10. Rent a Roof Bag
Roof bags can cost hundreds of dollars so why not rent one? You can schedule to have one delivered a few days before you leave. Fill it up and when you arrive in your new city you can just ship it back. We used Rent Luggage and they have a variety of different bags and the one we got was waterproof.
9. DON’T rent a truck or trailer, instead ship via Greyhound
Renting a truck or even just a trailer can be super expensive especially if you’re going from one coast to another. Even shipping through USPS, UPS, or FedEx can be outrageously priced. We found Busfreighter.com which uses Greyhound to ship boxes. It depends on where you are but you can have your boxes delivered right to your new front door or to the local Greyhound station.
8. Stay in Airbnbs and Motel 6
Motel 6 is a pet friendly motel that doesn’t charge a pet fee either! They aren’t fancy but they are clean and have enough room for you and your furry family. I tend to check Google and Yelp reviews and if they aren’t great for a particular area I look for Airbnb options which are actually cheaper in those areas.
7. Drive from early morning to right before dinner
Another perk about not getting a truck is you can split the driving time with you companion. Drive early and end before you have to eat dinner. This way you have some time to rest at the motel or Airbnb as well as avoid driving at night. Switch off every 3 hours or so and plan stops around that time in order to stay fresh driving.
6. Ship books and DVDs via media mail
Although we did save a lot of money shipping through Bus Freighter we did decide to ship our DVDs and books via USPS media mail. Even though this was about the same price as Bus Freighter it did get these items to our destination quicker.
5. Cats and dogs in the car
We traveled with one dog and two cats and did it successfully. Make sure you have two separate carriers for the cats. We did one hard and one soft so they could be placed on top of each other. Then cover them in hoodies, coats, or a blanket and the amount of meowing they will do should be at a minimal. Do not feed the cats in the morning. We gave our dog a light feeding in the morning and plenty of water along the way and she did great!
4. Reach out on social media to friends to stay with on the road
When we shared the news of our coast to coast move with friends and family on social media all were very supportive. A few even offered to put us up for the night and feed us dinner. This is a great way to spend a little time with friends on the road and save money.
3. Look up fun roadside attractions to make the long trip more fun
A huge black and white cow, a tree in the middle of the road, a metal corn on the cob, Field of Dreams, and Shoshone Falls were just a few of the attractions we stopped at between our long trip between Providence and Portland. It may add a few minutes to your journey but it’s well worth it to break up the driving and see things you may not be able to see any other time in your life.
2. Get gas in the morning along with coffee
You’re tired packing up the car and maybe animals in the morning and haven’t had your coffee. It’s a good idea to stop and get gas and at the same time get a coffee. This can be very affordable at gas stations and the coffee isn’t that bad. In addition this is the perfect time to set up your navigation and make sure to turn on the filter to avoid tolls.
1. Bring a cooler and stop at grocery stories along the way
The biggest way we saved money along the way was by stopping at a grocery store before our trip for healthy snacks and every day for lunch meat, cheese, fruits, and vegetables. We kept a cooler in the trunk and at hotels were able to fill it with free ice. By eating a fresh and healthy sandwich every day we kept up our energy as well as saved a lot of money. Even sandwiches can have a lot of variety and it made us feel a lot more energized.