Long Distance Moving with Kids: Tips and Strategies for a Smooth Transition

By: Nik Watson Last Updated: May 09, 2024

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Moving is never easy, and when it involves long-distance travel with kids, the challenges only increase. However, there are ways to make this process smoother, and this article is all about that.

Long Distance Moving with Kids: Tips and Strategies for a Smooth Transition

We detail what steps you should take before the move, on the move, and after the move with your kids. Scroll down to find out the best-kept secrets when moving long distances with kids and how to avoid any tears, injuries, or unnecessary stress.

Moving is incredibly difficult, but moving with kids on top of that becomes an even more draining and stressful task. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide to moving long distances with kids.

We’ll show you how to make moving an adventure worth remembering for your kids, without any stress or worry. Your move is set to become a cherished memory from their childhood, thanks to the knowledge you’ll gain from this guide. Ready?

Before the Move

Moving can affect children in several ways. Just like in adults, moving can stress kids out and make them feel overwhelmed. Thus, causing them to lash out in unpredictable ways. Or moving can cause them to feel isolated, leading to a shift in their behavior.

Either way, as a parent it’s your job to make sure your kids are feeling their natural, happy selves before, during, and after the move.

Plan Ahead

This is one of if not the most important parts of the move for your children.

1. Be Honest With Them

As soon as you know you’re moving, sit your kids down and let them know. The last thing anyone wants is to be caught off guard. This will give them time to process the move and come to an understanding on their own.

This step is particularly important for younger children because they may not be able to actively participate, leading to feelings of isolation.

2. Answer Any Questions They May Have

As your child processes the move, they will definitely have questions, even if they take a while to open up.

Make sure to validate their opinion and answer anything they throw at you. This goes hand in hand with comforting them if they’re feeling overwhelmed by this major life change.

3. Give Them A Sense of Control

When we were young, we thought we knew everything. We loved being in control of things, so let them.

Some ways you can do this is to hold family meetings to update them on the move and allow them to input their perspectives. If they’re old enough to do so, guide them on how to pack some of their belongings, even if you have to go back and re-do it later. This will brighten their world more than you know.

If they can handle it, have them create an inventory list of everything they’re bringing so you don’t forget an important valuable.

4. Show Them the New Home and Neighborhood

Because this is a long-distance move, show them pictures and videos of the new home and neighborhood. Try to imagine a life there with them and what you’ll do once you get to your destination.

Make them feel excited about the thought of moving, which will remove any worry or stress they may have. This will also help you remove your own stress from the thought of moving. It’s basically a win-win scenario.

The Move

1. Involve Them on Moving Day

Give your kids a specific role on moving day for some structure. You don’t want them on the loose in case they injure themselves. Based on their age, give them a task they could complete effectively. Including them in the process makes a big difference in their attitude.

2. Say Goodbye

Take the chance to say goodbye to your old home with your children. This gives you and your kids a sense of closure and new beginnings.

It may seem a little silly, but thank your home for all the good memories made there.

3. Childcare

If your children are too young, they may not be able to help with the move. It can also be a very dangerous situation for kids if you don’t keep an eye on them at all times. So, if you feel safer leaving them with a nanny, take that route instead. It’ll make the burden of moving feel a little lighter too.

Even if your children are a bit older, you have adult tasks you need to handle, making it difficult to keep a close eye on them. Childcare might just be the best option for moving day no matter the age.

After the Move

Adjusting to a new city and home can be challenging for both kids and adults; however, there are some key steps to make settling down easier.

1. Prioritize Their Rooms First

We know you’ll have a lot to handle when moving into your new home, but try making your children your first priority by setting up their rooms. That way, they’ll be out of your hair when it comes time for the heavy lifting.

2. Stick to a Routine

Try to stick to the same routine back at your old home for dinners, bedtimes, etc. Establish a sense of familiarity in a new space to ground your kids.

3. Meet Your Neighbors

Bring your kids along when introducing yourself to the neighbors to make the community feel more familiar. This is also a way for them to meet new friends if any of the neighbors have kids of their own.

Everything Will Work Out

This is a fresh start for your family. Don’t forget to enjoy the process along the way by snapping some candid photos to look back on. The key to a seamless move with kids is to communicate openly and maintain transparency with your family.

We hope this guide provides you with some tips and tricks you can implement when moving long distances with your kids.


At least a month in advance. A month will give you plenty of time to break the news, communicate openly, and discuss any resistance.

The best thing you can do is validate their feelings. Agree with them and tell them the whole situation so they get the full picture of why you’re moving in the first place. Making a game out of the move always helps to combat the resistance.

Include your kids when meeting your neighbors or going out for activities/hobbies. It’s your job to help them feel comfortable in a foreign space.

Taking breaks when necessary is always a good move for lowering your stress. The heat of the moment sometimes heightens your emotions to the point of boiling over. Try to stay calm and levelheaded by openly communicating and adding a bit of fun to the move.