Tips to consider when moving interstate without a mover
Alex Bewicke and his partner Luke have always lived in Victoria, but they yearned for something new.
“We were both born in Victoria and our families live there…but [we were] looking for a lifestyle change,” says Alex.
“We are outdoors people, we love the water and it’s a place where we want to raise our daughter Ariah and our future children too.”
So they took the plunge and made the decision to move from Geelong in Victoria to Cairns in Queensland.
But moving is expensive.
On average, a move can cost around $4,000, and some quick research shows that moving from state to state costs a lot more.
“We contacted storage companies that ship containers and contacted people to tow [our vehicles] and in the end, it was going to cost way over $10,000,” says Alex.
“You then have to pay for other expenses when you’re trying to settle into a new home – like a bond – so we said, ‘Let’s try to take this experience on us,'” she adds.
So Alex, his partner Luke, their three-year-old daughter Ariah and their dog “Rocco” packed up the house they bought two years ago and drove 3,000 miles across the country.
That’s how they did it with around $5,000 – also creating a special memory along the trip.
Consider renting a trailer rather than movers
Alex says she was lucky to have a big car so she could rent a trailer, instead of hiring professional movers.
Renting a trailer was their biggest saving. For ten days, the cost of renting a trailer was $1,300.
“The trailer was good because it gave us time to pack slowly…not a mover coming in and you have an hour or two to move because they charge you at the hour,” she said. .
However, there was a small catch.
Hauling two cars and towing a heavy trailer during peak gas prices meant fuel became their biggest expense, costing the family nearly $3,000.
“The fuel ended up costing more than the trailer cost us,” says Alex.
“Petrol prices were ridiculously high at well over two dollars a liter [and] we were refueling every 300 kilometres.”
It took the family four days to drive to Cairns, traveling 700 to 900 km a day.
They also booked accommodation for each night which added to their expenses.
Travel light and consider selling items online
When Alex and Luke decided to rent a trailer, they had to make the difficult decision to sell most of their furniture and personal effects, cutting themselves back to basics.
“I loved all of my furniture and decor…but I thought, ‘these are just materials and they can be replaced’,” says Alex.
“90% of our business, I was able to sell it [online] and put [the money] aside to furnish the new house that we are renting, so we did not have any disbursements.
“It probably took – if not a month – probably three and a half weeks to sell everything, pack it up and clean it up.
“Every day people were coming to see or picking things up, putting deposits between us cleaning up.”
For items like clothes, Alex donated to charity and rented bins to dispose of trash.
Protect your clothes and laundry
To pack their items, Alex mainly used moving boxes she bought from a storage company as well as vacuum sealed bags from discount stores to store her clothes, bedding, towels and stuffed animals. her daughter.
“It was about $250-$300 for a total of 14 boxes, including three large TV boxes with foam protection, plus bubble wrap, tape, and burlap bags to store small things like coat hangers,” says Alex.
Vacuum bags and mattress pads were also included and were an important packing tool as they traveled a lot on dirt roads.
“Our trailer was covered but it wasn’t completely waterproof, so a lot of dust got in over the four days,” says Alex.
“Vacuum sealed bags were my best friend, they let me do so much here – and they’re only $9 for a pack of four.
“It also meant that when I arrived I could open a bag, take out my pillows and sleep on them that night knowing they were always clean.”
To protect their mattresses, Alex bought mattress covers that cost about $10 each.
Would they do anything differently?
Book your accommodation in advance, that’s Alex’s advice.
When planning their journey to Cairns, shortly after the New South Wales floods.
Alex says that’s why they chose to book accommodation each day of their trip, to give them flexibility with locations in case there is a change in plans.
And that’s what happened on day three when the family was forced to take a detour in the middle of the QLD outback with no reception.
They missed check-in time and almost found themselves with nowhere to go.
“It was 7:30 p.m. and I said [to my partner] ‘we have nowhere to stay tonight,'” says Alex.
“Nothing was open for another 300-350 km where we could find accommodation.
“Everything went well and we arrived in Townsville that evening.”
Booking in advance could also have reduced accommodation costs.
Regardless of this stressful episode, the road trip is one of their family’s most treasured memories to date.
“We were driving along the road and two little emus were raising their heads and kangaroos were hopping next to us,” says Alex.
“We are so proud of ourselves and we would do it again…the memories we made and the things we saw is something I will never forget, especially with my little one.”
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