Should you relocate during the holidays?
It depends on your situation. While many people choose holidays for moving, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider that are a bit different than completing the task during other times of the year. At U-Pack®, we handle long-distance moves of all sizes year-round, and we’ve gathered the pros and cons of holiday moving along with some tips to help you make the most of it.
‘Tis the season: holiday moving pros and cons
You’ve likely already made a list of reasons for and against relocating to a new city. When moving plans coincide with major holidays, there are some other considerations to include on your list:
- Moving during a scheduled break means less time off work and less missed school for kids.
- Some moving services are closed for the holidays and give “free” extra days to load/unload the moving equipment.
- You may find sales or coupons that help to lower travel costs.
- Friends and family with scheduled time off work can help pack, load and unload or help out by watching children and pets.
- Depending on the holiday, you could face less traffic on the road. (For example, holidays such as Veterans Day normally aren’t heavy travel days like Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
- Interruptions of traditions and celebrations.
- Family and friends might be unable to help with the move due to seasonal obligations.
- Some businesses close during the holidays, which can interfere with moving plans.
- Travel is often pricier during the days surrounding major holidays.
- In some areas, especially during the winter, the weather adds unpredictable challenges.
Tips for holiday moving
Once you’ve weighed options and determined a move around the holidays is best, consider these tips for making it successful:
Choose the date carefully
If you have some flexibility with moving dates, check prices for several different days — especially if you’re looking for more time to load or unload. Choosing a date before the holiday might allow some extra time with the moving equipment. U-Pack gives customers three business days to load (or unload), but you can get more time when the company is closed for business due to holidays.
U-Pack observed holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving (and the Friday after)
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Book early to ensure equipment availability
While it’s generally a good idea to reserve moving equipment early, this is especially true during holidays. Some moving companies perform maintenance on equipment during off-peak seasons resulting in less inventory available and some close for several days. It’s best to book your move as soon as possible to ensure availability when you need it.
Having a solid plan for packing is always important. Remember to pack gifts where you can get to them easily, and pack Christmas decorations carefully to help ensure safe arrival at your new home.
Consider alternative dates for celebrations
If moving will disrupt a family tradition, try celebrating on a different day. Enjoy a Thanksgiving meal a couple of weeks early or plan Christmas with family in January. With friends and family around, the season can still be special even if you need to celebrate on a different day.
Allow time for travel delays
It’s a busy time of year, with lots of traffic on the roads and in the sky — depending on when and how you travel, there could be delays. Airport travel often gets tricky during the holidays, so plan to arrive at the airport earlier than usual to get through security and to the gate on time. And if you’re traveling via highway, be prepared for more traffic than usual, especially Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.
Holiday moving FAQs
Is it cheaper to move during the holidays?
While it can be cheaper to book moving equipment for dates that fall outside of peak moving season, times around holidays are typically busy for moving companies, which can result in higher prices. Also, hiring moving labor during the holidays usually comes with a premium price tag depending on the company you choose.
Is it best to move before or after a holiday?
With the exception of Christmas, it’s generally best to move before the holiday if you can. Most Christmas travel is done during the week before, so moving then can mean increased traffic on the roads. Of course, at U-Pack, we understand that moves need to happen throughout the year, so we’ll work with you to find the best moving date and equipment option for your family.
Which holidays are best for making a move?
While moves on any dates can work with proper planning, most people choose moves during peak-season 3-day weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day, or the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Ready to plan a holiday move?
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