3 Cheap Ways to Move Across Country Hassle-free | CitizenShipper

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 16, 2024

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So you need to move across the country and you need to do it cheaply. Moving a long distance often comes with many hidden costs but this article outlines the cheapest ways to move across the country and how to avoid common mistakes. 

1. Do-It-Yourself

Opting for a do-it-yourself long-distance move is your cheapest option. This option has the lowest overheads BUT don’t fall into the common trap of not calculating the cost of gas and potential accommodation if your trip requires an overnight stay. 

  • Gas Price

If you are going to be moving states aka across the country and you want to drive yourself you need to accurately calculate gas price to ensure you stick to your budget. First, decide which vehicle you will take. Will you hire a van or pack everything into your own station wagon. Then use a handy online calculator to determine your gas price. Keep in mind gas prices can vary city to city and state to state so add an extra 5-7 percent to account for these changes. 

  • Renting a Truck Price

If you don’t own a vehicle large enough to move all your stuff you will need to rent one. The price of renting a truck is influenced by many factors including its size, how long you need to drive, if you will return it, and possibly your age and driving record too. Get several quotes before deciding which company to go with and don’t be afraid to haggle.  

  • Additional Expenses

You may need to hire or buy extra equipment such as a moving trolley, blankets, or straps. Take all this into account. Cut costs by borrowing from friends or looking for items on your local second-hand market. 

2. Hire Professional Movers

Hiring a moving company is an easy way to move across the country but it certainly isn’t the cheapest. But depending on when you move it can still be affordable.

  • Cost-effective tricks

If you are flexible with your moving dates and are planning well up-front, try to schedule your long-distance move from mid-September through April. Avoiding the peak moving season (late spring through summer) can save you up to a whopping 30% of the price you would pay during the peak moving season. This is an elegant cost-effective trick to saving a lot of money. 

Research potential companies well. Ask for a discount if you provide assistance for loading and unloading and see if they have any deals for moving during the week instead of the weekends. Triple-check what your moving company’s policy is for handling bulky items, carrying goods up and down the stairs, and hoisting service. You don’t want to get stuck with any unexpected costs. 

Finding both an inexpensive and reliable moving company for a cross-country move can feel like winning the lottery. One smart way to feel this lucky is to check out CitizenShipper. At CitizenShipper, you can simply post your shipment by providing basic details about the household items you are moving, as well as the pickup and drop-off location. You will then receive quotes from reliable moving companies. And the best part about it is that you can check the reviews of the previous customers who have already used the services of the companies that have sent you the quotes. Also, you can start chatting with the movers. Ask them all the questions you have about the possible expenses. It’s an easy and enjoyable experience and can save you some bucks. CitizenShipper can also help you find a reliable and safe transporter for your pet! Many of the drivers on the site specialize in moving dogs and cats long-distance and have the appropriate experience and equipment to make the move a breeze.

3. Rent a Moving Container

A moving container is a large box that gets dropped off at your house, you fill it with your stuff, and then it gets spiked up and moved. This can be cheaper than renting a truck or driving yourself as shipping companies can combine many containers in one laid to reduce the costs. It can also be really handy as you can have several days before it’s picked up to pack your container – making the moving process much smoother. 

However, depending on how far you need to move this can be expensive as the company may charge you for the cost of the container getting returned. Check the fine print before signing a deal.

The price of renting a moving container will depend on the container’s size and the distance of the move. For example, a three-bedroom apartment moved over 150 miles can cost you around 1,350 USD. Moving a studio over the same distance can cost as low as 1,125 USD. You can get a quote for your own needs, depending on the moving distance and the size of the container, if you use companies such as PODS.

Final Words

Knowing your budget before researching your cross-country move is essential. Then from there, it’s just a matter of research and forward-thinking to ensure the journey stays cheap. Check out our blog for other useful articles about long-distance moves on a budget.