I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to write this post. A year and a half ago I moved “back home” from Los Angeles to New York. I wanted to take that as an opportunity to check off something from my bucket list…a solo cross country drive.
I had accumulated a lot of stuff over the almost decade spent in California, so I needed to figure out how to get everything I owned to New York. The only options I saw were:
- Rent a U-Haul – very expensive long distance, plus I’d also have to tow or ship my car.
- Use a long distance trucking service – less expensive than renting a truck, but still a lot of money.
- Throw everything out and start from scratch in NY – In theory this would be a good idea, but the price of replacing everything from a TV to kitchen appliances would be too expensive. Plus…I’m a little sentimental with some of my stuff 🙂
As the moving date got closer, I started getting worried that it would cost me thousands of dollars just to move. One of the main reasons I was moving was that I did not have thousands of dollars to just exist in Los Angeles.
Cheap Long Distance Moving Idea
I wish I knew where I heard about this so I can give them credit, but possibly the most affordable way to move your stuff long-distance is with Greyhound.
No, that doesn’t mean hopping on a greyhound with everything you own. That would ruin the whole cross-country drive and also be really impractical.
Greyhound has a service called Package Express where they will ship your packages for a much lower price than a moving company or a shipping service like UPS or the post office.
They have buses going across the country all the time and there is always empty storage space in the bottoms of the buses where bus riders keep their bags. Someone at Greyhound made the smart business decision of offering that empty space up to people that need to ship stuff long distance on a budget.
Greyhound Package Express – How Easy is it?
Well, it’s not as easy as having a trucking company pick up all of your stuff at your old home and dropping it off at your new home. It’s also not as easy as mailing packages from a UPS or USPS location to your new address.
You’ll have to find a Package Express location near you and drop off all of your boxes. That’s not the most difficult thing, but there isn’t exactly a location in every part of your town like UPS. They do offer a pick-up service, but that’s another fee, and we’re trying to be cheap AF, right?
You can get your stuff sent to your new address, but the fees are pretty high for local delivery. What I did was found the closest Greyhound location to where I was moving and had it sent there.
The only issue is that there apparently aren’t any locations on Long Island, where I was moving. The closest pickup for me was in Connecticut.
Honestly, I was happy about this because it gave me a chance to sneak in another day of driving and exploring. Once I got to my final address, I unloaded everything in my car, took two nights to relax, then drop up to Connecticut to get the rest of my junk.
Picking up was pretty easy. You just need to call ahead and let them know you’re coming so that they can have your boxes ready.
I do HIGHLY recommend picking up with a friend. It seems like Greyhound locations are not always in the best parts of the towns they are in, so just to be safe you should bring someone with you. I did not, and frantically loaded my car while a group of homeless people hovered around my stuff.
Greyhound Package Express – How Much Does it Cost?
Sorry…it’s been almost two years since I moved, so I’m going mostly off of memory here.
I believe the quotes I was getting for a long distance moving company was somewhere around $5000-$6000. Greyhound was definitely under $1000. I think it was around $500 or $600 to ship 5 or 6 large and heavy boxes.
If you’re thinking of making a move, you can get a shipping quote here.
Greyhound Package Express – Is it Reliable?
All of my boxes arrived at the location unopen and within the estimated delivery window.
Two of the boxes did look like they took a little bit of a beating with the corners bent in a bit. They weren’t trashed, but I would recommend not shipping your most valuable and fragile items because of this.
Greyhound Package Express – How Long Does it Take?
That’s really dependent on how far your stuff is going, how mainly buses go to and from your drop-off and pick-up locations, and variables like weather.
My stuff took a little over 2 weeks to get from Los Angeles to Connecticut. That gave me ample time to drive around and explore most of the country on a 2 and a half week drive.
Once your shipment gets to the final destination, they will hold it for you. They will store it for you for 5 days at no charge, which gives you extra time to enjoy your trip or settle into your new address before picking everything up.
After the 5 days of free storage, they’ll start tacking on storage fees:
Storage Charges: A charge in the amount of ten dollars ($10) per day or fraction thereof, not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) for the first twenty (20) days will be made for each shipment. Items not picked up after thirty (30) days will be sent to a central warehouse to be processed for disposal. Additional charges will apply if a return of the items is requested before the disposal occurs.Greyhound Package Express Shipping Terms
I was actually a day and a half late to pick up my stuff, fully expecting to pay storage fees. Lucky for me, the nice man at the Connecticut Greyhound waived the storage fees for me! I hope I don’t get this kind man in trouble for helping me out.
Some Important Greyhound Shipping FAQs
There is a lot more on their FAQ page, but this is what I considered the most important to share for anyone considering a long distance move with Greyhound shipping.
What are your package weight and size restrictions?
The maximum weight per package is 100 pounds. The maximum dimensions that we can accommodate are 29″ H x 47″ W x 82″ L.
Can I insure my shipment?
Greyhound Package Express offers shippers the ability to purchase additional declared value for shipments exceeding the standard $100 value declaration. Greyhound Package Express does not offer insurance for shipments. See Terms and Conditions of Purchase and Carriage for declared value costs and limitations.
What’s the cost per pound?
Greyhound Package Express rates vary by weight, distance and service level. Please obtain rate information using our online shipping application. If you have not registered for online access, obtain a Quick Quote now. For additional questions, visit our Contact Us page and contact Customer Service.
How long will it take for my shipment to arrive?
Delivery dates are dependent on the requested service level. Visit the Our Services page for more details.
How do I track my shipment?
You can track your shipment by visiting the Track a Package page.Greyhound Package Express FAQ
Good Luck with your Move!
If you have any questions about how this works or want to know of any of the amazing places I stopped on my cross-country drive, feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll respond as best as I can.