Moving From Florida to California: Movers, Costs, and Benefits

Depending on how you move, relocating from Florida to California can cost between $2000 and $9000 - sometimes more, and sometimes less. Fortunately, the team at Adams Van Lines can help you move cheaper and move easier. Read the rest of our guide to find out how.
Moving from Florida to California - Adams Van Lines

Relocating from the Sunshine State to the Golden State? You’re not alone. As one of the leading experts in the moving industry, Adams Van Lines knows what it’s like behind the scenes of every interstate move. We also know a thing or two about making your move less stressful, more efficient, and more cost-effective.

A coast to coast move is a major step, and you’ll need all the help you can get. Read on to see what you can expect from your Florida to California move, and get in touch with us today to start planning and start packing.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers from Florida to California?

Hiring Florida to California movers will typically set you back between $2000 and $9000, but you may end up paying a little more or a little less. It’s a huge window, but for good reason: Long distance movers charge by miles traveled and pounds carried.

If you’re moving a studio apartment from Pensacola to Blythe, it’ll cost a lot less than moving a five-bedroom home from Miami to Crescent City.

Florida and California are both huge states, so the distance is an unavoidable part of the equation. But if you really want to save money, we always recommend downsizing before you search for quotes.

How Long Does Moving Take?

Florida to California moving will take between 3 and 10 days, but in some extreme cases it can take up to 20. Much like the price, the duration of your move really depends on how much stuff you have and how far everything has to travel.

You’d think a smaller move would get done faster, but that’s a common misconception. In the moving industry, it’s a common practice to bundle several different moves together in the same semi trailer.

Movers don’t like to send half-empty trucks all over the place, so this keeps things more efficient (and cheaper for you). It does mean you’ll experience some delays for pickups and dropoffs along the way, though.

On the other hand, if you manage to fill an entire truck by yourself, expect your delivery to show up much earlier. If your movers can’t fit any more moves in a truck, they’ll send it right over without any extra stops.

By the way, if you’re a little sketched out about sharing a trailer with other customers, don’t worry. Movers take plenty of precautions to keep moves safe and separate, from extra labels to cardboard partitions.

What Factors Affect the Cost of a Florida to California Move?

A Florida to California move takes thousands of miles, but it doesn’t always have to break the bank. Here’s what goes into the price of your move:

1. Volume and Weight of Belongings

One of the most significant factors behind your moving costs is the weight of the items you’re relocating. Naturally, moving a large household with heavy furniture will cost more than relocating a one-bedroom apartment. Some moving companies might charge based on volume, especially for moves using containers.

2. Distance of the Move

Aside from the weight of all your stuff, the distance you’re traveling is the biggest factor behind your final price. Florida and California are both huge, so the price you pay for mileage varies based on your specific starting and ending points. Longer distances mean a higher price tag.

3. Packing Services and Materials

If you’re going for a full-service move, your moving company will handle every step of the process – from packing to hauling, from disassembly to reassembly. Of course, this kind of extra service comes with an extra price. It’s definitely worth splurging if you don’t want to stress out over your move.

4. Specialty Items

If you have unique items such as pianos, art collections, or antique furniture, you may need specialized services. The extra TLC comes at a price, mainly due to the expertise and equipment required to ensure the items’ safe transportation.

5. Time of Year

Summer is peak moving season. Rates can be up to twice as high during June, July, and August, so we advise keeping your schedule loose enough to work around these months. If you’re really trying to save some money, try to coordinate a mid-month, mid-week move, well away from other holidays and vacation times.

6. Storage Services

Sometimes you need a bit of extra time, and sometimes you underestimate how much stuff you have. Storage services can give you some much-needed flexibility, but it comes at a cost. Keep an eye out for movers that offer free storage: Many will throw in a complimentary month or so to sweeten the deal.

7. Insurance and Valuation

While basic liability coverage is often included in moving quotes, it might not be sufficient for all your belongings. Full-value protection or additional insurance will increase the cost but offers peace of mind.

8. Accessibility

Do you have a ton of staircases to navigate? What about elevators, long driveways, or ticket-happy parking cops? These can all make your move more challenging, so make sure you communicate with your movers ahead of time. They won’t want to be surprised by any extra obstacles, and you won’t want to be surprised by any extra fees.

9. Additional Services

Some moves require additional services, such as disassembling and reassembling furniture, shuttle services, or debris removal. Each of these services can add to your total moving cost.

10. Tolls and Permits

The route from Florida to California may include toll roads. While these charges might seem minimal, they can add up over long distances. Furthermore, some cities might require permits for moving truck parking, or they may require you to stage your semi truck somewhere else while you use a shuttle to carry everything back and forth. Read up ahead of time so you know what you’ll be paying.

A Florida to California move may cost you from $2000 and $9000, but there’s always helpful extras (and unavoidable fees) to keep in mind. Make sure you speak with your movers about every step of your relocation so you know what you’ll need, and what you’ll need to pay for.

Why Do People Move from Florida to California? (Cost of Living,etc..)

