Moving Travel Options
If moving long-distance, would you prefer a road trip or flying? A lot of factors have to be considered. For one, which option is more expensive? A road trip involves having to pay for food, gas, and hotel rooms. The cost of traveling by plane is airline ticket and perhaps a rental car. You’ll will arrive at your destination much faster, which will give you more time to get acclimated to your new place.
The one upside to driving is being able to visit various cities and states along the way. If you have children, this might be a wonderful experience for them. You could almost treat it like a vacation.
If you’re single with very few possessions, then you can choose either one. Driving allows you to bring more stuff, and you won’t have to sell or pay for auto transportation. In my opinion, the best option is to sell most of your belongings (including your car), ship the items you keep (books, clothing, files), fly to your new place, then buy all new stuff.
If you own one car only, then the best case scenario is to drive it to your new residence. As mentioned, it could be a chance to see some areas you haven’t been to before. However, in the event that you rent a moving truck or fly, you’ll have to find an alternative form of auto transportation.
A rental truck can tow one vehicle, as long as it’s within the towing capacity. This is a good choice for long-distance moves. Just make sure the trailer is the right size for your vehicle. A tow dolly is cheaper option for front wheel cars.
What if you have two vehicles? Should you hire a moving company, one vehicle might fit into the truck. It’s probably not an attractive option to most, but I know some movers do allow this. The second vehicle could be driven or transported.
You could have one or both vehicles transported on a car carrier. This option does come with some risk. Your car could get damaged or arrive much later than expected. You won’t be allowed to pack many belongings into your car for liability reasons. Choose a company with a good reputation.
A less expensive alternative is to hire a driveaway company, where you vehicle is driven by a person. Search “driveaway companies” + your city to find ones in your area. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if a company has any customers have filed complaints against them.
Motorcycles can be transported on trailers. If you have one shipped, be sure the transporter is licensed and insured. Ask them to provide a copy of their Certificate of Insurance and license.
Before your vehicle gets transported, take everything out, including the insurance and motor vehicle documents. The insurance company won’t cover items in your vehicle should damage or theft occur.
Verify that the mileage and license plate number are accurately recorded on the transport document. This is a contract between you and the moving company. It’s your only receipt, so bring it when picking up your vehicle. The driver should have your contact information and the delivery address.
How about selling your vehicle before moving? If you don’t plan on keeping it much longer, then perhaps now is the right time to sell. Timing up the move with the sale however may not be easy. If you sell too soon, then you won’t have a way to get around. One way around this is to rent a car for awhile. Or, you could tell the buyer that they’ll get the car a few days before moving day.
When Your Vehicle Arrives
If you do transport a vehicle, look for any signs of damage when it arrives. If it’s too dirty to inspect closely, write on the document that a proper inspection has not been done yet. If it checks out okay and all the papers have been signed, then nothing else needs to be done.
If driving long-distance, can your vehicle be relied upon to get you there? Get your car serviced before you leave to make sure it’s operating as it should.
You must be present at your new residence when the movers arrive. If your vehicle breaks down along the way, you may not arrive at your place in time. The movers could very well just drop your stuff off at a storage facility, which could end up costing you a lot of time and money.
If you aren’t already a member of AAA or another roadside assistance program, you might want to consider joining just for this trip alone. It would give you some peace of mind, knowing that you will get assistance if your vehicle breaks down.
- oil level
- cooling system
- fluid level
- tire pressure (including spare)
- automatic transmission fluid level
- clean wiper blades and check functionality
- parking brake
- headlights and brake lights
- safety warning lamps (brake, ABS, air bag, safety belt)
- windshield washer solvent fluid level
- power steering fluid level
- check air filter and replace if needed
See also: Preparing for a road trip
What To Bring
- road maps and compass
- license and registration
- first aid kit
- aerosol tire inflator
- cell phone
- insurance ID cards
- emergency kit (jack, lug wrench, flashlight, triangular reflectors, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, salt or sand if driving in snow)
What type of weather conditions might you encounter along the way? Check the 10 day forecast for the areas you’ll be driving through. If traveling during the winter, be prepared for snow just in case.
See also: Car travel checklist
Protecting High-Value Items Documents
One of the chief concerns when traveling long-distance is guarding against theft. Sit near a window while eating at restaurants to keep an eye on your vehicle. When staying at a hotel for the night, take the most valuable items inside with you.
Belongings inside of a moving truck can get damaged, lost, or misplaced no matter how careful the movers are. Whether you’re driving or flying, plan on taking with: private information, such as bank account numbers, car titles, external hard drives and disks, address books, checkbooks, insurance policies, personal records, photo albums, laptops, and so on.
Any high value items that are going with the movers should be appraised and accurately listed on the high-value items list. Go over this with the driver one last time before signing that and the bill of lading.
- cash and coil collections
- rare documents
- stamp collections
- irreplaceable collector’s memorabilia
- precious stones
- valuable jewelry
- valuable documents: will or living trust, insurance policies, birth, marriage, and death certificates; appraisal documents, and securities (stock certificates, bonds, etc)
When should you leave town? Whether you’re hiring a moving company or renting a truck, departing the day after the move makes the most sense. Moving day is very exhausting; loading will likely take up most of the day. Leaving the day after will give you some time to clean up your place, tie up any loose ends, and get a good night’s rest. You’ll need all the rest you can get if driving long-distance.
Flying is much less complicated than driving. All you really have to do is book your flight and possibly hotel reservations. Arrive an hour or two early for your flight. You can probably get a discount if you have young children. Ask the airport what rules they have regarding pets if you have any.
You may have to rent a car the last few days before leaving and after arriving, if your vehicle is being transported.
Ask the hotel for a guarantee on your reservation in case you don’t arrive on time. This ensures that you’ll have a room no matter what. If you have a family, look into getting a room with a kitchen so you’ll have an area to eat.