10 Simple Tips to Prep for Long-Term Travel
If you plan on jetting off for a long-term trip, you most likely will have a checklist that's long of items that need to be taken care of at home while you roam. Some advanced planning and preparation can make your traveling adventure go much more smoothly.
Before you start any road trip, you should make sure you have proper auto insurance coverage and that your vehicle is prepared. You should check to ensure your auto insurance policy premium has been paid and there is no lapse in coverage.
You may also need temporary auto insurance if you are borrowing or renting a car. Regardless if you are traveling by car or in the air, you will want to consider putting your auto insurance premiums on autopay.
Important preparation strategies can range from moving certain belongings into storage, or hiring a house-sitter, to putting subscriptions, utilities, and other services, like insurance, on hold. We'll share expert tips to help things go smoothly on the homefront while you're away.
10 Long-Term Travel Preparation Tips
There are some important things to prepare before traveling. Planning things ahead of time will prevent you from the stress of finding or making last-minute arrangements.
#1 – Make a Plan
Your travel plan should include travel arrangements and housing arrangements. You will want to make plans for your housing arrangements for both where you are going and your current home. It’s ok to leave some flexibility in your plan, but you will want to have some idea of where you are going and where you are staying so you aren’t stranded.
If you are planning on traveling for a long period of time, you might want to sell your belongings, your car, or your home. These may take months of planning so it’s good to be thinking way ahead for these things.
#2 – Tell Loved Ones
You will want to share your travel plans with your loved ones and update your emergency contacts on your phone. You should also let them know how often they can expect to hear from you while you are traveling or away. A weekly check-in via phone or email will help keep them updated.
If your home will be unoccupied during the time you are gone, avoid announcing your travel plans on social media. Share the details with trusted friends or family and ask them to keep your plans private.
#3 – Make Lists
It’s also helpful to make lists before you travel. You will want to have a packing list, a pre-trip to-do list, and a to-do list for when you reach your destination.
You can find packing lists for different types of trips online. You can also find long-term travel checklists. Lists will help keep you organized and prevent that feeling of forgetting to do something.
#4 – Prepare Your Home
You will need to make sure your home is ready to be unoccupied for weeks or months at a time. Protecting your home during an extended vacation or trip requires some planning ahead of time.
You may need a part-time caretaker or house sitter for your home while you are away. You should find storage space or a storage unit if there are things you need to move before you leave.
If you are planning to rent your home while you are away, make arrangements for that. A property management company can help with the logistics of finding a renter, completing all the necessary paperwork, and collecting rental fees.
#5 – Prepare Your Car
If you are traveling by car, you will need to make sure your car is ready for the trip. Your vehicle should be up to date on regular maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations. A mechanic can do a quick inspection of the tires, engine, and lights to ensure everything is working properly.
You should also have an emergency kit in your vehicle. An emergency kit can contain jumper cables, a blanket, a flashlight, reflective lights, and a reflective vest. You should also have a spare tire and the tools needed to replace a flat tire.
A first aid kit either in your car or your bags is also important. Make sure you have plenty of water and some non-perishable snacks.
You will also want to start your road trip with a clean car. Throw out any trash or remove any extra items that are not needed.
#6 – Pack Your Essentials
Your travel essentials should include clothing, food, snacks, travel documents, and ids like passports or drivers licenses. Make sure you have a supply of medications and a plan to obtain any refill medications once you travel.
Phone chargers, debit cards, credit cards, travel insurance such as HTH Worldwide, and cash should be included with your essentials. Don’t forget pet supplies and pet medications. You will also want to pack a first aid kit with bandages, gloves, scissors, tape, Neosporin, ibuprofen or Tylenol, and Benadryl.
#7 – Set up Autopay or Cancel Subscriptions
Setting up your regular bills on autopay will save you time and prevent you from missing a payment. Utilities, mortgages, car payments, insurance premium payments, and credit card payments are a few common bills you can set up for autopay. You may also want to cancel some subscriptions if you will not be using them on your trip.
#8 – Forward Mail
It’s easy to go online and have USPS mail forwarded to your new address or held for you until you return. The local post office can hold mail for up to 30 days, but you will need to make other arrangements if it will be longer.
A temporary or permanent change of address is offered at no charge. You can also sign up for a premium forwarding service, which comes with a fee. The Informed Delivery service will email you a daily digital preview of your upcoming mail.
#9 – Make Arrangements for Work
You should also make arrangements if you will be working remotely while traveling. You may need office space or wifi coverage in your housing accommodations.
If you will be driving and without wifi access for a period of time, make sure your supervisor or employer knows your travel schedule so they can plan accordingly. These arrangements should be made in advance so no surprises come up during the planning process for your long-term travel.
#10 – Enjoy Your Trip
Once all the planning is done and you are off to travel, enjoy yourself. This is the opportunity to have fun and make new memories. Traveling is one of life’s best adventures so live it up and cherish the memories.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. She is a university professor and travel expert.