Monday, May 30, 2016

Tips for Long Term Travel

Up until last year the longest trip I had taken was about 3 weeks long (unless you count the occasional summer at Grandma's, but when you're 9, you have no say in the planning). Last summer I decided to start taking extended trips to Seoul, to immerse myself in the culture (Atlanta's Korea town is cool, but not quite the same) but quite a bit of planning has to take place because two month is not a short period of time.

After last year, I think I have a pretty good system in place.

Travel tips for those long term trips (or even some shorter stays)


CLEAN LIKE YOUR ALLOWANCE DEPENDS ON IT 
I like to make sure my home is nice and fresh before any length of travel, because nobody should want to come home to a dirty bed, trash and piles of laundry. But I find returning to a clean home after a long trip is doubly important. You'll probably be exhausted and just want to pass out, and that'll be impossible if you have to deal with a bug infestation that manifested while you were gone.

I personally make sure all dishes are washed, trash is taken out, bedding is clean, floors are clean, counters are wiped down, laundry is done...


SECURE A HOUSE / PET SITTER
This is optional depending on your situation, but important when it comes to your home and especially with your furry (or non-furry) loved ones. You'll want to make sure you have someone that you can trust, is responsible and will keep you updated.

Or, if you happen to have a trusted neighbor (and no pets) ask them to keep an eye out and remove any notices/menus that might get placed on your front door.

TELL THE MAILMAN TO 'HOLD, PLEASE'
USPS will only hold your mail for up to 30 days. If you'll be gone for longer, schedule it for the initial 30 days, then set yourself a reminder on the 30th day to log back on and schedule another hold.

https://holdmail.usps.com/

TURN OFF WATER / ADJUST THERMOSTAT
Last summer, approximately one month before I set off for Seoul for two months, I had a pipe leak which spread down two floors beneath me, causing me a huge mess and a whole lot of money. Luckily it happened before I left and was able to get the situation under control, because had it happened while I was gone... I don't even want to think about it. After that incident I always make sure to shut my water off whenever I'm leaving town because you really just never know. This may not be something you want to do in the winter, depending on where you live because you know, frozen pipes.

I shut my water off at the source and then turn all the sink/shower handles to let any residual water flow out.

I also adjust my thermostat because an empty house doesn't really need AC. The internet says to adjust it 4 degrees above normal, which makes sense for shorter trips, I actually set mine about 10 degrees higher for longer trips but you don't want to set it too high so your fridge doesn't sweat, candles don't melt, etc.

If you have a house sitter, skip this step unless you want them to hate you.

SHIP ITEMS
For long trips, there are a lot of items you can ship ahead of time (if you have an address to ship to or just buy when you get there). I like to order daily essentials via amazon about one month before my trip so I know they'll be waiting for me when I arrive.

I usually do this for large bottles of supplements, larger toiletry items, etc.

LET YOUR BANK KNOW WHAT'S UP
It's always a good idea to let your bank/credit cards know when you'll be out of town so you don't get embarrassed when you're trying to pay for something several states or countries away and your card is like 'nope'. Every financial institution should have a Travel section on their website that let's you update them with the dates & location of your travel. Takes 2 minutes and keeps you from having to make that call later on.

PACK MINIMALLY
A lot of people probably think that because they're going to be gone for a long period of time that means they need more clothes. But just because you'll be gone for one or two months doesn't mean you'll need a different outfit for everyday. Depending on the purpose of your trip, you will likely do some shopping so it's better to leave some room in your suitcase for anything new you purchase. 

I honestly don't worry about wearing the same outfit twice or three or four times. Or even two days in a row, in many cases. For a two month trip to Seoul, South Korea I was able to fit all my clothes, shoes, presents, schoolbooks and more into one midsize suitcase and one carry on suitcase with room to spare.

I also recommend using packing cubes, they keep everything nice and neat and if your suitcase happens to bust open (for all you over-packers) all least everything will be contained in the packing cubes.
Travel tips for those long term trips (or even some shorter stays)



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PS. What are you travel tips? Or travel concerns? I'd love to hear from you in the comments! & follow me on BlogLovin to stay updated on future content. <3