More and more Americans are embracing the “van life,” leaving behind their apartments or houses to wander across the country. However, the thrilling vagabond lifestyle raises lots of logistical questions about how to manage your belongings.
When living on the open road, you can’t possibly carry all your possessions with you. Luckily, Noah’s Ark Self Storage can keep your things safe and secure until you’re ready to settle down again.
Here are some simple guidelines about what to take with you, what to store and what to give away:
What Should I Take With Me?
On top of your driver’s license, there are a few documents you should have on hand. If you might cross U.S. borders, take your passport with you and check that it’s up-to-date. Additionally, you should make photocopies of insurance policies in preparation for any auto or health issues.
You’ll need credit cards to fund your journey. However, to prevent any suspicions about “unusual account activity,” inform your bank and credit card companies that you’ll be traveling and spending in new locations. In case you lose a card, you should write down your credit card company’s helpline number as well or save a picture of your card on your phone.
Compile a wardrobe that can withstand extreme weather. Even if you plan on staying in the south, it’s best to be safe by taking at least one heavy jacket. Furthermore, if you enjoy hiking, invest in a comfortable pair of slip-resistant, water-proof shoes.
Don’t let health issues end your journey early. Make sure you’re well-stocked on all prescriptions that you need. If possible, consult with your doctor and see if you can receive a bigger supply than usual before your trip.
Basic First-Aid and Toolkit
Buy a first-aid kit to prepare for minor bruises and scrapes. You should also gather a selection of tools for addressing basic vehicle problems. In your toolkit, you may want to include:
- A jack
- Screwdrivers and screws
- Tire pressure gauge
- Transmission oil and engine oil
- Brake fluid
In addition to your phone, you should probably bring a laptop, Kindle or other portable sources of entertainment. Don’t forget to bring a charger for all your devices too.
What Should I Put In Storage?
If you’re leaving behind a car, tell the DMV and your insurance agent. You can cut DMV registration fees and auto insurance premiums by confirming a vehicle is unused. After you notify the appropriate people, identify a garage or car storage unit with strong security measures. Ideally, you should find a climate-controlled storage unit to prevent rust.
Aside from your driver’s license and passport, you probably have lots of other important paperwork to keep safe. Birth certificates, marriage licenses and deeds must be protected while you’re away. Given the delicate nature of these materials, document storage units should have pest control, humidity control and onsite security measures.
While your phone and laptop might go with you, your TV probably won’t. Large, expensive devices should be put into storage until you return, including desktop computers, game consoles and smart home technologies.
Most of your clothing won’t be appropriate for cross-country trekking. Therefore, you should leave formal outfits in climate-controlled storage. Clothing that is kept in warm or humid conditions tends to get musty, which is why temperature controls are a must.
What Should I Get Rid Of?
Short answer: as much as you can! Before you start a life on the road, you have a unique opportunity to take full inventory of your belongings. Mementos from your relatives and irreplaceable family scrapbooks should be cherished. Baggy clothes and unused dishes, on the other hand, can probably go.
Finding Safe, Affordable Storage Units
Stressing about storage shouldn’t put your big adventure on hold. Noah’s Ark Self Storage can guard all your possessions in a secure, climate-controlled environment. When you return, your belongings will be waiting just as you left them.