Making the Most Out of a Cross-Country Move & Exploring Route 66

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Feb 112013

Another guest article about another topic most folks think about on the route – but never talk about…

Over $132 million is spent every year along the historic route over the past year according to a recent study conducted by Rutgers University. While many didn’t grow up on Route 66, many of those travelers are vacationers in the midst of a road trip, a number of people make this trip when moving to a new city across the country. As anyone who has ever moved long distance knows, this can be overwhelming and stressful without proper planning. To help you enjoy your trip along Route 66 and not let the perils of moving get the best of you, organization experts at Real Simple advise making a moving binder.

What’s a Moving Binder?

A moving binder is a standard three-ring binder, customized to organize every detail of your relocation. From a calendar of important dates and times of appointments to contracts from the movers, auto transport company and utility companies. Over the next few weeks, this binder will become your new best friend; it will be the mobile headquarters for everything move-related. Supplies that you’ll need to put together a moving binder include:

  • Three-ring binder: At least the one-inch size or larger depending on the amount of paperwork you plan to include.
  • Dividers with tab labels: You’ll need about 10 to 15 dividers. Ideally, you want to have a separate section for each room in your house, as well as a sections for your trip itinerary, contracts and other important information.
  • Calendar: Print a blank calendar for the month of your road trip, as well as the month before to use as a schedule.
  • Loose-leaf paper: Add a few pages of paper to each section of the binder to jot down notes and staple any receipts for your records.

Essentials to Include

The main goal of making a moving binder is to have everything in one place, so there’s no limit to what you should include as long as it’s relevant to your move. Real Simple moving pros recommend a checklist to make an inventory of boxes, furniture and electronics for each room. If you’re moving for a new job, keep all receipts for expenses in the binder. According to the Nest, some moving expenses are tax write-offs, depending on the circumstances of the move. Also include your road-trip itinerary and everything pertaining to it, such as driving directions, hotel confirmation records and a list of any local attractions or restaurants you plan to visit.

Planning the Itinerary

When you and your family are spending hours in the car every day, it helps to have a clear plan of what you want to see and experience along Route 66. Making a detailed itinerary is essential. Allow at least a week to make the journey. Start by researching the attractions and making a list of everything you want to see based on the interests of each family member. Then map everything out using Google Maps or Mapquest and print directions to each destination. While you may plan to use a GPS device or an app on your mobile phone, have a hard copy in case of any technical difficulties such as a lost signal or dead battery. Keep the itinerary and directions, as well as any other trip details, in the moving binder for easy access.