For many people, living life on the road is a dream! Whether you want to become a digital nomad or have big plans to travel around the world, it’s a huge adventure.
Living on the road full time isn’t easy, but if the last year has shown us anything, it’s that the world can change in a minute, so we’re starting to see more families make the jump after deciding there is no ‘perfect time’. If you’ve been thinking about living on the road, then this ultimate checklist is for you. Read on for our top tips for preparing to live on the road and get ready for your next big adventure!
Why would you want to live on the road?
Even if you are happy in your job, there may come a time when you just want to shake things up a bit. Whether you’ve always wanted to travel and explore the world, or you’ve been dreaming about the freedom of the open road, there’s a whole big, wide world out there, just waiting for you to explore.
When it comes to knowing how to live on the road, there is no secret formula. However, there are many good reasons why living on the road is becoming an increasingly popular choice, especially as we navigate out of a worldwide pandemic. Here are some of the most common reasons that someone might choose to live life on the road:
- It’s a very inexpensive way to live
- You get to see the world and try new things
- Adventure and new experiences add a lot of value to your life (and your CV!)
- It gives you and your family endless flexibility
- You can do it at any point in your life
So, let’s dive into the main things you need to consider if you think you’re ready for life on the road.
Plan early and prepare well
Before you embark on your journey, start by planning. And we mean, plan everything. Your choice of countries, routes, and places to explore isn’t enough. You probably will want to go with the flow, but there’s a lot to plan before you even leave.
Start compiling a list of all the places you want to visit and how to get there. Think about who should be joining your trip. Is it your best friend, your family, your pets, partner, parents? There is a lot of planning involved if you want to commit to living life on the road. You will have to consider how to finance that once in a lifetime journey to make sure you won’t have a care in the world when you are away from home.
Some of the big decisions that you’ll need to consider are:
- the health of you and your family
- what car or caravan you want to travel in
- how to stay in touch with your family and friends at home
- how long do you want to travel for? Is this a year-long trip, or how you want to live your life now?
We recommend travel apps: “On the way” and “Roadtrippers” to help plan your routes, along with options for restaurants, tourist attractions, and accommodation. But always bear in mind that having your plans as loose as possible will allow you to go with the flow, and the best part of living on the road is the unexpected
Our pets are part of the family for many of us, so, understandably, you would want to take them with you. Just make sure that you thoroughly research all the animal-friendly sites before you set off on the road. Ensure that you are on top of all your pet’s vaccines, flea, and worming medication. Before you leave, start getting your pet used to whatever your means of travelling, either by caravan or car.
Think about your budget
Life is nothing if not unpredictable! So, whilst you can’t plan for everything, think about your budget for accommodation, transport, food, petrol, and the length of time you plan to be on the road.
Budget for your food, accommodation, any potential caravan or car breakdowns, accommodation, and rough entertainment costs. Keep a close eye on your spending and try to stick to your budget as much as possible. You don’t want to run out of money towards the end of your trip and get stressed!
Don’t forget that whilst you’re away, your bills won’t stop back home! If you own a property, you’ll still have your mortgage and bills to pay. We recommend getting your accounts all moved to paperless settings and set up online so that you can keep track of everything on the go.
Declutter your house and possessions
Whether you’re planning on travelling in a car or a caravan, you can only take so much with you on your trip. Plus, if you own your own home, you might want to think if you’re going to keep your home, rent it out or sell it.
If you’re going to keep your home, are you going to have a house-sitter, a loved one keep an eye on it, or will you rent it out? If you intend to rent out your home, the easiest way to manage it will probably be through an estate agent.
However, this is also where a little bit of fun could come in – decluttering your home! Stuck on where to begin? We’re big fans of Marie Kondo here at Masons Self Storage; take a look at our top tips for decluttering for joy. Once you’ve decluttered your home, there are a few different ways to clear the clutter, such as:
- Sell on marketplaces like eBay and Gumtree
- Or as the world is opening back up, car boot sales could be great for quick sales
- Donate to charities
And once you’ve done all of that, if you still find yourself with a lot of belongings, then self-storage could be the ideal solution for you! If you’re not sure how much storage space you might need, take a look at our online storage calculator.
Pack your essentials
We’ve all travelled in a stuffy and over-packed car, right? Whether we’re moving home or travelling, there’s nothing more suffocating than a cramped car! So, the first step to living life on the road is learning how to pack light!
Instead of regular suitcases, make use of backpacks and sports bags that are much more flexible. Plus, instead of folding your clothes, roll them. Strategically pack your car to use all the space available, including under the seats. If you’re going to be travelling in a car, it would probably be worth considering investing in an overhead carrier to store items like clothes etc. Trust us, travelling in a car with plenty of legroom and room to stretch out will make your journey much more comfortable and enjoyable!
If you’re struggling where to start, here’s our top essential items to pack:
- Comfortable mattress (if you’re travelling in a van or caravan)
- A spare pair of tires for your vehicle and any other tools needed
- Portable universal power bank
- Installing portable Solar Panels if you’re going to be travelling in a camper van
- Reusable bee wax wraps to store and cover food (a much eco-friendlier option)
- Storage baskets to keep everything tidy
- A portable fan for the hot summer days
- Solar shower
- WiFi 4G router
- Non-stick pans to make your life easier when cooking
- Laundry bags
- First aid kit
- All-purpose liquid soap
Of course, there are many more things to think about when packing to live life on the road, and people’s needs will significantly vary. However, hopefully, our tips will help you plan around the essentials for your dream trip!
Before you leave
Now that you’re almost ready to go, it’s time to start making all your medical and dental appointments ahead so that you can have a full assessment of your general health. Before you travel, make sure that you have the appropriate documents such as travel insurance, visas, and a GHIC card.
Next, do the same for your car/caravan! Make sure your insurance, MOT and any issues are checked out with your vehicle before you leave.
If you have any illnesses, make sure to have all your relevant documents ready with you, and put them somewhere safe so that you have them in an emergency. If needed, keep all your medication stored in cool areas, and make a list of what cities and towns you will be visiting that have access to pharmacies, as well as their opening hours. The same goes for food and drinks if you have any allergies or diets that you must stick to.
And finally, leave your contact details and your travel plan with your loved ones so that they will always know about your whereabouts and how to reach you in case of an emergency back home.
It’s impossible to prepare entirely, but hopefully, this guide has given you a great place to start planning for life on the road!
If you will ever decide to take a leap of faith and go on the adventure of a lifetime but are not sure what to do with your belongings, rest assured that Masons Self Storage is here for you! We are a family run business with over 115 years of serving the Vale. With flexible contracts starting from just £5 a week and no need to wait for opening times with 24/7 access, 365 days a year, we could help you make your dream of living on the road a reality!
Why not give our friendly team a call on 0800 533 5708?