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Blog Relocation Uncategorized

Moving Tips

I’ve moved back and forth across the country with a big German shepherd dog and up to 2 cats. This included my spouse, who drove the moving van that towed our second vehicle, while I follow behind in car. We’ve also used car transport services ($900) to move the car for us on a carrier.

We have a strategy that has improved the comfort level of our pets, (they cringe whenever they see us packing up boxes now) and makes the move as smooth as possible.

1. We purchased two-way radios so we can communicate without having to dial up cell phones, etc. This is much safer, and cheaper too since there is no charge for minutes. The pair of radios runs anywhere from $50-$100 depending on brand and quality. We recharge them every night in the hotel room. It’s a God send especially when driving through major cities, because I can help the moving van move to another lane easily, and he can alert me to a major traffic jam ahead because he has a better view.

2. The cat stays in a carrier (no food or water in the morning) and the dog rides in the moving van for a good view out the window.

3. We stop at almost every rest area to stretch legs and give the pooch a walk. Always find a shady area to park where ever possible. We eat at rest areas so the animals don’t have to stay in the car unattended on a hot day.

4. Ours is a cat that likes the great outdoors, so we have to be especially careful she doesn’t escape the car or hotel room, even though she has a microchip. I had one little houdini disappear one night, and found him hiding behind a washing machine in the laundry room down the hall from our hotel room. While motels with indoor corridors are a nice luxury, I will admit it’s no fun having to load up luggage, ice chests, and the cat carrier. That’s where a valet cart will be helpful. A ground floor room is best, near the exit door. We actually prefer a room with an exterior door that we can back the car up to. Of course, RV parking is a must if you’re traveling with a moving van. Therefore pull in early (around 3PM) to get the best room and parking location, and give your pets a chance to relax and eat before the journey begins all over again the next day. A parking garage is a nightmare.

5. AAA is an excellent bargain for what you get. Besides the roadside assistance package, you also get great discounts at hotels and restaurants, and I love the Trip-Tik mapping service.

6. Also, if possible, choose a motel/hotel that offers a complimentary breakfast that you can load up on a tray and bring back to the room. Again, it helps your pets feel comfortable that you are spending time with them during the move and not abandoning them.

Finally, keep collars on your critters with ID and also have them micro-chipped. We use Home Again which runs about $45 at the vet and another $12 for registration with free lifetime updates.

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Blog Job Search Advice Relocation Uncategorized

The Fine Art of Relocation

I never planned to move around so much. I’m not in the military, I guess I just have itchy feet. I started out on the east coast as a kid, then I was dragged to Arizona kicking and screaming where I spent my teen and college years. In my 20s I was off to Southern California. Then I did my tour of Denver, San Diego, Cajun Country, back to Colorado, and back to Arizona. It’s as if I’ve come full circle.

Thankfully, I own a business I can take with me, since I operate online and 99% of my clientele is long distance (most found me from cities where I used to live.) I learned a lot about moving and the job search throughout all these relocations that I thought I’d share, just in case you need to move for a job.

First, employers are skeptical about hiring people without roots. I know, because my own resume would scare anyone. Truth is, you really don’t know if you like a town until you’ve been there at least 6 months. And let’s face it, if you don’t like your new surroundings, chances are you’ll be gone within a year leaving the employer in a lurch to replace you, and that costs them money. Anything can cause you to hate your new surroundings, whether it’s the weather, the political atmosphere, stupid residents, the economy, cost of living, ugly landscape, or lack of things to do. For me it was bad roller rinks, or no roller rinks.

The second thing I learned is study everything you can about the place before deciding to move. Not only can you read local newspapers online (I peruse the letters to the editor) but city-data.com gives excellent insight on demographic breakdowns, weather patterns, housing, schools, major employers, etc. And they offer a forum where you can ask questions and post opinions about a certain locale. After all, one thing you can’t find on realtor.com is how noisy an area of town is (train whistles at 4 am?) or if there’s a seasonal weird odor such as sugar cane burning. Arizona allergies make me miserable every year between Easter and Mother’s Day. And in some parts of the country, the wind blows non-stop during the winter months.

The third thing I learned is to maintain an account with a major bank. It’s far easier to change an address than it is to open a new account. Other things to keep in mind: you’ll need to find new service providers for things you can’t accomplish on line. That means finding a new mechanic you can trust, a dentist you like, a veterinarian for your pets, a favorite grocery store, and of course restaurants. Chipotle and In and Out Burger have not made it to every city yet. Oh, and finding your way around and pronouncing local names can also be a challenge. My number one priority is a nice indoor roller rink, and that’s the reason behind most of my moves as of late. They keep shutting down.

In a future blog, I’ll tell you some secrets of moving cross-country with pets, especially if you’re transporting more than one vehicle.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes