Guide to the Cheapest Way to Move Out of State

September 19, 2019 / Posted in How-to
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Have you decided to move, but you are running on a limited budget? Then you might wonder what is the cheapest way to move out of state.

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Careful calculation can save you a lot of money

Depending on your needs and the traveling distance, there is a variety of cheap solutions that won’t make a big dent in your savings. If you don’t mind doing most of the work yourself, you can use trains and rental pickups. But if you want to relax and be stress-free, you can hire a company to do everything for you.


Make a Plan for Your Expenses

When moving out of state on a budget, it might be best to see how much it will cost you. Planning in advance and choosing the best relocation date can help you reduce your overall expenses and save money – money you can use to get things you need for your first apartment.

When relocating for a job, make sure you see your employer’s relocation policy and if they offer any relocation packages that can reduce your costs to a significant extent.  However, if you are looking for a job before you relocate, then you need to cover all of your expenses.

Creating a checklist might help you organize your tasks and make moving easier for you. Write down everything that needs to be done in advance and make an inventory of the items you wish to take with you. If you need help with your inventory, you can find plenty of free apps, tips, and templates you can use.

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Creating a list might help you calculate your cost when you are moving for the first time.

Taking the Bus – Cheapest Way to Move out of State? 

If you’re tight on funds, but still in need to move, you should know that busses are the cheapest form of relocating out of state. That is if you don’t own many items that need to be transported. If you are willing to use a bus as a mean of transportation, you can reach your desired destination and save some money along the way.

When choosing busses, you should make sure that there is a bus route from your current location to the place you are going to. If the station is a bit far, make sure you have a solution for safely transporting your home belongings. You can have friends pick you up, or maybe call a taxi.

Benefits of Moving with Busses

The biggest benefit of this type of relocation is its affordability. And it’s the best approach to small moves. So, if you are going off to college, and you do not need many items, taking the bus is a solution for you.  

Also, have in mind that busses travel long distances, but you shouldn’t have to worry about that. Leave traffic jams and road ahead to experienced bus drivers. You sit and relax.

Additional Costs and Limits  

Traveling by bus has its downsides as well. They are mostly related to the amount of luggage you can take with you. You will be bound to 250lbs of cargo.

So, this is not the solution for you if you need to move large and cumbersome items. Also, have in mind that some busses do not allow pets.

Being on the bus means that you will have to plan your trip – making sure that you have food, water, and a charged phone to keep you entertained. This type of transportation might be cheap, but the ride can be long.

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One of the most affordable ways to travel is with busses.

Moving with Trains

Nowadays, rail transportation in the USA is primarily used for freight shipments. And yes, passenger service is limited, but it still exists.

Amtrak has a network of railroads that covers more than 500 destinations in the USA and three Canadian provinces. It’s available to many, making it one of the cheapest ways to ship your items.  

When packing, keep in mind that trains vibrate, that’s why you should make sure that your more fragile items are nicely packed.

Good Side of Traveling with Trains

When relocating with trains, you should plan ahead, pick up some food and water. Make sure to contact customer service at Amtrak to ask about limitations and additional charges. Know that you are restricted to 500lbs of cargo per move.

If you are planning on moving with pets, you should know that Amtrak allows one pet on trips that are shorter than 7 hours.

If you are transporting items via train, organize your pick up since it’s not likely that the train station is near your home. Avoid additional charges by picking up your items within 48 hours of the delivery.

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Take the train and travel out of state.

Rent a Small Tow Trailer or a Pickup Truck

If you have a car and you enjoy driving, you can rent a small tow trailer and relocate without a fuss. These types of containers are used when you have a small number of items to move. Before you rent a trailer, make sure that you have the correct tow package.

Using this carrier is an excellent approach to relocating a few large pieces of furniture. Also, you can load boxes that would not fit in your car.

Consider the size of the trailer and keep in mind that some of the bigger furniture pieces won’t fit in it. So, if you want to move your king-sized bed, this might not be the solution for you.

Driving your car means that you get to load and unload items at the locations of your choosing. You do not need to think about organizing additional transportation. 

But what to do if you don’t own a car? Or your car is just too small for all of your belongings to fit in? If you like to drive, you shouldn’t worry since you can always rent a pickup to assist you in your move.

This type of relocation is cheap if you are able to move in one day. But if you need more time, it can become expensive.  

Using a pickup vehicle is useful if you have pets since you can put them in a cabin with you. These vehicles are usually comfortable to travel in.

Tips for Moving with a Pickup 

If you plan on driving a pickup, remember they do not have insurance for your cargo, so be careful. Load and unload your items with the utmost care. Place straps and cords to ensure your things are immovable. Cover anything that you don’t want to get dirty since your items will be exposed to outside factors. 

