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U-Pack | Moving Blog by Brittney Lee - 2d ago
The best going away party ideas on the internet

Yes, that’s a big claim to make — but as a moving service, we understand goodbyes and all the emotions they bring. There’s excitement for the new chapter to come and sadness at leaving loved ones. The occasion surrounding a farewell party can be complicated because of all the feelings involved, but leaving on a happy note is important. Throwing a goodbye party is a great way to send your friend or loved on their way with a bunch of happy memories. 

Farewell party ideas and tips

These themes can lend themselves to unique food, fun outfits for the guests, or awesome décor. Small touches, like the plates and napkins, can even be matched to the party motif. Set the stage for a memorable party with one of these great farewell party ideas:

  • Western Party (Happy Trails)
  • Fiesta Party (Let’s Taco Bout You Leaving)
  • Breakfast Party (We Donut Want to See You Go)
  • Dessert Party (A Sweet Ending)
  • Costume Party (Don’t You Forget About Meme)
Happy Trails

Grab a cowboy hat and boots for this shindig. Make country western décor shine with paisley print bandanas, red checkered tablecloths, hay bales and other traditional looks. Serve barbecue and southern sweet tea. For favors, guests can create their own trail mix by setting out ingredients like nuts, dried fruit, candy and cereals along with bags. If your guest of honor likes to dance, lead everyone in a line dance class (either hire a local instructor or teach yourself from a YouTube video). 

For party games, try a roast and toast. Give guests a few minutes to write down their favorite memories, and let them each take time to give a toast to the guest of honor. Encourage each guest to give a piece of wisdom to help wish “happy trails to you, until we meet again.”

Let’s Taco Bout You Leaving

A fiesta awaits with this goodbye party theme. Bright colors and cactus sombreros will bring the space to life. The food could be a build-your-own taco bar — several types of shells, meat and toppings. For entertainment, stuff a piñata full of candy or prizes and let each guest cake a turn at breaking it open. It’s an exciting activity for kids or adults. If you really want something unique, hire a mariachi band to make a surprise appearance. 

Have guests play an anagram game.  An anagram is where you can rearrange the letters of a word to make a new word (like cider/cried or conversation/voices rant on). So for this game, set a timer (3-5 minutes is usually plenty of time) and take the phrase “Adios Amigo” to see how many words guests can create using those letters. The winner has the most words! Hint: there are 154 words made out of this phrase. 

We Donut Want to See You Go

This going away party theme would work for guests of any age. Of course, this party will feature a spread of sweet treats — you could even set out frosting and sprinkles and let guests decorate their own delicacy. Don’t forget the milk (or coffee for the adults). For a kid’s party, give them modeling dough and let them create toy treats. Or play Bingo and use donut-shaped cereal as game markers.

For the party game, send guests on a tape and marker hunt. Hide several rolls of packing tape and markers around the party venue, and tell guests to find them! For example, you could hide 10 items and put a sign out that says, “Beth can’t pack without markers and tape! There are 5 rolls of packing tape and 5 markers hidden throughout the living room and dining room. The guest who finds the most by the time the last donut is eaten wins a prize!” (Great hiding places include taped under chairs, hidden in potted plants, and in curio cabinets with figurines.)

A Sweet Ending

Create a delicious spread of desserts for this party (which would be perfect for an office gathering, either going away or retirement). Cakes, pies, cookies, brownies and other treats will take the bitter out of the bittersweet farewell. To decorate, think Willy Wonka: oversized lollipops and bright colors. Use candy bites as the base for floral arrangements or candle displays, and make a candy treat bag buffet so guests can take home their own mix of sweets.

To entertain guests between sweet treats, play a memory game. Take a moving box and fill it with household items (some ordinary, some unique) that would get packed during a move. Set it on a table and give every guest 30 seconds to look inside (you can decide if they can touch the items or not). After everyone has had a chance to peek inside the box, have them try and recall every item. The person who writes down the most items wins an entire pie to take home! (Some ideas to put inside: shoes, toiletries, silverware, books, figurines, scissors, a canned good, remote control, etc.)

Don’t You Forget about Meme

Does the guest of honor love sending GIFs and funny memes? Then this pop culture party will provide the perfect goodbye. Ask guests to come dressed as their favorite meme or pop culture reference. Decorate with celebrity things, like stars and film reels.  

Since everyone will be dressed up, this is the perfect party for a photo booth. Hang up a backdrop (a tablecloth or sheet works!), gather some fun props (hats, boas, sunglasses) and snap away. You can either appoint someone to act as the photographer, provide a selfie stick or use a tripod and a self-timer. Make sure the guest of honor gets a copy of the photos afterward.

