Home > Moving > Best Long-distance Moving Companies of 2023

Best Long-distance Moving Companies of 2023

Updated Feb 7, 2023

Updated Feb 7, 2023

Home > Moving > Best Long-distance Moving Companies of 2023

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A long-distance move typically crosses over state lines or exceeds 100 miles. If you’re planning a long-distance move, you know the process is anything but stress-free. Selecting the right moving company for your big day can make all the difference.

We ranked the best long-distance moving companies based on several criteria, including packing and unpacking services, long-term storage offerings, customer service reviews, vehicle shipping, and more.

We then compiled and reviewed the market’s top 10 providers to help you find the best company for your long-distance move.

10 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies


Compare the Best Long Distance Moving Companies

The comparison table below should help you determine similarities and differences between our top long-distance service providers. We’ve included basic pricing information, BBB status, our rating, and links to get quotes from each. Read our provider summaries below to learn more about the movers listed here.

CompanyOur TakeOur RatingBBB RatingAvg. Long-Distance Cost
International Van LinesOur Top Pick9.8B$2,100–$9,500
American Van LinesMost Transparent Pricing9.7B-$2,500–$11,400
Safeway MovingBest Flat Rate Pricing9.6N/A$2,300–$8,200
Moving APTMost Moving Partners9.6B$4,100–$8,400
Allied Van LinesMost Vehicle Shipping Options9.4A+$2,650–$11,600
JK Moving ServicesMost Customizable9.5A+$3,000–$11,500
U-PackBest Container Service9.3A+$1,300–$4,100
North American Van LinesBest Pricing Options9.2A+$2,650–$11,500
Atlas Van LinesBest Moving Crews9.1A+$4,100–$8,400
United Van LinesBest Commercial Mover9.1A+$3,100–$8,400

International Van Lines (IVL)

  • Our take: Our Top Pick
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes
Our Top Pick
International Van Lines
  • Serving 50 states and 180 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • One month of free storage

Why We Picked IVL

International Van Lines comes in first place as the best full-service provider for long-distance moves. IVL scored 4.9 out of 5 stars for its extensive service offerings, excellent customer service, and convenient storage options.

IVL originally started as a Federal Maritime Commission-certified international moving company but eventually added domestic moves to its service catalog in 2004. This specialization in international moves makes IVL an excellent choice for long-distance needs. The company engages an extensive network of qualified moving brokers to facilitate over 20,000 moves annually across the country.

Pros & Cons of International Van Lines

Pros

  • Available in 50 states and 180 countries
  • Highly rated customer service
  • Month of free storage included with a move

Cons

  • Hires brokers for many American moves
  • Requires 20% deposit upfront

Services and Cost

International Van Lines is a full-service moving company with a wide range of product offerings. The company provides packing, loading, auto shipping, storage, insurance, and other specialized services for a move. It also offers debris removal, piano moving, ocean freight transportation, and custom crating for fragile items.

On average, IVL’s long-distance moves under 250 miles cost between $1,550–$6,800, depending on the size of the home. The cost increases with the distance between destinations, bringing some moves closer to $10,000. In most cases, IVL’s long-distance moving prices come at competitive rates compared to other top providers.

The table below shows average cost estimates for long-distance moves with IVL for two and four-bedroom homes:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$1,550–$4,800$2,100–$5,400$2,300–$5,600$2,600–$6,000
4 BR$3,600–$6,800$5,600–$9,000$6,300–$9,500$6,800–$10,000

Read our comprehensive International Van Lines review for more information on this top-notch provider.

Then, start your long-distance move by retrieving a free quote.


American Van Lines (AVL)

  • Our take: Most Transparent Pricing
  • Availability: 48 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes
Most Transparent Pricing
American Van Lines
  • Flat rate pricing
  • Competitor price matching
  • Moving shuttles between major cities

Why We Picked AVL

We give American Van Lines a score of 4.7 out of 5 for its transparent pricing model and extensive service list. AVL offers flat rate pricing, which means you’ll pay a fixed rate for all the ins and outs of your move. Better yet, the AVL online quote tool provides bottom-line pricing to help you budget your move properly from the beginning of the process.

