The Cheapest Way to Move Out of State

If you are planning to move across the country and save some money in the process, you’re probably wondering what the cheapest way to move out of state is. To accomplish this task properly and without any sacrifices, you should prepare for all expenses on time.

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December 30, 2019 Posted in How-to

The best course of action is to make a checklist for relocating to another state that will include all the services you are planning to use and the budget you have. Keep in mind things such as accommodation, fuel costs, and miscellaneous expenses. You should also research everyday living costs in the place you’re going to live in. Knowing all your daily expenses will help you move smoothly.

Choose the Cheapest Way to Move Out of State – Is It Possible Without Professional Movers?

Is a stressless move possible if you decide not to use professional moving services? The short answer is yes. That solution, however, will require some additional effort on your part.

With a do-it-yourself method, you won’t have to pay for professional packing and you will save some money, at least in the short run. That can make a difference when it comes to relocating hundreds of miles away. If, however, your relocation becomes too demanding for you, you can always hire professional packers and movers to help you with some parts of the move or the whole process.

When it comes to relocating cross-country yourself, there are several affordable ways to do it, and you need to pick the one that suits you the most.

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Tips for Relocating By Bus or Train

In case you are not planning to bring a lot of stuff with you, relocation by bus or train is a good low-cost alternative. The advantages of using these modes of transport are the following:

  • They’re quite cheap
  • You’re allowed to ship between 250 to 500lbs of baggage. A bus permits lighter luggage, but with a train, you can transport heavier loads, which can be divided into multiple
  • On some trains and buses, your pets can come along with you.

On the other hand, keep in mind that the trip by bus or train could be quite long, and you should be prepared for the extra costs of food and overnight stays. Additionally, all your belongings are your responsibility and you won’t have any coverage in case something gets damaged, stolen, or lost. Although trains will accept larger boxes, they are not the right choice for oversized packages and furniture.


Rent an Adequate Vehicle

Depending on the size and weight of your cargo, you should consider renting a smaller trailer or truck. If you choose either of those, it could prove to be the cheapest option when traveling out of state. Just make sure you possess all the required equipment in order to load, move, and unload your belongings properly.

Rent a Moving Trailer

In case you want to load your vehicle when moving, renting a trailer could be a low-priced solution. Before you find the adequate model for your needs, make sure that your vehicle has a tow package and hitch. Also, pay attention to the following factors:

  • Although the trailer is much cheaper than renting a truck, larger items probably won’t fit. So think about what you want to do with the things that can’t be transported this way.
  • Make sure to get insurance to cover any potential damage during the pro
  • Secure the door to prevent theft or things falling out.
  • Think about the season and climate before the move to avoid freezing or melting of sensitive items.
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Pick-Up Truck Limits the Capacity

Another affordable solution to move a small shipment on your own is to rent a pick-up truck. Since it’s smaller than a big truck, you’ll pay less for this service. Besides your stuff, it’s suitable for more people and pets in the car. However, to prevent any possible damage, here are the things you should keep in mind:

  • Your items won’t be insured
  • Get straps, rope, or stretch cord to tie everything down
  • In case your belongings are not properly packed and protected, external factors can cause damage
  • Ask friends or family for help and tip sand learn proper techniques for lifting heavy items, because pick-ups don’t have a loading ramp
small pick-up truck

Renting a Moving Truck is the Cheapest Solution for Transporting Bulky Items

Even though getting a rental truck is the most affordable option if you’re transporting your furniture, keep in mind that’s the most exhausting one, too. All the hardest tasks that include packing your things, loading the moving truck, driving all the way, and finally unloading are your duty. But don’t let that discourage you. You can always ask for help with these tasks, and if the journey is too long, ask a friend to come along with you and take turns driving.

Before you decide to step into this adventure, keep on reading and find some interesting facts you shouldn’t forget:

  • Besides your belongings, one vehicle can also be relocated, if you get the proper truck and towing equipment
  • Additional costs include gas, insurance, possible damage, and tips for any help you hire
  • Pack your furniture and electronics safely to avoid shifting and breaking
  • There shouldn’t be room between your stuff. Otherwise, things can slide around and get damaged in the process
  • Consider renting during school season to get a cheaper bid

Portable Storage Solution

If you are not on a tight schedule and want to avoid driving, then this might be the most acceptable option. It will make your life easier and save you some money at the same time.

