Moving from Chicago to Florida: Cost and Tips

Before you make your move from CHI to FL, know the important factors that may affect the cost of your move.

Trading out of the Windy City for The Sunshine State?

The nicknames alone are explanation enough.

However, you’re probably also going to save some money by moving down to Florida.

Whether or not that’s true for you, there’s something that’s definitely true.

You do NOT want to overspend on the move.

Know exactly how much it should be.

So, how much does it cost to move from Chicago to Florida?

Quick Answer: The average cost to move from Chicago to Florida is $2,000-$3,500 depending on the size, route, and timing of the move. Hiring a professional moving company will be on the more expensive side. Renting a truck or using a moving container will save you money but also require a lot more work.

Get an even better idea of your particular moving cost using them moving cost estimator.

Ready to get a full grasp on the factors that affect the cost of your cross country move?

Let’s dive right in.

How Much Does It Cost to Move from Chicago to Florida?

Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental*
Studio/1 bedroom $1,450-$2,455 $1027-$1,386 $1,045-$1,485 $320-$432
2-3 bedroom $2,000-3,432 $1,518-$2,049 $1,188-$1,688 $374-$505
4+ bedroom $2,690-$4,902 $1,695-$2,288 $1,235-$1,755 $413-$558

*Estimates for truck rentals include fuel costs only. Other costs may include lodging, tolls, or parking.

For the most accurate estimates, use the moving cost calculator to determine costs from specific locations in Chicago to your destination in Florida.

Why Do the Prices Vary So Much?

Prices depend on how much you want to be involved in your move. If you want a hands-free relocation from Chicago to Florida, then professional movers are your best investment. They load and unload the truck and do all the driving. Be sure to get three quotes from professional movers before you make your decision.

If your moving budget doesn’t allow for professional movers, you can use a moving container company or freight company.

The cost is lower than professional movers, as you load and unload the containers yourself. The companies take care of transportation.

To save the most money you can rent a truck for the move. However, you must load and unload the truck and do all the driving. This is the best choice if you have little to spend on a move.

Inbound vs. Outbound State Demands Impacts Price

Another factor impacting your moving costs in the popularity of your destination. If many people are leaving Chicago to go to Florida, you may be able to defer some of the cost. Professional moving companies and freight and container companies can give you a better deal if you are willing to share the ride.

According to the US Census, more than 13,000 people left Illinois for Florida in 2018.

Offseason vs Peak Moving Season Impacts Price

Another factor affecting your move is timing. Moving during moving season will cost you more.

Try to plan your move during the offseason. The fall and winter months tend to be slow for the moving industry, and you can get a better deal on everything from truck rentals to professional moving quotes.

Why Are People Moving from Chicago to Florida?

Illinois state taxes continue to skyrocket year after year and the housing market remains flat. The cold weather doesn’t help either.

Florida offers more affordable housing and cost of living. No state tax is a big bonus and of course who can beat the weather?

Best Places to Move in Florida

Miami, Florida Perks

  • There is a lot going on in Miami. It’s not just for retirees. Yes, cost of living is higher, but no state taxes help dull that sting.
  • Say goodbye to Chicago winters. Always perfect Miami weather keeps your spirits up all year long.
  • Cuban influenced cuisine. A whole new tier of dining comes with your relocation to Miami.
  • No state income tax. Compared to the high state taxes in Illinois, the zero-state tax in Florida feels like a raise in pay.
  • Great public transportation. Miami is a city that caters to its urban population. No need for car if you want to live downtown.
  • Culture abounds. You will be enlightened by the vast tapestry of cultural influences that make up Miami.
  • Visit the beach every day if you wish. The beaches in Miami are some of the best in Florida.

Guide to Moving to Miami


Daytona Beach, Florida Perks

A great mix of people is what nobody realizes is going on in Daytona Beach. It’s not just for NASCAR fans.

  • The tourist lifestyle. What’s great about Daytona is that is caters to tourism, so your every day life is like a vacation.
  • NASCAR is a big deal. If you love NASCAR, Daytona Beach is the mecca.
  • A great college town. Lots of colleges and universities call Daytona Beach home.
  • White sand stretches. After Miami, Daytona Beach offers uniquely beautiful white sand beaches.

Port St. Lucie, Florida Perks

A small town feel that makes you feel like home. That’s why folks go to Port St. Lucie.

  • Low cost of living. Your budget will thank you when you move to Port St. Lucie.
  • Great educational community. Families will love that high performing education system from K-12.
  • Nature is rich. Find lots of hiking and exploration opportunities in one of Florida’s fertile nature locales.
  • Median home price – $209,000 You can easily buy a beautiful home here on an average income.

Orlando, Florida Perks

The cost of living in Orlando is about 3% lower than the average Florida cost of living. Affordability is a factor for many inbound movers.

  • Disney happens here every day. You don’t need to go on vacation to go to Disney anymore.
  • A place to find the best sport teams in Florida. Love sports? Then Orlando is sports central for Florida.
  • Low cost of living. You can afford a home and a decent life on a regular paycheck in Orlando.
  • Rich natural settings. Natural settings are a key benefit of Florida anywhere. In Orlando there is lots to explore.

Tampa, Florida Perks

  • Economic growth is the main attraction in Tampa. Lots of career opportunities and beautiful beaches.
  • Growing job market. Tampa continues to provide a variety of jobs across categories.
  • Diverse cuisine. The best of Florida’s restaurateurs are here in Tampa.
  • World class golfing. Some of the best golf courses in Florida.
  • More reasons to stay fit. A wellness focused city helps you stay on track with wellness goals.
  • Lots to do with the family. Tampa offers family friendly activies from parks and watersports to the aquarium.

Guide to Moving to Tampa, Florida


Jacksonville, Florida Perks

Jacksonville continues to be one of the most family-friendly locations in Florida. There are tons of activities from zoos and botanical gardens to indoor speedway.

  • Very family-friendly. More to do here than in many parts of Florida.
  • Proximity to other major cities. Jacksonville is a travel hub, which gives businesspeople fast and easy connection with other urban centers.
  • Plenty of affordable housing. Jacksonville is family-friendly and budget-friendly, offering affordable housing and a low cost of living.
  • A center for the musical arts. Jacksonville has become home to blues, jazz and other music styles in concerts and music festivals.

Moving to Jacksonville Guide


Pensacola, Florida Perks

Ample affordable housing and a resort-like atmosphere define Pensacola for residents. Whether you want to rent or buy there is something available for every budget.

  • Rich Florida history. For those who love history, Pensacola captures much of Florida’s historic past in museums.
  • Strong employment market. Pensacola has a thriving job market that attracts young professionals and new families.
  • Named one of the most beautiful places in Florida. Florida’s beaches and scenery reach their peak in Pensacola.
  • Events to stay busy. Annual events like Pensacola Beach Air Show, Pensacola Seafood Festival, and a Summer Music Series offer year-round entertainment.

Sarasota, Florida Perks

Retirees and new grads all flock to Sarasota for its safe community and thriving community.

  • Great retiree mecca. Retirees from all over the country find affordable and safe living in Sarasota.
  • Top performing schools. Families love the school districts which offer great prep for college.
  • A cultural hub for the arts. Lots of artistic events from music to exhibitions keep Sarasota creative.
  • A place for events and festivals. Sarasota hosts numerous fairs and festivals throughout the year that cater to every age group.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida Perks

Employers from American Express to Microsoft have set up shop here and have built a strong community that attract new residents.

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