9 Cheapest Ways to Move Long Distance

9 Cheapest Ways to Move Long Distance

Looking for the cheapest way to move to another part of the country? We are with you!

Cross-country moving can be a tough job, but it can also be very pleasing. Planning is essential for every move to make it a reality, and that involves doing some research, a huge moving checklist, as well as some decision making.

Immediately you have a budget in your mind, you can continue with packing as well as planning your cross-country relocation options but remember right from the start that moving less-items will enable you to move cheaply.

Fortunately, there are cheaper options for cross-country moving.

From hiring movers for labor only to a moving container rental, you can move cross country without spending a fortune.

This guide will discuss in full detail the different options to reduce the stress and pain of your cross-country moving as much as possible and without over-spending.

First and foremost, you should know the cost of the cross country move.

What Does It Cost To Move Cross Country?

The cost of moving cross country varies depending on your household’s size and your current and destination points. In general, the average cost of moving cross-country starts from $2,000 to $5,000.

If your house is large, get ready to spend more. You can also prepare to pay more if there are many antiques or heavy items such as freezers and pianos in your household belongings.

The good news here is that there are simple cost-saving ways to move long distances and reduce the stress of the process entirely.

These long-distance moving options can assist you in moving your household goods to your new home without exceeding your moving budget.

The table below will help you gain rough insight into what you can prepare to spend on each cross-country shipping method.

What Does It Cost To Move Cross Country?
Moving Options1 Bedroom2/3 Bedroom4/5 Bedroom+
Rental Truck$2,000 to $3,000$2,500 to $3,500$3,500+
Freight Trailer$1,500 to $2,000$2,000 to $3,000$3,500
Moving Container$1,500 to $3,000$1,500 to $3,000$6,000+
Moving Company$1,500 to $3,500$4,000 to $7,000$8,500

A lot of people move for a new job, to resume school, or be closer to family. Regardless of your reason for moving, you will want to save as much as possible.

Below are 9 of the best cost-saving ways on your move:

1. Purge Your Items and Sell Some

If you reduce your load, your moving cost will be reduced too. Just like most people, you’ve gathered many items over the years, many of which you don’t need anymore. When you sell items before you move, you can make more money to assist you with your move.

You will also lower the number of items you need to pack, which makes unpacking at the new home easier and lowers the cost of transportation. If you have the time and are patient enough, throw a garage sale or rent a place at a local flea market.

Online sale of belongings is also possible.

  • Sites like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Nextdoor.com, and Facebook makes online sales of items easier than ever.
  • Remember that LetGo and OfferUp are mobile apps that enable you to sell stuff quickly before you move. You can also check stores as well.
  • For instance, if you have clothes that are still looking nice, you can sell them on Buffalo Exchange or any local clothing. There are stores made for everything, such as clothing, CDs, camera equipment, books, and electronics.

2. Be Seasonal With Your Move

Summer is the most costly time to relocate since families are settling down before the start of the new school year. Leases often expire towards the end of the month, so there will be more people looking for movers and moving supplies the final week of the month than the first or second week.

Endeavor to move at a unique time of the year, mid-month, or on a weekday when competition for moving companies is lesser.

3. Shop Around to Get the Best Moving Prices

Avoid booking the first moving company that you talk to. Obtain estimates from best long-distance movers that only perform cross-country moves and make a price comparison to check what is included in their services because a lower price gotten from a company that claims to be a discount mover might exclude additional services provided by an expensive company free of charge.

4. Get Moving Discounts

As you shop around, don’t discard the question of available discounts. Members can benefit from AAA’s moving discount and also, some moving companies give discounted rates at particular times of the year (often during winter).

If you are a military veteran or an active member, scout for military discount movers. Military discounts are provided to active military members, veterans, as well as their families, and will know the specific extra requirements you have for a military move.

Popular moving companies like Penske and Budget Truck Rental offer discounted rates to military members.

5. Consider a DIY Move

The most affordable way to move to another part of the country is to get a truck rental and perform the move yourself. If you are ready to drive long-distance to the part of the country, you can rent a moving truck from a popular and reputable moving truck rental company.

Opting for a DIY move will possibly save you thousands of dollars. Moving truck rental expense usually includes a fixed rate, fuel costs, as well as any extra insurance costs.

Remember that moving truck rentals don’t get nice gas mileage. A typical moving truck’s gas mileage is 10mpg.

If you are moving to another part of the country at 2,000 miles away, that implies that it will require about 200 gallons of gas to reach your destination.

If the capacity of the rental truck is about 30 gallons, you will need to make a minimum of seven stops for gas all through the whole road trip.

Many popular truck rental providers include Penske, U-Haul, Enterprise, and Budget. There are different rates offered for truck rentals based on date and location, so make sure you obtain quotes from each rental provider in your area to secure the best deal.

Pro Tips

Pro Tip

While the advance cost of insurance is expensive when moving, it could later save you money in the future. This is much relevant when you are moving expensive items and valuable goods.

6. Make Use of a Portable Using Container

One of the popular moving options long-distance is through a moving container. Portable moving container rental is a good option for using full-service moving companies for a lot of reasons.

