So when you've booked those plane tickets and are vacating for an extended period of time - whether that be a few month sabbatical or a full 365 day gap year or longer adventure - it's time to think about what you do with your belongings while you're away. 


Things to Consider Before Departing

  • How long are you going away for?
  • How much stuff do you have?
  • What budget do you have set aside for leaving belongings?
  • How much stuff do you want to take with you?


Storage & Other Options

Here are just a few ideas when it comes to where you keep your belongings while you're having fun.


1. Self-Storage

A storage unit is a great option if you need to store bulkier items around your home from your bed frame to the corner sofa. If you live in the UK, you'll find storage units up and down the country, from 500 sq.ft storage units in Southampton to locker sizes in London. 

These storage units offer a clean and dry location to keep your belongings safe, can be paid for on a monthly basis and are monitored by CCTV 24 hours a day to protect your possessions while you're away. 

You can rent storage units for short and long durations, booking in advance can also secure you a great deal. Some companies also offer discounts at certain points throughout the year.


2. Friends and Family 

If you have friends or family with spare storage space going, speak to them about housing some of your belongings while you're away on your trip. A loft space, garage or shed could be used to keep your possessions secure and out of the way. 


3. Sell or Give Away

Maybe going travelling will make you think about how much you actually need. Why not have cull of your clothing and belongings? You could sell on ebay, do a carboot sale, or just give to your local charity shop.


4. Where to Store Your Car 

If you want to keep your car, ready for when you return, there are a few things to bear in mind. 

The best place to keep your car is somewhere close to a friend or family member, who can check on it. Park it on gravel, to ensure it doesn't sit in mud or puddles when it rains - most gravel offers good drainage, compared to grass. 

You'll need to find a space for it off-road and continue paying tax and insurance if you'd like someone to drive it while you're away to keep it running as it should. 

If you don't mind it sitting there - and it's off the road - you could save some cash by declaring it SORN. 


5. What to Do With Pets 

If you have a dog, cat or other pet you may be worried about where they'll stay while you're travelling. It's important they're cared for while you're away, so ask a trusted family member to look after them or pay for a house sitter. Lots of blogs and website have some great suggestions online. 


Other Top Tips

Here are some other things to consider:

  • If you're renting, it's a good idea to hand in your notice and vacate the premises to ensure all your money can go towards your trip.
  • Ensure you've saved enough to cover everyday bills while you're away and set up direct debits or standing orders
  • Keep important documents in one place. You could ask someone close to you to keep them safe. This could be copies of everything from your travel insurance to details of your bank just in case you get into a pickle while travelling.
  • Leave fridge doors and washing machine doors open - This ensures you don't come back to mould or funky smells while they've been in storage.
  • Have someone look after house plants - Ensure you ask someone you trust to care for any house plants you have.
  • Declutter before you go - Ensure that everything you store, whether you choose a storage unit or a spare room in your parent's house, is essential. Take some time before you pack to get rid of anything you don't need. You could even sell some items to make some quick cash that can go towards your trip.
  • Use vacuum bags - Reduce the size of larger textiles such as duvets and towels and ensure they stay free of any damp or dust in vacuum bags. These are also great for soft toys.
  • Put items in plastic boxes - This ensures if you aren't keeping them in a storage unit but a shed or garage, mice and other pests are unlikely to get into them. 


Hopefully our list of suggestions has given you some ideas for what to do with your things when you go travelling. If you give yourself plenty of time before departing you can ensure your belongings are safely stored ready for your travels and that everything is ready to enjoy when you come back. 

Do you have any recommendations that we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.