Farewell party planning tips

As you organize and plan, these tips will help make the farewell party a success:

  • Invite the guests in plenty of time. Give everyone at least a few weeks’ notice before the party date. Send invitations online or through the mail, and be sure to include the important information: date, time, location, RSVP info, dress code (is there a theme to dress up for?), and whether it’s a surprise.
  • Find people to help. Talk to other friends, family members or coworkers to help put everything together — give everyone a task to work on.
  • Reserve a location. Book the location as early as possible. Find out if the location allows decorations to be taped to the walls, outside food to be brought in, etc.
  • Prepare a great playlist. Our going away party playlist has lots of ideas for the perfect mix of songs. 
  • Decorate to fit the theme. If there’s no special theme, decorate with moving boxes — and let guests write well-wishes on them (then the guest of honor can use them for packing). Or if it’s a farewell party for someone traveling or deploying, you could decorate with the flags of the countries of travel or with things like airplanes and luggage tags. 
  • Give a memorable gift. Choose a gift that’s sentimental, like a picture with a photo mat that guests can sign, or choose something more practical, like packing supplies. You also can’t go wrong with cash or gift cards. Check out more going away gift ideas here. 
Share your farewell party ideas with us!

We would love to see how you transformed these ideas into amazing goodbye parties. Share pictures with us on Facebook or tell us your ideas in the comments. 

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Prices for one-way moving truck rentals

If you drive by a truck rental location, you might see signs advertising something like, “Trucks starting at $29.99!” That price point is very appealing, but may not be close to the rate you’ll get for your move if you’re moving one-way. Those prices are for a single day local rental. A one-way move that goes across the country can be very different. Explore the different costs and compare one-way truck rental to U-Pack® — a moving alternative where you don’t have to drive. 

Comparing one-way truck rental costs

Moving prices are based on factors like the origin and destination, the date, and the amount of stuff you’re moving, so it’s difficult to give a price without looking at the specifics of your move. However, looking at an example is an easy way to learn what to expect from different companies. 

Take a look at two popular moving truck options (U-Haul® and Penske®) along with U-Pack, a “you pack, we drive” service. See how rates compare for a move from San Diego, CA, to Atlanta, GA, with a two-bedroom home. We used the recommended equipment for that size home from each company, the rental truck fuel calculator for fuel costs, and the local San Diego tax rate of 7.5%.

U-Haul one way rates

The quoted price for a 20-foot truck was $3,688

Note that this quote is just for the price of the truck and doesn’t include liability coverage, taxes or fuel. With these extra costs added ($135 for Safemove® coverage, $276.60 for taxes, $881 for fuel), the total goes up to $4,980.60.

Costs for renting a Penske truck one way

The quoted price for a 22-foot Penske truck was $5,136.

Similar to U-Haul, this price includes renting the truck one-way only. Adding other fees ($881 for fuel, $200 for a Limited Damage Waiver and $385.20 in taxes), brings the total to $6,575.20

Costs for moving with U-Pack

A two-bedroom home should use 13 feet of space in a U-Pack moving trailer. The quoted price for this move was $3,866, which includes fuel, liability coverage and transportation (and no taxes). 

U-Pack was over $1,000 cheaper than U-Haul and over $2,700 cheaper than a Penske one-way moving truck. 

How does it work? You do the packing and loading, but we do the driving door-to-door. After you load your shipment and install the secure divider wall, we fill the rest of the trailer with commercial goods headed in the same direction. This helps cuts transportation costs, and we pass those savings on to you! Not only is it cheaper, it’s much easier since you don’t have to spend hours or days behind the wheel of an unfamiliar vehicle. 

Compare costs for one-way truck rental

Since every move is different and prices fluctuate based on when, where and how much you’re moving, it’s important to check costs for your move. Get a free quote from U-Pack to compare, or call us at 800-413-4799 to speak with a helpful moving consultant. 

Want more information? Check out these blog posts:
Moving trucks — frequently asked questions
U-Haul Rates
Penske Truck Rental
7 Things You Should Know About U-Haul Before Renting a Truck

U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Penske® is a registered trademark of Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.  Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.            



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U-Pack | Moving Blog by Brittney Lee - 1w ago
How much space do I need to park the U-Pack moving trailer?

Arranging parking is one of the most important tasks to take care of before moving day. Because of this, some of the biggest questions customers have about the moving trailer is “Can it fit at my house?” and “Where will I park it?” In most cases, the trailer will fit in your driveway or on the street, but it’s essential to go over the details to make sure. 