First, portable moving container rental is cheaper than hiring a professional mover. Also, you can use portable moving containers as storage containers at any point on the move.

Costs will be determined by the duration of rental of the container as well as the container size. Generally, the cost of renting a moving container for a long-distance move is around $2,000 – $3,000 monthly.

Compare the cost to the cost of hiring a professional mover which is at $4,000 to $9,000 and you will see a huge difference.

To relocate to another part of the country using a moving container, you only have to load your moving boxes and possessions, and the container company will take it from there.

Popular moving container providers include GO Mini’s, PODS, U-Haul’s U-Boxes, ABF’s U-Pack-ReloCubes, and 1-800-PACK-RAT.

Pro Tips

Pro Tip

Are your belongings so many that you cannot move with only your vehicle? If yes, renting a small moving trailer for your interstate move might be the most affordable way out. Just ensure that you have the proper tow package and strength to handle one. This is an ideal way to move a few large goods that you couldn’t travel with.

7. Use a Freight Trailer

Using a large freight moving trailer is one of the best methods to transport your household goods instead of a moving company.

Here’s how it works: a large trailer (28ft) will be dropped off at your specified location by a company and leave it there for you to load within three days.

After the three days window, the company will pick the trailer up and drive it to your destination home where you will unload it.

Many freight trailer companies to check are Estes SureMove, U-Pack, as well as Old Dominion Household Services.

The cost of a moving trailer rental is usually thousand dollars lesser than hiring a full-service mover. For reference sake, the average cost of moving with a YU-Pack moving trailer on a long-distance is $3,094.

8. Ship Your Things

You can move with your belonging while you hire someone else to drive for you. If you don’t have or are not moving furniture, and can reduce your shipment greatly, you can ship your essential items to your new home through UPS, FedEx, or USPS.

You can enter a bus or train or just book a flight across the country to your new home. You may be charged extra for baggage fees, but those might not be as costly as what a moving company will charge you.

9. Be Frugal, and Save as much as Possible Money

Gathering and making use of as many free moving supplies as you can find is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of moving long-distance. This implies that you need to find used boxes, packing tape, packing paper, and more from online marketplaces, community groups, nearby retailers, and so on.

Some places to check for free moving supplies include U-Haul Box Exchange, Freecycle, Craigslist, Local liquor stores, bookstores, Nextdoor.com, friends, and relatives, offices, neighbors, grocery stores, big-box retailers, recycling drop-off points, and so on. My recommendation is always focused on asking for free moving boxes from family and friends.

Instead of purchasing moving boxes from a retailer, go to the nearest grocery stores and department stores to gather the boxes they often recycle. See if there is anything for you on Craigslist and don’t forget that the packing tape you purchased at a discount shop is likely of similar quantity as the one you buy at a high-end retail store. Accept help wherever possible, whether from your family, colleagues, or neighbors.

Pro Tips

Pro Tip

If your move is work-related, we recommend asking about the moving policies of your company. Most companies will cover a portion or the entire move, so, it is not going to cost you a thing to ask the HR department. They may even have a partnership with a cross-country moving company. Make sure you save all those receipts you received for your moving if your company does cover for the move.


The most affordable long-distance or cross-country moving option is to use pods. Our research reveals that it is around 10% cheaper to move with a pod than a moving truck for 2,000 miles of distance or more since you save so much on costs of travel such as lodging, food, fuel, and rental truck mileage fees.

So, what amount of money should be saved before you move out? The amount can differ a lot depending on your case, but with $4,000, you should be able to complete a local move. A good amount of money to save for a cross-country move would be around $10,000 or more.

Speak with friends who may be in the same circumstance. Look for some potential roommates, and find out the things you can afford. You only need a few; a typical apartment filled with free furniture from Craigslist is a better first step for many people. It is not compulsory to be fun or flashy, but if you determine to move out of the house?

Hiring a professional moving company to execute a local move will cost an average of $300 – $1,500 based on the size of the move. Long-distance moving companies will cost a median value of $2,400 to $5,600 based on the size of the move as well as the distance. The cost of moving cross country will highly cost more than moving to a neighboring state.

Most movers don’t charge by volume or weight exclusively, until freight shipping is part of the moving process, a case in which, the weight and volume of shipment would be a factor in calculating the moving cost.


Only a few things surpass the comfort and convenience of moving with a full-service moving company when moving cross country. Fortunately, Adam Van Lines presents you with an opportunity to move at your pace while doing the major work for you.

Get a moving quote from our long-distance moving companies here.

Adam Palme - Author
Adam Palme

Adam grew up in military family, which meant he moved more than 20 times before he graduated high school. The experience taught him a lot about adaptability (and loading boxes), which he leveraged into a career in the moving and storage industry 7 years ago. He’s been working in sales and customer service management for 20 years, and he uses his own experiences to write content about moving, storage, leadership, and teamwork. Outside of work, Adam enjoys coaching youth football in Miami and enjoying some beach time with his dog. Go Dolphins!

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