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Moving Cross Country: Should You Drive or Fly?

moving cross country

If you’re moving across the country, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime! And while such a big move is certainly reason to get excited, it may also trigger feelings of overwhelm and stress. After all, not only do you need to pack up your entire household (aka life), but you also need to decide how to get yourself to your new home — when moving cross country, should you drive or fly?

Your decision will have ramifications on how you travel and also on whether you decide to drive or ship your car.

So how can you figure out what to do?

If you’re not sure whether flying or driving cross-country is best, here are 5 questions to ask yourself.

1. Are you in a rush?

If you’re in a rush, there’s no question that flying is faster. You can get to your destination in a matter of hours, as opposed to days or even weeks.

2. Who’s with you?

If you’re on your own, flying or driving is a matter of personal preference. (Though if you plan on driving long distance alone, bear in mind that it can get lonely). However, if you’re with kids, flying is probably a better option — while you may have a few hours of difficulty, it’s only a few hours. Driving cross-country takes around 5 days if you drive 7 hours a day — that’s a lot of hours! And if you drive less, it will take even more time.

3. What’s cheaper?

If you’re moving with a whole family, plane tickets can be expensive. Plus, you’ll need to ship your car, along with all your other belongings, which will add to your total. On the other hand, if you drive, you need to pay for gas, food, and lodging for at least 5 days, which can really add up. If cost is important to you, you’ll need to do some homework on this one to figure out which option is really cheaper.

4. Are you looking for an experience?

Flying is fun, but there’s nothing quite like driving cross-country. Planning your route and making memorable stops along the way is definitely an experience you’ll never forget. However, if you’re thinking that you do want that cross-country drive experience, check out #5 before you commit.

5. Are you realistic about your abilities?

Not only do you need to have the physical ability to drive for 7-9 hours a day when you make a cross-country interstate move, but you also need to have the mental and emotional ability. This includes the energy, patience, and time to plan your route and itinerary. If you don’t have the wherewithal to plan properly, driving cross-country could become a disaster instead of the great experience you want it to be. So be realistic when it comes to your hopes and abilities, and plan accordingly.

Only You Can Decide

Ultimately, only you can decide whether you should drive or fly when moving across the country. And while you might experience overwhelming feelings no matter which option you choose, keep in mind that the end goal is worth it. The end goal is starting a fresh life in your new home.

About the author

Unpakt Team