Take a look at this overview of trailer parking and then keep reading for more information:

U-Pack Trailer Parking - YouTube
Trailer parking by the numbers

The trailer is 28’ x 8’ x 9’, and it’s delivered using a single cab tractor. On moving day and at pickup, our driver will need a little extra room to maneuver the cab and trailer. 

You’ll need:

  • Safe, legal parking at both origin and destination
  • 40 feet of length (3-4 car lengths) for parking and loading (the trailer plus the ramp)
  • 14-foot overhead clearance (check for low hanging wires or tree branches)
  • 10 feet in width
  • A solid surface (no soft earth or grass)
  • Parking for up to three business days (make sure to check with your neighborhood association or HOA about overnight parking, if applicable)

Make sure the driveway area is clear, no vehicles are blocked at delivery and the trailer is accessible at pickup. 

Other options for parking

If there’s not enough space to park in your driveway, or you don’t have a driveway, we can often use other spots. Trailers can typically be parked in a parking lot or on the street, but there are some additional requirements to consider.

Private parking lot

Need to park at an apartment complex or storage facility? You’ll need approval from the property manager or landlord. If you plan on parking the trailer across parking spaces, you’ll need about five standard parking spots for the trailer and ramp. Make sure to get permission for overnight parking, as you have up to three business days to load. Read more about these parking situations

Street parking

Check with city offices or the local police department to see if a parking permit is required. There may be specific guidelines to follow. For example, in areas of Boston, a permit is required, and signs must be posted days before the equipment is delivered. It’s important to note that the trailer can’t be parked in a fire lane, next to a hydrant or the wrong way on a one-way street. 

Live loads

U-Pack offers a live load in some cities — where the driver stays with the truck as you load or unload, so there’s no long-term parking. If you think you need this type of delivery, call 800-413-4799 to talk with a moving consultant. 

What if there is not enough space for parking?

If the issue is the space required to deliver and park the trailer, ReloCube containers might be a good option. Cubes are 6’ x 7’ x 8’, and each one fits into a standard parking space. You can use multiple Cubes, depending on the size of your move. 

If you really have no parking (driveway is too-short, the city won’t issue a permit in time, etc.), we offer loading and unloading at our local service centers. While this option is a bit more work on your end, it does come with significant savings. 

To discuss these options, call a moving consultant at 800-413-4799

Need a moving quote?

Now that you know trailer parking will work at your location, it’s time to get a moving quote. The quote will automatically give you the equipment option that best fits your needs. If you got a ReloCube quote but wanted a moving trailer quote, please email changequote@upack.com, and we’ll be happy to change the details.

If you have questions about trailer parking, please leave us a comment or call us. We’re happy to help! 

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Affordable ways to ship household goods

Transporting household goods long distance can be a hectic experience. You’re not only dealing with getting your family to a new home, but you’re also having to maneuver a large truck or trailer through unfamiliar cities. The good news is it’s possible to move without driving. You can ship belongings with a full-service company or with a “you pack, we drive” service like U-Pack®. If you’re looking to keep rates affordable, U-Pack is often the best option. Keep reading to learn what goes into household goods shipping rates and how prices compare. 

How much does it cost to ship household items?

The cost of shipping household goods is traditionally based on the total weight. But U-Pack does things a little differently. Rather than using weight, U-Pack uses space. The amount of room items take up inside the trailer (or the number of Cubes you use) will determine how much the move costs. 

Compare household goods shipping rates

Let’s take a look at how space-based pricing can help you save. Say you’re moving a 2-bedroom home from Austin, Texas, to Brentwood, Tennessee. Bekins Van Lines® estimates a rate of $3,180.93 to $4,150 to ship household goods that distance. If you want packing services, the price goes up to $4,458.88 to $5,909.59. The final rate will depend on the actual weight of the shipment.

With U-Pack, the same move will cost $1,902 for two ReloCube containers or $2,253 for 13 feet in the trailer. If you use less space, you’ll pay less. 

Because each move is different, the best way to see your rate is to get a free moving quote.

*Note that prices can vary based on several criteria, including locations, date and shipment size. 

