On the day of the move you might consider using your own car or renting a van, as there will be some items that are not allowed on the moving truck (such as plants). There might also be valuable items that you would prefer to carry with you on moving day. Don’t forget that plants cannot be unattended for long periods, especially in summer months, and in order to survive a long distance must be tended to carefully and consistently. A highly successful way of transporting plants long distances is by renting a u-haul that attaches to the back of your vehicle, allowing you to feed and water them at scheduled stops.
Of course another reason to either use your own or rental truck/car is when you have children and/or pets. About a week in advance, take some time to make a list of things you will have to pack and prepare in order to make the ride as smooth as possible. Things that are often overlooked are kitty litter boxes and all that is necessary to keep fish thriving in their tanks where transporting (hopefully not along with the kitty)! Check resources on the internet to see the most up to date advice on how to carry live fish with you, as they are very sensitive to climate changes and a regulated oxygen supply.
As for your kids, the real list begins! You probably already know the preparation that goes into smooth and ‘painless’ traveling with children of any age, but just to get things started, it is always smart to be particular about the snacks you bring; food that travels well is your friend! We stick with string cheese, pretzels, apple slices, bananas, raisins, cereal, etc. Anything that can be pre-packaged and eaten independently is always a bonus. Try to avoid messy foods such as yogurt (which also requires a spoon) and juice boxes, as you will need a change of clothes with one squeeze of the box.
Children’s music is always helpful, and often time provides games as well if you act out the words. Planned stops/breaks are a great way to break up a long period of having to entertain the kids, and are great resources for outdoor activities.