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With a tow trailer or a pickup truck, you can control everything.

Rent a Moving Truck – Be Your Own Mover 

If you don’t mind packing and relocating yourself, renting a moving vehicle is the best and the cheapest way to go! With this type of move, you can safely pack all of your furniture, no matter the size.

Renting this kind of vehicle means that your items get to your new house at the same time you arrive. If you want to save up, rent a truck on a school day, or in the middle of the week. Prices go up during weekends when school is out.

Make sure you properly pack everything. Strap your furniture and reduce the chances of damage that can happen during the trip. That is why you should drive carefully.

Issues with Truck Rentals

When loading and unloading items without the help of professionals, there is a chance that you will get injured. Be careful! You shouldn’t lift heavy objects on your own. Watch out for the sharp ones! You wouldn’t want to start your traveling adventure by hurting yourself.  

Since you are not using professional packing services, ask your friends to help you out. They can make the packing and loading processes much faster.

With this type of move, you will need to pay for gas and road fees. Make sure that you stack on food and water if your trip is long. Have in mind that these types of vehicles usually have two seats, so the travel can get a bit lonely.

Remember to buy insurance. You would not want to have additional costs if your cargo gets damaged somehow. 

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By renting a truck, you get to do everything yourself, which can be good or bad, depending on your preferences.

PODS – Middle Ground Solution 

PODS are a middle ground between full-service movers and truck rentals. They are still pricier than renting a transport vehicle, but you will be free from the stress that comes with driving. And if you choose not to use professional help, you will be in charge of loading and unloading your cargo.

This is the right solution for relocation if you have to move large items, but you don’t want to drive a vehicle yourself. In most cases, it’s better to ship instead of driving a vehicle, especially for long-distance moves.

How does PODS work? The company drops PODS at the address of your choosing, and from there you are in charge of its loading. When you are done, and all the items are stored, the company will load PODS on their truck. After that, all you have to do is give the desired address. Make sure to check to drop off restrictions in your new area to avoid problems that can arise if the truck can’t reach your new home. 

Ship Your Boxes out of State

Shipping is considered as the most economical solution for sending big crates of items to another state. For those of you who have fewer boxes, it might be best to get shipping services instead of renting a truck.  Even if you have large loads, you can use freight shipping. As for delivery, you can have them delivered at your doorstep or pick them up at the closest storage. Just make sure you find the easiest way to pack for a move by listening to all the tips you find.

Planes – Feel Free to Pack Large Items 

If you are relocating to a place hardly reachable by land traffic, the plane is the way to go. Several airlines in the USA provide cargo shipping services.

If you want to know the quote of your shipment, you need to contact the specific company and find out. When looking for a quote, make sure that you know the dimensions and weight of your cargo. Those are important factors in pricing.

Benefits of Relocating out of State with Planes 

Shipping with planes has a long list of benefits, while the biggest drawback is probably the price. These are the most important advantages of using air travel:

  • Speed – this is self-explanatory, there is no faster solution
  • Security –  this is not just the fastest method of transport, it’s also one of the safest.
  • Time-efficiency – air transport is not limited by traffic jams
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Airplanes might cost more but they are the fastest.

Benefits of Hiring Long-Distance Movers and Trustworthy Companies 

If you don’t want to trouble yourself with the long drive and the packing and unloading of countless boxes, hiring professional long-distance movers might be the solution for you. If your budget allows it, hire a firm with top-notch moving services to take care of every aspect of your relocation. From packing and loading your home belongings to shipping your car and providing storage space if necessary, you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Even if your finances allow you to hire one of the companies to help you, make sure that you find one that is affordable but at the same time trustworthy and reputable firm. Just make sure you don’t wait until the last minute for your relocation.

Qualities of a Good Firm

After you have established the amount of money you can set aside for hiring movers, you have to look for other qualities that make a good moving company.

Trustworthy firms take pride in being competent, reliable, on time, dependable, licensed, and insured. You can check how the enterprise does business by looking at reviews left by previous customers.

Browse through the site. A good firm will have a customer-friendly interface that offers accurate information about its services.

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Professionals can make the relocation easy

Do You Need a Tip on How to Choose the Best Movers? 

Since the competition between the companies is fierce, they reduce their prices so that customers are more attracted to the services they offer. This is a good thing for you. It means that firms are competing for your attention. Now all you have to do is find the one that can cater to all of your demands. 

However, be wary of companies with unreasonably cheap services. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are a lot of unprofessional firms on the market, so make sure that the price is not the only factor you are taking into account.

If you don’t know how much your move will cost, make sure to ask for a free quote. Call customer service and cover all the bases by asking about additional fees and hidden costs. Knowing which questions to ask movers is half the job done.

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