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What Is the Cheapest Way to Move a Long Distance?

At a time like this, when every dollar counts, we don’t blame you for looking for a cheaper and effective way to move between states. The average cost of an interstate move currently stands at $4,500 for an average of just 1,000 miles and 7,500 pounds of cargo. This amount varies depending on the situation, but it’s okay if you’re worried the move might be too expensive. However, it wouldn’t hurt to do site reviewing to compare movers and packers and compare three or four companies.

This article explores some of the cheapest ways to move long distances without breaking the bank. From finding free moving boxes to renting a pod, here are the best ways to save money on a long-distance move.

Prepare for the Move

A long-distance move is not only expensive, but it also requires an incredible amount of planning and preparation. Here are some of the things you can do before the move.

Donate or sell stuff you don’t need: The heavier your stuff, the more you’ll have to pay in fees. So you might want to sell all the bulky things that you don’t need in the new location. That includes heavy furniture and sports equipment that might end up needing a bigger truck to move. Use these funds to pay the movers or buy replacements after getting to the destination.

Have a flexible moving schedule: Most movers charge depending on their availability. Weekends are particularly expensive as they’re more convenient for short-distance jobs. That’s why you might get a better deal by giving the company a range of possible weekdays to work with. They will alert you when they have an idle truck and reward you with reasonable rates.

Find free boxes and moving supplies: Finding free moving supplies is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of a cross-country move. Look for used boxes and wrapping paper from friends and neighbors who recently moved house. If that doesn’t work, search for free supplies on Craigslist, liquor stores, and bookstores.

Get insurance for expensive items: If you plan on moving valuable items, consider getting moving insurance to protect you from any eventualities. Remember, this is a high-risk situation, and your insurer knows that. Expect to pay a premium, depending on the value of the insured items. 

Rent a Moving Pod

Renting a pod saves you approximately 10% compared to hiring a moving truck for a distance greater than 2,000 miles. This is the final cost when you factor in gas, lodging, food, and truck mileage costs. While 10% might not look like much, you stand to save close to $400 in a 2,000-mile move.

On top of that, moving containers can also act as storage. That means you don’t have to be in a hurry to unload unless you have time constraints. The company may charge for extra time with the pod, but it’s a small price to pay for convenience.

Unfortunately, hiring a pod means you have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. There are a few pieces of equipment you can get to make the work easier, but you still have to put effort and time. 

Generally speaking, the average pod costs anywhere between $2,000 to $3,000 for a whole month, while using a done-for-you moving service will set you back anywhere between $4,000 to $9,000. 

Rent a Moving Truck

Sometimes, it might be a good idea to rent a big truck and DIY the entire move. You’re in charge of loading, driving it to the final destination, and offloading all the stuff. That also means spending a lot of time on the road and paying for the high gas consumption. Most trucks average 10 mpg or lower when loaded.

If the move is 1,500 miles and the truck does 10 mpg, you will need 150 gallons to reach the destination. Most trucks can only hold a maximum of 30 gallons of gas at a time, which means you will have to refill at least five times for a one-way trip. So it won’t be easy, but the savings are worth the trouble.

Overall, saving money on a long-distance move involves a lot of hard work. Loading, offloading, and driving are some of the things you can DIY to save cost. If you have a powerful SUV, renting a pod could work for you. Otherwise, rent a truck as the second-best option.