American Van Lines is a good choice for long-distance moves because it offers expedited services and special discounts for moves between major metropolitan areas. This means your move to the big city might come at a better cost with AVL.

Pros & Cons of American Van Lines

Pros

  • Flat rate pricing
  • Expedited services for moves between major cities
  • Offers price matching

Cons

  • Requires large deposits at booking
  • Some reviews mention less reliable customer service

Services and Cost

American Van Lines boasts a long list of products, including everything from local and long-distance moves to military relocation services and storage units. AVL also provides full-service packing and unpacking, antique moving, car shipping, furniture assembly, and more.

On average, AVL charges between $1,900–$7,900 for moves up to 2,000 miles long. For larger homes, that price can reach closer to $15,000. See below for more information on AVL’s pricing estimates for two and four-bedroom homes:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$1,900–$5,200$2,500–$5,800$2,900–$6,100$4,600–$7,900
4 BR$5,200–$8,500$6,100–$9,400$8,100–$11,400$11,900–$14,900

Learn more in our full American Van Lines review.

Figure out the cost of your long-distance move with a free AVL quote.


Safeway Moving Systems

  • Our take: Best Flat Rate Pricing
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes
Best Flat Rate Pricing
Safeway
  • Diverse service offerings
  • Flat rate for all moves
  • 30 days free storage

Why We Picked Safeway

Safeway Moving Systems earned 4.3 out of 5 stars for its straightforward signup process, flat rate pricing system, and easy-to-navigate quote estimator. Like AVL, Safeway offers fixed rate pricing to remove the guesswork from budgeting for your move. The flat rate model also removes many pricing disputes that arise during moving agreements.

Safeway partners with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support lifesaving treatments for families in need. If you mention the foundation during the moving process, Safeway will give you a $100 voucher for necessary packing materials.

Pros & Cons of Safeway

Pros

  • Flat rate pricing for all moves
  • Provides custom and basic moving services
  • 30 days of free storage with every move

Cons

  • No local moving options
  • Website can be hard to navigate

Services and Cost

Safeway offers long-distance moving and storage services in all 50 states. While the company doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles of other full-service movers, it’s still an excellent choice for a big move. If you’re relocating to another part of the country, Safeway will help you get there, providing packing services and 30 days of free storage at your flat rate. Once the first month of free storage is up, Safeway is willing to match or beat competitor prices for additional months of storage.

Safeway provides long-distance moving services for two-bedroom homes for $2,000–$6,200. Costs increase for larger homes and longer moves, with more involved moves reaching close to $12,000. The company’s prices are competitive, considering the flat rate pricing model and free storage deal.

In general, the company’s moves stay in the following price ranges: 

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,000–$5,000$2,300–$5,600$2,400–$5,700$2,900–$6,200
4 BR$3,500–$6,800$5,200–$7,300$6,000–$8,200$8,500–$11,900

Read our Safeway Moving Systems review to learn more.

Then, get your free Safeway quote by filling out a quick online form.


Moving APT

  • Our take: Most Moving Partners
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes
Most Moving Partners
Moving APT
  • Profiles for most-used partners
  • Price matching and discounts
  • Large pool of moving providers

Why We Picked Moving APT

Moving APT scores 4.5 out of 5 stars for its robust partner network and comprehensive list of service offerings. Moving APT currently stands as one of the largest interstate moving companies in the United States, with over 500 local agents and partners in all 50 states.

The company provides a convenient cost calculator tool on its website to help you plan out your moving budget ahead of time. Simply enter your moving distance, house size, and preferred add-on services, and you’ll get a rough price estimate.

