The movers have just finished packing the truck. You’ve signed on the dotted line, checked and double-checked your empty home, and made your last phone calls to your utilities company. Now all you need to do is get to your new location across the country.
Of course, it’s no small thing to uproot yourself and move to an unfamiliar city in a distant state. It’s understandable to feel a little nervous. Just remember: this can also be an exciting time. Whether you’re going solo or bringing your family along, here are 3 tips to making that long trip easier-and even enjoyable.
- Create a solid travel plan.
You’ve done a lot of planning in the past few months. Once you booked a date with your moving company, you probably slept with a “to-do” list rolling around your head. But you wanted every detail to go well, so you didn’t mind.
By now, you’re either on your way to the airport or are packing everyone into the family car. But if you don’t want to get lost or bogged down along your route, make sure everyone in the group knows and agrees to the travel plan for each day.
Before you go, do some online research ahead of time so you know which routes are slowed by construction and traffic problems. Call roadside motels to confirm your online reservation; you don’t want to show up at 11 p.m. and be told you’re out of luck.
Finally, make sure your phone or GPS unit is fully powered and working reliably. Connect either device to your car adapter so you don’t run out of juice in the middle of nowhere.
- Don’t exhaust yourself.
Even for road warriors who like to drive straight through with few breaks, it pays to use moderation. You won’t win any sort of medal for exhausting yourself and your family with 14-hour days on the road.
If you have to start a new job in a few days, consider flying to your new location while movers transport your car(s). Or, the rest of the family can drive leisurely from point A to point B while you await the moving van and settle into your new home and job.
If there’s ample time to drive instead of fly, give yourself permission to take regular breaks. If you have small children, regular breaks are critical for everyone’s sanity. Yes, the trip will take a little longer, but you’ll deal with fewer meltdowns.
Make your journey into a vacation.
If you’ve planned this cross-country move for a long time, you may have budgeted not only for the mover’s fee, but for a real vacation as well. What better way to alleviate some of the pre-move stress than through the excitement of a vacation on the road?
While this may not work for everyone, creating a vacation atmosphere is a great way to explore as you go. Consider these suggestions:
- If you’re moving by yourself, why not connect with friends along the way for some fun at a theme park or a half-day hike in a national park?
- Map out two or three must-see destinations, then decide how long to stay at each. If the weather is nice, consider a water park or a concert under the stars to help relax your road-weary muscles.
- Plan your route around a few “off the beaten track” destinations. Don’t just confine your exploration to cities along the Interstate.
- Remember that rest can be a big part of a vacation. If you’re always rushing during everyday life, maybe it’s time to visit a day spa or spend a few hours by a mountain lake, doing absolutely nothing.
Moving cross-country doesn’t have to be stressful. By following one or two of these simple tips, you may just arrive at your destination with a new spring in your step, ready to greet your interstate movers and adjust to your new life. Happy travels