What to do with your stuff when travelling long-term


Travelling long-term? Ditching your home country and hitting the road is a liberating and enthralling prospect.

But there are certain things to tie up before you go. In particular, managing your belongings while away can be daunting.

What should you do with your stuff when traveling long-term?

In this article, we’ll chat about practical solutions to help ease the burden of storing and securing your possessions, ensuring that your belongings remain safe and sound while you explore!

Rent a storage unit

One of the most secure options for your belongings is renting a storage unit.

Numerous facilities worldwide offer various storage solutions, ranging from small lockers to spacious units.

Before selecting a facility, consider factors such as security features, climate control, and accessibility.

Many modern storage units are equipped with surveillance cameras, access controls, and on-site management – giving you that all-important piece of mind.

Climate-controlled units are particularly beneficial for items sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations, such as electronics, antiques, or important documents (although do be very careful when storing anything valuable).

While storage facilities incur a monthly cost, the investment ensures your belongings are protected against theft, damage, and environmental factors.

Downsize and Declutter

An alternative approach to handling your possessions during long-term travel is downsizing and decluttering before your departure.

Assess each item’s value and necessity, keeping only the essentials.

Consider selling (more money for your travel pot!), donating, or giving away items that won’t serve a purpose during your journey.

Digitalize important documents and sentimental items and opt for versatile, multi-functional gear that can adapt to various situations.

Home-sitting and Trusted Contacts

If you want to keep your home base when travelling, you could entrust your space to a reliable friend, family member, or a professional home-sitter.

Choose someone you trust to manage your property, collect mail, and address any unforeseen issues that may arise.

Ensure they have a set of keys, clear instructions, and emergency contact information.

This option not only safeguards your belongings but also provides the added benefit of having a familiar space to return to after your travels.

Home-sitting arrangements can be reciprocal; you could reciprocate the favour whenever your house-sitter needs it.

Streamlining Operations During Your Absence

If your long-term travel involves managing a business, self-storage can be a game-changer.

Many storage facilities offer options specifically tailored for businesses; they’re a secure space to store inventory, equipment, and important documents.

Utilising self-storage for your business allows you to maintain business continuity without the need for a physical office space.

Prioritize items based on their relevance to daily operations and store them strategically for easy retrieval when needed.

This not only safeguards your business assets but also ensures a smooth transition upon your return.

Additionally, self-storage provides flexibility, allowing you to adapt to changing business needs.

By incorporating self-storage into your long-term travel plan, you can focus on your global adventures with the confidence that your business essentials are securely stored!

Digital Security Measures

In the digital age, securing your information is as crucial as protecting physical possessions.

Implement robust digital security measures before embarking on your long-term journey.

Back up important files to secure cloud storage services, enabling access from anywhere with an internet connection.

Invest in reliable virtual private network (VPN) services to encrypt your online communications and protect sensitive data.

Consider password managers for enhanced security and two-factor authentication to fortify your accounts. By fortifying your digital defences, you ensure the safety of critical information and maintain control over your online presence while exploring distant corners of the world.

Vehicle Storage Solutions

Travelling by road? Don’t forget to secure your vehicle!

Instead of leaving it unused or exposed to the elements, consider vehicle storage solutions. Many storage facilities offer dedicated spaces for cars, and motorcycles, or protect against weather conditions and potential vandalism.

Before storing your vehicle, conduct thorough maintenance to prevent issues during storage.

Add fuel stabilizers, disconnecting the battery, and covering the vehicle to shield it from dust and debris.

Vehicle storage ensures your mode of transportation remains in optimal condition, ready to hit the road when you return!

Community-Based Solutions

In the spirit of community and collaboration, explore local or online platforms that facilitate resource sharing and exchange.

Connect with fellow travellers or residents in the areas you plan to visit and explore opportunities to share storage space, tools, or equipment.

Community-based solutions not only reduce storage costs but also foster connections with like-minded individuals.

This collaborative approach allows you to contribute to a sharing economy while gaining valuable insights and recommendations from those who have experienced similar long-term travels.

Mindful Packing and Portable Storage Solutions

Claire standing in front of a Wideroe plane in Tromso, Norway

In addition to external storage options, adopt a mindful approach to packing and utilizing portable storage solutions.

Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Invest in high-quality, space-saving travel gear such as compression packing cubes and vacuum-sealed bags to maximize your luggage space.
  • Choose versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched for different occasions, reducing the need for excessive outfits.
  • Consider portable storage containers that can serve dual purposes, such as backpacks with built-in compartments or foldable daypacks. These portable solutions allow you to efficiently organize and access your belongings on the go, eliminating the stress of constantly repacking.

Are you ready to leave?

Planning to travel long term can be stressful, but with these helpful tips, you should find that your belongings are safe when you’re away – so you can focus on the more important tasks at hand, like where to get the best Aperol Spritz in Italy or which safari tour is best to book in Kenya. Happy travels!