Pros & Cons of Moving APT

Pros

  • Provides in-depth profiles for its frequent moving partners
  • Offers discounts and price matching
  • Diverse affiliate network provides more robust service offerings

Cons

  • Quality of service varies by local partner
  • Some FMCSA complaints about price fluctuations

Services and Cost

Moving APT’s extensive partner network gives it an unmatched range of services and products. The company can connect you with licensed long-distance providers, commercial movers, car shipping companies, and more. Add additional services like packing, storage, and custom financing to your move to make it as smooth as possible.

Moving APT offers industry-standard pricing for long-distance moves. The company’s local agent network operates on a price-matching system to ensure your move is fairly priced. If you provide a quote from a competitor, Moving APT will match that rate.

The company charges around $4,800 to move a two-bedroom home around 1,000 miles, which is a typical price estimate for comparable moves.

Below are some additional pricing estimates for Moving APT:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$3,800–$5,100$4,100–$6,000$4,500–$6,400$4,900–$6,800
4 BR$6,000+$6,700+$8,400+$9,000+

Ready to learn more about this top provider? Read our full Moving APT review.

Kick-start your move with a free online quote from Moving APT.


Allied Van Lines

  • Our take: Most Vehicle Shipping Options
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes
Most Vehicle Shipping Options
Allied Van Lines
  • No hidden fees
  • Vehicle shipping is NOT outsourced
  • GPS tracking

Why We Picked Allied Van Lines

We give Allied Van Lines a 4.3 out of 5 stars for its elite vehicle shipping services and large-item carrying capabilities. You’ve likely seen one of Allied Van Lines’ easily recognizable trucks on the road; these large orange carriers can easily haul cars, boats, and other equipment.

In addition to its enhanced moving capabilities, Allied Van Lines boasts positive customer reviews and over 90 years of experience in the moving industry. The company has positioned itself as a trusted long-distance provider of residential and commercial moves.

Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines

Pros

  • Transparent pricing
  • Vehicle shipping is in-house
  • Offers GPS tracking for all moves

Cons

  • Some customers report a frustrating claims process
  • High costs for longer moves

Services and Cost

Allied Van Lines provides local, long-distance, and international moving services. The provider offers some of the best add-ons in the industry at an additional cost. With Allied, you can enhance your move with packing and unpacking services, custom crating, short and long-term storage, furniture assembly, and extra care protection packages.

Allied Van Lines’ InstaQuote feature allows customers to retrieve a quick online quote in a matter of seconds. This feature is especially useful for someone trying to estimate potential costs involved with their relocation.

Long-distance moves with Allied Van Lines generally cost between $2,000–$6,600 for a trip under 250 miles. Moves for larger homes and longer distances can reach around $15,000.

Review these additional cost estimates for Allied Van Lines:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,000–$5,000$2,650–$6,000$2,950–$6,200$4,800–$8,200
4 BR$3,600–$6,600$6,300–$9,500$8,200–$11,600$12,000–$15,000

Find out more in our Allied Van Lines review.

Get a quote from the company with this online form.


JK Moving Services

  • Our take: Most Customizable
  • Availability: 48 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes
Most Customizable Moving Experience
JK Moving Services
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Financing available
  • Excellent insurance options

Why We Picked JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services earns 4.4 out of 5 stars for its highly customizable services and personalized financing options. JK helps customers afford costly moving services by offering monthly payment plans and financing as low as 0%.

This provider is an especially good choice for small long-distance moves. According to its website, JK can complete small-space moves anywhere in the U.S. in under nine days. Each small move comes with a personal move coordinator, full-service packing, door-to-door transportation, and unpacking services. JK provides seven days of free storage in a secure, climate-controlled facility with every small long-distance move to sweeten the deal.

Pros & Cons of JK

Pros

  • Custom financing options available
  • Value protection and other coverage options
  • Professional movers undergo background checks and routine training

Cons

  • Reviews vary by region
  • Limited local moving options

Services and Cost

JK provides an impressive list of services that are customizable for each move. The company offers loading and unloading, furniture protection, stable rates, and reliable 24/7 customer service. You can optimize your move with JK by selecting add-on services like storage, packing, custom crating, long carries, and specialty item moves.

