Alaska Calling? Here’s What You Should Know About Moving to a Cold Climate

October 28, 2021Moving Tips
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

You’d think moving to a cold climate is rarely high on someone’s relocation list, but some people do prefer icy weather and snowy escapes. Whether you’re relocating for a job or a love of chills, you’re reading this because a move somewhere cold is coming up. Here’s everything you need to know about relocating to lower temperatures.

Moving to a Cold Climate Isn’t Such a Terrible Idea

Most of us think of snow, icicles, and a bunch of clothes on our back when a frosty climate is mentioned. However, the weather isn’t only chilly when there’s snow on the ground – colder areas simply have more lower than higher temperatures on average.

If you do a where should I move quiz and get a notoriously freezing state, don’t despair. You can find areas with less snowfall during winter that could equally be wonderful for your relocation budget and health. It mostly depends on your preferences, but a lot can hang on living costs in each state.

The current top 10 US states with the lowest average temperatures are:

  • Alaska (average temperature 26°F)
  • North Dakota (average 40°F)
  • Maine (average 41°F)
  • Minnesota (average 41°F)
  • Wyoming (average 42°F)
  • Montana (average 42° – 43°F)
  • Vermont (average 43°F)
  • Wisconsin (average 43°F)
  • New Hampshire (average 43° – 44°F)
  • Idaho and Michigan tied (average 45°F)

The Surprising Benefits of Cold Climates

When you decide to move to another state, it’s normal to get nervous. Relocation and packing aren’t easy, and who even has time to make friends in a new city? Plus, you’re going somewhere freezing.

It sounds daunting when put like that, but actually, icy temperatures can benefit a person. For example, did you know it’s easier to focus in lower temperatures? Think of having to be productive during a hot, sweaty summer day. Impossible, right? You’d turn on the AC and lower the temperature in the room right away.

We know more colds and viruses are circling in winter. States that are typically colder than others give their residents the gift of a steel immune system. The more accustomed you are to colds, the stronger your body’s response to viruses is. That’s pretty great, isn’t it?

The longer you spend in the cold, the more acclimated you'll be to the elements

You’ll Need Winter Clothes, But Buy Them When You Get to the New State

Now that you’ve decided where to live don’t start buying warm jackets, sweaters, and five pairs of gloves just yet. If you live someplace hot or plan to relocate during warmer months, you won’t be able to find that sort of clothing to stock up on. Take what you have at home, and then buy the rest when you arrive.

Anxiety about relocating somewhere colder can cause anyone to start panic-packing, so it’s obvious you’ll get to your winter closet first. Unless you have amazing and creative storage ideas, work on making a checklist of what clothing items to bring. Having a list isn’t just among the most common packing tips, but the most useful one, hands down.


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Freezing Weather Means Wearing Layered Clothing

You probably protested as a kid when your parents forced you to wear a sweater over a shirt, a jacket, and two layers of bottoms. This doesn’t stop being annoying in adulthood, but now we understand how valuable a layered outfit is for the freezing temperatures outside.

Layers are pretty trendy nowadays, too. So, you can move out of state in style and stay warm; go to your social media feed, and you’ll find inspiration quickly. Getting excited about layering when getting dressed seems like such a “you know you’re old when” joke, but when you move to a chilly area, feeling “old” will be worth the trouble.

Don’t Forget to Warm Your Hands, Head, and Feet the Most

Not packing or buying any gloves and hats for a colder climate isn’t just a relocation mistake but one that could impact your health, too. Did you know that just keeping your hands and feet warm will make it easier to maintain a high body temperature longer? That makes grandma’s knitted gloves seem like a real asset now. There are many ways to stay warm in winter, both at home and outside, so we recommend you bookmark any way you find interesting and helpful.

More importantly, don’t underestimate the power of warm boots and hats. High-quality snow boots aren’t always the pinnacle of fashion, we’ll give you that, but the feeling of warmth on the feet will make you forget you’re treading snowy paths. A good hat will keep your ears from turning into icicles, and good news – hats can be pretty trendy and cool.

a girl wearing winter clothing and making a snow angel
You can roll in the snow if you are well protected and wearing layered outfits

Prepare Your Car for Shipping and Low Temperatures

Preparing your car for shipping in winter may not seem to be the most important advice on how to adjust to cold weather, but it’s more valuable than you imagine. Driving in big cities is exhausting. Now imagine the same frustration, except it is winter, and snow is everywhere. You don’t even have to move to a big city to experience this – relocating to a small town will also require you to know the importance of driving carefully on an icy road.

