Gap years are no longer the exclusive prerogative of teens who need a break before starting uni. They are becoming increasingly popular amongst older generations too, and not just those who’re working. With an ageing population and the trend towards earlier retirement, globetrotting and adventure seeking is open to anyone, any age.
The big difference is, older generations are more likely leaving property behind. They have the additional responsibility to make sure their property, along with their possessions, are secure during the travelling months. If you fall into this category, there are a couple of options to choose from, so let’s take a look.
Renting Out Your Home
For those who’re planning to be away for six months or more, this is a viable option with the added benefit of bringing in some income while you’re away. If the thought of letting your home and personal possessions out to strangers gives you the shudders, consider letting your home unfurnished and putting the things you value into self storage. A letting agent will take care of everything for you, from finding the ideal short term tenant to managing the finances and collecting the rent. All you have to do is find an agent you trust.
With self storage, you can choose from a wide range of room sizes meaning you don’t pay for space you’re not using. Tiny spaces for a few boxes or cavernous areas that will hold a house full of furniture are all available at locations convenient for easy reach.
If you do decide to store the majority of your possessions, you’ll probably need the services of a removal company, or at the least help from a man with a van. Make enquiries and get someone booked as early as possible. Check with them how they’d like things packed and whether you’ll need to help with the loading and unloading. Stockpile sturdy boxes and plenty of packing material like bubble wrap or tissue paper, and start making lists and filling boxes at least a few weeks before you leave. It all takes time and a better job is done if you’re not rushing at the end.
Getting Friends and Neighbours to Keep an Eye Out
If you’re on good terms with your neighbours, these are the ideal people to watch over your property while you’re gone. Give a trusted neighbour a spare key so they can go in now and then, and you can even leave houseplants in situ. At the very least ask them to pick up any mail so flyers aren’t left hanging out of the letterbox.
Whilst this option means you can leave your bulky furniture items in place, it’s a good idea to pack up and store your smaller, valuable items. These are the things that are easily removed, and are also the items you’d find hardest to replace (such as treasured heirlooms or collections) should the worst happen. No one likes to think along the lines of burglary or household mishaps like water leaks, but taking precautions gives you an added sense of security.
For shorter trips, house and pet sitters can save you the worry of putting dogs and cats into kennels or catteries. They will also keep the place lived in and be on hand to deal with emergencies, as well as deterring casual thieves. Again, you may not want to leave your most treasured personal items in the house during this time, so a small self storage room could provide just the peace of mind you need.
Deciding how best to keep your home and possessions safe while you travel is almost as time consuming as deciding where to go, so the very best advice is to start early and weigh up all the options. Giving yourself the gift of time puts you in the best possible position to enjoy your trip without a care in the world.