Are you moving to a small town, perhaps to get away from big city life, or maybe a job or career change? Whatever the case, you’ll definitely want to do a little new-town-investigation before you move. Pre-move research will definitely help you get a feel for the city and what it has to offer, and you can do most of it online, from the comfort of your favorite chair!
Here are a few suggestions to help prepare you for your move to a small town:
Google your new city
Sounds simple, right? You can easily jump online and perform a search to see what comes up on your new town. Try searching “things to do in (your city),” “(city) newcomers,” or “moving to (city).” Most cities are known for something, so a little research will help you figure out what your new town has to offer.
Check out the Visitors Center or Chamber of Commerce
Most towns have a visitor’s center or Chamber of Commerce, and these can both be a great resource for learning what the town has to offer; most offer a newcomers guide. Search “(city) visitor’s center,” or visit Chamber of Commerce.com (you can search by city and state).
Meet your neighbors
While this is sometimes difficult if you don’t have much chance to visit your new town before moving day, meeting some of the locals will certainly help you get a feel for the city. Some small towns are notorious for being close knit communities where newcomers are welcomed slowly. Make an effort to make a good first impression, and keep in mind that it might take some time to find your place. Keep in mind that many people in small town grew up there, so roots are deep. But being friendly goes a long way! You could also join a local church; they’re a great environment for meeting new people. If you don’t have a chance to visit ahead of time, speak with the HR department at your new company, they may be able to put you in contact with co-workers you can connect with beforehand.
Visit community information websites
U-Pack’s Coverage Map offers information on thousands of cities throughout the U.S – you’ll find great resources, and info on what to expect when you get there. Topix is another online site with a plethora of information on towns across the United States. You can search for information on your specific town easily by zip code. They have news and events for the town, local entertainment, shopping, and real estate information.
Moving from a larger city to a small town is certainly life-altering, and may take a little getting used to, but many people like the slower pace. Have you made the move from a big city to a small town? Tell us how you handled it.
It’s Flashback Friday! Each week, U-Pack revisits a blog topic that’s been helpful to our readers in the past. Today’s flashback is: Moving Rates Cross Country. If you’re curious about how much it costs to move long distance, this post provides some great information. Happy Friday!
Free, Instant Moving Rates for your Cross-Country Move
From New York City to LA is about 2,800 miles (or 42 hours by land). From Miami to Seattle, is about 3,400 miles (or 50 hours by land)—even further. Have you determined how many miles (and hours) to expect for your move? I used the Rand McNally Mileage Calculator to figure it out.
I have to admit...looking at those numbers makes me cringe. Fifty hours is a long time to be in a vehicle, much less moving cross country in a rental truck.
When I look at it from that perspective, it makes even more sense why so many people use U-Pack for their cross country move. The moving rates compare to truck rental—but U-Pack does the driving!
If you haven’t gotten one already, U-Pack makes it easy to get free moving rates for your cross-country move. Just enter your “moving from” and “moving to” locations, an estimated move date and the approximate size of your home in the form to the right, to see your quote instantly.
If you have questions about your cross-country rate, we’re here to answer them! Just leave a comment below.
Learn more about driving laws that change by state If you’re moving across the country, it’s good to know what driving laws might change as you drive state to state – specifically speed limits, minimum driving age, seat belts, radar detectors, carpooling and cell phone usage. Remember, ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse, so here are some resources for determining what the laws are before moving day gets here:
Speed limit laws. Since not all states acknowledge the same speed limits on the road, ultimately it’s up to the driver to look for posted speed limit signs. You should always err on the side of caution when in doubt. This chart from the National Motorists Association lists speed limits on interstates by state: http://www.motorists.org/speed-limits/state-chart.
Carpooling. Because carpooling is becoming increasingly more popular, especially in larger cities, we’re seeing many laws created for HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes and carpool lanes. Usually driving in these lanes requires a minimum of 2 to 3 riders per vehicle, but that can vary. Make sure to know your state’s carpool lane laws before you make your merge! If you’re driving through any large cities, we recommend Googling “carpool laws (+city)” before your trip.
