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Tips to plan a long-distance move

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Asked by Angie

March 22, 2022 under Others

If you don’t know what to pack for a long-distance road trip, read on.


Answered by Staff Writer

March 23, 2022

long distance moveAre you making a long-distance move? Beautiful cities and landmarks across the US attract people to go on a long-distance road trip to reach their new home.

To assist you in planning a cost-efficient, safe, and joyful road trip, we have gathered a few ready-to-use tips. Here we are going to cover sightseeing, emergency actions, meal preparation and packing guidelines among a few others.

What to pack for road trip checklist?

Food and Beverages

  • Juice
  • Food pouches
  • Snacks
  • Sandwiches
  • Pasta Salad
  • Paper plates and bowls.
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Paper towels

Kid's Essentials

  • Books
  • Teething toys
  • Baby wipes
  • Sippy cup
  • Monitor
  • Pacifier
  • Bibs
  • Toiletries
  • Wearable blanket for sleeping
  • I-Pad and its charger
  • Baby blanket
  • UV window shades

Personal Items

  • Phone and charger
  • Laptop and charger
  • Cash
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain jacket
  • Sunglasses and hats
  • EarPods
  • Travel mug
  • Toiletry kit for travel
  • Clothes and pajamas
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • First-aid kit

Car Essentials

  • Keys
  • Spare tires
  • Car manual
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Jumper cables
  • Face masks due Covid-19
  • Flashlight
  • Insurance policy information
  • Umbrella
  • Car seat organizer for baby toys and snacks.
  • Emergency car kit

Best ways to drive cross country

Backup Vehicle

Though a rental truck is a reliable option, you can’t predict any mishappening, mostly when you are making a cross-country move. You can request a friend or relative to follow the rental truck in your personal car. In case the truck breaks down, you will have a backup vehicle ready, helping you to complete the move on time. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a backup vehicle, follow the next tip even more carefully.

Service your vehicle

You should consider servicing your vehicle in advance before going for a long-distance trip. You can consider doing the following to make your trip smooth.

  • Check the tire pressure of your car.
  • Make sure the brakes, car battery, fluid-level and the tech features are working properly.

Download songs and videos for entertainment

You can consider downloading songs and videos  before you start the trip, mostly when you have kids who are dependent on their I-Pads.

Check to see if you have all the important documents

Make sure you have the license, car manual and insurance information with you in the car. This will help you stay prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.

Emergency planning with roadside assistance

We recommend you buy roadside assistance from your truck rental company, mostly if you are making a long-distance move. Since this will not cover your personal car, we suggest you obtain the AAA membership to secure it.

Set a timeframe

  • Create plans to drive up to 500 miles in a day.
  • If you need to travel 1500 miles to reach your new home, create a plan of three days.
  • If you need to move around 2500 miles, create a plan of five days.
  • You should plan to sleep for eight hours a day during the trip, it would be worth your safety.

Road rules of different states

Every state you need to drive through while on the move will have different road rules regarding speed restriction, putting kids on the car seat and talking on the phone. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the road rules of any state that you are going to pass through.

Fix overnight parking

You can consider booking your hotel room, where you can stop overnight and take some rest. Also, you need to find out if they can provide you with a space to park your rental truck or any other personal vehicle.

Pack your meals in advance

You can pack drinks, snacks, sandwiches and fruits or other goodies in a cooler to have during your moving road trip. If you plan to stop at restaurants, perhaps you will spend something between $20 to $40 per person which can increase your moving cost.

Put essential items within your reach

Moving in a car for a long time can make you tired and frustrated. Here are a few tips that make your moving road trip comfortable.

  • You should plan to stop every 2 hours and stretch out for 15 minutes.
  • Carry sweaters, eye covers, blankets and pillows that can make your drive more comfortable.
  • Ensure to keep a first-aid box in the glove compartment to manage any scrapes, cuts or even headaches.
  • Don’t forget to keep a trash bag in your car or in the cab of the rental truck for throwing wrappers, chips bag and other disposals.

Plan an interesting route

It seems a good idea to add a little sightseeing to your list of stopovers and make your journey interesting. Make the most of your road trip by creating some good memories as you won’t often drive across the country.

Here are a few places where you can stop to give yourself a mental break.

  • National parks
  • Scenic views
  • Museums
  • Historical places
  • City parks
  • Offbeat shops

Avoid rush hours in big cities

It’s not possible to avoid all traffic on the road but you can skip most of it if you don’t drive through the city in the rush hours. We recommend you not drive through the city between 7am and 9am or even between 4 to 7pm.

Make use of paper maps in the countryside

Of course, you can depend on a digital map, but what will happen if you need to drive through a no network coverage area? We recommend you keep a printed map in your glove box that will guide you throughout the way, regardless of whether the network is there or not there.

Be ready to make changes to your plan

Irrespective of how well you plan your route, you may have to change direction sometimes due to traffic, construction or even flat tires. We suggest you keep some extra cash ready for an emergency or unexpected hotel stay.

Overall, we recommend you follow our tips to make a cross country road trip and note down the essentials list that we have mentioned in this guide. This list is just a suggestion, feel free to add what you think can be more important for you.

A moving road trip can be interesting, but you need to organize it well, if you want to create good memories. Also, make the necessary arrangements, so that you can overcome an unfortunate situation easily.

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