Exploring the planet is perhaps the most common bucket list activity you can come across. From catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights to riding down route 66, so many of us yearn to discover more about this incredible world. And how do you make sure your trip of a lifetime is the best it can possibly be?
You plan, plan, plan!
While most of your pre-travel planning will consist of looking at transport, accommodation and activities, they aren't the only plans you should be making. Before you jet off, sadly, you have to bring yourself back down to Earth. Long-term travel presents a few unique obstacles that can have a detrimental impact if not properly thought about beforehand.
What exactly are we talking about here?
Bills and Payments
When you travel, you leave behind the mundane aspects of life. The problem is that they often keep ticking along without you. Bills like standing electricity charges, credit card payments and rent don’t go away because you do. When you’re jumping between continents, it’s difficult to keep track of and even remember your financial commitments of home, but they’re still essential to maintain. You don’t want to return home to overdue bills.
Before you travel, get an overview of exactly what payments you’ll need to make. Work to make sure you have the money available to pay them and the facilities in place to ensure you make your payments on time. Knowing these items are taken care of before you board the plane is not only important for a stable home life upon return, but it also gives you peace of mind and lets you enjoy your travel all the more.
Long-term inactivity within your home can result in the build-up of spores like dust and bacteria, while untreated mould and mildew can spread and wreak havoc. There is also the potential that problems hidden now will develop into bigger issues and go unnoticed with nobody around to spot them. You want to make sure your home is properly cleaned before you leave. The last thing you want is to come back from your travels to find your house in a worse state than you left it.
Performing a deep clean of your home is the best protection here. The better the condition you leave your home in, the less likely it is that problems will occur. Thorough coverage of the whole home means you won’t subject to any nasty surprises and that problems you are aware of now don’t get worse. You can manage this kind of cleaning yourself, but if you want true peace of mind, have a large home or are going to be away for a long time, getting in a domestic cleaning service for extra support can make a huge difference.
While you are away, your property becomes more vulnerable. An empty home is an ideal target for burglars. Why break into a house filled with people when you can burgle an empty property, take your time and cut the risk of being caught? But you can’t give up on travel dreams for fear of theft. Here are a few ways you can fight back against potential burglary, even while you are off traveling the globe:
- Avoid Looking Like You Are Away — A tactic travelers often deploy is leaving lights on to make a house look lived in. But for long-term travel, this isn’t a viable option. Instead, try timed lights. Activated using either smart technology or wall-plug timers, lights going on and off make your home look lived in and less attractive to watching thieves. You should also avoid the build-up of post. You can do this by either asking friends or neighbors to take mail in for you or by contacting your Post Office directly and requesting they hold your post until you return.
- Make Burglary Unappealing — CCTV and alarms can play an important role in keeping burglars away. The more difficult you make it for criminals to get away with theft, the less likely they’ll be to carry out the crime. If you don’t have the money for or interest in systems like CCTV, you can always buy fake items to put off burglars without making the full investment.
- Don’t Advertise Your Travels — It’s common to share holiday updates, but did you know nearly 80% of burglars search social media for targets? The safest strategy is to avoid sharing posts until you are home. Failing that, make sure your updates are shared only within private groups.
The most daring travelers jump on a plane with a ticket, a bag and nothing else. Others like to keep it easy but at least have a basic itinerary. Then, you have those who plot out each day of their trip meticulously. Each method of travel is perfect for the individuals involved and there is nothing wrong with opting for any of them. What all of these travelers should be doing, though, is figuring out a plan if something were to go wrong.
Unfortunately, you are not Nostradamus — you can’t predict the future. Sometimes, things happen that you aren't prepared for. Poor health, bad news, surprising financial difficulties, natural disasters, relationship breakdowns and more can all stop your travel dead. If these things happen, they can be made even worse by having no recourse to help resolve them.
For long-term travel, it is essential you consider your options for finding your way back to stability if the worst should happen. This may include ensuring you have access to funds for a return ticket, maintaining a local phone connection for easy contact or having backup locations if part of your travel plan falls through.