Last night, my roomie and I sat up til about 1 a.m. attempting to plot the most economical way to move me, my pug and my small amount of stuff across country from Chicago to California. Truth be told, I haven’t found one.
I’m selling off my furniture, donated about 6 bags and two boxes of my stuff and downsized thus far, as much as I thought I could. I don’t have enough stuff to warrant a UHaul (or the budget, getting into that later.) and with a pug in tow, taking a train or plane is out of the question. Sure, I’ve saved money over the long haul by not having a car, but dang, it would be nice to have one right now!
The Problem With PODS & Shipping Containers:
They cost about $1,000+ and guess what? They don’t even deliver to my neighborhood! Not an option…that is unless I want to rent a truck and drive my not-even-worthy-of-a-POD amount of stuff to the drop-off location an hour away. PODS are great if you have a decent amount of stuff, your neighborhood allows them (many don’t, not even for immediate loading/unloading), need to rent them for long periods of time to sort through things and don’t have to rent a car in addition to the expense of the container itself. Oh ya, and if you don’t even flinch at the idea of paying at LEAST $1k to ship your crap. Sadly, none of that applies for me.
The Problem With UHauls:
Even with the smallest size, they cost about $1,800 to rent. A trailer is still about $495. Those things are also terrible on gas and I really don’t need all *that* space since I’m selling my furniture.
The Problem With Air Or Train:
Amtrak doesn’t allow pets. Period. (only service dogs under certain circumstances.) Many airlines don’t take short-snouted dogs (pugs, bulldogs, boston terriers) in cargo because of health risks & Ralph might be slightly too big to fit under the seat on Southwest Air.
The Problem With Renting An SUV:
Renting an SUV will cost about $1300-1700, takes more gas and there’s no guarantee it will fit my crap. If you look on HotWire, they often will tell you how much stuff you can fit in it- it amazes me that for practically double, sometimes triple the price of a car, you really can’t fit much more inside an SUV, even with a roof rack bag.
The Problem With Renting A Car:
The cost is lower- around $700, but there’s really no way of knowing even my small amount of stuff will fit with a friend going with me. I can buy a roof rack bag for $50 on Amazon and ship a few things via Amtrak for about $67 per 100 lbs… no guarantee about this though since I haven’t called.
What is equally annoying is that after this move, when I’m in California I’m going to have to buy a car anyway. Renting a car now seems silly when I really want to just buy a car, load it up and call it done. Problem with that is that there’s this annoying thing called financing and my dad is way better than me at finding a deal. He explained that if he has some time he can find a really great deal on a car that will probably save me $800+ so I didn’t really lose money. If I go ahead and buy a car as a newb right now, they will probably smell my fear and jack up the price, so I guess I break even. Ha.
The Problem With Driving In General With A Dog:
I don’t own my own car, so I must rent. I will also need at least 2 nights in a hotel for sleeping unless I find a legal stimulant that can actually keep me alert for longer periods of time. Oh, and then there’s the high cost of gas and eating junk food via drive-thru on the road since I can’t leave Ralphie in the hot car by himself. Oh, and of course, I just remembered that some hotels are not dog friendly… and that’s going to be a pain. (SMUGGLIN PUGS!)
I’m trying not to be sad that I won’t be able to sad that I can’t stop into the Big Texan since I won’t know where to put Ralphie unless we stay in a nearby hotel. If anyone has moved with pets before, any tips?
The Best Solution I’ve Made Up So Far:
I’m selling off all of my furniture for about $900. That will pay for the car and gas. As mentioned, I’m also hoping that I can find a beverage or something that will keep me up for long periods of time so I can do the 18 hour drive days…or that roomie will be able to drive since she’s a night owl. Hotels on the road are nasty and overpriced, and when I have to stay- can I smuggle Ralphie? That seems so sketchy, but I can vouch for his good behavior (and I’m sure you’ve picked up on the fact that I don’t want to pay any more than I have to for this move.)
I’m going to call Amtrak today to see if I can ship a few boxes back and perhaps a bicycle that a former professor wants to ship (don’t ask!) so hopefully that won’t break the bank! After my now-roomie and I get to California we’re going to do some sight seeing and leave Ralphie with my dad and his soon-to-be puggie sisters (oh yes, wait til I blog about the “pack” of pugs we have back home… get ready.)
The easiest thing would be to ship my stuff and fly/train home but that’s not an option with a small dog. As I crowd sourced some of this info on Twitter, it seems that there’s many ideas on how to do a move like this successfully, and many of us, (myself formerly included) have no idea how much it really costs to move. (Ya, you’d think Uhaul would be cheap, but alas, it is not.)
Renting anything is not the frugal-ist of options, but I’m trying to tell myself that’s okay to spend money now since I saved money by not having a car at all for 2 years (no car payments, no maintenance, no parking fees or registration.) so that’s the what I’m telling myself so I don’t snap like a day-old churro.
Moving with a small dog and just-enough-stuff to be annoying is a true hassle, but I just look over at Ralphie and I’m like “YUP, made the right call.” I couldn’t ever part with the little guy…even if this move is über stressful, I’m glad to have a friend and a pug by my side to see the country with!
So, do you have any tips moving/road tripping with pets or moving on a budget?