A 500-mile move with the company typically costs between $3,000–$6,000 for a two-bedroom home. JK Moving Services doesn’t have an instant online quote tool, making it difficult to retrieve quick and easy estimates. If you’re near one of the company’s headquarters in the Eastern United States, a representative can provide you with an in-person quote. Other remote customers can get a quote via JK’s AI-assisted video estimator.

Below are some rough cost estimates for JK Moving Services:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,000–$5,000$3,000–$6,000$3,000–$6,000$5,000–$8,000
4 BR$4,000–$7,000$6,000–$10,000$9,000–$11,500$12,000–$15,000

Explore our JK Moving Services review to learn more.

Retrieve an online quote from JK Services Review to start planning your move.


U-Pack

  • Our take: Best Container Service
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Full-service packing: No
Best Overall Container Service
U-Pack
  • 240 locations nationwide
  • “Pay for what you use” pricing
  • 3-day grace period for loading/unloading

Why We Picked U-Pack

We give U-Pack a 4.1 out of 5 stars for its simplified DIY moving services and cost-friendly “pay what you use” pricing model. As a container service, U-Pack will deliver a moving unit to your home for you to load up within three days. Then, a U-Pack mover will collect the moving container and haul it to your destination. Once you’ve arrived at your new place, you have three days to unload before a U-Pack representative collects the container.

With U-Pack, you’ll only pay for the space you use, making it a more cost-effective option than flat rate container services. This pricing system is especially affordable for smaller long-distance moves that use less container space.

Pros & Cons of U-Pack

Pros

  • Over 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada
  • Provides 3-day loading and unloading windows
  • Only charges you for what you use

Cons

  • Trailer storage not easily accessible
  • Reviews report difficulty finding parking accommodations for units

Services and Cost

U-Pack provides long-distance moving services to the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. While the company doesn’t have many of the products offered by full-service movers, it’s a no-brainer choice for someone eager to save money and pack on their own schedule.

When selecting a container for your move, you can choose between U-Pack’s various trailer sizes or a ReloCube suited for smaller moves. The company also offers short and long-term storage solutions at U-Pack shipping hubs nationwide.

U-Pack only charges you for the container space you use, allowing you to fit your price to the size of your move. The provider doesn’t charge extra for fuel, taxes, or drivers, saving you from pesky hidden fees.

Below are common price ranges for U-Pack moves:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$660–$1,750$1,300–$2,400$1,750–$2,850$2,300–$3,400
4 BR$880–$2,000$2,000–$3,100$3,000–$4,100$4,500–$5,600

Learn more about the best container service in our in-depth U-Pack review.

Visit the U-Pack website for a free online quote.


North American Van Lines (NAVL)

  • Our take: Best Pricing Options
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes
Best Pricing Options
North American Van Lines
  • GPS tracking
  • Dedicated move coordinator provided relocations
  • “Not to exceed” pricing option

Why We Picked North American Van Lines

North American Van Lines gets 4 out of 5 stars for its elite customer service and convenient GPS tracking feature for long-distance moves. We love the company’s customizable pricing structure, which gives customers peace of mind while budgeting for costly moves.

With over 90 years in the business, NAVL is a well-established provider with a national network of over 500 affiliates. With locations across the country, you’ll likely find a nearby NAVL solution for your next move.

Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines

Pros

  • Provides GPS tracking for moves and shipments
  • Personal moving coordinator assigned to each move
  • Variable pricing structure with affordable options

Cons

  • Reviews suggest a difficult claims process
  • Specialty services vary by location

Services and Cost

North American Van Lines provides long-distance and local moves for a wide range of service and budget needs. The company’s service offerings are competitively customizable, allowing you to do as much — or as little — of the work as you’d like. Choose from full-service, fragile-only, or self-pack options to adjust your price and process. NAVL also offers GPS tracking for each move, allowing you to keep tabs on your belongings traveling to your destination.

