If you want to go by the Rules which you should, then yes you have to change altitude. Your only going to change 1000 feet to the odd or even + 500 that you need. So climb power set and go for it.
If a situation of Clouds, fuel exhaustion, wind, ice, navigation reception, obstacles, etc, then I would reconsider that thought and go to plan B. If I were in that case, I would ask the nearest Center for Flight Following. Flight Following will warn you to of traffic so you could maintain your current altitude throughout you legs.
Me. Airline Pilot