Packing and Storing Tips Before Your Big Travels

Extended travel is becoming a natural part of many people’s lives. Whereas in previous years it was only the very rich, or lucky gap year students who could take a few months at a time to fulfil their wanderlust needs, now just about anyone can. Adult gap years, work sabbaticals or simply periods of extended leave have all put longer travel adventures within reach.

Of course, it gets a little more complicated once you have property and family responsibilities, but with a little knowhow and forethought the things you leave behind can actually help pay for the trip.

Hidden Income

Instead of locking the front door and leaving the house empty while you’re away, why not let others use it as a home base? There are a couple of options available, such as offering temporary accommodation to tourists through companies such as Airbnb, or going through a letting agency if you’re willing to offer a continuous let of six months or more.

Suitcases Things to consider include what you’ll do with your belongings and household effects. Traditional lets are mostly (but not always) on an unfurnished basis so you’ll need somewhere to store everything. Self storage offers affordable storage spaces on flexible terms, with the rent you’d realise more than covering the storage costs. You’d likely have money left over too, to help with your own travel expenses. If this is your preferred option, start making plans months ahead of departure. You’ll need to comply with landlord regulations, put necessary insurances into place, and possibly inform the bank of your intentions depending on your mortgage terms.

If renting to holidaymakers for their short term needs is more appealing, you’ll need to leave most of the household effects in place. Personal possessions, clothes or valuables are the only things you’d likely remove and put into storage. If you end up with just a few boxes, friends and family could help with storage, although many prefer the extra security and independence offered by self storage companies.

Packing Tips

Packing for extended travels is more complicated than throwing a few things in a suitcase for your average two-weeks in the sun. For one thing, you’ll need more than you can carry. Here are some ideas:

#1 — Work from Lists: Make two lists, one for clothes and items you’ll take with you, and a second one for household effects you’ll pack and put into store. You’ll need an inventory too, of things left in the house for rental purposes.

Luggage #2 — Keep Suitcases Light: Even if you’re going away for months at a time, you don’t need to pack the kitchen sink. Pack for the climate you’re going to, and make sure each item is versatile and easy to wash and dry. Choose items you know you’ll wear or use, for instance avoiding formal clothing when you’re packing for a beach holiday. Cut down the number of gadgets you take, and don’t bother with towels if you’re staying in hotels. Remember, anything you don’t have, you can buy when you arrive, unless you’re travelling to extremely remote locations.

#3 — Know Airline or Immigration Rules: They change all the time so it’s worth checking before every journey to avoid the disappointment of fines or confiscations. Liquids or other flight restrictions, what you can and can’t take into foreign countries, visa requirements, currencies and local laws all require current information.

Big travels are exciting adventures, providing memories that last a lifetime. They take a little more organising, but the benefits far outweigh the effort involved.


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