The company provides a variable pricing structure to remove surprises when the bill comes. NAVL offers three pricing structures for a predictable, stress-free move:

  • Bottom Line Pricing: Your moving quote is a guaranteed price and what the company will charge you.
  • Not-to-exceed Pricing: Your cost may be lower than your initial estimate but won’t exceed it.
  • Customized Pricing: You can choose from a combination of guaranteed pricing options with separate costs for additional services.

Regardless of the plan you choose, NAVL tends to be on the higher end of the cost range for long-distance movers. A two-bedroom move under 250 miles spans from $2,000–$5,000, and a four-bedroom move ranges from $3,600–$6,600. Bigger, longer-distance moves with NAVL can reach up to $15,000.

Below are some additional pricing estimates from North American Van Lines:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,000–$5,000$2,650–$5,900$3,000–$6,200$4,800–$8,100
4 BR$3,600–$6,600$6,200–$9,500$9,000–$11,500$12,000–$14,900

Read more about this top-rated company in our NAVL review. Visit the North American Van Lines website for a free online quote.


Atlas Van Lines

  • Our take: Best Moving Crews
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes

Why We Picked Atlas Van Lines

Atlas Van Lines is a full-service moving company with over 70 years of experience providing long-distance moves to clients nationwide. The company has 430 agents across the U.S. and 1,500 international partners, simplifying moves to any location.

Atlas is dedicated to providing customers with the best of the best for moving crews. The company received the 2021 Hauling Excellence Award for high ratings in customer satisfaction, quotes, safety, and operational excellence.

Pros & Cons of Atlas Van Lines

Pros

  • All moving crew members undergo background checks
  • Discounts for AAA members
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons

  • Service quality varies between locations
  • Some reports of inconsistent pricing

Services and Cost

Atlas’ service offerings are similar to many other long-distance movers. The company offers packing and unpacking, vehicle transportation, storage services, and valuation coverage. Valuation insurance coverage comes at no additional cost to AAA members, along with an additional member discount.

Full-price Atlas moves cost similarly to competitor moves, ranging from $3,000–$7,000 for a 1,000-mile move. Other average pricing information is listed below.

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$3,800–$5,100$4,100–$6,000$4,500–$6,400$4,900–$6,800
4 BR$5,100–$6,000$6,0000–$6,700$6,400–$8,400$6,800–$9,000

Read our Atlas Van Lines review to find out more.


United Van Lines (UVL)

  • Our take: Best Commercial Mover
  • Availability: 46 states
  • Full-service packing: Yes

Why We Picked UVL

United Van Lines is an excellent long-distance carrier with over 90 years of experience in the moving industry. The company is part of the UniGroup Corporation, one of the largest moving networks in the U.S.

UVL is a leader in residential moves, bringing a wide range of services to homeowners in 46 states. It’s also an excellent choice for commercial moves; UVL’s corporate relocation package can help businesses large and small move to a new location with less stress.

Pros & Cons of United Van Lines

Pros

  • Provides quick online quotes
  • Established nationwide for easy U.S. moves
  • Relatively competitive pricing

Cons

  • Service quality varies by local partner brokers
  • Some reviews report poor customer service

Services and Cost

UVL considers long-distance moves to be any relocation over state lines. UVL offers a full suite of services for these types of moves, including packing and unpacking, debris removal, home cleaning, car shipping, and long-term storage.

United Van Lines charges around $2,750–$6,000 to move homes under 250 miles. Moves closer to 2,000 miles will likely cost upwards of $5,000–$9,000.

The following moving estimates provide a good idea of common UVL prices:

 <250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,750–$3,800$3,100–$4,100$3,500–$4,500$4,300–$4,900
4 BR$5,100–$6,000$6,000–$6,700$6,400–$8,400$6,800–$9,000

Find more information in our full review of United Van Lines.


What Influences the Cost of a Long-distance Move?