Seat belts. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), seat belt laws are divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary laws allow law enforcement officers to ticket a driver for not wearing a seat belt without any other traffic violations; secondary laws allow for ticketing for not wearing a seat belt only when there is another citable traffic infraction. Thirty-two states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico all have primary seat belt laws; seventeen states have secondary laws. New Hampshire is the only state without a primary or secondary seat belt law for adults (though it does have a primary child passenger safety law for drivers and passengers under 18). Learn more about state seat belt laws here: http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/seatbelt_laws.html.
Cell phone laws. Because the use of cell phones while driving is such a problem, many states have created laws against texting and/or talking while driving. Many of these laws focus on school zones and construction zones specifically. This chart from the GHSA shows all state cell phone and text messaging laws. http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html
Driving under the influence. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws stating that it is a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a certain level, which is currently 0.08 percent for most states. This chart from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety shows DUI/DWI laws by state: http://www.iihs.org/laws/dui.aspx
Radar detectors. Research shows that these devices are legal in private vehicles in all states other than Virginia, Washington D.C., and on U.S. military bases. In Minnesota and California there are laws against affixing them to the windshield (obstructing vision).
Minimum driving age. In most states the minimum driving age is 16; however some states have nighttime restrictions that raise the age to 17 or 18, and many states have passenger restrictions for drivers under 18. Check out all age-related driving restrictions here: http://www.iihs.org/laws/gdl_intermediate.aspx
If you have any questions about the driving laws in any state you’re operating a vehicle in, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle Department should be able to help.
You never know what you’ll find in your new city. If you’re moving to (or traveling through) New Orleans, LA; Boston, MA; Stockton, CA; Coney Island, NY; or Biloxi, MS, have we got a treat for you... Check out this infographic that shows five of the best timed eating contests in the country.
They’re not just something to see at your local county fair anymore!
Now days, competitive eating is all the rage. In fact, there’s an organization called IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating) that hosts eating competitions across the world. Take a look at some of the most recent records – you’ll be amazed, impressed and maybe even a little grossed out. Who wants to miss seeing folks eat a truck-load cupcakes, matzo balls, hot dogs, deep-fried asparagus or cheesesteak?
Even with all of this information, you might still question which company offers the best moving discounts (and who can blame you). If you haven’t already gotten a free moving quote from U-Pack, now’s a great time (it’s quick, and there’s no-obligation). Just enter your move information, and you’ll get a quote instantly.
If you still haven’t decided, here are some other considerations:
The moving discounts truck rental companies offer may not be as big as you think. Of course, every little bit helps – but don’t forget to add additional expenses like hotel stays, on-the-go meals, fuel costs, fees, road tolls and insurance to your rental truck price. Even the best moving discounts likely won’t make up for the extra costs that aren’t included in your truck rental rate.
What happens if you need more space? We’ve covered the different types and sizes of moving equipment available; from PODS® containers and rental trucks, to U-Pack’s moving trailers and ReloCubes®. So what’s the takeaway here? More room is always available with U-Pack, and you only pay for what you use. That’s not always the case with other moving services. There’s no need to leave items behind due to space constraints (unless you want to).
Driving across the country is easier in your own vehicle. Let’s face it. Rental trucks are uncomfortable, and not ideal for traveling with a family.If you haven’t already, take a look at how U-Pack compares to Ryder®, Penske®, Budget®, and U-Haul®. Why make a long-distance trip in a rental truck when you can enjoy a mini-vacation together along the way, while U-Pack does the driving?
