Relocating across long distances is a challenge that requires preparation and planning. There are multiple points in the process that can result in disaster, and preparing for bumps in the road will help you avoid catastrophe. There are a few common challenges that travelers face when attempting a relocation. Luckily, they all come with solutions.
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Choosing whether to fly or drive to your final destination
There are many pros and cons to flying or driving for your relocation. Ultimately, it will depend on your needs, budget, and personal preferences. Flying can be more expensive, though it may also be quicker and less stressful. If you decide to fly, you may need to budget for car transport services to get your car to your new location. That way, when your flight touches down, your vehicle will be not far behind you.
Driving may be the more cost-effective option. However, driving may come with more stressors, such as vehicle breakdown, road-trip exhaustion, and costly hotel stops, but some people prefer the peace of mind of having all their belongings with them.
Your new home isn’t ready
One of the most common challenges of a long-distance relocation is arriving to find your new home is not ready for you. A house that isn’t ready will require a contingency plan and a backup location to store all your belongings at the last minute. Not to mention, this last-minute curveball will leave you racing against the clock just to get the house or apartment in order.
The best way to avoid this disaster is to plan ahead. Communicate with the previous owners of the house or the landlord to ensure all changes to the house are in progress or will be complete by your move-in date. Knowing how to rent an apartment and what to look out for when researching rental spaces will be critical to the success of your relocation.
A common challenge of a long-distance relocation involves your partner’s career change. If your partner is moving with you, finding a job in a new city may prove to be challenging. Luckily, you can leverage new technology and the changing job market to your advantage.
Recently, employers have taken advantage of virtual interviews and digital processes to onboard new hires. Finding a new position in a new city doesn’t have to run up a travel budget, even hundreds of miles away from your current location. Planning ahead and accounting for job transitioning will help you relocate with ease.
Schools for your kids
Relocating in the summer between school years gives you a little wiggle room with finding schools and getting settled, but sometimes that isn’t possible. Knowing ahead of time where you will be relocating to and the local schools your kids will attend is critical to ensuring a smooth transition for your family.
Make sure to fill out the necessary paperwork to transfer your kids from their current school to their new school as soon as possible to avoid any gaps in their education.
Relocation professionals may not be professional
Another common obstacle in a smooth relocation experience is the moving professionals you may want to hire. Scammers are everywhere, and finding a reputable moving company or other professional moving service is critical to ensuring good service and successful relocation.
Research is the key. Find a reputable moving company with good ratings and reliable reviews. The cheapest option may not be the most reliable, so budgeting for a little higher quality moving service may be to your advantage.
Losing important documents or items
Important documents such as your social security card, passport, and birth certificate, as well as any tax documents, are necessary to affirm your citizenship and assert your legal ability to work. Losing these documents can be catastrophic to your relocation and may push back your ability to start working, access public services, and incur steep fees to replace.
Keeping these essential documents as close to your person as possible during transit will help you keep track of them. And if the worst does happen, be sure to research what you will need to replace these documents as soon as you notice they are missing.
Lost or damaged belongings
Lost or damaged belongings occur at a higher rate when you accidentally hire a moving company that is not as reputable as some of the other professional moving services out there. Part of the solution is to ensure the people handling your belongings are professionals.
If you decide not to hire a moving company, having an in-depth organization system and taking your time with your move will help reduce lost or damaged belongings. Packing delicate items safely and adequately prevents damages, and labeling boxes clearly can help you avoid misplacing important things.
Some tips to make your move simple: pack yourself, leave the heavy lifting to the professionals, and downsize as much as you can.
Not setting up utilities ahead of time
Not setting up utilities ahead of time can result in a disastrous first week in your new home. Be sure to let your electric, gas, and water companies know about your move so that you can reroute your utilities to your new address. You don’t want to end up in your new home for days without the ability to shower.
Informing others of change in address
You’ll need to inform everyone of your change in address, not just utility companies. The post office, IRS, and DMV are all important departments that need separate notifications of your address change. If you are moving states or countries, you’ll need a new license, which could require a driving test depending on your situation.
The post office offers a low-cost online form to change your address and forward your mail to your new location ahead of your move.
Before you go
With many critical points in the process, relocation across long distances can be a real challenge. Proper planning and preparation will help you get to where you need to go and prevent common hiccups and struggles others face when they relocate.