How U-Pack keeps rates low

As you can see from the example above, shipping household goods with U-Pack can be more affordable than using a full-service company. This price difference is largely due to our efficient transportation carrier ABF Freight®. Combining a proven transportation system with our commitment to providing seamless moves leads to benefits such as:

  • Fast transit times. Many traditional shipping companies take weeks (and sometimes months) to deliver household goods. Our transit times average just 2-5 business days.
  • Top-notch customer service. When you call U-Pack, you’ll speak with helpful moving consultants who are trained to provide support throughout the entire process — from helping with a quote to planning moving day logistics.
  • Flexible options. Choose the equipment type that works best, decide when and where you want items picked up and delivered and even add storage if more time is needed.
Shipping household goods with U-Pack

U-Pack service saves both time and money whether you’re shipping an entire home or just a room’s worth of furniture and boxes. And with flexibility for moves both big and small, U-Pack allows you to customize the move to fit your needs. Take a look at the variety of scenarios we’re designed for:

  • State-to-state moves. This is what U-Pack specializes in — with access to service centers across the country, U-Pack provides service to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • Moves into and out of Canada. U-Pack can ship household goods between the U.S. and Canada, with transit times that are typically much faster than other companies.
  • Military household goods shipping. If you’re planning a PCS move across the country, U-Pack is a great option to consider. We can provide full and empty weight tickets, fast transit times and a military moving specialist to make sure the move goes smoothly. Read more about military shipping with U-Pack.  

Don’t see your situation on our list? Call us at 800-413-4799 to discuss options.

Ready to ship household items?

Want to start comparing rates? Get a free moving quote from U-Pack to find out the cost to ship household goods. For questions about rates or how U-Pack works, call 800-413-4799 or leave a comment below.  

Bekins Van Lines is a registered trademark of Bekins Van Lines, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.

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Moving to college on a budget

A college dorm or apartment may be small, but you can still fill it with all the amenities that make it feel like home. From clothing and bedding to a mini fridge and your favorite chair, having familiar items will make your space more comfortable. But how will you get everything there? If you’re driving to campus, it’s possible to pack everything in the car and hit the road. But what if there’s more stuff than will fit in the car? Or what if you’re not taking one? Explore alternative options for shipping stuff to college and compare prices so you can find the cheapest solution. 

Ways to ship stuff to college cheap

maller shipments may seem like they should be cheapest to move, but that’s not always the case. For example, rental trucks require paying for the entire truck, fuel and liability coverage. So if the truck is only halfway full of stuff, it may not be the most cost-effective option. You could use a parcel service if there’s only a few items, but that can get pricey because rates are based on size and weight.  

The easiest, most affordable option is a “you pack, we drive” service like U-Pack®. The biggest plus is that you don’t have to drive. And since you only pay for the space you use, there’s no wasted space (like in a half-full rental truck). U-Pack rates include liability coverage and fuel, so it’s often cheaper than other DIY moving options. 

U-Pack college moving services

Most U-Pack student moves utilize ReloCube containers. They’re 6’ x 7’ x 8’ metal containers that fit into a standard parking space (ideal for areas like dorms or apartments that have limited parking). Each Cube holds the contents of a studio apartment or dorm room. U-Pack brings the containers to your home, and we give you three business days to load. We drive it to the destination and you have three business days to unload.  

No picking up, driving or parking moving equipment. It’s the easiest way to move to college, and since rates include delivery, transportation, fuel and liability coverage, it’s also one of the cheapest moving solutions. Get a free moving quote to see how much it will cost to move to campus with U-Pack. 


U-Pack offers simple storage in conjunction with a move. We can store your belongings at one of our service centers, right in the same container you loaded them in and then move them wherever you need. This no-transfer storage is easy since you don’t have to move items into a truck, then into a storage unit and back again. Discuss storage options with a moving consultant at 800-413-4799.

Shipping stuff home from college

U-Pack can also move your belongings from campus back home or to a new home after graduation! A free moving quote will work for those situations as well. 

Ways to save

There are a few ways to make a U-Pack move even cheaper:

  • Ask for a student discount. U-Pack offers student discounts — just let us know. 
  • Load or unload at a service center. The cheapest move with U-Pack is one where you load or unload (or both) at a local service center. While it’s a little more work, it has the lowest prices. And with a small move like one to college, it’s pretty easy.
  • Reserve online. Save $25 for booking online
  • Change the move date, if possible. Check with the Residence Life office to find out which days are available to move in. If the dates are flexible, choosing a different day can sometimes impact the price as certain times have higher demand and higher rates. A U-Pack moving consultant can help you find the most reasonable date during your timeframe. 
Get a quote for shipping to a college dorm

Check rates online or call us at 800-413-4799. If you get a quote for the moving trailer and want to switch to ReloCube containers, email changequote@upack.com. We’ll be happy to look into change the equipment on the quote. 

Read more about college moving:
Moving to College
The Ultimate College Packing List
Moving after College Graduation

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U-Pack | Moving Blog by Brittney Lee - 2w ago
Compare options with Budget® trailer rental

Moving to a new home may also mean moving your vehicles. For a one-way move across the country, that might require splitting the family up between different cars or pulling one car on a trailer. If you’re planning to drive a rental truck and thinking about using a Budget trailer to tow your car, there are a few things to keep in mind. Take a look at the different types of equipment they offer, the ways towing can affect your move and towing alternatives.

