The decision has been made: You’re packing up your old life and heading for a new life on the other side of the country. Whether you’re going from California to New York for work, or from Pennsylvania to Arizona to care for aging parents, there’s no changing your mind now. You’ve put in your notice at work and sold your house, and you’ve got a move-in date for a new house thousands of miles away. One nagging question remains, though: Should you fly or drive to your new residence? There are pros and cons for each option, and a lot depends on the particular needs of you and your family.

The Case for Flying

    Many families with small children decide to take their chances on a flight that’s four or five hours long rather than a drive that’s thirty or forty hours long. They figure, not unreasonably, that dealing with a crying baby or hyperactive child will be less stressful if they aren’t behind the wheel of a giant hunk of metal capable of maiming and killing other motorists.

If you have to get a family car from one location to another, it becomes a bit more complicated, but it’s by no means impossible. Some families decide to split up by having one parent take the younger child on a plane while the other parent drives with the older child. If that’s not feasible, then look into having your car shipped. You can choose to ship your car via enclosed or open transport, depending on your budget and the condition of your car. For many people, open transport works just fine, but enclosed transport may be more appropriate if you’re shipping a car that’s particularly valuable.

Finally, flying may work better if you’re moving for a job and need to start your new position as soon as possible. This may be more common for jobs in upper management, but it can happen with almost any position. Maybe your company is so excited for you to begin working there that they’ve already rented a furnished corporate apartment for you, and all that’s left for you to do is show up with some business casual outfits. The rest of your stuff will arrive later on a moving truck. Right now, you’re the most important asset.

The Case for Driving

Driving is often, but not always, the cheaper option, depending on how much stuff you’re taking along. The price gets higher if you’ve rented moving equipment such as a truck. You may be able to haul the truck behind your vehicle, but that’s going to hurt your gas mileage, among other things.

However, many people do the math and decide it’s cheaper to just sell or donate their furniture, then buy new furniture once they arrive at their new place. If that’s an option, it can be awfully freeing to just take as much as you can fit into the trunk of your car. Add a pet inside a carrier to the backseat, and your car is probably just about full.

This option works best if you have two people in the car, since they can take turns driving. A solo road trip provides more time for introspection, but it’s also a lot more exhausting. If you want to take a road trip by yourself, it’s probably best to do it when you’re not moving across the country.

The negatives aside, most people who have to get their car from their old address to their new one don’t think of any other option besides driving. It just seems like the best, most straightforward option to get the vehicle from Point A to Point B. It can be an adventure if you plan things out and take plenty of breaks. Moving will always be stressful, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun along the way.





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