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The past 12 months has been one of slow travel. While I’ve had exciting spurts of adventure around Florida, Utah, and Europe I’ve spent the majority of time in Thailand, Los Angeles, El Salvador and England (for a whopping 6 months!).
Now that I’m getting ready to leave I thought I’d put together some long term travel tips on the steps you need to take when moving from one place to the next (and avoid overpacking).
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Moving and Packing Between Temporary Homes
As I prepare to leave England I thought I’d share the breakdown of what happens when long term travelers move from one temporary home to the next.
Decide what you will use
Decide what you will be able to take with you on the next leg of your long-term journey. Be realistic and don’t bring things just because you paid for them.
We tend to avoid letting things go because of monetary value but at the end of the day if you’re not going to use them in the following destination they don’t serve a purpose on your trip.
You have to accept that when you purchase things for temporary stays, you can only keep them while you live there.
Sell what you can
It’s always nice to make a little money back on items you hardly used. In England I’ve accumulated luggage, shoes, and clothing and most in new or great condition.
If available sell your items through local Facebook groups, eBay, or places like Craigslist in the US or Gumtree in the UK.
However, don’t get hung up on selling everything. What doesn’t sell…give away.
Whether clothing in England or furniture in Thailand, items that are still in good condition I give away to fellow travelers, local friends, or donation centers.
This is very important because you can’t drag around everything you accumulate. Packing light is always essential so only continue with the items you absolutely need.
In England, I’m giving away much of the cold weather clothing since my next destinations is in a hot climate – yes!
Because I know I’m going back to LA next summer and don’t have much clothing there, I’m shipping some of the warm weather clothes that I still like and are in good condition. Because I’m headed to a conservative region I can’t take my usual hot weather packing list.
Now remember, if you’re a long term nomad you have to ask yourself if you’re actually going to use the things you send back home from anywhere.
If they’re just going back to sit in storage or garage for an indefinite amount of time you may as well forget about them. Things mold after a while in storage. Avoid sending clothing and shoes you won’t use within a year and only send back small keepsakes.
Pack what you actually need
After going through all the steps it should be easier to know what you actually need and will continue to use throughout the remainder of your trip. At first, it may be difficult to part with things but that’s part of a long term traveler’s journey.
But that’s also the beauty of it. Things are replaceable and we don’t need as much as we think we do. You learn to let go of objects and move on and that’s not a bad thing.
And if you need a reminder about how much clothing you actually need for your next destination, take a look at these capsule wardrobe tips and consult the destination packing lists!
Do you have any long term travel tips to add? Please comment below!
For more long term travel tips, please read:
- Long Term Travel Packing List (beaches)
- Digital Nomad Checklist
- How to Pack for Long Term Travel
- Maximista Packing List
Getting ready to head out and look an long-term travel options myself, so this was a great article. It seems like such simple steps, but really all of these are so helpful. We tend to hold on to clothes because of emotional attachment or if you’re like me, you think, “I got this on sale.” If it’s not going to fit or work in your travel wardrobe, give it away or sell it. Travel is definitely the best way to down-size on everything!
Yes it really has translated into all aspects of my life too. Makes me a very tough shopper!
We give away things as we go – often the hotel or BnB or hostel knows someone who could use clothes, shoes, etc., so we sometimes make a bag of stuff and leave it with the staff. We’re fine if they keep it, or pass the items along to someone in need.
I currently am trying to give a used laptop away. I found a school and spoke with the principal, but she said they’re a fairly rich school and all the students have their own computers, as do the teachers. May end up donating it to a museum or something. I know there’s someplace here in Hanoi that needs a mostly-functional laptop!
How about leaving the laptop at the guesthouse? That’s usually where I leave my belongings unless I’m hanging out with other travelers then they get first pick 🙂