Few things are as exciting as an extended travel break. Planning your itinerary and imagining yourself in faraway lands is enough to raise anyone’s pulse.
However, before you board the plane or the road, there are a few things you need to take care of at home. Preparing properly for an extended vacation away from your house ensures that you’ll return to a safe home after your adventures have ended.
A little preparation goes a long way in the event of an emergency, too. While you probably won’t need medical assistance during your adventure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and prepare for the worst.
Regular travel reduces the risk of heart attack, relieves chronic stress, and boosts your satisfaction with life. You’re more likely to hit a creative streak after traveling which may alleviate some symptoms of depression when abroad.
However, before you lock your door and hit the road, you need to be sure that your home is in good enough condition to survive without you. You don’t want to return home to burst pipes, cracked windows, and expensive heating bills. Instead, take care of essential repairs that you shouldn’t put off before leaving, including:
Restore and repair your HVAC;
Take care of structural issues like wood rot, cracked ceilings, and roof damage;
Bring in a pest control professional to check for signs of animal life;
Hire a professional electrician to investigate faults like flickering lights or buzzing sounds.
Taking care of these essential repairs will give you peace of mind when you’re away from home. After all, you don’t want to be fretting about a leaky pipe or a hole in your roof when you should be enjoying sights like the Lago di Orta in Piedmont, Italy.
You should consider beefing up your security before a trip away, too. Consider keeping your prized possessions with a trusted friend or family member, have a trusted person come to stay and house sit, and upgrade your burglar alarm system.
If you have a pool, invest in a pool alarm to prevent accidental drownings while house sitters stay, protect pets and animals, and enhance your home security. Simple alarm systems, like surface wave detection alarms, will alert your housesitter and ensure you don’t return home to find a wild animal in your pool.
Taking care of your home security will give you peace of mind when on the road. However, there’s always a chance that you’ll encounter an emergency when you’re actually on vacation.
Though the risk of a medical emergency is slim, it’s still worth putting together a medical emergency plan to deal with any potential issues.
Start by securing travel insurance that you know covers you during your entire trip. Revise your insurance if you change anything on your current itinerary and reach out to your provider if you are unclear about your coverage. You don’t want to check into a hospital for a check-up only to find a big bill waiting for you when you return.
If you have allergies or chronic conditions, prepare a medical card so folks can get you the help you need should you be unable to communicate yourself.
Keep a few translations of this card on hand and include key details like an emergency number and any medication you’re on.
Once you’ve taken care of the scary stuff, it’s time to start picturing your time away from home. Sometimes, putting together your plan can be just as fun as the trip itself. It’s easy to get mentally lost when pouring over maps and researching potential destinations.
Start by learning about the travel links in the area you’re planning to visit. Will you need to rent a car, or can you utilize reliable public transport links? Taking a train or bus is a great way to see the country you’re visiting while saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.
If you’re shopping for flights, make full use of seasoned adventurer’s travel hacks. However, delete your browser history before making any bookings, and avoid flying on Fridays or Sundays.
This will save you money, as airlines bump up prices if you complete the same search for flights twice or want to start your journey on a weekend.
When putting together your itinerary, schedule some slow days. Giving yourself some slack during a big adventure is a great way to recharge your batteries and reflect on your experiences.
Some downtime is particularly important if you’re new to traveling and prone to stress. Knowing that you have a day “off” from sightseeing can renew your enthusiasm for the week ahead, too.
What to Pack
As the big day approaches, you might start to fret at the sight of your empty bags. This is entirely normal, as deciding what to pack is an important decision when you’re preparing for an extended travel adventure.
Start with the commonly overlooked travel items. Buy a folder that you use exclusively for important travel documents like passports, plane tickets, and visas. This travel folder should be safely secured but easily accessible when you’re traveling.
Next, be sure to pick up chargers and adapters for your travels. A fully charged phone and laptop can be a lifesaver when you’re at the airport and don’t know how to find your terminal. Consider picking up some portable battery-powered chargers when you reach your destination, too.
Take care of your health by packing a travel-sized first aid kit and plenty of hand sanitizer. It’s all too easy to get sick when you’re on your adventure, as your immune system may not be used to the colds and viruses that you’ll encounter. Apply hand sanitizer liberally and keep it close by at all times.
Going on an extended travel adventure can be a transformative experience.
You’re sure to encounter new cultures and ways of thinking on your journey that may leave a lasting impression. Set yourself up for success by taking care of home repairs and security measures before you leave.
This will give you peace of mind and help you rest and recover properly between busy travel days.