Looking for a cargo trailer to haul your items? Check out this post on enclosed trailer rentals.  

Towing a car with a Budget trailer 

Budget offers two types of vehicle trailers: car carriers and tow dollies. Car carriers are for four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles, while tow dollies are for front-wheel drive vehicles. Budget trailers have to be rented with a moving truck, and can’t be pulled with another vehicle. 

While it may seem simple just to hook up a Budget trailer behind your moving truck, towing can majorly affect driving and fuel efficiency.

How towing affects driving and fuel costs

Adding the extra length and weight of a trailer can make it difficult to maneuver an already unfamiliar, heavy truck. There are also extra considerations, like having to find pull-through parking since you shouldn’t drive in reverse with the trailer attached (they swivel at both the coupler and car platform, making them very difficult to maneuver in reverse). If you need to back up, you should offload the car, disconnect the trailer and move them separately. 

You’ll also have to keep a greater distance behind other vehicles and allow extra time to stop. Because of the extra weight, more distance is required for braking. Towing a vehicle also decreases the maximum driving speeds. Budget recommends a max speed of 45-55 MPH when towing, which will add extra drive time to the trip. 

Towing also reduces fuel efficiency — up to 1% for each 100 pounds of extra weight, according to fueleconomy.gov. The typical vehicle weighs between 2,500 and 3,000 lbs., and the trailer weighs either 1,640 pounds (for a car carrier) or 1,740 pounds (for a tow dolly). All of that weight can have a big impact on fuel consumption and costs. 

It’s also important to note that the Optional Personal Accident/Cargo Protection and Damage Waivers that you might add for the truck and your belongings don’t cover damage to the towed vehicle. Instead, you’ll have to add an Auto Tow Protection policy.

Towing alternatives where you don’t have to drive

There’s another way to get your belongings and car to the new home. Instead of driving a rental truck, let U-Pack® handle the move. U-Pack is a “you pack, we drive” moving service, so you’re free to either travel in your vehicle or use an auto shipping service. Either way, you can move affordably without adding a one-way trailer to a Budget rental truck. 

With U-Pack, there’s no worrying about driving unfamiliar equipment and maneuvering a trailer across the country—we do the driving! Prices compare to rental trucks (especially when you add in the extra cost of fuel). U-Pack rates include the moving equipment, transportation, fuel and liability coverage, so you don’t have to pay extra to protect your belongings.

See how U-Pack compares to Budget trailer rental prices

Want to compare rates? Get a moving quote online or call 800-413-4799. You can add services like storage or guaranteed delivery, or you can save on costs by loading or unloading at a local service center. If you have any questions or need help getting a quote, leave a comment below or call us. We’re here to help. 

Budget® is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC.  Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.

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U-Pack | Moving Blog by Autumnn Mahar - 2w ago
Secure ReloCube parking before moving day

Along with packing and setting up utilities, one important moving-related task is finding space to park the equipment. With a U-Pack move, you’re responsible for finding secure, legal parking at both origin and destination. To help you prepare, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about ReloCube parking before, during and after the move.

If you need information about moving trailer parking, check out this post

Get an overview of what to expect in this video, and keep reading for the specifics:

Parking a ReloCube - YouTube
Planning for parking

Here’s what you need to know when arranging for parking:

  • The ReloCube will need to be parked for three business days on each end of the move
  • Each Cube is 6’ x 7’ x 8’ and fits in a standard parking space
  • You’ll need about 40 feet of clear space during pick-up and drop-off (they’re delivered on a flatbed or drop-deck trailer that will need the extra room)
  • You’ll need at least 14 feet of overhead clearance
  • Cubes must be placed on level, paved ground and cannot be placed in garages or under carports
What do I do if I can’t park the equipment for three days?

In many cases, we can return to pick up the equipment the following business day. If you are unable to leave the ReloCubes parked overnight at all, let us know. We may be able to arrange a same-day pickup or you can load at a service center. 

What if I don’t have 40 feet of space?

If you don’t have enough space for the trailer to maneuver, we can often park on a nearby side street and bring the Cubes to your door with the forklift. You’ll still need at least 14 feet of overhead clearance for the forklift. 

What if I don’t have paved parking?

Concrete or asphalt are ideal surfaces for the ReloCube, but hard-packed gravel can work in most cases, just let us know when reserving. If you don’t have an area to leave the Cubes, we can often place them on the street. However, a parking permit may be required, so talk with the local police department to find out. 

