition for Housing

The holiday season may not be the peak time for home-buying or apartment-hunting. Therefore, it means you could face less competition. With fewer people looking to move, you might find securing a new place easier and possibly even negotiating better terms or prices.

5. School Transition

If you have children, the holiday break could be a convenient time to switch schools without causing too much disruption to their academic year. Transitioning between semesters or grading periods may be smoother academically and emotionally for kids.

Cons of Planning a Cross Country Move During the Holiday

1. Higher Costs

Although special deals may be available, prices are likely to increase if there’s a high demand for services like moving trucks and professional movers. It’s essential to compare prices and services carefully, considering that you might pay a premium during this period.

2. Weather Conditions

Winter holidays bring snow, ice, and other adverse weather conditions, particularly in states like Minnesota, New York, and New Hampshire. These conditions can make driving a moving truck hazardous, delay flights, and generally complicate the logistics of a move.

3. Limited Availability

The holiday season is usually busy, and many essential services operate on reduced hours. For example, you might find it difficult to set up your new utilities or get an appointment at the DMV, which can prolong the settling-in period.

4. Less Time for Celebrations

Moving requires a lot of time and effort, and this commitment can significantly cut into your ability to celebrate the holidays. Whether it’s missing out on family gatherings, parties, or other traditions, the move can take precedence over festivities, potentially leading to feelings of isolation or regret.

How To Plan a Cross Country Move During the Holidays

Moving across the country with careful planning and organization allows for a smooth transition. Below are some crucial tips to help you plan your cross-country move during the holidays.

1. Budgeting

The first step in planning a stress-free move is establishing a realistic budget. Calculate the estimated costs for moving services, packing materials, and travel expenses.

Utilizing a moving cost calculator will help you better assess what you’ll need to set aside financially. Being prepared financially is especially crucial during the holidays when you might have other expenditures like gifts and holiday dinners.

2. Choosing a Moving Company

When choosing a cross country moving company, start your search early—particularly during the holiday season, when demand can skyrocket. Compare moving quotes from various companies and look for reviews and testimonials to ensure that you’re picking a reliable service.

3. Finding a New Home During the Holidays

Utilize virtual home tours to scout potential homes and engage specialized real estate agents familiar with holiday moves. Take your time, and don’t rush into making a decision. Make sure your new home meets all your immediate and long-term needs.

If your new home isn’t ready, consider short-term rental options. Hotels, Airbnb, or staying with family are good options. If you have pets, look for pet-friendly places and those close to your new home to make the transition smoother.

4. Organizing The Holiday Move

Organization is crucial for a smooth transition. Prepare a moving checklist that breaks down tasks you must complete two months, one month, and one week before the big move. This checklist should include notifying utility companies, updating your address, and creating a packing schedule.

5. Packing Tips

Packing is often the most daunting part of a move. Approach it strategically by packing room-by-room and using quality materials to safeguard your belongings. Label all boxes clearly, perhaps even color-coding them by room.

6. Renting a Moving Truck vs. Shipping Belongings

You can rent a moving truck or ship your belongings. While renting may be cheaper, it demands more labor and coordination. Shipping is more convenient but can be costlier.

7. Downsizing

Downsizing is essential if you want to make your move easier and more affordable. A garage sale will help you declutter, and donating items to charity will offer additional tax benefits. The fewer items you have, the smoother and cheaper your move will be.

The Holiday Move: How to Plan it

Planning to move cross country during the holidays is difficult but achievable. Proper planning, budgeting, and a good checklist will make your holiday relocation successful.

Once you arrive, focus on setting up utilities, locating critical local services, and meeting your new neighbors.

We hope this guide helped you transition smoothly to your new place.

Have a great move!

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson is an executive and author with over 30 years of experience in the moving industry. As president of sales and logistics at Moving APT, Joey’s been a driving force behind our company’s success. He’s known around the office for his expertise and dedication, and he’s probably working on another article right this moment. Joey has a lot to say about the moving industry, but he also writes about other elements of business, leadership, self-improvement, and more.
Green Group

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