Now, here’s my shameless U-Pack plug: U-Pack offers convenient moving services at discounted rates – they’re comparable to truck rental (but you can subtract the hassle). Your moving quote includes fuel, taxes, road tolls, and the driver. And of course, I can’t write about moving discounts without offering one. Use discount code BLOG11 for an additional $25 off your move. To save even more, talk to a U-Pack representative about off-peak moving days and terminal-to-terminal moving options. Get a free moving quote online or call 800-413-4799 – we’ll be happy to help with your move!
Check out the latest blog post from U-Pack customer Miki M. and her grandmother Regina as they near the end of their cross-country road trip to Oregon. Take a look at Miki and Grandma Regina’s stop in San Francisco too.
The last night of our moving vacation, we did it big...or at least our version of big. We had an amazing dinner at 5 Thais in Redding, California. Their mango sticky rice is nothing short of amazing! We then stopped at a charming motel. There wasn’t any ocean to be seen, but it was complete with palm trees, pool and jovial owners. After a quick trip to the grocery across the street for celebratory sodas, snacks and a few packs of dog food, we gathered by the pool. Central California was a tad too chilly for Grandma-ma and me to swim, but Danielle and Austin jumped right in! They were beyond amusing with their relative antics.
Grandma-ma and I soon settled in for a night of television and snacking. We went through our pictures and some yet unsent postcards. She worried a little bit about her furniture until I reminded her how flawless my U-Pack experience was a couple of years earlier. I described again how cute her new apartment was and told her how much I had missed having her around.
We made weekly plans to shop and visit. We talked décor and she pondered over all the usual items that needed to be replaced when moving: favorite spices, basic groceries and bath mats. As I grew more excited, Grandma-ma seemed to become a tad more nervous. It’s understandable. This was a big move: 3,000 miles away from the pharmacy and grocery she had frequented for over 15 years. But this is one of the reasons I chose ABF U-Pack Moving: I wanted us to have the freedom to enjoy our journey. I didn’t want to add to either of our stress levels by trying to drive a giant truck across the nation when I can’t even successfully parallel park my sports sedan! And, most importantly, I wanted to know without doubt that all the “things” my grandmother had worked so hard to earn over her lifetime were in good hands. And it worked out great!
Excellent question. And here’s the answer: Most people find that U-Pack is the cheapest way to move long distance.
While we’ll be the first to admit that occasionally there are exceptions, in most cases, the cost to move long distance with U-Pack is significantly lower than full-service movers, and comparable to truck rental. But, of course, with U-Pack an experienced professional does the driving. That means you get to enjoy the trip in your own vehicle (sounds great, doesn’t it?).
Here’s how U-Pack works:
We deliver a moving trailer or ReloCube(s) to your door.
You load your belongings.
We drive to your new home.
You unload your belongings.
There’s no additional charge for fuel, or taxes. Just pay based on the linear footage your shipment occupies in the moving trailer, or the number of ReloCubes you use.
And here’s a perk that U-Pack customers love: There’s no down-payment or deposit. You can pay by credit card in transit, or by cashier’s check or money order when we deliver to your home. So convenient!
Getting a moving quote is easy – just call or click. No one comes to your home, or bothers you; just a quick, simple quote to show you what to expect. Of course, if you have more questions about how U-Pack works, feel free to call us at 800-413-4799. We’ll be glad to help!
It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day! We hope you’ll have your green on. We sure will!
How about taking a break from packing to enjoy a parade? This infographic shows some of the nation’s most unique and historic St. Patrick’s Day parades. If there’s one in your area, check it out! And if you’re moving to the Kansas City area, you might want to build a float (in your spare time). The winning float entry wins tickets to Ireland!
Check out the latest blog post from U-Pack customer Miki M. and her grandmother Regina as their cross-country road trip nears its end.
