map with arrowLots of things about moving are kind of a drag. Financial strains, logistical concerns and the plain old act of uprooting oneself to a new home are all stressful enough on their own, but add to that the element of long-distance and you’ve got the makings of an ulcer on your hands. Right? Wrong. While Moveline works to decompress the frustrations typically associated with moving by saving people money, time and confusion, we also have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to turning a cross-country move more fun.

To kick things off, we’ve got some tips for folks moving between the Midwest and the West Coast (via Route 66), but first things first: no matter where you’re moving to or from, here’s a heaping helping of tips to turn that frown upside down as you get ready to relocate.

Get familiar with your new city

Sure, anybody can Google “fun things to do in City X,” but for a truly unflinching look at the way locals view their own neighborhoods, Urbane offers city maps with an irreverent take on various parts of most large US cities. Wondering where to find “Dominican artsy hipster living” in Miami or “clean-cut homes and streets that seem Middle America” in New Orleans? Look no further. Most chambers of commerce provide plenty of socioeconomic information on the communities they represent, along with links to city guides and helpful information, and when you’ve exhausted things like local newspapers and alt weeklies, there’s always Lonely PlanetFrommer’s and Fodors — because listen, if your new city’s best restaurants and diversions have already been reviewed and categorized by the world’s most esteemed travel writers, why not take advantage of their research? And while you’re at it, you can map out some fun, touristy stops and side trips to enjoy on the way there.

Specifically, if you’re moving to Seattle or Las Vegas and looking for a super-comprehensive insider’s guide with tips on where to live, work, eat, shop and play, check out Moveline’s new resident guides specifically written for folks moving to either city (with more cities to come soon).

Make the road trip fun

If you’re driving your own car to your new city instead of having it shipped, the long haul doesn’t have to be a boring one, especially when it comes to food. No matter where you’re going, a handful of websites and apps can help you avoid the fast-food-and-truck-stop fare typically found along America’s highways and byways: try crowd favorites like YelpUrbanSpoon and Zagat, as well as FoodTripping, a health-conscious app for iPhone and Android users that specifically helps road trippers avoid the french fry trap.

Find new friends

No doubt about it; moving to a new town and starting your social life over from scratch can be daunting. But with a little chutzpah and a smidge of effort, you can have a support system full of comrades, confidantes and brunch buddies in no time flat. Check out our tips for developing a social network in a new city, and if you need even more inspiration to get out there and take a bite out of your new surroundings, this thoughtful post detailing 7 ways to make a new city feel like home might be just the thing you need.

No matter how far you’re moving (or even how close, for that matter), Moveline can take the sting out of the process by doing the dirty work for you. Gathering quotes on your behalf, making sure you get fair pricing that doesn’t change, giving advice on everything from packing to insurance, and sticking with you the whole way through — those are just a few of the ways we make your move as stress-free as possible. Check us out and see if we can’t delight you in one way or another as you open the next chapter of life’s big adventures.