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Hiring long distance movers can be essential when planning a cross-country move, or even a move from one state to the next. But, long distance moving is an entirely different ball game. It can take several weeks for movers to arrive from your old place to your new one, which means that your movers will be working for long periods of time. If you are hiring long distance movers be sure to tip them accordingly, because this job requires tons of planning, patience and attention to details.


There are many differences between conducting a local move and a long distance move. When conducting a local move, you will usually only interact with one moving crew. However, when hiring long distance movers, you will typically be provided with two moving crews. The first will pick up your belongings at your old home and safely load them into the truck. The belongings will then drive across the country (or to wherever your destination is) having to make overnight stops. When moving long distances, movers often have to drive all day long to get to your destination in a timely manner. When your belongings arrive, there will be a second crew available to unload your belongings out of the truck. The additional crews involved in the process means that tipping may be slightly different than if you were conducting a local move, as there are extra hands on deck.

Related article: How To Move Long Distance


Like going to a restaurant and tipping your server, moving is a service where it is customary to tip your movers. Typically, gratuity is 15-20% of the total price of your move. However, when hiring long distance movers, you will need to tip to both moving crews. A good way to understand how to tip them is to divide the total price of the move in two (to account for both crews) and calculate gratuity based on that.

For instance, if your move were to cost $2500, you would calculate the gratuity based on half of the total ($1250 in this case) and give that gratuity amount ($187-$250) to each crew. To estimate the cost of your long distance move, contact local movers in your area for a free quote. The final bill of your move may be different than the original estimate due to tipping, traffic, additional services and other move costs.  


It is customary to tip movers at the end of the day, once they have completed loading your belongings into your new home. 

The amount you tip can reflect how satisfied you are with their service. If you feel they took extra care of your belongings, a good tip is a great way to show them that. Some other questions to consider are: Did the movers come on time? Did all of your belongings arrive safely? How easy were the movers to communicate with? And so on. 

You should also take into account the conditions that your movers were working in. Do you have an elevator? If not, how many flights of stairs were there? Was it a hot day? Did they lift a lot of heavy furniture? Was there a lot of traffic or dangerous road conditions? Be sympathetic and understanding. Moving is a physically demanding profession where workers are faced with difficult tasks and have to think on their feet in case any issues arise. 

Sometimes, you may just hire movers to help you with a specific bulky piece of furniture that is delicate and important. For instance, if you are hiring movers to move bulky items like a Grand Piano, you may want to tip them better since this is a precious item that you care about. 

Though tipping is fully up to you, there is an expectation that you express gratitude for those who do a good job after a long day of hard work. As in any other service industry, tipping is a major part of workers’ compensation. However, regardless of how much you tip, movers should do a good job.

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Since moving is a tiresome job, be sure to have water on hand for movers in case they get thirsty on moving day. Also, it is not uncommon to treat your movers with a meal if they are hungry. Of course, these are optional and should not be in place of the tip, but this is a nice thing to do to show appreciation for your movers and their well-being. 


Aside from physically lifting your belongings from one place to another, you can hire movers for professional packing and unpacking services. On average, these services cost $1000 depending on the square footage of your place. Some movers include the cost of packing supplies in their price, so be sure to inquire about that option. You can add an additional tip amount for this service, depending on if you are satisfied with their efforts.


In every moving crew there are different roles that every mover plays. In a long distance move it is especially important to understand what each crew member handles during the move. There is the foreman, who coordinates the whole thing. There is the driver. There are the packers and of course there are the hands on deck moving your stuff in and out of the truck. Typically, we recommend tipping the foreman the whole sum, as they will distribute the funds evenly to their crew.

Related article: How To Plan A Move


Unlike a local move, a long distance move requires some sort of a relationship with the movers and the moving company. These people will be by your side for some time as they deliver your belongings. It is important to cultivate kindness and open communication with them to help them do their job better and ensure that your belongings get to your new home safely. You want to make sure that the movers understand your needs and are putting their best efforts in to assist you with your move. It is helpful if you are vocal with your needs and even help movers by providing them with a floor plan of your space beforehand. 


Cash tips are a preferred way to reward professional movers at the end of a full day or half day move, so be sure to have some cash on hand when movers arrive. If you do find any problems with the state of your belongings or the overall experience, you can express that to the foreman or who you booked your move with. Tips are an incentive for movers to do a good job, but if you feel like they have not delivered on their promise, it is within your right to withhold gratuity. If you want to encourage your movers to do a good job, you can alert them of your plan to tip them when they arrive. 

Like with any other service industry, there can be good experiences and bad experiences with the company you hire. Good tips are a great way to express gratitude at the end of the move and help the moving company understand what they can do to improve next time (in case you did not like the service). If you want to learn more about tipping movers, consider checking out our previous blog for more suggestions. 


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