bekins moving cross countrySince moving is on my mind and it seems according to statistics it is up there with other stress inducing factors such as dying that I might discuss some things I have learned about it that may make your future move a whole lot easier.


I have moved a ton in my lifetime, but usually within the same general area. When we hired movers for the cross country trek out East it was my first experience with a professional moving company. I just assumed we would pay our quoted rate and it would be delivered a couple days after we arrived. Not the case. After the movers went to the weigh station they quoted us nearly double of what we assumed we had. If I were to do this again, I would get weights from the retailers where I purchases my furniture, or bought a heavy duty shipping scale to weigh boxes and/or drove to the closest weigh station to see for myself the weight. Since they had our items ‘hostage’ I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. Reading on line, it seems this bait & switch is the norm for the moving industry since they know you are stressed and will probably just give in and pay the demanded new fee.

Did you know you can pay a small additional fee to get a guaranteed delivery date? It’s worth the extra fee, trust me. It took our movers over a month to deliver our truck when we moved East. We had none of the essentials needed for living, no dishes, no bed, no television, no coffee pot, no towels, nada.  We ended up buying dupes of everything after 2 weeks since we didn’t know when our things would arrive. It cut into our budget/savings considerably and the extra fee we would have paid to get a guaranteed delivery would have been a lot less money + heart break.


If you are going the truck route and may not see it for a while, pack some basics with you-sheets, towels, some dishes + utensils, you will be happy you did.


I bought a bunch of audio books for our trip, but on that first 9 hour leg we couldn’t listen to them because I thought I would be able to buy them and just download them while we were driving since the Iphone has built in internet, right?  It does but when you are out in the middle of the Mojave or some other desolate location it requires that you download via a high speed connection which your Iphone will not be.


If your car isn’t already equipped get one, this is not a time to potentially get lost and stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Also, get some maps. As a AAA member we had our entire route configured for us by an agent. We just called told them which way we wanted to go (the Southern route), how many hours we wanted to drive each day and they mapped it out for us sending us both email versions, hard copy maps in the mail and even booked our hotels (with a discount!). AAA is such a nominal fee each year and it pays for itself in the peace of mind you get from knowing if you get a flat tire or your battery dies one call and help will be on its way!


I can not stress this enough, bring lot’s and lot’s of fresh, good food. Off the highway you will have tons of fast food joints but there won’t be a super market in sight. Just stop by a grocery store prior to leaving and stock up on fruits, nuts, clean sandwiches, anything healthy, because for days there will not be anything fresh + clean and it is no fun driving for 3-4 days straight and landing at your new abode bloated, tied and broken out because all you had was processed + fried food.


Make sure you have a travel bowl and water. Travel bowls usually will be weighted so you aren’t spilling water all over your car seats and carpets. Our Frenchie sheds a new dogs worth of fur each day (so wrong) so we made sure to cover our entire back seat with old blankets. We also put down towels in case of accidents and we were so glad we did as she got super car sick by the time we hit Arizona and the towels made clean up a breeze (I shudder to think what it would have been like traveling in a car for four days if she had gotten sick directly on the upholstery!). Here are some more great tips.


I think this may go without saying, but wear clothes that you will be comfortable sitting in for hours on end.  I wore a sun dress and sandals one day and was tortured by the air conditioner until I made my husband pull over to get my sweater, leggings and socks buried deep in our suitcase in the back, he was not happy.

P.S. If you have any other tips to add to this please leave them below, I love to learn new ideas on how to make life easier!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.


  1. we drove a truck cross country from atlanta to los angeles 3 months ago. we found out that if you’re not hiring movers, penske is the cheapest option. also, we travelled with two cats, so we put a small litterbox in the back, but they didn’t end up using it. thank god! there are a lot of pet friendly chain hotels along the way. :)

    i also like to bring lots of hand sanitizer when driving cross country, because some gas stations won’t have soap!

