What is Considered a Local Move vs a Long-Distance Move?

Moving can be an exciting yet challenging experience. Whether you’re relocating due to a new job opportunity, a change in scenery, or any other reason, understanding the difference between a local move and a long-distance move is essential. Both types of moves come with their own set of considerations, costs, and logistics. In this article, we’ll break down what defines a local move and a long-distance move, helping you navigate the moving process more effectively. These two categories not only have logistical differences but also impact the planning, costs, and overall experience of the move. In this guide, we will delve into the factors that distinguish a local move from a long-distance one and help you gain clarity on which category your upcoming move falls into. 

Defining a Local Move

A local move, as the term suggests, involves relocating within a relatively close radius. Generally, this refers to moves within the same city or metropolitan area. The exact distance that defines a local move can vary, but it’s typically within a 50-mile range.


Local moves are generally characterized by shorter travel times and lower transportation costs compared to long-distance moves. They often involve moving from one neighborhood to another within the same city or town, or even within the same county. Due to the relatively short distance involved, the logistics of a local move are usually less complex, making it a more straightforward process compared to long-distance relocations.

Characteristics of a Local Move

Local moves have their unique characteristics. Since the distance is shorter, the transportation time is generally much quicker. This can translate to fewer logistics and a smoother transition for your belongings. Local moves are often less costly compared to long-distance moves due to the shorter distance and time involved.

Cost Factors for Local Moves

Several factors influence the cost of a local move. These include the number of belongings you’re transporting, the accessibility of your current and new locations, whether you require packing services, and the time of year. Obtaining estimates from different moving companies can help you gauge the overall cost and choose the best option for your budget.

Planning a Local Move

Even though a local move might seem less complex, proper planning is still vital. Start by decluttering your possessions and packing well in advance. Notify utility companies, update your address, and plan for the logistics of moving day. A well-thought-out plan ensures that your local move goes smoothly without any hiccups.

Defining a Long-Distance Move

On the other hand, a long-distance move involves relocating a significant distance away. This could be to another city, state, or even across the country. Generally, any move that exceeds 50 miles is considered a long-distance move.

Characteristics of a Long-Distance Move

Long-distance moves often come with more complex logistics. The transportation time is longer, and there might be overnight stays involved, depending on the distance. Due to the extended travel time, the scheduling and coordination of the move become even more critical.

Cost Factors for Long-Distance Moves

The cost of a long-distance move is influenced by several factors. The distance, of course, plays a major role, but so do factors like the weight of your belongings, any specialized services needed (such as fragile item handling), and the chosen route. It’s advisable to obtain quotes from different moving companies and inquire about any additional charges.

Planning a Long-Distance Move

Planning a long-distance move requires meticulous attention to detail. Start planning months in advance, ensuring all arrangements are made for transporting your belongings and settling into your new location. Properly labeling boxes and keeping an inventory will help you stay organized during the move.

Comparing Local and Long-Distance Moves

When deciding between a local move and a long-distance move, consider the distance, time, and complexity of logistics. Local moves are generally quicker and more cost-effective, while long-distance moves require more extensive planning and preparation.

Selecting the Right Moving Company

Irrespective of whether you’re embarking on a local or long-distance move, choosing the right moving company is crucial. Research and read reviews, obtain multiple quotes, and ensure the company has a proven track record of reliability and professionalism.

Packing Tips for Different Moves

Proper packing is essential for any move. For local moves, you might have the flexibility to transport some items on your own. In contrast, long-distance moves require careful packing to withstand the longer journey. Use sturdy boxes, ample padding, and consider hiring professionals for packing fragile items.

Managing the Moving Day

The moving day can be overwhelming, regardless of the distance. Make sure you have a plan in place, with essential items easily accessible. Communicate with the moving crew, double-check inventory, and address any last-minute concerns before leaving your old home.

Settling into Your New Home

After the move, take the time to settle into your new home. Unpack systematically, update your address, and get to know your new neighborhood. It’s also a good opportunity to declutter further and start fresh in your new space.


In conclusion, whether you’re embarking on a local move or a long-distance move, understanding the differences between the two can greatly simplify the process. Consider the distance, logistics, and costs associated with each type of move to ensure a successful and stress-free transition. MegaShift Logistics is known for providing superior Long-Distance Removals. We prioritize the well-being of your belongings and guarantee a seamless moving experience. 

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