Moving to a new place is already stressful, and unpredictable costs will only add to that stress. Before embarking on a long-distance move, you should brush up on factors that will affect your costs throughout the process. We’ve detailed several cost considerations in the sections below.

Distance

The distance of your move will significantly affect how much you pay for the service. Longer-distance moves will have higher costs — often thousands of dollars — than moves under 100 miles.

The higher costs of longer moves aren’t just reflective of the time it takes the driver to haul your belongings between destinations. Your long-distance move payment covers additional costs for fuel, crew wages, and other accommodations throughout the journey.

Shipping Weight/Size of Move

Moving companies typically calculate local moving costs via hourly rates. On the other hand, long-distance moving costs fluctuate depending on the move distance and shipment weight. Most moving companies have specific processes for weighing their containers before and after loading up, allowing them to calculate the weight of a load. It’s important to ask about a company’s process before signing any moving contracts.

Full-Service vs. Self-Service

You’ll pay more for full-service movers than for a DIY move. Full-service movers take care of the packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking to give you the most hands-off moving experience. This type of white-glove service comes with a few added dollar signs. If you want professional help and peace of mind during your move, a full-service provider is an excellent option.

If you’d rather save money and run through your moving checklist on your own schedule, go for a self-service move. DIY moving typically involves renting a moving container and arranging for help come moving day. You’ll still incur costs for a container, packing supplies, and paying any helpers that offer up their time — but you’ll spend less than you would for full-service.

Moving Date

Moving season peaks between May and September, so booking during this time might cost more. If you anticipate needing to move between these months, book in advance to ensure you get the services and providers you need. Booking ahead also helps you avoid convenience fees and other last-minute expenses. Learn more about the best time to move in our guide to the best moving seasons.

Add-on Services

Like any moving project, long-distance moves are more expensive with add-ons. Services like furniture assembly, custom crating, piano hauling, and specialty packing will tack extra dollars onto your final bill.

If you decide to take advantage of the many great add-on services top moving companies offer, ensure you’ve been quoted for the full amount ahead of time. An itemized list of extra services will help you avoid any shocking discoveries come payday. We suggest asking for a nonbinding estimate to give you an idea of additional costs before signing your final contract.


Average Full-service Moving Costs

 1 Bedroom2 Bedroom3 Bedroom4 Bedroom
Local$1,300$1,650$2,200$3,000
250 mi$3,000$4,150$5,600$6,600
500 mi$3,400$4,500$6,600$7,300
1000 mi$3,850$4,950$7,000$9,200
2000 mi$4,700$5,300$7,400$9,900
2500 mi$5,200$5,600$7,800$11,000
3000 mi$5,600$6,600$9,600$12,500

How to Choose the Best Long-distance Moving Company

Evaluating top companies is the first step in the moving process. Along with scheduling free quotes and researching each provider’s services, there are other important factors to keep in mind.

Before booking, take the following steps to vet each moving company:

  • Request proof of registration: Long-distance movers must maintain federal permits to operate. Before signing with a moving company, request proof of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state registration.
  • Ask about insurance: Movers must carry multiple forms of insurance, including basic vehicle coverage, workers’ compensation, and released liability coverage. These policies protect you from liability should any damages or injuries occur during your move.
  • Assess service offerings: Ensure your chosen moving company can provide all of the services you need for your move. Don’t just trust a company’s service list on its website; schedule an in-home estimate or video meeting to have your questions answered by a representative.
  • Read real customer reviews: One of the best ways to vet a company is to explore reviews from real customers. You’ll find the good, bad, and honest opinions of customers who have experienced the company’s service firsthand. We suggest looking for reviews on Google, Trustpilot, BBB, and social media.

Need more tips on finding the best provider for your long-distance move? House Method’s Moving Expert, Sean Donnelly, explains how to distinguish between good and bad moving companies.


Find the Best Long-distance Moving Company in Your State

Need help finding the best mover near you? Explore your options using the interactive map below.