For parking at an apartment complex, storage facility or at a home with a Home Owner’s Association, talk with the management to get permission to leave the equipment. Once you have permission and space blocked off, you’re ready for moving day.

ReloCube parking on moving day

When the equipment is brought to your home, someone 18 years or older must be present to sign for it. They will also be in charge of showing our drivers where to place the Cubes. If you’re unable to be there, someone else can sign on your behalf, but please let us know beforehand. 

Once you start loading, it’s important to keep the equipment secure. Place a lock on the door when it’s unattended. 

What to do for pick-up

Once you’ve finished loading, give us a call, and we’ll schedule pick-up. No signature is required, so you can hit the road whenever you’re ready. Just make sure the equipment is locked and ready to go.

When you arrive at destination, call us to schedule delivery and we’ll bring the Cubes to your new home for unloading. When you’re finished unloading, give us a call and we will schedule pick-up of the empty equipment. No one needs to be present at that time, just remove any locks and make sure the Cube is empty. 

Have questions about ReloCube parking?

Leave a comment below or call us at 800-413-4799. We’re always here to help. 

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The spotted lanternfly: a new invasive pest to be aware of 

Lycorma delicatula, commonly referred to as the spotted lanternfly, is an invasive insect that’s native to China. It was first seen in Pennsylvania in September 2014, but has since spread to other regions of the country. Much like the gypsy moth, which is present in several states, the spotted lanternfly is capable of destroying several important crops. Take a closer look at the threat this insect presents, and learn how to prevent spreading them to new areas when you move.  

Quick facts 
  • The spotted lanternfly feeds on trees, which puts fruit crops and the logging industry at risk
  • Each female can lay 60-150 eggs every fall
  • They’ve been seen in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Virginia
  • There are currently no known natural enemies making an impact on the population
Identifying, reporting and removing the spotted lanternfly

Spotted lanternflies will look different depending on the time of year. Adults will be seen in autumn months, while the nymphs will be present in spring and summer. Eggs are believed to hatch in early May.  

Adults are approximately one-inch long and a half-inch wide. They’re easily identified by the black spots on their wings, which are gray when the insect is at rest. They also have hind wings with a black and red pattern.  

Nymphs are either black with white spots or black with white spots and red patches, depending on the stage of development. 

Eggs will be found in masses, with a dark mud-like consistency in the early stages. Later stages will have four to seven columns of one-inch long eggs.  

Signs of infestation 
  • Egg masses on trees, buildings, vehicles or other smooth surfaces
  • Trees or plants that weep and have a fermented smell
  • A buildup of sticky fluid (called honeydew)
  • Mold on leaf surfaces 
What to do if you find the spotted lanternfly

If you see any life stage of the spotted lanternfly, you should take immediate action. In areas where the spotted lanternfly has already been reported, you should destroy it. Egg masses can be scraped from the surface they’re attached to, double-bagged and thrown away. Adults and nymphs can be crushed or swatted, but that may not be a feasible option since they’re able to jump long distances. Large infestations might be better controlled with professional pest control services. Any destroyed egg masses should be reported here

If you find any in a region where they haven’t been previously seen, you should attempt to capture one and preserve it in alcohol or take a photo. You should also call the invasive species hotline at 1-866-253-7189 to report it.  

What is the U.S. Department of Agriculture doing?

In February 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $17.5 million investment to stop the spread of the invasive pest. This commitment came after the insect was spotted in more areas of Pennsylvania and in neighboring New York, Delaware and Virginia. According to the USDA, this emergency funding will be used to educate the public and support the goal of containing the infestation. 

A live Q&A session will be held on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Facebook page on June 26, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This post will be updated with any new information presented during that session. 

What do I do if I’m moving from a quarantined area?

If you’re moving from an area within the spotted lanternfly quarantine, you should take precautions to avoid spreading them to other areas of the United States. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has created a checklist for residents to use before moving. They suggest checking all vehicles and outdoor items for egg masses, adults and nymphs. Items to inspect include:
•    Camping gear
•    Building materials
•    Yard and garden tools
•    Outdoor furniture 

If any are found, follow the instructions above for removing and disposing of them. 

Moving with U-Pack

As a “you pack, we drive” moving company, we encourage our customers to follow the recommended practices for stopping the spread of the spotted lanternfly. If you have any questions about the insect or how to check your belongings before a move, leave a comment below.  

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Selling items through an app

Moving is a great time to get rid of unwanted items. Not only does it mean packing up fewer things, but it can also mean some extra cash. While having a garage sale is one way to do this, there are several options for selling stuff with smartphone apps. Take a look at some of the most popular, well-rated apps for selling stuff and find the right one for you. We’ve included links to the apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores to make it easier!