Since you may not be ready to venture out into the unknown by driving from a warmer area, it would be best to hire an experienced auto transport company. USA auto transport businesses are an excellent alternative to you driving your car long-distance to Wyoming’s freezing mountain towns.

If preparing your car for long-distance shipping seems expensive, the truth is, it’s quite the opposite. You can save money to move when a professional car shipping company picks up your vehicle and delivers it to your door, instead of wasting precious money and time driving for hours.

Why It Isn’t Wise to Drive to a Chilly State

It may seem like an adventure – you head to the open road, fresh-faced and excited for a new, cool beginning. Then, you reach your destination state, and suddenly, the tires start going left and right, the windshield fogs up too quickly, and the battery doesn’t last as long because of the frost.

You could get stuck in the middle of your trip. We don’t want to be negative Nancy’s here, but people often aren’t even prepared for rain, let alone snow. Additionally, some colder states, such as Vermont and Wyoming, prefer snow tires, so it is a good idea to change them if you are headed this way.

Why worry too much about your car? The benefits of car shipping outweigh the benefits of driving it across the country. This isn’t true only because you’d keep your vehicle intact. A car shipping company offers variations in delivery and transport, too. When it is freezing outside, you can opt for enclosed auto transport. The battery and interior won’t freeze in that case.

You can also choose open trailer transport because the sky’s the limit with auto transport companies. If you get stuck unpacking, door-to-door auto transport will have your four-wheel baby at the driveway super fast. If you have some time to spare, you can also pick it up after the company provides terminal to terminal car shipping.

Prepare a Survival Kit to Keep In Your Car for Snowstorms

Trying to open a frozen car door without a survival kit is annoying and impressively hard. Just as you (hopefully) wouldn’t travel without a first-aid kit, you wouldn’t do it without some car gear in wintry areas, either.

To prepare for all kinds of emergencies and elements, here’s what you need to pack as part of your survival kit:

  • At least one thermal blanket,
  • Snow shovel,
  • Ice scraper and brush,
  • Flashlight,
  • Flares,
  • Jumper cables,
  • First-aid kit,
  • Whistle,
  • Recommended: non-perishable foods or snacks,
  • Extra pair of socks, shirts, and other clothing items,
  • Road salt, sea salt, or cat litter.

People use salt to melt ice on roads, but cat litter works pretty well, too. Watch the video below for some more advice on how to prepare your car for freezing winters.

YouTube video

Give Yourself Time and Find Ways to Acclimate Mentally

One of the most important moving tips on how to acclimate to cold weather relates to depression after relocating, and the dreaded problem called adjustment insomnia. Something you may find comforting is that migrating to an exotic beach destination and a place resembling Santa’s hometown are basically the same thing. They both cause anxiety and depression after moving to a new home.

Being depressed in colder environments seems more frequent, but any kind of moving takes a toll on a person’s psyche and often their body, too. So, whatever you start feeling the moment you land in the territory of ice and freeze is normal, and you should expect it. What’s not recommended is to pretend that you’re great when it isn’t true or deny that relocating away from home wasn’t hard.

The best thing to do is make time for self-care and healing, calming activities. It may be as simple as just warming up into a blanket and watching Christmas movies or as big as exploring the area and asking the locals for tips on braving the elements. That might even be the best way to make friends and break the ice, pun intended.

Employ the Help of Friends, Colleagues, and Acquaintances

Moving alone is difficult and may seem impossible. But, you know how Oprah recommends confidence exercises and believing in yourself when it is the most difficult thing to do? Well, we can’t pride ourselves on being the mighty Miss Winfrey, but we agree with her advice to stay confident, whether you moved alone or with family.

Lean on family members to support you when it becomes difficult. The friends you left behind can still be there for you, and they’ll probably appreciate that you want to stay in touch with them and tell them all about the other home. Even people at work could be those you confide to when relocation blues hit. It’s all temporary, anyway. After a few weeks, you’ll forget you even felt sad.

two women standing in front of a window and hugging while there's snow outside
Allow friends and family members to be there for you when you need it the most

Spend Time Outside and Get to Know What Living In a Cold Climate Is Like

Learning how to live in cold weather is best done by spending time outdoors – right where the freeze is. This is hardly counterintuitive, too; you’d discover a city as soon as you get there or take a dip in the pool the moment you get the rental house keys. Something that guarantees stress-free relocating is going with the flow.

Whether you are in a snowy paradise because you have to be or want to be there, embracing it as soon as you arrive will help you acclimate faster. Your reasons to move aren’t the most critical thing about it, so they shouldn’t define how the situation makes you feel. What matters is going out, having snowball fights, learning how to drive your car on ice, and appreciating Grandma’s colorful, knitted gloves.

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