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planning a road trip

Turn your Move into a Road Trip

The house is packed, the movers have arrived, and your belongings are being loaded for your long distance move across the country! You may have lots of emotions surrounding leaving this place you’ve called home and making new memories in your new town. But before you can start moving into your new house, you need to get yourself and your family to your destination. What is a family to do during this time? It can be difficult to spend several days without your belongings during a long distance move. Or you can turn the whole experience into a road trip!

Take your time getting there

Since all your belongings are loaded onto a 53’ semi-truck or Snapmove containers, it takes some time for your shipment to travel the hundreds or thousands of miles to your new home. Transportation on semi-trucks is much slower than travel in a car. First, those large vehicles just drive more slowly than your sedan can zipping along the highway. Second, there are many safety regulations in place that limit the amount of time a driver can spend behind the wheel each day. This is really important to keeping our highways as safe as possible. But it means that although you might be able to drive 800 miles in a single day, a professional driver usually can only cover a maximum of about 500 miles per day. Third, your truck might need to pick up additional shipments before heading out. If your shipment is sharing a truck with other shipments that are heading in the same direction at the same time, your driver might not be able to leave immediately after loading your shipment. He might have to stay back for a couple days to get another load or two on his truck. But once everything is loaded and secure, he’s off on a long distance drive to deliver your shipment.

In the meantime, pack up the family and set out on a good old fashioned Road Trip across America. When I was growing up, in order to plan a road trip, we would stop by the local AAA office and pick up an inch-thick book for each highway you would be traveling. My mom would endlessly sort through the pages and pages of words trying to assess what would be fun (Wall Drug, South Dakota) and what would be a dud (beaches of Grind Stone City, Michigan). I can’t blame her for deciding to stop at every single Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead sites from Michigan to Washington, even though we’d finished reading those books years before. It was challenging to find the best road trip stops in the pre-internet days.

Plan fun and unexpected road trip stops

Thankfully things are so much easier now. Planning your road trip during your long distance move is much more organized. My favorite website is https://roadtrippers.com/. You can build an interactive map of your route, which is fully customizable to the roads you want to take. It gives you suggestions of places to go along the route within a reasonable detour distance. And has guides for specific highways throughout the United States with top attractions. No more flipping through hundreds of pages of the AAA guide to find what you can only guess is a worthwhile stop.

Making a long distance move is challenging. But it can be made much more enjoyable if you embrace your childhood and take a road trip during your move. Plan your stops before you go or embrace the true freedom of the road and make spontaneous decisions as you go. Either way, you’ll already start building memories before you even reach your new home.

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