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7 Major Differences Between Local Moving and Long Distance Moving

Published by Chris Townsend

7 Major Differences Between Local Moving and Long Distance Moving

Everyone moves at least once in their lives, whether for work, family, necessity, or to pursue other opportunities. And moving appears to be straightforward: everything is pretty much the same no matter how far you travel, right? Put your belongings in the truck and drive away. However, it is not that simple, and there are a few things you should be aware of.

The distance between your current location and your new moving destination is a factor that can make the move more difficult or easy. Local and long-distance relocation are the two most common forms of relocations. Three Movers is here to help you understand the distinction between a local and long-distance move.

What is a Local Move?

A local move is defined as a move within 50 miles of your existing residence by most moving companies. Moving more than this is still regarded as a local move, but it will be referred to as an intrastate move since you never crossed state lines but travel hundreds of miles within the state.

The expense of a local move versus a long-distance move is what distinguishes these two types of relocations. A local move can range in price from $1,000 to $1,500, depending on factors such as the number of movers required, the number of rooms, and the cost of fuel.

Local moves are, on average, far easier to plan. A local move may usually be completed in a day or two. Since the trip is very short and manageable, you can relax and stop thinking about your children and pets. Moreover, with the short distance traveled, the gasoline expenses for a local move will be significantly lower.

Long distance moving way

What is a Long-Distance Move?

A long-distance move, on the other hand, will be both more expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, confirm that your long-distance moving firm has a USDOT number, is registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), and is insured properly.

For a long-distance move, a Linehaul fee will be charged, the weight of your things will be calculated, and a price per pound will be calculated. Always remember to get a documented estimate about a long-distance move before signing any contract.

The weight of your belongings will only account for a percentage of your moving expenses. Focus on getting rid of things you don't need to save more money. The less you bring with you, the less expensive the move will be. Concentrate on downsizing your belongings and getting a comprehensive understanding of your moving company's rates and services.

To effectively prepare for a long-distance move, planning should begin months in advance. It is not enough to concentrate just on properly and meticulously packing your belongings; you must also concentrate on the journey itself. It is critical to plan ahead of time for a long-distance move. Make a list of possible navigation routes, lodging options, and extra stops.

Difference Between Local and Long-Distance Move

Highlighted below are the differences between a local move and a long-distance move:

The Preparation

Just like we mentioned earlier, preparing for a local move is much easier than a long-distance move. To prepare for a long-distance move, you'll need to do a lot of things. Since you can't just go to the place and find things out on your own, you'll need more time and be more thorough. Finding a new property, for example, will be more difficult because you won't be able to visit it in person; instead, you'll need to hire a real estate agent and look at your potential new home online. Other steps are also more complicated, such as bidding farewell to friends, family, and coworkers, as well as mentally preparing yourself for a fresh start.

Long distance moving schedule

Long-Distance Move Takes Time

You'll be able to pack your possessions and execute your move in less than 48 hours if you're relocating locally. Long-distance relocation, on the other hand, demands starting the planning approximately a week before the moving day.

It's vital to hire movers to organize your stuff, whether you're moving down the block or across the state, and don't forget to get rid of unimportant items as quickly as possible. The movers will assist you with making a seamless relocation.

Furthermore, it is always preferable to plan months ahead of time for long-distance moves to make the process easier and quicker.

They Both Have Different Packing Techniques

When a team of expert movers packs your possessions onto a truck, they'll make sure they're properly cushioned and packed. The preparations will be different if your belongings will be on a truck for days and you are traveling long distances. Hence, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind:

  • Changes in weather and temperature can have a big impact on things like artwork, electronics, and furniture. If you're relocating long distances, you'll want to consider if you'll need a climate-controlled vehicle to secure your things. In contrast, the impacts of time spent in the truck in the heat or cold are less relevant when driving locally.
  • With each day your belongings spend on the truck, the general wear and tear on moving boxes and furniture increases. That means extra padding, reinforcement, and attention to detail will be required while packing your belongings for the long haul. Your packing crew may take longer than they would for a local relocation, but it'll be well worth it.
Local and long distance moving estimate

The Calculated Moving Costs

Local movers will often estimate the cost of your relocation based on an hourly rate. Given that the transfer will take around a day, this ensures that they get compensated for their time and effort. This implies that if there are any issues or unforeseen delays, the final cost of the relocation may differ from the estimate.

Long-distance movers, on the other hand, frequently estimate the cost of your move based on the weight or volume of your shipment. It depends on how thoroughly the movers analyze your belongings, and this may or may not be a more accurate figure.

Some moving companies, on the other hand, provide guaranteed estimates for both local and long-distance relocation. This quote is based on a flat rate rather than hourly labor, and it is unlikely to vary unless there is a substantial difference in your freight or logistics on moving day. If at all feasible, use this type of quote! This protects you from unexpected expenses or modifications in moving fees.

The Insurance Requirements

Federal law requires all moving companies who perform interstate moving services to provide two types of insurance:

  • Your belongings are valued at 60 cents per pound with Released Value Insurance. This is typically the "basic" coverage option
  • Full Value Protection, which protects the value of your possessions in the event of damage. This is typically an upgrade in your moving coverage.

However, moving companies are not required to give this form of protection for local moves. Some will, but the majority will not. In either situation, you'll need to evaluate your risk tolerance and get adequate insurance to protect your things in the event of damage. Since not all moving firms offer additional services, you may need to contact an insurance company to evaluate your options.

Easy way to long distance move


When moving locally, most people choose to make multiple journeys and relocate their belongings. There is no actual challenge because you know you can drive those 50 miles and get the stuff you left behind.

A long-distance move, on the other hand, does not provide this flexibility. You must adhere to your moving company's strict guidelines if you want your relocation to go well. You also don't have any other option but to move all of your stuff in one trip, so take advantage of it.

Psychological Stress

When you are planning a move to a nearby place, you won't worry much about the complexities of the move. However, it's a whole new ballgame with packing your stuff and moving to a far place. When you're moving hundreds of miles to a new location, you'll undoubtedly be stressed. You will have to be mindful of your valuables, furniture, and time all of the time. A reputable moving company can assist you in avoiding such psychological stress. Hire one and delegate all of your moving obligations to them.

Your mover can handle everything from packing and loading your stuff into boxes to unloading those items in your new home. Ultimately, you would have enjoyed a safe and secure move to your new home or office.

Choose a Reliable Moving Company

Checking the location you are moving from or into is the easiest way to find a mover that will meet your needs. There are moving firms that specialize in these locations and may be able to provide a better service in those areas. They will also be able to offer you lower costs. As the adage goes, "experience breeds excellence." It's certainly true in the case of moving companies. As a result, you should look for a moving company that has executed many moves. That says a lot about their performance and reliability.

With Three Movers, the stress and headaches of moving can be left behind. Our team of professional movers ensures that you will feel secure in knowing your possessions are taken care of properly. Contact us today to get a free moving quote.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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