Most people would probably say that moving locally is less stressful than moving cross country, but they’re forgetting the one advantage that a cross-country move has: You may have the opportunity to work a vacation into the middle of it. Your house is packed up, you have to travel, and you probably have some time to kill before your stuff is delivered. You might as well have some fun, too.
If you’re driving to your new town, we bet there’s a ton of interesting stuff and places in between, including national and state parks, amusement parks, amazing cities, and tourist attractions galore. Reserve some time to find them as you plan your route, and pick the ones you want to see. If there’s a city on the route that you’ve always wanted to visit but you’re worried about expenses, consider just spending a day. Arrive the night before and stay on the edge of town, spend the day visiting museums or touring the city, and spend the night on the other edge of town so it’s easy to get out in the morning. Depending on your route, you may be able to visit two or three cities this way.
If you’re the outdoorsy type and love to camp, this is your chance to experience multiple environments and parks, so throw the tent and sleeping bags in the car, not on the moving truck, and start planning. You can either hop from location to location, or plan a multiple nights at the one national park you’ve been longing to visit. And if you have other outdoors interests, like canoeing or biking, don’t let the fact that you may not have your gear with you. See if renting equipment for a day is possible.
If you’re not driving, spend a day or two experiencing your new town as a tourist. Stay in as nice a hotel as you can manage and see the sights. Or, rather than flying, take the train if you can: You’ll see incredible scenery, and you won’t be able to do much beyond relax, look at the scenery, and read or watch movies, which, after packing and arranging a move should be a vacation all on its own.
We can hear you thinking, “But I’m in the middle of a move! How can I afford a vacation, too?” But a vacation is just a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation. It doesn’t have to mean expensive hotels, souvenirs and spending a lot of money. Search out free attractions, and remember that museums and zoos frequently have free days; check if they line up with your travel plans. Visit state capitols along the way, as these usually have lots of free attractions and lower costs than large cities.
Perhaps the best way to turn your trip into a vacation is to plan to spend time relaxing with your family on the drive. That can mean as little as getting off the interstate and exploring on the backroads, then stopping for a picnic, spending the day at a beach, or giving yourself the permission to stop and spend a day at a water park. As long as you and your family are having fun together on the trip, you can call it a vacation.