How to Prepare for a Long-distance Move

Embarking on a long-distance or cross-country move takes a lot of planning and preparation. Luckily, you can take a few steps to simplify the process.

infographic showing the steps you should take in the weeks leading up to a move
Image Source: Elisabeth Beauchamp / House Method Team

1. Outline Your Moving Timeline

Outlining a schedule for your upcoming move will keep you organized and grounded throughout the process. Start your timeline at least two months before moving day to allow for all the necessary steps, like:

  • Budgeting
  • Purging unused items
  • Taking inventory
  • Organizing and packing
  • Filing for a change of address
  • Transferring utility services
  • Booking a moving company

Read our complete moving checklist for guidance on how your moving timeline should look.

2. Start Budgeting

Budgeting extra for your move can remove some financial stress from an already overwhelming process. When planning for a professional mover, budget 10% to 20% above your quoted price. Doing so will help you prepare for unexpected charges or added services that might arise on moving day.

In addition to saving up some extra cash for your move, you’ll want to budget some extra time for the moving process. If your movers have given you a delivery window, then you should plan for a move that could exceed their given parameters by a day or two. Pack enough clothing and budget for hotel arrangements accordingly.

3. Condense Your Belongings

The larger the load you need to move, the larger your bill will be. Save yourself some money and stress by condensing your move as much as possible. Donate or sell furniture, clothes, and books you no longer use. Doing so will give you — or your hired movers — less to pack, load, and haul come moving day.

4. Create an Inventory List

Prepare a home inventory list at least eight weeks before your move. Doing so will give you a clearer picture of what items are going with you and how to pack them most efficiently. An organized inventory will help you retrieve more accurate quotes as you reach out to potential movers.

5. Gather Necessary Packing Supplies

Proper packing materials can keep you from arriving at your new home with a broken, disorganized mess. You’ll need cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and permanent markers. You can buy boxes online or at the post office or ask local grocery stores and liquor stores if they have any leftovers. Fruit crates and liquor boxes are excellent for moving because they’re extra sturdy to carry heavy items.

You should get a clear plastic container for your moving day essentials. This box will hold important documents, snacks, and valuables that you’ll keep with you on moving day. You might also pack an essentials box with full-size toiletry bottles, phone chargers, linens, and kitchen utensils. These will get you through the first couple of days at your new home in the event your moving truck arrives late.

6. Notify Your Service Providers

Don’t forget to notify your providers of your upcoming move. Reach out to your current internet provider, electric company, and cable service to request a transfer to your new location. Schedule the transfer at least a month in advance to avoid frustrations once you reach your new address. Remember to cancel your old service if you plan to switch utilities to a new company; this will save you from paying for a service you aren’t using.

7. Book an Insured Mover

Book a professional moving company at least a month before your move date. Scheduling ahead will increase the likelihood of getting the service and prices you want. Ensure your selected mover is properly insured and licensed before signing any contracts.

Final Thoughts

A successful, low-stress move begins with planning and organization. It also depends on hiring the right movers for the job. Shop around with different companies to find the costs and services that meet your moving needs. Then, thoroughly read your contract before signing to avoid frustrations throughout the move.

When it comes to the best moving companies in the industry, we recommend International Van Lines, American Van Lines, and Safeway Moving Systems. These companies offer full moving service suites backed by years of experience in the industry.

Learn more about each company’s pricing and service offerings below:


FAQs About Long-distance Moving

How Long Does the Typical Long-distance Move Take?

Long-distance movers can typically cover up to 400 miles per day if they’re only carrying your belongings. This means a 1,000-mile move could take up to three days to complete. If your move is packaged onto a truck with other clients’ household goods, request a delivery window from your mover to get a better idea of your timeline.

You should allow two days for loading and unloading your long-distance move, regardless of whether you’re renting a moving truck or hiring professional movers.

What Is a Binding Estimate?

Binding estimates are quoted prices that won’t fluctuate unless your service requirements or inventory do. Pay attention to your moving contract’s wording on binding estimates to avoid disputes come payday. You should typically push for binding estimates rather than ballpark figures while shopping for quotes. Doing so will give you a more solid pricing figure for your move.

