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Travel and Moving Whether you're going somewhere new for a few days or packing up your bags to relocate permanently, gain insight on various parts of the world from other users who have been there before!

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Question Moving across the United States-tips? - March 22nd 2015, 11:12 PM

Has anybody moved across the United States before? We live in kind of a giant country and I really can't figure out how to do this logistically. How did this work? There's a good chance I'm moving from Arizona to Michigan (2,000 miles or 3,200 km). While I've moved across the state for college, I've never done a cross-country move. I do not have any family in the area, I'll likely be doing most of the move by myself with maybe my father and boyfriend helping out, it depends on work and cost and stuff. So...tips? If you've moved across the country, how did you do it? Thanks! This will be in August so I have some time to plan.


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Re: Moving across the United States-tips? - March 22nd 2015, 11:26 PM

Hey Traci,

I didn't move as much as 2,000 miles away, but I did move about 300 miles away from home for my relationship and better career opportunities for me. I can honestly say that moving was the best thing that happened to me. It's hard sometimes because I miss my family very much, but it gives me so much autonomy and happiness to be on my own and working so hard for something I believe in.

When I moved, I only had my partner with me and two suitcases full of the essentials. I can't drive so I took a bus to my new state. For a long time, I didn't have everything that I wanted to have with me... and I still do not have a lot of stuff. It's really hard to bring everything you want so I suggest separating your stuff into categories (essential, want, and do not need/want). That will make it easier to determine what goes and what stays. Do you have somewhere to keep your stuff that you don't necessarily need? If so, I think that's your best bet. Are you moving into an apartment or a dorm? If you're going into an apartment, you should rent a small U-Haul (or something similar) to bring your stuff. Bring sentimental stuff because you'll want to be reminded of certain things. It's really worth it!

If you need anything else, feel free to message me.


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Re: Moving across the United States-tips? - March 22nd 2015, 11:51 PM

Thanks Britt! Yeah, I moved 150 miles to college, and now I'll be going to graduate school much farther away. I'm currently looking for an apartment...I don't want to dorm as a grad student. Four years working in res life, I'm over it.

I will first be moving to my boyfriend's for the summer, and I can store some of my stuff there and have him ship me things once I start getting settled. All I'll want is my microwave, a lounge chair I have, and maybe my mini fridge depending on if the apartment I get has a fridge. Since I really don't have a lot of stuff, I do not think u-haul would be economical. I'm thinking I'll fly with essentials (maybe try to do an airline where I can check a couple bags for a low price/free...I never check bags even when I've flown international because I'm really anxious about airlines losing my stuff bahaha) but since I likely won't have a car ride from the airport to my apartment (40 minutes I believe?) and I don't want to spend a buttload of money on a taxi, I'll make sure the bags I bring are easy to carry and transport by train/bus.
...this is complicated.


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Re: Moving across the United States-tips? - March 27th 2015, 06:27 PM

I moved 1000 miles from home by plane with two suitcases and a carry on to start. It was a bitch getting all the suitcases to the airport, but you'd be surprised what you can make work! Also--put the heavier stuff in the carry on cause they don't weigh it. My carry on definitely weighed more than 50 lbs . I flew Southwest so that my checked bags were free. And my "personal item" was a backpack instead of a purse, so that helped a lot too. Those bags where you vacuum all the air out do wonders in making extra room in your suitcase, especially if you are bringing bedding (which I did).

You can also ship things by Greyhound, which is pretty cheap from what a friend told me. That might come in handy with the microwave/chair/fridge stuff. It likely takes longer than UPS, but it will be more cost efficient.

Before you move, if there are things you will need but can get in Michigan, you might want to look into selling some of your stuff that you have in Arizona and then just purchasing it again once you get to Michigan. Unless you're attached to something, then ship it/pack it.

Hope this helped! If you have more questions, feel free to pick my brain.



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Re: Moving across the United States-tips? - March 27th 2015, 09:35 PM

I haven't moved across the country yet, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. But, two years in a long distance relationship and a lot of planning for a big move taught me some tips and tricks here and there.

If you don't need it, don't take it. You can always have your boyfriend or your family ship things you end up wanting to you later. If you try to take everything you think you might need, you'll end up with an endless amount of suitcases and a very large unpacking process ahead of you while you're trying to get settled into your new apartment. Try making a list of things that you'll need in your first 2-3 months there. If you think you'll be able to survive without something (TV, bookcase, etc.), don't even factor it into your thought process right now. You can figure all of that out later.

Like Emily said, try to figure out if there's anything you have now that you can also get in Michigan without spending a lot of money on it. If it's cheaper for you to buy a working fridge out there than to ship yours, sell your fridge and earn a little bit of extra money for the move. Start looking on sites like Craigslist now so you have a few months to start weighing your options. If you see something you like/want as your moving date gets closer, you can always contact the owner before you get there so you can have it waiting for you once you move.

Southwest is a great option for checking bags and for carry ons. They allow you to 2 bags for free (under 50 pounds each) and, if I remember correctly, you're allowed 2 carry on bags. Pack one of your carry on bags full of essentials just in case your luggage does get lost. Have a spare change of clothes, a toothbrush, a hairbrush, etc., just in case it becomes necessary to live out of your backpack for a couple days. Keep some extra cash directly on your person (not your pockets in case it falls out) just in case the absolute worst of worst case scenarios happens.

As a quick side note, I've flown Southwest multiple times and my dad flew with them at least twice a month when he traveled for business. Neither of us have ever had an issue with luggage being lost!

I hope this helped some. If you want more planning tips, let me know!


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Re: Moving across the United States-tips? - March 27th 2015, 10:14 PM

My family did this twice, but I was little so I'm not exactly sure how they did it.

The first thing you'll need to secure is shelter which it sounds like you have covered

The next thing might be employment it depends, it might be worth looking before you move or wait until you get there, it's up to you really. We moved because of my dad's job, so he was all set. When I moved back with my mom, she started looking when she got here I think

I'm guessing my parents shipped our stuff ahead of us (or sent it ahead with movers while we flew) because I'm pretty sure it was already there when we got "home" and since you're going from hot to cold climate don't forget to somehow get winter clothes if you don't have them already. I'm in Ohio, it's almost April, and it's STILL snowing here.


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