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Moving Far Away? These 9 Steps Will Help You Get There

Moving far away for a new job is the ultimate test of your independence.

It’s essentially hitting the restart button on your life — soon you’ll have a new job, new friends, and a new home. And while it can be scary, it can also be one of the most exhilarating and fulfilling experiences of your life.

But before you get there, you have to get there. Here’s how to prepare for your big move.

1. Ask about relocation benefits

Ask your new employer about relocation benefits to help cover your moving costs. After they’ve offered you the job, negotiate moving expenses alongside your salary to get the money and time you’ll need. Know your worth and be confident.

Some companies do not offer relocation benefits; if that’s the case, you’ll have to decide whether the job and idea of moving is worth footing the travel bill yourself.

2. Research apartments and housing

These days, the Internet makes it much easier to find a good apartment when moving far away. You can easily find pictures of the space, floor plan, and reviews of the apartment, especially if it’s in a complex.

The first step in finding a good apartment is to prioritize your needs. For example, if you’re bringing your dog along, then it’s easy to rule out a place that doesn’t accept pets. Other things to consider include: How close will you be to work? Is there laundry in the unit? Free parking for residents? How close is it to public transportation?

If you fly out for an in-person interview, use that opportunity to look at places to live.

3. Decide whether to drive or fly

Should you drive all the way to your new home or fly? The answer depends on how much stuff you’re bringing and if you’ll need your car once you’re there.

If you drive, make sure you can see out of your packed car through your rear-view mirror. Rent a moving truck if you can’t fit all your stuff in your car or if you're moving big items, like a bed or other furniture. In some cases, it’s cheaper to buy new (or used) furniture when you get there than to transport your old stuff in a moving truck.

Furthermore, make sure your car is capable of making the long drive. You don’t want the excitement of moving cut short because your 200,000-mile ride finally kicked the can. Even if your car is newer, take care of the proper maintenance before leaving — change your oil, check your tire pressure and tread, and top off your fluids.

Flying makes sense if you don’t have a car, bringing very little with you, or if you’ve hired professional shippers to move your stuff.

4. Estimate your expenses

This can help you negotiate relocation benefits, or at least ensure you have enough saved to pay for the move.

Here are some typical costs to expect:

  1. Gas
  2. Hotel(s)
  3. Moving truck (rental cost plus mileage)
  4. Food
  5. Sightseeing
  6. Movers (if needed)

Helpful tip: Use Hotel Tonight to find discounted hotel rooms when you book the day-of your stay. This is particularly helpful if you’re tired and need to end the drive for the day, or if you have more energy than expected and want to drive past your original stopping point.

5. Set aside 1-on-1 time with close friends and family

Sure, the easiest way to say goodbye is to have a big going away party. But it’s really hard to say a proper goodbye to the important people in your life when so many people are competing for your attention.

So, in addition to that big party, schedule some alone time with the people you’ll miss the most to have a more personal goodbye. That way you’ll have closure when you leave. Plus, you can figure out how to stay in touch while you’re gone and even plan future visits.

6. Leave enough time for packing

Do yourself a favor and don’t cram your packing into one weekend. Chip away; do a little bit every day during your two-week notice.

To make packing simpler, don’t be afraid to downsize your stuff. Once you’ve decided to move, gather all the things you don’t need. Then invite your family and friends to go through your stuff and take what they want. Anything that’s left over can be donated.

7. Space out the drive

Don’t push yourself too hard when driving. If the drive should take two days, give yourself three. Then you’ll have the flexibility to stop along the way instead of rushing from point A to point B. This is where a week off in between jobs comes in handy.

Also, map out your drive to avoid traffic hot spots during rush hour. One monster traffic jam can put a damper on your trip real quick.

Another tip: Give yourself a day off in between packing up your car or moving truck and starting your drive.

8. Pack travel gear

This one might seem obvious, but keep a travel bag up front and separate from all your other things. That way you’re not cutting open boxes looking for your razor.

9. Hire movers to unload your stuff

At the end of a multi-day drive, the last thing you’ll have energy for is unloading all your stuff into your new apartment. Consider hiring professional movers to take care of this for you. That way you’re not throwing out your back lifting boxes because you’re too tired from the drive.

What to remember

The most important thing to keep in mind when moving far from home is to take your time. That’s important when packing, saying goodbyes, and making the trek cross country. Rushing can add unnecessary stress when making a big move like this. Take your time so you’ll have the time to reflect and get excited for the next phase of your life.

More information

Need to save up money for a big move? Open a savings account for this specific goal so you can save and monitor your progress easily. Click here to learn more; or you can call 1-877-360-2472 or stop by your nearest Citizens Bank branch.

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