What to Pack for a Cross-Country Move
Any move is stressful, but moving across the country or even across the state requires extra planning. Knowing what to pack with you and what to put in the moving truck can mean an easier transition. If you’re moving across the country and taking your personal vehicles along with the moving truck, plan ahead for what will go into each vehicle.
Take Personal Items in Your Own Vehicle
A cross-country trip can take several days depending on how you want to time your move. Some families may want to move as quickly as possible and limit expenses on hotels along the way. Others prefer to take a longer trip with more room for rest stops. Whatever you decide, make sure you have your personal essentials with you in your vehicle.
Try to pack your vehicle with everything you might typically take on a vacation, including:
- Your personal effects like your ID, wallet, purse, smartphone, and charger. Also be sure to bring prescription medications and store them in a safe container out of direct sunlight during your trip.
- A few changes of clothing. Your cross-country trip may take a few days, so pack enough clothing to last you the whole trip. Pack a few laundry bags to hold your dirty clothes for your first loads of laundry at your new place.
- Snacks and beverages for long stretches in the car.
- You will probably need to stop to shower and rest during the trip, so make sure you have what you need for toothbrushes and favorite soaps handy.
- Cleaning supplies. Make sure you have what you need to manage fast food meals in the car and random messes you might have along the way. Paper towels and baby wipes do a lot for cleaning small messes.
- The driver should focus on the road, but the other passengers in the vehicle need something to do in the car, especially kids. Music, portable gaming systems, movie players, coloring books, and small toys are great for kids stuck in the car for several hours at a time.
- Emergency supplies. Make sure you have everything you need to fix a flat tire, but also ensure you have first aid supplies in case of an injury during your cross-country trek.
- Trash bags. You and your passengers will probably have several snacks and meals in the car during the trip, so make sure you don’t let the trash accumulate on the floors of the vehicle.
- Spare keys. No matter how careful you might be, you never know when someone might unexpectedly lock the keys in the car. You can find several options for your spare key, such as a magnetic lock-box that fits on the underside of your car.
Every move is different, and you and your family may have unique needs to consider during your cross-country trip to your new home. Ultimately, you should pack everything you can’t live a few days without in your personal vehicle and leave the rest of your stuff in the moving truck. This helps ensure you aren’t stranded for several days without important items as you make your way to your new home.