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How much money should I save to move cross-country?

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Asked by Gregory

December 26, 2020 under Others

What am I about to spend on my cross-country move?

Answered by Katherine Broome

October 26, 2021

Moving cross-country is extremely stressful, especially when you aren't sure how much money you’re looking at spending. The cost of a cross-country move depends on several factors, including move type, cargo weight, number of movers (if you choose to use movers), and the number of items you decide to move. To learn more about the cost of a cross-country move, read on.

How much money should I save to move cross-country?Average Cost of a Cross Country Move

Cross country moves can range from anywhere between $1,500 to over $6,500 depending on what your move is. If you are doing a coast-to-coast move, then you are looking at costs near $2,000 to $8,500.

Basically, there is no way of telling how much a cost country move costs because there is no average move. Every move is different, and every family is different. Because of that, we can’t give you an actual cost.

There are many different factors that go into the cost of a move. Let’s go over those:

Factors That Affect Moving Costs

When you are facing a cross-country move, there are lots of factors that affect the cost of your move. They are:

Items Being Moved

If you have a lot of items that you need to move, then you typically need to spend more money to transport everything. Movers charge by weight (the more you have, the more you spend), the more belongings you have the larger U-Haul you would have to get, and if you go with a company like Pods or U-Pack, you will have to order more cubes to put your items in.


If you have more than one vehicle to transport, that cost can add up quickly. If you decide to drive your vehicles cross-country, then you’ll need to keep fuel costs in mind. If you don’t have enough people to drive all the vehicles you have, then you might need to use an auto transport company, and that can be expensive as well.

Travel Expenses

One thing to remember about a cross-country move is travel expenses. Whether you are driving cross country or even flying, you will have travel expenses.

  • Fuel: with rising gas prices across the country, you can pay anywhere from $3, up to $6 at the pumps. A good way to find out your costs is to take your average MPG and divide it by your trip distance. Then, multiply that number by the average fuel costs.
    • For example, 1,500/15 = 100*3.00= $300.00 for fuel
  • Hotel: The usual fee per night is around $130 a night at most hotels across the country, so depending on how many nights you’ll be spending out, you can expect to pay around that per night.
  • Food: You can average about $10 to $20 per person for every meal. So, for three meals a day, that cost can add up quickly. A good way to save money on food is to pre-pack food in a cooler so you aren’t ordering fast food for every single meal

How To Save Money

There are ways to save money on a move, fortunately.

  • Instead of packing everything in your home, pick and choose what you bring with you
    • If you haven’t used an item in six months, get rid of it (sell it, donate it, trash it)
    • Decorative items typically are great at collecting dust, so you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth taking with you
  • If you have more vehicles than drivers, instead of having a transport company take it for you, you might want to consider selling it
    • This can save you money not only with moving but overall, with fuel and insurance rates
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