The U.S. is a big country, and its sheer size is sometimes forgotten - except by people taking a trip or permanently moving from coast to coast. To better understand the work that goes into an exceptionally long-distance move, let's look at some statistics and logistics.
Extreme cross-country moves
"Some moves across the U.S. can cover more than 3,000 miles."
What's the furthest distance you can go for a move within the continental U.S.? According to the United States Geological Survey, Quoddy Head, part of the town of Lubec, Maine, and Point Arena, California, are the two most distant points among the 48 contiguous states. In terms of miles, that's 2,892 on a straight line between the two places. On the road, it's 3,524 miles across the nation's highways, hitting 15 states during a 53-hour drive. Making this move would take about four days on the road, assuming you stop along the way to sleep, eat and rest instead of driving continuously in shifts.
The most extreme distance when counting all 50 states stretches from Log Point, Key Elliott, Florida, to Kure Island, Hawaii. Although neither have permanent residents, the trip would take 5,859 total miles. For the distance between two relatively nearby places with neighborhoods, you could shave about 1,000 miles off the trip if you were moving house from Princeville, Hawaii, to Key West, Florida, traveling 4,587 miles in a straight line. Although a flight - even though it would include two stops, if not more - is much quicker than the drive from Maine to California, it would take your belongings longer to make the trip.
The costs of driving cross country
If you make a move from the Northeast to Southern California or the Pacific Northwest to South Florida, it's important to think about how you, your family and your belongings will reach your new home. Driving would take several days - the trip from Seattle to Miami is 3,297 miles - unless you and the other passengers drive continuously for the estimated 48-hour trip. Factoring in minimal stops for relief and refueling, you would still spend close to three days on the road. Of course, that means taking shifts at the wheel and sleeping in the passenger or back seat, which can lead to a lack of quality rest and increase your chances for an accident.
In terms of costs, you could expect to pay about $300 in fuel, according to AAA's gas cost calculator. Food is a bit more tricky to calculate, but on the leaner side of things, you could expect to pay about $15 per person, per meal if you select modestly priced choices along the way, according to a restaurant pricing breakdown from Statista. For a family of four, and assuming two kids could spend $10 on kids' menu choices, that comes out to $600 for a four-day trip.
Some people excel when managing their own long-distance move, but it can be incredibly difficult - and expensive - to haul everything across several states and time zones. As you approach a coast-to-coast move, make sure to get in touch with the professional movers and packers at Atlas.