If you are currently looking to move long distance and have already begun to research the best way to accomplish this then you may be experiencing sticker shock at the costs associated with such a move. For instance if you are moving across the country then you have probably already come to the conclusion that there is going to be no way to accomplish this for under a few thousand dollars, if you are keeping all of your belongings. And if you are only moving a state over then you have probably come to realize that you are going to need to do some extensive driving in a rental moving truck in order to keep your costs down.
The issue with finding the cheapest way to move long distance is that the amount of travel required in order to complete this move is going to inherently raise the cost of your move. If you hire a moving company for your long distance move then they will need to transport your belongings and coordinate with individuals in your new city in order to unpack all of your stuff. All of this costs money, and the more stuff you have and the longer the distance, will mean the more money that is required to complete the move.
Unlike with a local move where renting a truck and moving your home is fairly easily accomplished, a long distance move is more logistically complicated. Granted the same principles apply, but if you are attempting to do the move on your own it is a little bit harder then just driving a few miles to your new place. It is often the case that you will have to drive hundreds, if not thousands of miles in a large truck, which can be difficult in and of itself.
With that said if you are looking for the cheapest way to move long distance we have you covered. We will be exploring this very topic in this portion of the guide, and we hope that by laying out the realities of such a move and offering viable solutions for how to accomplish a cheap long distance move we will help you feel more comfortable with the idea of moving a long distance away from your current home.
Cheapest Way to Move Long Distance
Finding the cheapest way to move long distance is truly going to depend on how far you are actually moving. Overall the cheapest way to move long distance is going to be renting a moving truck and doing the move yourself, however if you are moving across the continental United States and have a four bedroom home or larger, doing the move yourself can still represent a significant investment. To give you an example: just for the rental of a moving truck from Georgia to California, it is going to cost you around $1,300 for a 26’ truck. The difference in price between the smallest rental moving truck a 10’ and the largest, the 26’, is only about $300, so even a smaller move can be very expensive.
That $1,300 only represents the cost of the actual truck and does not include gas, which will cost you an additional $900-$1000 for a 22’ to 26’ moving truck. As you can see doing a move like this on your own is already going to cost you $2,300 (and this is best case scenario and doesn’t include hotel rentals or anything else.) If you begin to factor in hotel or motel stays along the way, which studies show that if you are moving on your own across country you are going to be more apt to stop more often, then you could actually wind up spending more moving yourself then if you used a moving pod to go across the country.
The average cost of renting a moving pod and then having it shipped cross-country is around $3000. Now if you have a car that you are bringing with you to your new city then you still have to drive the entire way (or have the car shipped, but this can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,200) and so you will still have to stay in motels along the way. However if you believe that you will be able to drive twice as long if you are driving your regular car compared to a large moving truck, then it may actually be more cost effective to rent a moving pod. Not to mention that if are using a moving pod you will be able to slowly move your belongings into the pod over the course of a few weeks or a month and you will also be able to slowly unpack once you arrive at your new place.
With that said, and if you are looking for the bare-bones cheapest way to move long distance then we suggest that you rent a moving truck and attempt to find friends or family along the way that you can stay with. In many cases this is 100% doable with some added planning and it will in the long run save you anywhere from $700 to $1000.
Selling Your Belongings and Starting Over
Considering that we live in a world where people are interested in downsizing, as evidenced by the tiny home movement, many people are opting to sell their belongings and move to their long distance location sans any real furniture. It should be noted that in certain cases, and if you have expensive taste, this can actually cost you more money in the long run, however if you are willing to shop for bargains and use apps like OfferUp then you can save a tremendous amount of money by selling your belongings and starting over.
For starters if you sell off your belongings and are able to get what you deem to be a fair price for them, then you are actually starting your move off in the black with more money then you started with. You will also be able to save yourself the cost of a moving truck rental or a moving pod rental and so off the bat you have saved thousands of dollars.
However this really is only cost effective for one-bedroom apartments as the cost to furnish an entire house can be on the low end $15,000 and on the high end $50,000 or more. But if you are planning on moving into a one-bedroom apartment and you are not too attached to your belongings then you really want to take a look at selling your stuff and starting over. You will want to take an inventory of what you are selling and what you hope to realistically get for these items and then see how much it will cost you to replace them. Take into account the money that you will be saving by not having to rent a moving truck and if the numbers make sense then go for it. In some cases you may have to be alright with second hand furniture in order to keep your costs down, but if this is something that doesn’t bother you, then by all means you should definitely explore this as an option for the cheapest way to move long distance.