People are headed west for tons of reasons, and if we listed them all out, we’d run out of megabytes. Here’s a small sample:

  • Job Opportunities: From Silicon Valley to Hollywood, from viticulture to education, California has plenty of job opportunities. The job market owes a lot to the sheer diversity of fields and industries.
  • Educational Institutions: Renowned universities like Stanford, Caltech, and UC Berkeley attract many seeking top-tier education. There’s also a great selection of state universities (CSUs) and community colleges.
  • Natural Beauty & Climate: From the beaches of Southern California to the majestic Redwood forests in the North, there’s plenty of natural beauty to appreciate. California may also be the only state in which you can snowboard and surf in the same day.
  • Higher Wages: California is expensive, so how can people afford it? All those jobs usually pay a lot more than the compensation you’d find elsewhere. It’s a tradeoff, but there’s big money to be made.
  • Lifestyle Changes: You hear a lot about the Californian lifestyle: an emphasis on health, outdoor activities, sustainable living, and being way more relaxed. Why not take this chance to actually live it?

Florida has its own unique charms, but it’s tough to beat California for jobs, lifestyle, and natural beauty. If you’re heading to the Golden State, you’ll have plenty of reasons – and you’ll have plenty to do, too…

Things to Do in California

Bored? Cali’s got you covered. There’s tons to do and tons to see, and you can spend a lifetime getting to know your new home.

Visit National Parks: From Yosemite to the moonscape of Death Valley, you’ll be able to explore to your heart’s content. Don’t miss the gigantism sequoias in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Beach Time: When people think “California”, they think BEACH. Lounge on the iconic beaches of Malibu, surf the waves in Huntington Beach, or take a scenic drive along PCH (the Pacific Coast Highway, for you out-of-towners).

Wine Tasting: If you’re a fan of wine, you’ve probably already heard of Napa Valley and Sonoma. You can taste some of the world’s finest wines there, and further south in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County.

Hollywood: Walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame, catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign, or perhaps take a studio tour to see movie-making behind the scenes. It’s a bit touristy, but you’ve gotta do it at least once.

San Francisco Landmarks: Experience the Golden Gate Bridge, wander through Fisherman’s Wharf, or ride the historic cable cars. For all its recent sketchiness (and priciness) there’s still plenty to enjoy in the City.

Desert Beauty: Discover the stunning vistas of Joshua Tree National Park or take a trip to the colorful town of Palm Springs. Coachella is out there too, but if you’re going to a festival you may not be spending too much time ogling the trails or the landscape.

Cultural Sites: Explore the historic missions (there’s 21 of them from San Diego to Sonoma), or visit world-class museums like the Getty Center or LACMA in Los Angeles. There’s museums and galleries galore.

Theme Parks: Disneyland is a given, but there’s also Universal Studios, Legoland, and Six Flags if you’re feeling a bit more daring. Just make sure you plan your trips away from summer break so you don’t wait in line too long (or melt while you’re out there)!

Outdoor Activities: California has great weather, so you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors, too. Go skiing in Lake Tahoe, hiking in the Sierra Nevada, or choose a scenic route and hop on your bike.

Dining and Cuisine: Whether you’re looking for an instagrammable food truck or that hole-in-the-wall joint that serves michelin-star meals with a C- health services score, there’s a huge variety of flavors and foods all across the state.

There’s a lot to do in the Golden State, and you’ll find your favorite niche no problem. Whether you’re chowing down on a 4×4 or cruising 17-Mile Drive, you’ll be able to enjoy the state to its fullest.

Florida to California FAQ

What is the cost of living like in California compared to Florida?

The cost of living in California is a lot higher than in Florida. While this varies by specific cities, California cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego tend to have higher living expenses, especially in terms of housing, compared to Florida cities such as Miami, Tampa, or Orlando. Fortunately, wages in California can also be higher in certain industries, potentially offsetting some of these costs.

How do the schools in California compare to those in Florida?

Both California and Florida have a mix of top-rated schools and those that face challenges. However, California is home to some nationally recognized universities and public school districts, especially in areas like Palo Alto or Berkeley. Both the Californian UC and CSU systems are great for higher ed, and practically every city has a distinguished K-12 school.

What are the best neighborhoods or cities to live in if I’m moving to California from Florida?

California has a wide variety of cities and neighborhoods to meet your needs. For tech jobs, consider the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose. For entertainment, Los Angeles is the hub. San Diego offers a laid-back coastal vibe, while cities like Sacramento provide a more affordable cost of living.

What is the cheapest way to move long distances?

A DIY move is always going to be the cheapest option… on paper. You’ll have to rent a truck, get ahold of packing supplies, and load the truck up yourself. Then, you’ll have to pay for gas, food, and lodging during the whole trip – and have you seen the gas prices in California? Aside from these expenses, it’s important to remember you’ll be taking some time off from work, and after you account for the lost wages, hiring the pros may be pretty close to the price of a DIY job.

How far in advance should I hire movers if I’m relocating to California?

For a long-distance move from Florida to California, it’s recommended to hire movers at least 8-12 weeks in advance, especially if you’re moving during the peak season (summer). This allows for proper planning and ensures availability, not to mention some discounts for flexibility.

What items can’t be moved long distances?

The general rule is nothing pressurized, nothing flammable, nothing perishable, and nothing alive. Hazardous materials (e.g., paints, chemicals), perishables (like food or plants), and items of high personal value (like important documents or jewelry) won’t be allowed in the truck. Every mover has their own no-go list, so make sure you clear things up with them ahead of time.

Ready to Head from Florida to California? Get Packing and Let’s Get Started!

It’s a long road from Florida to California, but with the right packing and preparation, you can get to the Golden State with ease. If you’re ready to get started with your move, get in touch and get a free quote today!

Packing your bags already? Don’t forget to check back in with Adams Van Lines for more tips and tricks to make moving day even easier.

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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