Unique Aspects of a Long Distance Move

Every move presents a unique set of challenges. Determining how many boxes to buy, whether to hire movers or DIY the move, all these options require careful consideration. But a long distance move presents unique obstacles that can topple your plans if left unconsidered. Before we discuss how to make long distance moves easier, we need to know what separates them from other moves.


The first and most obvious difference between a regular and long distance move is, of course, distance. Many people make the mistake of thinking that long distance moves only add additional miles between destinations. In truth, the distance of a move, especially ones that take more than a day of driving to complete, impact every facet of how a move should be approached and planned.


Figuring out the timing of a long distance move takes more detailed planning than a local move. If you leave something at your previous residence during a local move, you can go back and get it. Local moves can also be accomplished in multiple trips, while long distance moves cannot. The finality of a long distance move makes every piece of timing far more important to get right.


Long distance moves aren’t just time sensitive and time consuming, they can be expensive too. Movers charge moving costs based on distance. At the same time, we don’t suggest doing a DIY long distance move to save a few bucks. A long distance move demands as much financial planning as it does time management. Make sure to become familiar with the cost of your move and any variables that could change that cost.

The Best Way to Make a Long Distance Move

Like a local move, a long distance relocation requires careful planning, only more so. Planning ahead gives you the tools you’ll need to simplify your move for both yourself and your movers. Here are our best tips for a long distance move.

Develop a Plan and Checklist

This is an oft-repeated piece of advice, but not without reason. Putting together a detailed moving plan helps you keep track of tasks as they’re accomplished. A long distance moving plan should look nearly identical to the plan for a local move, but spread out over a longer amount of time. If you need a starter guide, check out our moving checklist. This detailed plan works for local and long distance moves alike thanks to its long timeframe.

Give Yourself Ample Prep Time

As we’ve mentioned, long distance moves are time consuming by nature. Give yourself plenty of time to get your ducks in a row, pack, hire movers, and change over your utilities. Each of these tasks will take longer than they do during a short distance move because of the increased number of variables.

Cut Down on Unneeded Belongings

While selling unneeded belongings is a good idea for any move, it’s especially helpful for a long distance relocation. Whether you host a garage sale or sell items online, prioritize large items like furniture. Furniture can be easily damaged, and even the best movers can’t 100% guarantee items arrive in perfect condition. We suggest selling as many items as possible before a long distance move. If you’re struggling to decide what to leave behind, we’ve created a guide listing the items not to pack during a move.

Hire Movers to Help

Movers speed up any move, whether local, residential, commercial or other, but long distance moves really show the benefits of hiring movers. Movers can take care of packing and unpacking boxes, bringing items to storage units, and even assembling and disassembling furniture. By taking tasks off your checklist, movers make the whole process easier and less stressful while freeing you up to handle the tasks only you can do.

How to Find Great Movers for a Long Distance Move

Not all moving companies are created equal. Different companies provide different rates and levels of service. You need to make sure that you’re hiring a reputable moving company capable of providing a wide range of services when tackling a long distance move. Using the following tips, you’ll be able to identify and hire movers that make the process easier, not more difficult.

Getting Quotes

A quote is the first and most important step of any relationship with a potential moving company. You want to find a company that provides transparent, accurate and detailed estimates. Companies that provide these kinds of quotes generally stand behind their service and often communicate more frequently with their clients.

If you’re searching for a quote now, head over to our free quote tool. It only takes a few minutes to get an honest, transparent and detailed quote.

Check the Services Offered by Each Moving Company

Because long distance moves can be so difficult to predict, you need to make sure you hire a company that has the services you need. Companies with a wide range of services are better equipped to stay flexible if anything changes. In particular, keep an eye out for companies that offer storage services, fragile item handling, and custom services.

At Alliance Moving & Storage we offer all these services and more. We’ll even help you plan your move if needed, and you never have to worry about hidden fees.

Go Through Customer Reviews

This has become common practice recently, but reading customer reviews can provide a lot of insight into how a moving company operates. Companies that are particularly proud of their reviews and ratings may include testimonials on their site. A good rule of thumb when searching is to look for companies with at least a four-star rating on the largest review sites.

How to Pack for a Long Distance Move

Finally, it’s time to pack. While everything still goes into boxes, trucks and eventually a home or office, special precautions should be taken when packing for a long haul move.

Separate Your Items

While creating your inventory spreadsheet, add an extra column to indicate whether an item goes with you or the movers. Put all essential documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.) in your car and not in a box on the moving truck. Any family heirlooms, jewelry or sentimental items should also come with you. In short, if an item can’t be replaced in the unlikely event that an accident or damage occurs, don’t let it go on the truck.

Use Plenty of Packing Materials & Label Fragile Boxes

Not all roads are smooth, and the back of a moving truck can get bumpy. While good movers strap everything down, they can’t account for items being left loose in boxes. Be sure to tightly pack boxes so that no fragile items get jostled around on a bumpy section of highway. If you’re in a pinch, you can use clothing as packing material, but that makes the unpacking process more frustrating. And don’t forget to label boxes as fragile. Movers will handle fragile boxes with additional care and pack them into specific places in the truck.

Leave Appliances Behind

Appliances may be expensive, but moving them can often cost more. Not only do they take up a ton of space, but they’re also very heavy. Moving appliances may force you to take on the charge of extra services such as a lift gate, and it may even require you to book a larger truck. If you want to bring appliances, speak with your movers. It may turn out that the cost of transporting your old fridge costs as much as a new fridge.

Prepare an Essentials Kit

Last but certainly not least, bring an essentials kit on the road with you. Whether you’re moving with family members and friends or flying solo, packing essentials will keep you safe in the rare event of a delay. Like most of the moving tips on this list, an essentials kit should be a part of any move, no matter the distance. But having one on a long distance move is an absolute must.

Ready for Your Long Distance Move?

If you want to get a head start on your next long distance move, we’re ready to help! We offer every service you could need for an interstate or cross country move. Whether you’re looking for a storage unit, a moving planner, or some additional muscle to lift boxes, we have you covered. Contact us today to see how we can help develop a plan that fits your specific long distance move.