Planning a Successful Move

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, Around The World You Go -- But What About Your Stuff?

Have you always dreamed of making a round-the-world (RTW) trip and exploring this amazing planet? Well, instead of fantasizing about it, why not actually embark on the adventure of a lifetime? Every year, your fellow travelers actually ditch their current lives and belongings and head off on a trip that will circumnavigate the globe. And, no, most are not millionaires. In fact, many are just average citizens who have decided to devote a few weeks, a few months, or even longer to traveling around the world.

To supplement their budgets, some find jobs at different stops on their journey, while others choose to travel very frugally -- using public transportation whenever possible and staying in hostels and with friends. And plane tickets for RTW trips are surprisingly affordable -- approximately $2,500 to $3,500. Considering that air fare from Chicago to London often runs more than a $1,000, the cost of a RTW ticket seems to be a reasonable amount to spend to see multiple destinations. There is, however, at least one big challenge that RTW adventurers have to face, and that is what should they do with their belongings while they're away.  

Where Your Stuff Should Stay While You're Away

Unless you live at home with your parents, chances are you are going to need to figure out what you are going to do about your living quarters and belongings while you are away. While some people do manage to make a quick RTW trip in two weeks, most travelers prefer to make the most of their epic journey and take a couple of months to even a couple of years to complete their adventure of a lifetime. 

So if you own your own home, you might want to consider leasing it out while you're away. Depending on how comfortable you are with other people using -- and possibly abusing your stuff -- you could choose to lease your home with all its furnishings. But if you don't like the thought of others using your furnishings or your own valuable pieces that you don't want broken or stolen, you could choose to store them instead and lease out your home unfurnished.

If you are renting your living quarters, putting your furnishings in a storage unit also makes more sense than paying rent on your current apartment or house. It will save you a lot of dollars -- money that you can put towards your travels instead. But before you book a storage unit, you should keep the following in mind: 

Cheaper is not always better. While your first inclination may be to find the cheapest unit that can fit your belongings, that could be a mistake. Why? Because you could end up putting your valuables at risk. Cramming items into a too-small unit, for example, could damage your more delicate items. And while you may think climate-controlled units sound fancy, they are actually a necessity if you are planning on storing wood furniture, wine, sensitive electronics, or other valuables, especially if you live in an area that can be very hot, cold, or humid.

Cleaner is always better. If it looks like management doesn't care about their facility, look for another storage site. Pests, such as cockroaches and mice, like dirty facilities, where they can find plenty of food and hiding places. And the last thing you want is to come home from your big adventure only to discover that your belongings have been ruined by pests. 

Search for deals. Some facilities offer deals where the first month's rent is reduced or is waived if you sign a contract for a unit. 

Ask what your payment options are. Since you're going to be out of the country, your best bet is to find a storage facility that will allow you to pay your rent online or will automatically deduct the amount from your bank account every month. 

And remember, you only live once. So the time to act on your dream of an RTW journey is now. For more information, check out a site like