The best apps for selling stuff

Finding the perfect app really depends on whether you’d like to sell things locally or ship them to the buyer. Selling locally will often mean listing items individually and meeting people in person. Shipping would just mean taking one or multiple trips to the post office. 

The best apps for selling stuff locally

These are some of the most popular local sale apps:


Letgo is a popular selling app with more than 200 million listings! How does Letgo work? It’s pretty simple. Just take a photo of the item, list a few details (condition, price), and wait for a buyer. You can list one item, or have multiple listings to sell several things. The options are endless — cars, furniture, housewares, DVDs, clothing and even real estate. Basically, if you want to sell it, you can sell it here. If you’re unable to meet a buyer, there are shipping options. However, most sales happen locally. 

Google Play


One common concern with local buy and sell apps is safety during a transaction. OfferUp has the TruYou Program, where you can verify your identity with a Facebook profile, driver’s license and a photo. This program allows you to know who you’re doing business with beyond just a username. It’s very easy to use — take a picture, write a listing and message buyers directly within the app. You can list items of all sorts here, and buyers can either browse by location or category.

Google Play


Have you noticed the “Marketplace” tab in your Facebook app? You can list items here for local people to browse. Buyers can get in touch through Facebook Messenger, and you can check identities through profiles. Categories include home and garden, housing, clothing, electronics and vehicles.  

Google Play

The best buy and sell apps for online sales

While online sales require you to ship items, some of these apps will accept shipments containing multiple items, so you only have to send one package.


Selling is simple with the Mercari app. Take a photo, write a listing and when something sells, they email you a printable label. Listings are free, but they take a 10% selling fee when the sale is completed. While this app requires you to list items individually, they have a large audience of buyers, so many people have success selling things here.

Google Play


If you have books, games, DVDs, CDs, tech items (like phones) or Legos®, this is the app for you. You can ship a box full of items to them and get paid quickly. For books, games, DVDs and other similar items, simply scan the barcode and see the price. For tech items, tell them the type and condition, and they’ll give a quote. Legos are sold by weight — just place them in a bag. You send items (with free shipping!) and get paid the day after Decluttr receives the shipment.

Google Play


Easily sell books by searching the ISBN and comparing prices from over 30 websites that sell books.  BookScouter will help compare the best price and provide shipping labels. It’s an easy way to clean out books you no longer want or need.

Google Play


Sell clothing, accessories and makeup on Poshmark. In this app, you set up a virtual closet, listing things individually. You can share listings to your social networks directly from the app. Once an item sells, they send a pre-paid label. For sales over $15, you keep 80% of the sale. For sales under $15, it’s a flat fee of $2.95. 

Google Play


Sell clothing in bulk through ThredUp. You order a Clean Out Kit and send them items from their accepted brands with a pre-paid label. They take the clothing, inspect it, photograph it and list it online. They price pieces based on seasonality, condition, style and their existing inventory. Your percentage varies from 5% to 90%, depending on the listing price and brand. They offer a payout estimator if you’d like to check prices before shipping. 

Google Play

Have you used any of these buy and sell apps?

We are always looking to add to our list — we’d love to hear what apps you’ve used to sell stuff. Tell us about your experience in the comments below.  

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Road tripping from California to New York

Which option sounds more appealing: entering Point A and Point B into your GPS and driving wherever it says, or mapping out a specific route to see sights, visit friends or make unique stops? For a long drive from California to New York, the options for routes are almost endless, so why not make the most of the trip? If you’re ready to start planning, take a look at the overall route and then find the best option for your journey.

Breaking down the drive 

The details will depend on the specifics of your origin and destination, but here’s how the big picture looks:

Overall miles and distance: From the heart of Los Angeles to New York City, you’re looking at around 2,800 miles. San Francisco to New York is approximately 3,000 miles. San Diego to New York is in between, covering 2,900 miles. 

How much time will it take? Expect to drive between 42 and 45 hours, no matter which route you take.   If you’re headed somewhere in northern New York, it could add up to five more hours of driving. 

How much will fuel cost? If you’re driving a personal vehicle, use the fueleconomy.gov trip calculator to estimate gas expenses. If you plan on driving from California to New York in a rental truck, use the rental truck fuel calculator to check costs. 

Will there be any toll roads? As you cross the United States, it’s likely you’ll encounter some toll roads.  Depending on your route, you might go through these states that have toll roads: California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia. 

Mapping out the trip 

There are so many things to consider when planning a California to New York road trip: weather concerns, how fast you need to get there, whether you want to sightsee along the way, if there are friends or family to visit in certain locations, etc. All of these will determine the ideal route. 

