Moving Over the Holidays

Happy holidays make for happy moving

With work slowing down and kids being out of class, holidays are an ideal time for transition. And while these times come with some unique challenges, planning your move over a break can definitely work in your favor. Let’s explore the pros and cons of moving over the holidays, and discover ways to plan around the issues you may face. It’s possible to have a happy move and a happy holiday!

Blurry lights on a Christmas tree.


What are the moving holidays?

First, let’s establish what we mean by “holidays.” The most popular times are the fall and winter seasons with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and also the summer holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Some also plan moves during other bank holidays when businesses and schools close. In this resource, we’ll break down differences between moves during these dates.

The pros of moving over the holidays

Some advantages to scheduling your move over a break are:

  • Work typically slows down before and after these dates, so taking time off may be easier.
  • For children who don’t want to stand out as the “new kid,” a summer move lets them start at the same time as everyone else at the beginning of the school year. Kids who start during the fall and winter holidays may get more personalized attention at their new school.
  • With time off, friends and family may have more time available to help.
  • Fall and winter are typically a lower-cost time to move, so moving companies may offer lower rates than you’ll find during the peak summer moving season.
  • For moves around the Christmas holiday, real estate closings sometimes go faster because realtors and mortgages companies may try to finish up contracts before the end of the year.

The cons

These are some drawbacks to moving over a holiday:

  • Being away from home may mean missing out on family traditions.
  • Holidays are traditionally heavy travel days, and driving a moving truck with extra traffic on the road may not be ideal.
  • For summer holiday moves, moving season peaks in summer, making a last-minute reservation more difficult (and sometimes more costly).
  • Both winter weather and summer heat pose moving and travel challenges. 
  • Moving at the end of the year may mean budgeting for moving costs and holiday expenses at the same time.

But with a little extra planning, you can turn these challenges into opportunities for a fantastic move, and still celebrate the holidays with your family.

Tips for stress-free holiday moving

Since many people choose these times of year to move, we’ve compiled a list of ways to ease the transition.

Use mindfulness when packing

Along with any “open first” items (like cleaning supplies and bedding), set aside anything you need for the holiday immediately upon arrival. Whether it’s gifts, wrapping paper, holiday decorations, or serving platters, make sure to pack these items where you can easily locate them.

Tip: Carefully pack holiday décor, like wreaths and Christmas ornaments, so they arrive in perfect condition. Use this guide for packing Christmas decor.

Let someone else plan the party

Unless you want to host an unpacking party, don’t offer to entertain family over the holiday. You’ll feel pressured with the deadline of company arriving. But don’t forgo the festivities altogether. Instead, choose the most important traditions to your family and take breaks to enjoy those.

Plan smart travel

Holidays can be prime time for travel. Whether booking flights or hotels, make reservations early. If you’ll be passing by relatives on the way to your new home, it’s the perfect time to stop and visit while your belongings are in transit.

Be aware of weather issues

If you’ll be loading in extreme heat, take plenty of breaks and drink lots of water. For colder weather, make sure to use caution on any slippery surfaces, and prepare for winter driving conditions.

Understand closings and delays

Many moving companies close on holidays, so you’ll want to consider that for planning loading and unloading. For example, U-Pack is closed Thanksgiving Day, the Friday following Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Since these aren’t considered business days, they would not be included in the estimated transit time.

Schedule the move around your deadlines

It’s important to pick the right move date so you can arrive when you want. That’s one advantage of U-Pack®: Transit times are fast, so even with holiday closings, your things reach their destination quickly. And if you have a firm arrival date, you can add guaranteed service and select the exact day they reach your new home.

A U-Pack moving consultant can help you weigh your options so you can choose the perfect move date for your situation. Call us at 844-362-5303844-594-3077 or get an online quote to learn more.

Have questions about your holiday move?

If you need help planning or working around your schedule, let us know. We’re here to help!