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How to prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move

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Long distance moving requires detailed planning and preparations. Besides having to find the best housing option, hire reliable movers and pack your entire home you will need to prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move. As moving includes many more pre-move tasks, people tend to make one of the most common relocation mistakes and start preparing their car just a few days in advance.

Family in a car - prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move and enjoy it with your family right after you relocate.
Ensure your family travels safely by preparing your vehicle for the moving day

Moving cross-country in your own vehicle will most likely last more than just a couple of hours. Ensure you and your family are ready for the trip by creating a packing and moving checklist for your car. Therefore you will be ready for the moving day in advance and the trip to your new home will turn out to be a fun adventure and family bonding time.

Start preparing in advance

The key to a stress move is preparing in advance and staying organized. The best way to do so and properly prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move is to create a few separate moving checklists.

When preparing your car for the move keep in mind that you need to stay practical. You shouldn’t overpack or transport any dangerous items. We advise you avoid packing any fragile and easily breakable items.

In order to prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move easily and quickly you should follow a few important steps:

  • Make the packing list.
  • Clean, check and prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move.
  • Plan the loading process.
  • Consider buying an overhead carrier.
  • Plan the route. 

What do you need to pack?

When preparing and packing your vehicle for the move you will have limited space. Therefore, you need to plan the packing carefully. Making sure you have everything you need and being able to travel comfortably at the same time might be more easily said than done.

The packing checklist for your car will greatly depend on the overall packing plan. Make sure you don’t pack the essentials into moving boxes and ship them away in a moving truck by making a detailed list of the items that need to travel with you. In order to make the trip as easy and comfortable as possible, you should ensure you have the essential moving box easily reachable.

Here are the most important items you need to include in your packing list:

Clothes, linen, and bedding.

Kids love to fall asleep during long drives. Make sure they are comfortable by packing some extra clothes, pillows, and a blanket. If you are moving cross country with a newborn, pack extra diapers and wipes. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Food, drinks, and snacks.

Staying hydrated, healthy and safe is crucial during the move. Therefore, make sure you prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move by packing enough snacks, water, and sodas.

Entertainment gadgets.

Entertaining the whole family during a long trip might not be easy. Therefore, make sure you pack some toys, games or even tablets to keep your kids occupied and entertained during the move.

Documents, credit cards…

Make sure your id, drivers license of a credit card isn’t accidentally packed in a moving box by packing a bag with all of the important documents.

First aid kit and hygiene supplies.

Having a first aid kit is necessary during any long trip. Packing your toothbrush, wet wipes and towel will allow you to freshen up during the drive and have a less stressful trip.

Prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move

Make sure you and your family are safe during the trip by doing a detailed car checkup. Whether you decide to visit a mechanic or want to do it on your own, one of the most important long distance moving tips is to do a vehicle checkup and make sure everything works perfectly.

open hood to prepare your car for a cross-country move
Do a detailed checkup of your vehicle

Clean your car before the moving day. It might be that you will find many items that you don’t need during the drive. Removing the unnecessary one will create more space for packing and will make the trip more comfortable.

How should you pack the car?

This seems like an easy task, right? Even though this will more likely be the least complicated part of your move, you need to plan the loading process as well. Avoid packing your items in moving boxes. Cardboard boxes might take more space than needed. Consider packing in travel and tote bags and use the plastic ones for your clothes. Evaluate whether you need each member of your family to pack their own essential bag. Or would it be easier to divide it by items and pack everyone’s clothes together?

Do you need any extra space?

Investing in an overhead carrier might be a good idea if you need some extra space in your vehicle. Prepare your moving budget in advance. Therefore you will be able to decide whether this will be an investment that fits your moving plan. The carriers that are made from high-quality plastic will be able to protect your belongings and even transport fragile and breakable items safely.

Plan the trip to your new home

Planning the travel route is an important part of the move. For long-distance moves, consider taking a break and booking a hotel room somewhere along the way. Being able to rest will help you stay safe and help you relax during the trip. Make sure to book tickets and get familiar with the roadmap prior to the moving day.

a boy and a map
Have fun along the way! Visit interesting attractions

Besides traveling with your family will be a great bonding experience, you can also make some time for fun activities during the trip. Explore the map and check whether there are any interesting attractions and destinations you would enjoy visiting. Make sure you pack and prepare your vehicle for a cross-country move in advance. Make all of the items you need during the stops easily reachable. And don’t forget to have fun! Have a safe drive to your new home!