A long-distance move has the potential to be more stressful given it requires more strategic planning, effort and paperwork than a local move. A long-distance move is usually more expensive than a local move, too, though the cost is heavily dependent on the size and distance of the move.
Knowing how much it costs to move out of state will help you financially prepare for your relocation. In this article, Meyer offers advice to ensure you have a successful out-of-state move, while helping to minimize the stress. We also share how to best calculate your moving costs in advance so you’re ready for the financial investment of a long-distance move.
How Much It Costs to Move to a New State
There are many different factors to consider when determining the cost of your move. Moving yourself? Be aware that unexpected costs can pop up. Prefer to have a professional moving company do the heavy lifting? A reputable one will provide you with a detailed estimate of the cost of all of the moving services they’re providing.
Among the expenses to keep in mind when planning a long-distance move are:
- The cost of gas
- The cost of food and snacks along the way
- Overnight hotel or other lodging costs
- The cost of a truck rental if moving DIY
- Hauling oversized items
- Packing supplies, such as boxes or tape
- Temporary or long-term storage of your belongings
- Time off from your job
- Expenses involved in safely transport your pet(s)
Needless to say, each of these costs can quickly add up. There are a number of reliable resources available to help estimate your moving costs. If you are wondering how much gas will cost along your route, for example, the Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Price chart from the U.S. Energy Information Administration can help plan your fuel costs. You can also plan your move with the help of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy Trip Calculator Tool.
It’s important to remember that each moving company has their own method of estimating the cost of your move. That said, you should be prepared to answer questions about the size of your move and schedule a survey of your items when getting a quote from a professional moving company. This helps accurately estimate the amount of time your move will take. Just be sure to carefully review the estimate and ask questions at that time to avoid unforeseen expenses.
Things to Know Before Hiring a Professional Mover
It’s important to do your research about various moving companies before making your decision about who will transport your belongings since hiring subpar movers can lead to lost belongings or unanticipated moving expenses that quickly mount.
Professional movers who perform interstate moves must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A registered moving company also has a Department of Transportation (DOT) number that legally permits them to make interstate moves. Not to be overlooked, a professional moving company must provide you with educational materials that help inform your decision-making.
At the end of the day, the federal government designed these rules to prevent you from moving scams.
Things to Consider When Making a Long-Distance Move
Further distance moves often require you to assess the situation — and your belongings — differently than if you were moving across town. A few things to ask yourself are:
- Will I need to downsize my belongings? If so, what will I be keeping?
- Will additional services be required for the move, such as storage or moving oversized items?
Deciding between hiring a professional mover or taking a DIY approach to your move is often a hard decision to make and it’s one that typically comes down to budget and what you’re capable of taking on yourself.
Considerations when weighing your options include:
- Your budget for the move
- The timing of your relocation
- How much time you’re able to commit
- What tasks you’re willing to pay for
- Whether you have family or friends who are willing to help
Answering these questions will help you determine if you should hire a professional moving company for your state-to-state move or if you’re able to tackle the task yourself.
Benefits of Hiring a Pro for a State-To-State Move
Although typically a less expensive do-it-yourself move does demand a significant time commitment. This can be especially challenging without the help of family and friends.
A professional moving company, while typically more expensive, affords many benefits. For example, a moving company has access to an experienced team of professional movers who work efficiently and quickly — not to mention who knows their stuff. They also have all the necessary equipment for a move on hand.
By contrast, completing a large move on your own means not just rounding up family and friends, but also renting the necessary equipment to get the job done.
Like some rental companies, a professional moving company also offers moving valuation for item repair or replacement, giving you peace of mind for the duration of your long-distance move.
Most professional movers will provide you with a personal move coordinator when making an out-of-state move, someone who helps you stay organized and provides updates on each stage of the move. Your move coordinator’s guidance helps minimize stress during your move.
A professional moving company also offers flexibility, allowing you to pick and choose what services you want to pay for. Don’t think you’ll have time to pack your belongings? Ask the moving company if they offer packing and unpacking services. Have to adhere to a tight budget? Working with a professional moving company gives you the freedom to select only the services you need.
How a Professional Moving Company Estimates Costs
A lot goes into planning and making a long-distance move happen. Understandably, a number of factors play into the ultimate cost of your move, including:
- The distance of the move
- The size of the move or the number of belongings you have
- The number of bedrooms in your new and current homes
- The time of the year
- The number of specialty items, such as large furniture or fine art
- Additional services, such as packing or unloading
There is the cost of extra services to be mindful of as well, including:
- Car shipping
- Moving protection
- The cost of traveling your new home, whether flying or driving