Using a holiday break to move
For many people, holidays mean time off work and school, so it’s an ideal time to plan a move. You just want to be aware of things like holiday closings and peak moving days that can have an impact on your plans. See how to take advantage of the benefits of moving over a holiday and get tips for working around the potential challenges.
What holidays are popular for moving?
Fall and winter holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are great times to move since work normally slows down, kids are out of school, and there’s an extended break. Summer holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day are also popular since they fall during times when school is out in most places. Lastly, federal holidays, like Veterans Day or Presidents’ Day, are also times when people may make moving plans due to business closures.
Benefits of booking your move on a holiday
- With schools and offices closed for a period, friends and family may be more available to help.
- For a summer move, kids can start a new school at the same time as everyone else.
- Real estate closings can go faster at the end of the year, with realtors and mortgage companies trying to finish up contracts before the calendar end.
The challenges of holiday moving
A move over a holiday can be a great success if you’re mindful of these three things:
Most moving companies do not operate on holidays, so if you’re planning to load or unload then, schedule to have the moving equipment dropped off early. If you need your shipment to arrive at your destination on a specific day, consider adding guaranteed service to your move. It costs a little extra but adds more assurance around holidays when transit times can slow down.
Also, in the busyness of the season, don’t forget all the things that need to be done leading up to your move. Use our moving checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can be tough during a move. If you’re moving in the heat of summer, give yourself extra time when loading or unloading to take breaks and stay hydrated. Or if you’re moving during the winter, prepare for carrying things in and out in icy conditions and plan for driving in winter weather conditions if passing through areas with snow or ice. It’s also good to be aware that winter weather can cause travel delays, for both you and your belongings.
Holidays are traditionally heavy travel days. So, whether you plan on driving a moving truck or just traveling across the country with your family, it’s important to allow for extra time. Make hotel reservations in advance, and plan stops accordingly.
How to combine the move and the celebration
You don’t have to forgo holiday happiness when moving. While you may have to scale back the celebration a bit, you can still make memories and enjoy the time. Here’s how:
Consider going to a friend or family member’s house
If your home is covered in boxes (or empty), it may not be the year to host. Take any important traditions with you to share, like a particular recipe or a game you love to play. And if you’re flying to see family, rest assured, you can take a pie on the plane.
Keep gifts with you
Even if you expect your belongings to arrive before the holiday, it’s best to keep presents with you (instead of packing them in the moving equipment). If you’re flying, place wrapped gifts in checked baggage. And if you’re driving with kids who might see them and spoil the surprise, ask family, friends or even your realtor if you can ship gifts to them ahead of time.
Order food instead of cooking
If you plan on moving right after Thanksgiving or another food-centric day, don’t try to pack your kitchen last minute after the meal. Instead, let someone else do the catering. Many restaurants offer family packs of delicious dishes you can serve with single-use plates and utensils, so you can pack up the kitchen before the party.
Consider cheap decorations you can donate
Instead of packing your holiday decorations last minute, get cheap decor to put out this year. Most bargain stores have fun decorations, and you can donate them to a neighbor or resale shop when you're done with them.
Use holiday cards to tell friends about your new address
Some online card services make this process easy by importing addresses and sending cards on your behalf (because who needs one more thing to do during a move?).
Take advantage of holiday sales
Pretty much every summer holiday and Black Friday are prime times to shop for things like appliances and furniture. Watch for discounts on the stuff you need for the new home.
Reserve your spot on the holiday calendar
Because these are popular times to move, it’s essential to book early to reserve your spot. U-Pack® can help you plan your move, so everything works around your schedule. We’re a DIY service where you do the packing and loading, and we do the driving, so you’re free to take a detour to see family during the holiday. Or, if you need everything to arrive on a specific date so you can spend the time unpacking, a U-Pack moving consultant can help you determine the perfect dates and options.
Have questions about your holiday move?
If you need help planning or working around your schedule, let us know. We’re here to help!
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