kenziology | Travel Guru + Coffee Enthusiast

Traveler, Photographer + Coffee Enthusiast

Travel Tips: Moving Across the Country

I have moved cross country seven times. Yup. Seven. (WHY!) (Because I love mountains apparently.) These are some of the tips I've come up with that I would tell anyone thinking about making a big move. You could obviously use these tips for a simple vacation as well.

Tip #1
Pack light.
Or rather, try to pack light. It can be hard, deciding what you really need and what can be left behind. For good or just for now. Pack for the season you are currently in and the weather at your destination. I'm moving to the Rocky Mountains in the dead of winter, so clearly I will be packing layers, winter boots, and warm outerwear.

I always say I'm just going to pack one suitcase, but let's be real. It always ends up being two suitcases, both large, packed to the absolute frigging maximum. For domestic flights in Canada, you have to pay for each piece of luggage you check. Usually for two bags I pay about $70. Weigh your bags before you leave your house to make sure they aren't over the maximum weight limit. Believe me, it's way easier to reorganize your crap on your living room floor than at the baggage desk at the airport.

HINT: If you mention to them that you are moving across the country, sometimes they help you out and don't charge you extra if your bag is overweight by a few pounds.

Tip #2
Search for cheap flights. 
My favourite place to search for cheap flights is Skyscanner. It's super easy to use and I always get the lowest price when I search with them. Even if you don't book through the Skyscanner website, it still gives you a good idea of which airlines will have a better deal for your travel dates. If possible, be flexible. Sometimes there is $100 price difference from one day to the next, so if you are able to be flexible, it can be worth it.

I've also had some luck with using a family friend's Buddy Passes. Essentially, if a person works for an airline they are given a certain amount of Buddy Passes that they can use for their friends and family. They are super cheap ($140 from YYZ to YYC) compared to regular airline tickets. BUT! They are considered "standby" most of the time. Meaning if that flight fills all its seats with regular paying passengers, you could be bumped from that flight to the next available one. It's stressful, and I spent 10 hours waiting once and missed my first day of work. So if you have the time, it's a great option. If you are on a deadline, maybe not so much.

Tip #3
Don't forget about ground transportation.
Many people, including me, sometimes forget about the cost of getting from the airport to your actual destination. Whether you are renting a car, taking a transfer, taking a bus, train, whatever. Make sure you have done your research. Check out the schedule, prices, pick up and drop off locations. This will make your life so much less stressful when you arrive at your destination.

For most of my jobs out west, I've had staff accommodation. Knowing where you need to check in for your staff accommodation is very important. Don't be afraid to ask someone if you can't find the right building. Chances are they were in your shoes once.

If you have an apartment set up or are staying in some kind of temporary accommodation, set up your reservations and such in advance.

Tip #4
Sell things you won't be taking with you. 
Have an old cell phone you don't use anymore? Sell it. Have a bunch of purses lying around that you haven't used in forever? Sell them. Anything of value that you won't take with you or you no longer have use for, list it on your local Buy and Sell Facebook page and make some money off it. It's nice to have the extra cash, and you are making use of stuff that would otherwise just sit there and collect dust. I did this before my most recent move, and made myself nearly $400. (Which is pretty much the cost of my plane ticket, so score!)

My one last tip is: Don't stress. You will make it to your destination, you will overcome any obstacles that come up. Remember you are heading on an adventure, and don't let the petty little details get you down.

Safe Travels!

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