A long distance move means long hours — long hours in the car with little to do. Or so it seems. With a little imagination and plenty of motivation, you can turn that long distance drive into a time of productivity.
Even the best intentions for staying organized and prepared during a move ends up leaving a few things falling through the cracks. Instead of feeling like you’re caught in limbo, traveling at a high rate of speed across the country, now’s the time to address those cracks and plan for the future.
Here are just a few activities to keep you busy while embarking on your long distance drive.
Send Thank You Cards
Maybe you’ve been meaning to get thank you cards out for the past few days to all of those people at work who gave you a heartfelt farewell, or to your handful of hardworking friends who helped you get all that heavy furniture up into the truck. But, in the last minute chaos, just before the move-out date, those thank you’s may have taken a back seat.
Don’t worry if you forgot packed the thank you cards. They don’t have to be fancy. You can pick up a set at the next town’s drug store… stamps too. The nice thing about writing your thank you notes in the car is that you can take your time. Doing them once you arrive at your final destination may leave you feeling rushed.
Get Utilities in Order
In the rush to get on the road you may have not have the time to think about all the hoops you’ll be jumping through at your destination to get your utilities up and running. Depending on where you’re moving, you could need to coordinate activation of gas, electricity, water, cable, satellite, and internet. That’s a lot of hook-ups.
Luckily, thanks to the popularity and affordability of unlimited data plans, you can do most of the research to identify which companies to call, all from the comfort of the passenger seat. Yes, wait until it’s your partner’s turn to drive of course, to get started. Some utilities may have a few day lag time for set up. So the sooner you give them a call, the sooner you can get things rolling at your new home.
Work on Your Budget
Your financial circumstances may be evolving or devolving with the move to a new place. Now’s a great time to review your existing budget, or create a new one all together if you haven’t been using a budget lately. Working on this task in the car will allow you to concentrate on it without the distractions of the normal everyday routine at home.
When you’re adjusting your budget, keep in mind the cost of living in the area to which you’re relocating. Is it higher or lower? Make sure to increase or decrease allocated amounts for things like groceries, gas, and utilities depending on the changes you expect to see. Even if you’re going to be enjoying a higher salary, detailing out all of your expected expenses will help you see exactly where all your money will be going.
Document Your Journey
Whether you have your own blog already, or you just want to add pictures to your social media timeline, chronicling your journey is a great way to keep all of those memories — good and bad, highs and lows, fresh in your mind. Take pictures along the way, even if the landscape doesn’t change and the shots seem mundane. Get creative and make it a fun part of the journey.
You can start an online photo album of your adventure and add to it as you go. If you’re one of the few who still enjoy flipping the pages of a physical album then you’ll have plenty of wonderful pictures to look back on, especially for all you scrapbookers out there.
Create the Perfect Playlist
It seems when you needed the perfect playlist for your evenings by the backyard firepit, or while you were burning calories on the treadmill, what you had on hand wasn’t anything worth your time. Now you have plenty of time to create those playlists you always had intended to make.
Listen to an Audio Book
If you’re in the driver’s seat, chances are your co-pilot is snoozing beside you. During those times you’re starved for conversation and getting a little groggy, hook up your audio book. Luckily it’s as easy as touching an app on your smartphone to listen to your favorite author’s work being read aloud. Just make sure whatever book you pick that it’s exciting enough to keep your attention, and keep you awake.
Reconnect With Family
Stop beating yourself up because it’s been a month since you talked to your parents. You’ve got nothing but time now, so no more excuses. Give them a call and reconnect. Or, if you’re on the opposite end of the connection and your children are nearly grown, give them a call. Take the opportunity of a long car ride to slow down and focus on what’s truly important in life. And, if you’re closer to friends than family, then call them too.
Play 50 Questions
If worse comes to worse, resort to games to pass the time. No, they’re not all bad. 50 questions can be quite fun if you keep it to a particular genre. For example, if you’ve got a row full of kids in the backseat traveling with you, then play Disney 50 questions, where one passenger thinks of a character in a Disney movie — and we mean any Disney movie ever — and the rest of the carload has 50 yes/no questions to figure it out. Play five rounds, and whoever can guess in the least amount of questions wins the game.
It may be a long ride, but there are plenty of things to do while you’re driving cross country to your new home and your new life while your long distance movers bring your belongings. Make the most of it and have fun!
If you’re moving long distance soon, read our article on how planning a long distance move should be!