    1. EstherJulee, happy to know you have landed in my hometown, I hope you are enjoying it for me! I was going to add wet wipes, they are a lot less sticky than hand sanitizer but I agree something is needed in the car because dirty hands seems to be inevitable!

  2. Hi Tristan! Safe travels to you, and see you when you get to Seattle! My tip? Grab some Peace of Mind from Origins. The peppermint will be a nice pick-up. Also, a pillow, blanket, and socks for naps. :)
    p.s. I am catching up on your Blogging series–loving it! You always have such great tips to share with the world.

    1. Hello Charmaine, I am so looking forward to seeing you soon, I know Jamie is envious I told her to bring her baby! Brilliant tip on the Origins that would have been a welcome reprieve from the manure fields in the rural areas we have been driving through. I am happy you are enjoying the series and thank you for the compliments!

      P.S. For those feeling left out of the ‘club’ the lovely Charmaine + Jamie were awesome students in our Souvenir Foto School classes (which we highly recommend for both photo inspiration and friend making;)

  3. I’ve hired movers for cross-country moves three times now, and here’s my tip. Hire movers who will give you a BINDING quote. They’ll give you an estimate beforehand that you agree to, and then the final cost–no matter what the weight–can be no more than 10% more than that. They come out and look through your whole house to find out what you’re taking and make their estimate–this is also a good time to ask advice on whether something is worth it to move. Like the time we had an old TV that we weren’t sure if we should bring–they told us how much it would add to the cost to move it and we decided, “Nope, not worth it.”

    Love your blog, btw. :)

    1. Great tip Karen! I really hope people who are Googling find this list because this is all such great info and things I wish I had known prior to hiring the movers! Thank you for the kind words on the blog!

  4. I’d say a good soundtrack, sunscreen for when the sun is shining directly in your face and container of wet naps are essential!

    Safe travels!

    1. Jennie, sunscreen indeed! I am actually sun burnt this afternoon which my already aging visage doesn’t need anymore sub damage! I am totally with you on the good soundtrack + wet naps!

  5. Those are some really good tips! Now I just need to actually move away from Seattle so I can implement them. Honestly, I am thrilled you’re moving to Seattle! Oh how I love instagram and the way you get meet other inspiring people as yourself. Excited to also meet you in person soon (once you are settled).


  6. Great tips Tristan! I really like the idea of having podcasts/audio books for such a long drive. Getting by with just the radio or music is hard for that length of time. Good podcasts I recommend… Duncan Trussell Family Hour, Star Talk, Warrior Poet, The Drunken Taoist, Joe Rogan.
    I’m glad you mentioned that you should have a delivery date agreed upon in advance, as most moving companies will wait until they have a full load to drive the trucks to their destination. I can’t wait for my next move!

  7. Wow I’m sorry to hear about your “shady movers” experience. I assure that not all long distance moving companies and van lines bait and switch quoted prices. There definitely is a lot of shady business tactics in the moving industry though sadly. The best thing you can do is to research your company thoroughly online and read reviews. Checking each company’s reputation with the website is also a good way to weed out the bad apples. It is always best to get a binding estimate though to ensure that your quoted rate is guaranteed before moving. You have a lot of great cross country moving tips here though! For more tips about saving money when moving across the country. Thanks for sharing and good luck moving in the future!

  8. These are all very good tips for moving cross-country! You named a few that a lot of moving guides and websites fail to mention such as buying/traveling with a gps, stocking up on tons of music and podcasts, and wearing comfortable clothing. Trust me, you won’t want to be wearing tight jeans and tight shoes for hours of driving. Also make sure to remove your wallet from your back pocket because 8 hours of sitting on it a day can cause serious back pains…trust me! Thanks for all the great cross country moving tips…much love!

  9. Some really great tips here. I do think that my favorite by far has to be bring food! It is really hard to find quality, affordable food while making a long journey to your next location, and packing snacks that you know are healthy will do you well.

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