So, you are planning to move across the country and enjoy the sunset in the Pacific instead of the sunrise over the Atlantic? In this case, you are about to embark on a journey of about 3,000 miles that will take you from the east coast to the west coast and will present you with some of the greatest challenges in your life. You will not only have to organize an extremely complicated moving process and find a safe and affordable way to relocate your belongings over such a long distance, but will also need to get used to utterly different attitudes, cultural practices and social norms. To be able to overcome all the difficulties and ensure a smooth and trouble-free coast-to-coast relocation, you need to prepare well in advance and pay meticulous attention to even the smallest details of your colossal move.
If you are looking for some efficient coast to coast moving tips to help you find a reliable cross country moving company, organize the different aspects of the arduous relocation process, and keep your moving expenses in check, you need to search no more – you will find everything you need to know in the comprehensive coast to coast moving guide below.
Things to consider when moving coast to coast
The United States stretches across an entire continent, so you should expect things to be really different when moving from one coast to the other. It is therefore strongly advisable to carefully research your new area prior to your move and get ready for challenges that await you there:
1) Housing options. First things first, you’re going to need a place to stay at when you move to your new city. If you can visit the area before the relocation to look for an appropriate new home for you and your family, you are strongly encouraged to do so. House hunting trips, however, are often impossible at such a great distance, so you may want to consider moving into temporary housing for the first couple of months in your new area. This way, you will be able to explore your new surroundings, get to know the different neighborhoods, and find a suitable property to buy or to rent – one that is affordable, appropriate for your lifestyle, and located in a convenient place, in a safe and prosperous area of the city.
Have in mind that the housing costs in your new state may differ significantly from the ones in your old city and make sure you research the situation well before making your final choice.
2) Cost of living. When moving to a new city, you need to know what to expect in terms of everyday expenses such as utilities, food, clothing, transportation, etc. After all, you have to be sure that you will be able to cover your living costs after the relocation, right?
3) Employment opportunities. Job markets vary greatly from one area to the next (and especially so – from one end of the country to the other), so unless you have already secured a job in your new city, you should carefully research your employment opportunities before the move. (It is a fact that the West Coast houses a great number of the country’s largest and most successful companies, so you will have really good occupational prospects there.)
4) Climate. The whims of the weather in your new area pose another significant challenge before you when moving from coast to coast. Great differences in the temperature, humidity and air pressure can result in various health issues and unexpected difficulties. You will have to get hold of appropriate clothes and equipment and prepare for common natural calamities and adverse climatic conditions in your new surroundings (such as hurricanes along the East Coast, for example).
5) Cultural issues. The cultural background and demographic patterns differ significantly between the two coasts, so you may experience some cultural shock after the relocation. The points of view, social trends and cultural values in your new area may even clash with your previous lifestyle, so you need to be tolerant and open-minded in order to better understand your new community and feel more at home.
Needless to say, you should also take under consideration the different opportunities your new city has to offer in terms of education, healthcare, sports, arts and music, recreational activities, entertainment options, etc.
6) Moving costs. No matter how you look at it, moving from coast to coast will cost you. A lot. You can lower the moving expenses by performing some of the relocation tasks yourself (especially – packing), but you will still have to pay somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000 for your cross country move (depending on the actual weight of your shipment).
Average cost of moving coast to coast
So, how much does it cost to move coast to coast? It all depends on the type of move you choose and the amount of items you want to relocate.
- Full service moves. Full service movers will handle all the aspects of the moving process for you – packing, loading, driving and unloading, and will provide whatever extra services you may require. This is the easiest and most expensive moving option you have when moving from coast to coast;
- You pack, company drives. Many coast to coast moving companies offer this flexible solution – a combination of self-moving with professional moving services. You pack your belongings and load them onto the moving truck yourself but a professional driver drives the truck across the country and delivers your shipment to your new home (it usually takes about 6-8 business days for a shipment to arrive). You are then responsible for unloading the truck and unpacking your items. If you go with this option, you will be able to save up to about 25% of the relocation cost;
- Portable moving containers. Moving with pods is another example of a “hybrid move”, quite similar to the above-described moving method. A portable container (a large, metal, weather-proof box, secured with a padlock) is dropped off in front of your home and left at your disposal for a pre-arranged period of time. It’s up to you to pack your belongings and load them into the container until Moving day when the moving company picks up the pod and transports it to your final destination. Once you have unloaded your items, the container is taken away. The main advantage here is that you can pack and unpack at your own pace and easily load/unload your items (the moving pod sits on the ground, so you don’t need any special equipment). Besides, you can use the container to keep your belongings stored for as long as you need to (for a monthly fee, of course);
- Rental trucks. Without a doubt, renting a moving truck and performing a DIY move is your cheapest coast to coast moving option. Have in mind though that in addition to the truck rental cost, you also need to provide for the cost of the fuel, vehicle insurance coverage, road tolls, parking fees and your travel expenses (food and overnight accommodation). Besides, you will have to drive a large truck for about 5 days across the country, sometimes through heavy traffic and/or adverse weather conditions. And you will have to take care of every little detail of your move yourself as there will be no experienced professionals to lend you a hand.
Coast to coast movers
Hiring professional coast to coast moving services may not be the cheapest way to move from coast to coast but it is definitely the best way. The experienced movers have the specialized equipment and the professional know-how required to ensure maximum efficiency, safety and speed when moving long distance. All you need to do is choose a trustworthy moving company to work with:
- Fill out a moving quote to get contacted by several reputable moving companies and receive their offers. Ask for recommendations or check the movers’ online reputations by visiting their websites and reading moving reviews left by their previous customers in order to decide on the moving companies that seem to be most appropriate for your particular relocation needs;
- Request on-site binding estimates from the shortlisted companies;
- Ask the movers all the important questions you have and discuss the details of your move at great length (extra services and their rates, pick-up and delivery times, liability coverage, special requirements, possible difficulties, etc.);
- Compare the offers and choose the best coast to coast moving company for you;
- Research your chosen movers one last time to avoid moving scams and fraudulent attempts – verify the company’s USDOT number, check its complaint history and make sure you are dealing with licensed and trustworthy movers;
- Read the moving documentation carefully before signing the contract and make sure all the conditions and costs you have agreed on are clearly stated in the Bill of Lading. (Needless to say, you should never sign blank documents or documents you don’t fully understand and agree with.)
Tips for moving from east coast to west coast
There are some important specifics you need to take into account when moving coast to coast:
1) Book your move well ahead of time, so that you have a greater choice of available moving dates and reputable moving companies;
2) Take only what you really need, as any extra pounds on your shipment will further increase the final moving costs and will make the process even more difficult;
3) Pack your belongings with utmost care, so that they survive the long distance move in excellent condition (don’t forget to make a detailed inventory of the items you’re going to entrust to the movers and include proof of their current condition);
4) Purchase adequate moving insurance for your belongings to ensure your peace of mind;
5) Plan your own trip to the other coast – whether you are going to fly or to drive to your final destination, how are you going to ship your pets across the country, how will you make the relocation easier for your kids, etc.
6) Enjoy your new area and make the most of your coast to coast move!