Packing When You're Moving Long Distance

Family vehicle packed, ready for road trip, vacation outside home.
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If you're moving to another state, province or across the country, you'll need to pack a few items to ensure that you're well prepared for your long-distance move and the road trip.

Emergency Contact Person

While this isn't something that you need to pack, you should identify a person who will be your emergency contact. This is someone who can be reached easily and will be around for the duration of your travels. Set a call schedule for you to check in with your contact person to ensure someone is monitoring your travels. They'll also act as a point person for any problems you encounter during your trip. For instance, if you have car trouble that postpones your arrival at your new place, they can contact the movers and/or real estate agent/landlord to let them know the change of plans.

Address of the New Home

It may seem obvious, but you might forget to bring the address of their new home. Further, you could leave without having the contact number of your new landlord or the real estate agent. First, you should always check and recheck with the movers to make sure they have the new address and contact number of you and an emergency number, just in case.

Route Plan

It's a good idea to plan your route with as much detail as possible. Not only will this ensure that you arrive at your new place on time, but also that your emergency contact has a copy of the plan and knows where you are on each day of your trip. Of course, if you have time, you can veer from the route, just make sure you let your emergency contact know of this change.

GPS Device

If your car doesn't have a GPS, it's a good idea to invest in one or download an app for your phone. Not only will it provide directions to where you're going, but can be programmed to find services, such as gas stations, mechanics, hotels, and restaurants, wherever you might be. We've found it to be incredibly useful and invaluable in particular when we drive on lesser-traveled roads and in areas that are sparsely populated.

Maps and Guides

While most of us rely on our GPS unit or smartphone, it's always a good idea to have a backup plan, like physical maps that you can rely on should the technology fail. It also makes planning a trip a little easier and more fun, too, especially if the whole family is involved.

Hotel Addresses, Confirmations, and Telephone Numbers

While most of us rely on our smartphones to find hotels and local businesses when we travel, it's always a good idea to keep a list of hotels where you're planning to stay or have already booked, including addresses and telephone numbers. This list should be given to your contact person so they know where they can reach you during your trip, in case your phone is off or service is unavailable.

Membership in an Automobile Club

Before you leave, make sure you have an up to date membership in an automobile club such as AAA in the US and CAA in Canada. Keep your membership card with you and instructions on how to contact them should you need emergency service.

Car Emergency Kit

You should always travel with an emergency kit no matter how far you're traveling. Make sure it's well-stocked and that you have supplies for kids if you're traveling with children. If you're traveling with pets, make sure you have needed supplies with you.