Intrastate vs. Interstate Move: What's the Difference?

Published: May 24, 2022

Intrastate vs. Interstate Move: What's the Difference?

Nearly 40 million Americans move homes each year. If you are going to be a part of this statistic, then it is important to be completely prepared for your journey.

One of the first steps in the planning process is determining whether you are about to make an intrastate or an interstate move. This will help you to determine the tasks you need to get done and the money you need to spend.

Read on to discover more about how to prepare for each type of move.

What is an Intrastate Move?

An intrastate move is a move within the state you currently reside in. As long as you are not leaving your state, then your move will be considered intrastate.

If you weave in and out of state lines, then it is no longer considered an intrastate move. Even if your final destination is in the same state, you will be charged for an interstate move if you cross into another state during the journey.

What Is an Interstate Move?

An interstate move is just the opposite of an intrastate move. Any time you cross state boundaries, you are completing an interstate move.

Why Does Knowing the Difference Matter?

Once you know the difference between the two types of moves, then you may be wondering why it matters. Each type of move brings its own set of responsibilities and considerations.

Interstate moves are generally significantly more expensive and difficult to plan than intrastate moves. Aside from the obvious expense of fuel, you'll also have to factor in the cost of accommodation en-route, plus any tolls that apply to long-distance routes.

Preparing for an Intrastate Move

Intrastate moves tend to be more common than moving interstate. This could involve moving somewhere as close as down the street. It could also be relocating to a new city within the same state for school or a job.

Here are a few ways to prepare for an intrastate move.


Packing for a move within state lines is fairly easy. It is important to pack your items up safely, but you shouldn't need more than a few rolls of bubble wrap for padding.

If you are moving nearby, then it may be possible to pack a little at a time and transfer it to your new home over a longer period of time.


Many people decide to hire local movers for their journey. Make sure you get recommendations from friends and family and do your own research to ensure that you choose a reputable company. Also, make sure the company charges you for an intrastate move rather than an interstate one.

Some people may decide not to hire a moving service at all. Many people opt for renting a U-Haul or taking multiple trips on their own if they are only going down the street or across the city.

Special Considerations

If you have friends or family in the area, then make sure to ask them to help out. You can save a lot of time and money by enlisting the help of others to pack and move your belongings.

Another great tip is to store some of your belongings in a local storage unit. Some people don't want to get rid of items, but also don't want to move them to their new place. This is where self-storage can come into play.

Interstate Vs. Intrastate Move: What's the difference?

Preparing for an Interstate Move

Preparing for a long-distance move takes a little more planning and preparation. Even though it is not as common as an intrastate move, nearly 3 million people embark on an interstate move each year. Here's what you need to consider before starting the interstate moving process.


When traveling a long distance, you will have to be much more careful packing up your belongings. Your items will likely have to encounter different road and weather conditions. Because of this, you will need to be extremely careful when packing up your fragile belongings.

Again, label each box by room, and write "priority" on anything that needs to be opened first. After all of your long travels, you will want to be able to find the essentials quickly.


It is nearly impossible to move interstate without hiring movers. Hiring a moving company will save you valuable time and money as doing it yourself can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming.

Once again, ask friends and families for recommendations and compare rates from several companies before choosing your service. If you need some additional help, then check out our recent blog post on what to consider before hiring a long-distance moving company.

Special Considerations

Before embarking on your interstate move, make sure each person in your family has a carry-on with their essential items. You might have to travel for a few days, and you may arrive at your new place before your belongings do. Having things such as a change of clothes and a toothbrush can make a huge difference.

You may also want to consider shipping heavier things such as books. Many movers will charge by weight, and it is ultimately cheaper to ship heavy books to your final destination.

Find the Best Movers for Your Needs

So, now that you know the difference between intrastate and interstate moves, it is time to start preparing for your journey.

Both intrastate and interstate moves are made easier with proper planning.

No matter what your moving needs are, feel free to contact us for information on how we can assist you.

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