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Long-Term Travel: 7 Things to Do at Home Before Heading Off on a Long Trip

  • Written by Telegraph Magazine

Embarking on a long-term adventure is an exhilarating experience that offers the opportunity to explore new cultures, meet new people, and create unforgettable memories. However, before jetting off to distant lands, it's essential to take care of important tasks at home to ensure peace of mind and smooth sailing while you're away. From securing your home to managing finances, here are seven crucial things to do before heading off on a long trip.

Secure Your Home

If you own your home, install security cameras, alarm systems, and motion sensor lights to deter intruders and monitor your property remotely. Arrange for a trusted neighbour, friend, or family member to check on your home periodically and collect mail, packages, and newspapers to avoid signalling your absence. Consider putting lights on timers and arranging for lawn care services to create the appearance of occupancy.

If you’re renting or have any extremely valuable items, you may want to consider self-storage units in Melbourne or your nearest major city. There, you’ll benefit from 24/7 surveillance and security. 

Notify Financial Institutions

Before travelling abroad, it's essential to notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to prevent any disruptions to your accounts. Inform them of the countries you'll be visiting and the dates of your trip to avoid triggering fraud alerts or account freezes. 

Inquire about international transaction fees and currency conversion rates to understand the costs associated with using your cards abroad. Consider bringing multiple forms of payment, such as credit cards, debit cards, and cash, to ensure you have access to funds wherever you go.

Set Up Automatic Bill Payments

To avoid late fees, set up automatic bill payments for recurring expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, and insurance premiums. Schedule payments to be deducted from your bank account or credit card automatically on their due dates. 

Alternatively, consider enrolling in online bill payment services offered by your bank or financial institutions to manage and pay bills conveniently from anywhere in the world. Double-check payment schedules and account balances before departing to ensure all bills are covered during your absence.

Arrange Travel Insurance

Research and purchase travel insurance policies that offer comprehensive coverage for your specific needs and destinations. Compare policies from reputable insurance providers and review the terms and conditions carefully to understand coverage limits, exclusions, and claim procedures. Carry copies of your insurance policy documents and emergency contact information with you for easy reference.

Prepare Your Home for Extended Absence

Unplug non-essential electronics and appliances to reduce energy consumption and lower the risk of electrical fires. Empty perishable items from the refrigerator and pantry, and dispose of rubbish to prevent odours and pests. Consider installing water leak detectors and shut-off valves to detect and mitigate plumbing leaks in your absence.

Organise Important Documents and Itineraries

Organise and consolidate important documents, travel itineraries, and emergency contact information into a secure travel folder or digital file. Include copies of your passport, visa, travel insurance policy, vaccination records, and any other relevant documents. Keep electronic copies of important documents securely in cloud storage or email them to yourself for easy access.

Plan for Communication and Connectivity

Roaming plans are rarely cost-effective, so consider purchasing local SIM cards or portable Wi-Fi devices for reliable internet access while on the go. Download offline maps, translation apps, and communication tools such as WhatsApp or Skype to stay connected even in areas with limited connectivity.

With proper planning and preparation, you can focus on immersing yourself in new cultures, exploring exciting destinations, and making lasting memories during your long-term travels. Bon voyage!