What should you know when planning to rent containers? These tips can give you a clearer picture of what to expect:

  • The container will be delivered to your address by professionals
  • You will load and unload all the items. That’s why you should pack them wall-to-wall to stop them from shifting around
  • When you finish packing, the company will load the container onto atruck and drive it to your new home
  • After you empty the storage, the movers will pick it up
  • This service is a little cheaper than the full service of a professional mover
  • Avoid the peak season to get the lowest rates
  • Accessibility of the location is an important precondition for this service

Freight Service

With this aid, you will not get a full service, but the relocation company will transport your items to your new address. All the manual work is still your responsibility, so your costs will only be calculated based on the size of your shipment.

A Good Way to Transport Your Furniture

Freight is a very suitable service in case you need to move several larger boxes or valuables. Especially when it comes to traditional LTL options (Less than Truckload), freight transport is usually one of the most affordable choices to relocate large loads, for example, your furniture. Your things can be picked up at your home and that will cost you more, but the cheaper option is to drop-off your items at their nearest location. Depending on your priorities and your needs, you should ask the company for special terms and conditions before choosing this service.

Air Freight Benefits

In case your package weighs more than 100 pounds, this way of transportation is the easiest, but the most expensive one, too. People choose this method when they want to relocate as soon as possible over the sea. For total expenses, you should check with companies that offer flight cargo services. Your responsibility is to calculate the dimensions and total weight of your belongings. Keep in mind that this service is usually not available for interstate moves.

Get Your Boxes for Free

To avoid purchasing packing materials that are not cheap at all, you should look for free moving boxes. Luckily, there are several simple ways to acquire enough moving supplies:

  • Ask in your local grocery and liquor stores if they have leftover cardboard boxes
  • Be active on social media platforms. There is surely someone who has recently moved and is willing to give you boxes or packing materials
  • Ask your friends and family. Perhaps some of them have some leftover boxes or other supplies they could give you
  • Some online communities, like Freecycle, have members giving away the things they want to get rid of

Get Moving Insurance

Think about protecting your items when going out of state, especially if you possess valuables. If you’re going through the process alone, you will have to contact an insurance provider yourself and figure out what your options are.

If, on the other hand, you’re hiring professionals, you will have three possibilities and you should pick the one that fits your needs and budget:

  • Full Value Protection. If you choose this option, you should know that it will cost more. However, in case something breaks or disappears during the relocation, the company must replace it, repair it, or give you monetary compensation.
  • Released Value Protection. With this option, you won’t pay any additional fees, but if any accident occurs, your mover will pay only 60 cents per pound per item
  • Third-party Insurance. If neither of the two options above seems good enough, you can always turn to an insurance provider of your choice for an additional policy.

Final Tip – Sell Your Stuff and Lose the Extra Weight

You know that if you have more stuff to move, you’ll need more space for it, which means more money. It’s not a bad idea to consider tossing, donating or selling all those things that will be an additional burden. You can always count on charities when it comes to clothes, but be sure that some of them will accept large furniture pieces as well. In case you have enough time to organize a sale for your things, that might be a bonus for your budget.

Paying - A woman preparing money for long-distance moving services

Other Useful Tips – Sell Your Smaller Items and Cut Additional Costs

If you don’t want to pack electronics for moving, you can sell them to earn some money. Consider using the app Decluttr – it is an excellent solution for getting rid of cell phones, DVDs, and games from your home. This app will provide you with an instant valuation and, if you accept it, ship your things for free.

Don’t Carry Books Across the State

If you’ve ever moved your library, you know that packing books for moving is not too hard, but they can get quite heavy. Besides all the boxes you should load and transport to your destination, this additional burden will require more effort and labor.

In case you don’t want to be separated from your limited and expensive copies, think about Media Mail. With this service by the US Postal Service, you can ship books at a very affordable price. Your delivery shouldn’t be heavier than 70lbs, but even then, you can try with similar services, like Parcel Monkey. Here you will find up-to-date information on delivery services all over the country.


Throw the Best Garage Sale Ever

A garage sale is a great way of getting rid of unnecessary items. If you have time, create flyers and signs to attract more people from your neighborhood. Choose the weekend as the most favorable period for a garage sale and cut back on clutter. Be flexible with pricing and don’t be too attached to your stuff. The more you sell, the more money you earn and the less stuff you have to transport.

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.



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