What Is the Cheapest Way To Move Long-distance?

The cheapest way to move long-distance is to perform a DIY move. This process involves renting your own moving truck and completing all packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading. For DIY moves with companies like U-Pack, you’ll pack your items, and the company will haul them to your new destination. With other companies like U-Haul, you’ll complete all aspects of the move — driving included — on your own.

Ready to plan a move that won’t break the bank? Check out our guides to the cheapest moving truck rentals and cheapest moving containers.

When Is the Best Time of Year To Move Long-distance?

The best time to move is typically during spring and summer. These seasons tend to have better weather, leading to fewer hazards and roadblocks along the way. They also have longer days, giving moving crews better visibility and daylight time to complete drives.

The main thing to consider when planning a spring or summer move is scheduling a mover in advance. Since these seasons are popular moving times for many people, you might have a harder time finding an opening in your mover’s calendar. Prices might be higher due to higher demand.

How Far in Advance Should You Schedule a Cross-country Move?

You should start planning and scheduling your cross-country move at least eight weeks before moving day. We recommend the following timeline for scheduling your moving company:

  • 8 weeks out: Research moving companies with your preferred services and pricing.
  • 6 weeks out: Retrieve price estimates from several companies and compare your options. Then, book your move.
  • 4 weeks out: Confirm your booking with a signed contract and confirm all details of your move with the company.

Generally, the further in advance you can plan your move, the better. You’ll have more scheduling options and more time to retrieve multiple quotes from different companies. Planning ahead also allows you to begin budgeting for the move itself and any additional costs, leading to less financial stress come moving week.

What Should You Not Ship in a Long-distance Move?

You should not attempt to move any item that may put the movers in danger should the truck crash. Some examples include oxygen tanks, aerosol cans, and gasoline. You should avoid moving plants or important documents with your hired movers.

Do I Need Moving Insurance?

Moving insurance is a good investment for any long-distance move. These policies cover you if your property is lost or damaged during the move. Third-party moving insurance is typically the best choice because it provides more settlement options and additional coverage for issues like mold, insects, and natural disasters.

If third-party moving insurance is out of your budget, consider valuation coverage with your chosen moving company. Valuation coverage is a limited liability coverage in which the moving company itself will reimburse you for damages should they occur.

Our Moving Ranking and Review Methodology

Why Trust House Method

  • 24 key factors analyzed
  • 1,000+ relocation services parsed
  • 1,000+ customer reviews analyzed

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 25 critical data points across multiple companies to identify what makes a great moving company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 40 moving providers for services provided, relocation costs, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their next move.

At House Method, our primary goal is to be a transparent and reliable information source for our readers. We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and developed the following formula to render objective ratings—on a scale of 10 points—for the companies we review.

Our ratings are based on publicly available information about each company, secret shopping online and over the phone, customer-review analysis, and interviews with former and current professional movers.

We monitor company data on an ongoing basis to keep rankings and information up to date.

  • Transparency (3.0): We awarded top points to companies that supplied quotes quickly and provided easy-to-read moving contracts. We used the availability of sample pricing and quick quote features, GPS tracking, and clear customer service hours to determine this metric. Points were also awarded for up-front communication regarding policies, licensing, insurance, and the clear listing of added fees.
  • Basic Service Options (2.0): While this may seem like a given for most movers, a strong basic service profile is not guaranteed when you book your move. Movers that offer local, long-distance, and international moving, while providing packing and loading with their basic service packages rate highly here.
  • Customization Options (3.0): Aside from basic services, a comprehensive list of added services indicates a mover’s quality. Assembly and disassembly, valuation coverage, piano moving, car shipping, and similar add-ons indicate a mover that puts customer service first.
  • Reputation (2.0): We assessed each mover’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile. We weighed BBB ratings and the company’s complaint response rate to calculate this metric.

Read our detailed methodology for more information.

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