So, you're about to head off on your travels!! Excitement and fear is starting to set in as you pack up your home. Below we will give you some handy tips on packing up your house and how to prepare for this big task.
Congratulations on taking one of the biggest leaps and deciding to travel Australia. We reckon its a ballsy decision and one you'll be forever grateful for doing. Packing it all in for an adventure of a lifetime sure is daunting! You've done your research on google, gathered maps and travel brochures and following families who are travelling Oz just like us!
In only a short 10 weeks we made the snap decision to do the big lap of Australia. We knew we wanted to relocate as we were only living in Newcastle due to work commitments. Now that we were free of this, it was decided to sell our beautiful home and live a life on the road. We needed to simplify and sell our possessions as well as our HOME! Lucky for us our house was sold in ONE day, can you believe it? An omen we think and totally unexpected, which meant bringing our leave date forward.
The logistical nightmare of trying to pack up our large home with three kids all under three was a huge task. All while hubby was seeing out his working days in a coal mine (shift work). While the kids slept, I packed! This happened for weeks on end. I actually really enjoyed this experience as its a pretty empowering feeling getting rid of the belongings you've hoarded.
GETTING THE PACKING DONE!
I began with one room and completely packed it as much as I could before I started on the next. For me this worked really well and I knew where I was up to and what I had done exactly. Doing all of this and keeping a house tidy for 'inspections' was a tough one, but we managed. I knew it would all be worth it in a few weeks time when we hit the road.
We put a shout out on Facebook and also on the buy swap sell page in our area to gather second hand storage boxes. We managed to take hold of a heap, which meant we didn't have to buy them. Bonus! After packing boxes and putting them aside for our storage shed, the rest was slowly transferred into our new caravan which was sitting in our driveway. The stuff we decided we didn't want to keep went to the Salvo's and we also had a garage sale, I didnt realise so many people love garage sales! Most of our belongings sold on gumtree and it was by far the best way to sell our furniture and larger items like the BBQ. Be sure to list them later in the week so they are sold and picked up over the weekend! They seem to be snapped up a lot quicker when doing so. Another avenue is your local Facebook Buy Swap Sell, OR the new Marketplace function on Facebook - we have used this while travelling and its fantastic.
All this means extra cash for your travelling budget!
We didn't have any family or friends in the area we could leave our boxes of memories with so we decided on a storage shed in our area. After a few trailer trips, our 'stuff' was stored at an annual and upfront cost of $850, which we decided to do as we didn't want any direct debits on our travels, plus it was cheaper. This is a 3m x 1.3m shed. We fit everything in, just!! Another option which we've done before (while living overseas) is buy a storage container and leave it on a family or friends property. They are easy enough to pick up and sell on your return. Alternatively you can hire one. There are plenty of options out there.
So you've finally made the decision to travel Australia, now you need to set a date. If you don't set a date, something will always come up, a birthday, wedding or work and it will forever be pushed back. Even if you can decide on a specific week. Be realistic, although we managed to get going in 10 weeks, it was a big rush and a very stressful period. So allow yourself plenty of time as you want it to be an easy process.
If you can make all your bills and mail paperless this is great option. We have our insurances, bank statements, phone bills and invoices all sent via email and apps. We did a mail redirection for 3 moths in case we'd forgotten to transfer communications to email and for peace of mind. Consider having your mail sent to a family member or friends house for the duration you are away. Sometime going paperless is unavoidable as some businesses require a postal address to send a paper copy.
Mail while travelling
If you require a parcel delivery from some online shopping purchases or homeschooling packages then 24/7 Parcel Lockers are your best bet. They're convenient and easy to use. All you do is get onto the Australia Post website, sign up for a parcel locker and select a location (36,00 to choose from) you'd like it sent to. You can also add addresses along the way. Once delivered they send you a unique secure code via SMS and you can retrieve your parcel whenever you like 24/7. The parcel locker hold it for up to 48 hors and If you are unable to pick it up, then it will be transferred into that locations post office. Perfect for travellers.
Consider signing up for My Health Records. I discovered this when our daughter was due for her 6 month vaccinations just after we had hit the road. My Health Record ensures you have all your medical history, allergies, prescriptions and immunisations securely online. Very easy to access yourself or if you visit a doctor or health professional. This online health summary is controlled by you, you're all to choose what goes into it and who has access. If the health care provider you visit is linked to the My Health Record system, you're able to ask them to add in your health information. This is extremely handy when you are travelling with young kids. Keeping up to date with immunisations and health checks is key to having healthy kids on the road.
Now, take a moment to relax! Write a checklist. Embrace the chaos because before you know it, you'll be living life they way you want to! Getting organised to travel Australia is a daunting yet empowering experience.
See you on the road!