The Bekins Blog

10 Cheap Ways to Move Across the Country

July 7, 2022 | Long Distance Moves

Facing a cross-country move while on a tight budget can be stressful, especially if you’re trying to pull this big transition last minute. Long distance moving too often can end up just being a mountain of expenses that pile up as the process goes on, or just result in excessive moving costs from the start if you’re not working with the right cross-country moving service. However, there are some cost-saving methods to use that will let you save money and move interstate or across the country without completely breaking the bank. Let’s go through Bekins’ top ways to have the cheapest cross-country move.

How Much are Cross Country Movers?

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to move across the country, you may have already given up on trying to have a professional moving company on your side throughout your journey. However, when it comes to moving by yourself versus using a professional crew for a move of this scope, you’d be surprised by how comparable costs can end up being, especially when taking into account the personal labor and effort you’d be expending trying to move your entire household across the country by yourself.

It’s completely understandable to be concerned about the costs involved in cross-country moving, especially if you’re trying to pull off a transition like this without a ton of extra change set aside. However, keep in mind that if you find a dirt-cheap way to move across the country, you also have to take into account that the cheapest way might not always be the best way, nor may it end up being the cheapest approach in the long run.

Now, when it comes to booking a long-distance moving company or moving on your own with a rental truck or container, you might automatically assume that you’ll be getting the best deal from moving by yourself. On average, a cross-country moving company can cost you anywhere from $2,000-9,000, depending on the size of your move, distance, and how many specialty items you might need to move.

No doubt, this is a big sum of money, and it can be very overwhelming to try and figure out how you’re going to pay for it all. When looking at DIY truck rentals or moving containers, however, you might be surprised by how comparable these prices can be. Renting a moving container can end up costing you anywhere from $2,000-$4,000, and a DIY truck rental can cost you at least $1,200 and more depending on the size and scope of your move.

What you’ll also need to take into account when moving, however, is the professional expertise and ease of service you’ll receive with professional moving. With moving truck rentals, you not only have to handle every aspect of the packing, loading, and moving process on your own, but also have to transport all of your items thousands and thousands of miles without damaging them. This can make for an extremely stressful and arduous process, that a lot of people would like to understandably avoid. Working with a professional moving company, however, can often be worth it purely to take your move off your hands – literally. Though they may cost a little more, having your move go smoothly and the peace of mind that comes with the responsibility being taken off of your hands will often make things worth your while – and allow you to have a less stressful process overall.

However, when choosing a long-distance moving company, you’ll want to ensure that you’re not just going with the company that gives you the cheapest moving quote. Unfortunately, going with a company that just gives you the cheapest quote can often end up in your falling victim to a moving scam or not receiving the most quality service.

The best thing you can do in researching and shopping around for a moving company is to get quotes from a wide variety of cross-country moving companies to ensure that you’re receiving the best and most dependable quote. Remember, if you’re looking at moving quotes and receive one that’s suspiciously lower than the competition, odds are, things might be a little too good to be true.

Do your thorough research in looking for a cross-country moving company, and always make sure to check your potential company’s licenses, insurances, and accreditations. Don’t just jump into working with the first company you get a quote from either, shop around and get multiple quotes to get the best possible pricing and services.

Cheapest Way to Move Across the Country: Top Tips

Now that you’ve decided as to whether or not to use the professionals to perform your cross-country move, let’s discuss the cheapest ways to move cross-country, and how you can save money on your relocation. After all, doing just a few little things can end up saving you a lot of money!

1. Set a Budget

  • Before tackling any sort of move, you should always set a tight budget. Now, if you’re already looking to move across the country for less, odds are you’re already working with a budget of some sort in the first place.
  • However, planning out your moving vision, timeline, and anticipated expenses will allow you to approach your move responsibly, and will allow you to try and anticipate any extra charges (and create a buffer just in case).
  • It will also save you from shelling out over additional charges for things or services you don’t need or will save you from getting overcharged for things you do need.

2. Move Off-Season

  • Now, if you’re trying to pull off a last-minute cheap cross-country move, this won’t be something you can change. However, if you’re just looking to move for you, or aren’t moving for work or some kind of purpose that requires a set timeline moving forward, moving off-season can end up saving you a lot of money.
  • Peak moving season is usually thought to be around April-September and is a time when most leases end or just when people think the weather is best for a relocation. However, moving throughout other parts of the year will not only allow you to be more flexible in your moving date and timeline but will also get you more discounts or lower rates since moving companies aren’t as busy.

3. Move During the Week

  • When it comes to cross-country and even just local moves, you’re going to save the most money and have the most convenient moving experience when you move during the week, and avoid the weekends. Not to mention, when you move during the week, you can avoid more traffic, fees, or in the case of peak moving season – other people who are moving!
  • The weekends are, understandably, usually the busiest time for movers since most people have off and don’t want to take off more time from work than they have to. However, if you move during the week, you can save money, have less competition for your dates, and be able to have a more convenient relocation.

4. Avoid Moving During the First or Last Days of the Month

  • In the same vein as moving on weekdays, you should also do your best to avoid moving on the first and last days of the month, as those are the most competitive days of the month for people to get moving services. These days are usually when most leases start and end, so they’ll be the busiest and in demand – and hence might be a bit more expensive.

5. Handle Packing Yourself

  • Though having professionals by your side to handle the packing process will make your entire process easier and will keep your things as safe as possible, packing yourself will let you cut a few corners and cut costs in the process. Just make sure to have the right strategy and to pack things as securely as possible.

6. Declutter

  • Since moving costs are usually calculated by weight with a professional moving company, decluttering your home and getting rid of unnecessary items that you don’t want or use anyway will give you a huge boost when it comes to saving money and cutting costs.
  • Plus, you can either use your old items to donate and help your community or to sell and make some money back in the process.

7. Find Free Packing Materials

  • Finding free packing materials on places like Facebook Marketplace, from friends and family, or local businesses can let you save big when it comes to packing. After all, you’d be surprised how much you can end up shelling out for bubble wrap or boxes if you’re not paying close attention to your costs.

8. Have Your Job Pay for Moving Expenses

  • If you’re moving for work, the best way to save money on moving expenses is by seeing if your new or current job will cover all or at least some of your costs. If you’re moving for a transferred or new position within your same company, odds are they may reimburse you or pay for your expenses.

9. Ask Friends & Family for Help

  • If you want to save on labor costs, having family and friends help you with packing will let you tackle the process easier and save money in the process.

10. Look for Discounts

  • One of the biggest moving hacks might seem a little too good to be true, but it is! When shopping around for moving companies, ask for a discount or if they have any promotions going on currently!
  • A lot won’t advertise these specials or discounts, but will provide them to you if you ask! This allows you to get a lower cost easily, just by asking.

Finding the cheapest ways to move cross-country isn’t always easy, but it certainly can be done with the right strategy and research process. Remember, having the right professional cross-country movers on your side will also make a world of difference in not only giving you the best prices but in also making having professionals handle your entire move more than worth it.

If you’re looking for cheap cross-country moving services, see what Bekins can do for you and your family today.

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