Our moving vacation was nearing the end by the time we hit the road with San Francisco as our next stop. However, it was difficult to focus as we ruminated with sight and sensory overload. On this leg of our trip, we visited the best fruit stand ever (I’m not kidding)! I always make a point to visit the Moss Landing produce stand. We couldn’t help ourselves; so we bought a little more than road snacks. We collected three watermelons, 10 giant grapefruit, 10 pounds of oranges, a dozen artichokes, three pints of strawberries, onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms…the list goes on. It was all decadent, fresh, tasty, and under $20.00. Right?! The car was already crowded. We literally had fruit falling out of the luggage rack. The partial solution? To eat all of the fruit possible right then, of course.
Hello, San Francisco!
The best fruit stand, ever.
I think we were all on a natural sugar high by the time we hit the city. We saw the gorgeous houses stacked on top of each other, sparkling water and, I kid you not, a shiny person crossing the road. I’m not exactly sure what was going on, but a very thin person dressed in shiny garb, crossed the road and about blinded me. I hated to be that person, but I was on vacation, so I took a picture.
Then of course, we ate. That’s one of the joys of a moving vacation. Then we headed to the Golden Gate Bridge. I know every tourist does it, but it’s for all the right reasons—such a view and history! It was the perfect San Francisco day, full of light and fog. Grandma-ma and I strolled the garden with her little dog Randy. Danielle and Austin took Ivy for a walk across the bridge. Her little tail wagged for hours.
We took pictures together, shopped for souvenirs and gazed at the flag. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. Shortly after, we hit the road again, eager now to make it home. By that time, knew Grandma-ma’s belonging were at their destination. ABF U-Pack Moving called to let us know that they were storing her ReloCubes at their hub, so there were no worries. Her 86-years worth of furniture, memories, china and mementos would be there when we arrived. Have I mentioned that I’ll love ABF U-Pack Moving forever?
Alaska is like no other state in the nation, and the fact that it’s surrounded by the beauty of unspoiled wilderness makes moving there an exciting adventure. But a successful move to Alaska in the winter requires serious planning.
What to expect from a winter move to Alaska Expect it to be cold, dark, and have lots of snow. Winter temperatures in Alaska vary depending on whether you’re moving to an outlying area like Anchorage or an interior city like Fairbanks (where temps often fall below 30° for weeks at a time). With cold temperatures and long nights, it’s important to be adequately prepared.
Of course, we recommend NOT taking on the task of driving a moving truck if you’re moving to Alaska in the winter. Instead, save money by loading and unloading on your own, and let professionals do the driving! U-Pack offers a great, affordable solution. Now, you can catch a flight or make the adventurous drive in your own (familiar) vehicle. Much easier.
Things to carry in your vehicle This is good information whether you’re driving your own vehicle during the move, or have a vehicle to drive once you get there. Even though the snow-covered grounds are typically well-plowed, it’s still crucial to have survival gear readily available in your vehicle. Your survival kit should include: water, power bars, waterproof matches, fire starters, road flares, signaling mirror, flashlights, extra batteries, bandages, aspirin, disinfectant wipes, small camp shovel, multi-tool complete with knife, rain jacket/pants, safety pins, space blanket, garbage bags or poncho, wool blanket and socks, cord/twine, medications, etc.
The appropriate attire when you’re moving to Alaska in the winter Again, it’s cold, so expect to dress in layers for warmth. Invest in quality snow boots, wind resistant coats, base layers, etc. – a lack of preparation in extreme cold can take a deadly turn.
Mentally preparing for a move to Alaska Have you ever heard of Seasonal affective disorder? It’s sometimes called “winter blues,” or “winter depression.” And it’s a true disorder, marked by “normal” mental health through most of the year, but depressive symptoms during the winter. It’s especially prevalent in Alaska during the winter, when sunlight is sparse. Consider purchasing sun lamps or light boxes to help combat the winter blues. Also, be social and find reasons to leave the house as much as possible – visit the local coffee shop, have dinner parties, or lunch dates on a regular basis.
And though it’s dark, spend as much time as you can outside, because Alaska winters are simply extraordinary!
Go U-Pack! It’s the ideal way to move to Alaska in the winter! Get a free, no-obligation moving quote today!