If you want to take a look at planning suggestions by season, these cross-country road trip routes show the best path to take depending on the time of year. As you plan, make sure to read through this ultimate guide for road trip planning for even more tips. 

If the season isn’t a big concern, one of the following routes might be best! 

The most direct routes Los Angeles to New York City

The fastest, most direct route is taking Interstate 40 and Interstate 70. While sometimes different interstates merge with I-40 (like I-35 in Kansas and I-44 in Missouri), the route is mostly I-40 to the Mississippi River outside of St. Louis, and then it’s I-70 all the way into Pennsylvania, where you’ll travel up to New York via I-78.

You’ll pass through the big cities of Albuquerque, NM, St. Louis, MO, and Columbus, OH. This route includes some of the original Route 66, known as the Main Street of America. And while this is the most direct route, if you have time for sight-seeing, take a slight detour to the Grand Canyon, which is a must-see. Our scenic route below can help you plan for that trip. 

San Francisco to New York City

For cities in northern California like San Jose, San Francisco or Sacramento, hit Interstate 80 all the way to New York. It’s a straight shot, passing through Salt Lake City, UT, Cheyenne, WY, Des Moines, IA, Chicago, IL and Cleveland, OH. Or you could take a more scenic route and patch together a few different highways and interstates in the middle — stopping at Idaho Falls, ID to see Yellowstone National Park and Rapid City, SD to see Mount Rushmore — and then head back to Interstate 80 for the remainder of the trip. 

San Diego to New York City

For a southern California road trip, drive Interstate 8 to Phoenix, AZ, and then take the same route as Los Angeles. Or for not much time difference (maybe an extra hour in total), you could travel a little farther south on Interstates 10 and 40, going through Tucson, AZ, Dallas, TX, Little Rock, AR, Nashville, TN, Roanoke, VA, and Harrisburg, PA. 

The scenic route

If the journey is more important than the destination, take the scenic route. Below you’ll find our favorite schedule, including some fun things to see over 7 days and 6 nights:

  • Day 1: Los Angeles to Las Vegas, NV. Of course, you’ll experience the Las Vegas strip, but we also suggest seeing Red Rock Canyon, where the 13-mile scenic loop provides fantastic views of the unique landscape. 
  • Day 2: Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Explore and spend the night either in the park or in Williams, AZ.
  • Day 3: Williams, AZ to Albuquerque, NM. Stop in the Petrified Forest National Park and stretch your legs on a hike.
  • Day 4: Albuquerque, NM to Oklahoma City, OK. Eat at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo to see if you can tackle the giant 72 oz. steak, and explore the Bricktown entertainment district in OKC upon arrival.
  • Day 5: Oklahoma City, OK to St. Louis, MO. See the Golden Driller statue in Tulsa (a 75-foot tall tribute to the oil workers of the area), stop at the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon, MO, and end with the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
  • Day 6: St. Louis, MO to Columbus, OH. Get a quick photo at the Kaskaskia Dragon in Vandalia, IL, then keep driving to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is a site to behold whether or not a race is happening. Keep driving to the Model T Museum in Richmond, IN, where you can explore the history of the automobile. And make sure to walk around the campus of Ohio State University when arriving in Columbus.
  • Day 7: Columbus, OH to New York, NY. Stop in Hershey, PA where you can either ride roller coasters at Hersheypark or explore Hershey’s Chocolate World. For a historical stop, see Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, which is not only a battlefield park but is also home to the Eisenhower National Historic Site.
Driving from New York to California

For trips going east to west coast, take the same paths, just in reverse. Interstate 80 is ideal for northern California cities, while I-70 and I-40 are best for southern California locations. 

Planning a road trip in conjunction with a move?

For a move across the country, it’s easier and more comfortable to drive in your own vehicle.  Attempting the trip in a bulky, unfamiliar rental truck will take longer (since you can’t drive as fast as in a personal car) and will cost more (fuel efficiency is lower in a rental truck). Instead, let U-Pack® handle the move while you travel in your own car.  

How does U-Pack work?  
•    We’ll deliver a moving trailer or ReloCube® to your home in California
•    You pack and load
•    We’ll drive your belongings direct to your new home in New York
•    You unload
•    We pick up the empty equipment

U-Pack rates are comparable to truck rental, especially for a long-distance move where fuel costs can really add up. Learn more about how we move customers from the east to west coast, and specifically from the Bay Area

Compare costs with a free moving quote, or by calling 800-413-4799

Additional road trip resources

26 Road Trip Games for Kids and Adults
Car Maintenance Checklist
Road Trip Songs

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