This is a sponsored guest post.
Moving can be a stressful period, so you might as well find a way to add some element of fun into it. The United States is not short of beautiful sights to enjoy. This can only be a good thing as spending endless hours on the road can make an interstate move an even more painful experience.
Whether or not you plan to hire professional movers to help in your long-distance move, if you own a car, chances are you were considering a drive to your new home, whether that be by yourself or assigning that duty to someone else.
Moving house to a different state is no doubt a momentous turning point in every person’s life. By blending a road trip into the move, you have the opportunity to turn into it one of the most memorable events in your life, a story you and the family can always look back on fondly.
Here is a checklist that should prove invaluable when planning a cross country moving road trip.
Create a budget
A budget is at the heart of everything we do.
It’s something you’ve obviously planned for when contemplating your move, but incorporating a road trip into your plans means throwing in some items that would probably not make it into a regular long-distance moving itinerary.
In addition to food and tolls, you’ll probably need to bump up your fuel budget if you envision any detours, not to mention hotel or motel costs.
But a moving road trip doesn’t have to be more expensive than it already is, so there are always workarounds that can help you keep the costs down.
For example, you can consider bringing along camping gear and spend the nights in state parks as opposed to hotels. Or purchase your food in grocery stores vs. dining out in restaurants.
Map the route
One of the best things you’ll do when planning a moving road trip is planning out your driving route. A road trip is all about the journey between your point of departure and point of arrival.
So, get a GPS to determine your most ideal route, then figure out what you want to do in between point A and point B. Are you considering a direct approach that will save you time or you plan a few detours along the way?
Whichever the case, map your route prior, and always keep in mind that unexpected detours do happen, particularly with these long-distance trips. Thus, it’s not a bad idea to have a back-up plan in the event of any hold-ups along the way.
Get your car serviced
Arranging to have your vehicle serviced is another must-do when planning a long road trip.
You don’t want to end up like one of those characters we’ve seen one too many times in movies whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they have to figure out a way to get it up and running again.
Things to check include the car’s tech features, battery, belts, brakes, fluid levels, wiper blades, tire pressure, and everything else that needs to be up to speed.
If you have more than one car, pick the one most suited for the trip. Newer vehicles may boast better fuel efficiency, but they might not be as suited as an SUV for hitting the rugged terrain.
Book your lodging in advance
Scrambling to find a good place to spend the night is not exactly the idea of fun. Avoid last-minute frustrations by booking your lodging ahead of time if you’re planning to be on the road for a good couple of days.
This shouldn’t be as challenging if you have already mapped out your route.
Don’t restrict yourself to local hotels only. The camp sites aside, Airbnb and Vrbo are other alternatives to consider.
Prep your food and other essentials for the trip
It never hurts to prepare some food and snacks for the trip. You certainly do not want to be eating takeout all through, more so if your journey is going to take several days.
Prepare some food and snacks that you’ll pack up for the journey. Ideas include muffins, sandwiches, granola bars, nuts and other dried foods. And of course, bottled water.
As well, include other essentials like blankets, pillows, a first aid kit, and other such portables that are crucial in every journey – jumper cables, map and so on.
You can come up with a list of everything you think you’ll need during the trip for ease and better control.
Download a map
Speaking of maps, whether it’s Google Maps or another map service, it’s not a bad idea to have a copy of your map before the trip.
Chances are you could suffer a limited cell phone service or be without a signal for part of the journey. It happens.
By downloading the map on your phone, you will always be able to access it even in the event of a scrambled cell service or signal outage.
Don’t forget the entertainment
Before hitting the road, download all the music you think you’ll need.
The same goes for movies, which are a must these days especially if you have a baby or children who rely on the iPad for their car entertainment.
Confirm you have all important documents
Having all the necessary documents with you on hand is a satisfying feeling.
From the car manual to your insurance details, license and registration, double-check to make sure you have everything you need with you before embarking on the trip.
And these just about cover the important items you need on your moving road trip checklist.