By Ja’Shell Smith
Making the decision to move to a new state is both exciting and intimidating. You’re ready for a new adventure yet you are leaving home for the unknown. I decided to leave New England and head to the South. After weighing all options on how to get to my new apartment, I opted to pack up my car and drive. There is a lot of preparation that goes into a cross country move, so I have compiled a list of steps to take.
1. Calculate the amount of cash you’ll need
$1,000 in cash was more than enough for me to pay for gas and food. I also got an EZ Pass which had an automatic refill, so I never needed to reload my account. As for emergencies, you never know what can happen so try to have at least $500 reserved.
2. Get a Road-Side Assistance plan
I have AAA and it was life saver on my journey. I cracked my transmission on the drive and all of the fluid leaked out when I was an hour from my destination. I paid about $100 for the AAA tow which is significantly lower than what I could have paid if I had to pay a tow company directly. It was also less stressful not to have to find a tow company on my own.
3. Schedule a tune-up and oil change before leaving
This is the most important part of a long trip as it ensures that car is in top shape. Mechanics change and check motor oil, battery, tire pressure, all fluids, vehicle lights, windshield wipers, filters, belts, spark plugs, hoses, and a range of other factors.
4. Clean your car
Since you will be packing a lot for the move, it’s smart to go through the car and throw out any unnecessary junk you may have so there’s plenty of room for your things. This includes empty water bottles, drive-thru bags, loose change, and any gunk in the cup holders. Vacuuming and visiting a car wash are also worth doing.
5. GPS and maps
Most people rely solely on their phone for directions or even an actual GPS, but depending on where your travel takes you, you can end up in a place with bad service and lose all signals. Maps or printed directions are greatadd-ons to stay on track.
6. Spare tire
Flat tires occur often, especially during long trips. Have one in the trunk and pray you never have to use it.