Things to Know for a Cross-Country Move… In a Car!

Now, a cross-country move is a lot of hard work. Certain movers decide to fly and hire a moving company but that can become extremely expensive. Others choose to pack up everything they have in their car and drive. That would be the category which I fall under. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be moving from New Jersey to Texas with my girlfriend. We currently live with our parents so we don’t have much to bring with us; we plan to purchase furniture once we get to the Lone Star State. If you own furniture or other large items, a moving company or renting a U-Haul might be a better option for you. We are choosing to pack minimally, throw our stuff in my car and drive to our new home.

Here are some thing we have learned in preparation for our cross-country move:

Map out your route

How long is the trip going to take? Can your car handle the long drive? How many stops are you going to have to make? If you’re driving alone, I recommend making frequent stops to make sure that you’re well rested. Book hotel rooms in advance in order to receive deals and get the best rates.


A GPS is great to have on your phone but print out a set of directions or pick up a road map, to guarantee you won’t get lost if you were to lose service. Also, try to enroll in a roadside service company, like AAA, beforehand, just in case something happens to your vehicle while driving. Bringing some extra cash is helpful, too.

The Purge

Now, how are you going to bring your entire bedroom with you? You’re not! Purge your whole room. I’m sure there are a lot of items you don’t need or haven’t used recently. My rule of thumb: if it hasn’t been used in three months and you don’t see yourself using it in three months, toss, donate or sell it. I do this all of the time and it feels rejuvenating.


When packing clothes, don’t use suitcases or storage containers, as they are very bulky and will take up precious space in your vehicle. You can invest in vacuum seal bags and use them in your apartment to store clothes and linens. If your ego isn’t large, just use industrial strength garbage bags. This will save space for shoes and other necessities.

Don’t forget to bring important documents, such as your social security card, birth certificate, diplomas, etc.

Preventative Measures

The night before your journey, ensure that everything you need is packed up and ready to go. Triple check your belongings. This will prevent any frenzy that may happen right before you leave. I know you will be excited but try your best to get some sleep because you are going to need it. I’m infamous for sleeping through alarms so set multiple ones. Rather be safe than sorry.

Now that you’re set to go, hug mom and dad goodbye and make sure that you bring plenty of snacks! Have a safe trip!

Our contributor, Alexandra Hernandez, is a northern New Jersey native who enjoys cooking, reading and writing. She is actually going to move cross-country to Texas with her partner very soon! She just signed a lease to her first apartment, ever!  Alexandra is excited to share this nerve-racking journey with all of you!

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