Travel Prep Before Taking Off: Leaving Things in Tip-Top Shape

Travel Prep Before Taking Off: Leaving Things in Tip-Top Shape

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Sabbatical Countdown: Last Travel Prep Steps Before Taking off

So we have come this far: months of travel planning and speculating about where to go, and now we’ve hit D-day with the departure for the big trip. Get a few things ready and then go, righ? Of course, it sounded way easier than it was. Check out how we spent our last days before heading the airport – which were filled with intese travel prep – and find out what to avoid if you’re planning similar long-term travel.

Travel Prep Basics: Getting the Apartment Ready

After finding suitable subletters, it was time to get the place in a shape that is worthy of a handover. Which shouldn’t have been that hard to begin with, but, of course, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Starting with – what else – shoes! It took us about 3 sessions of shoe-storage tetris until all our crap was safely stowed away. Looking back now, with 2 pairs of flip flops and 1 pair of sneakers in the bag – we might be a little bit excessive wit the footwear love.

Boxes full of shoes stowed away
Swear we’re not secretly running a shoe store!

Packing was relatively easy but, of course, very time-consuming as well. Starting with the things we most definitely won’t use for a while (i.e. winter stuff) we put away our crap in waves. First the bulky things like jackets, big sweaters, hoodies, etc. For space-saving purposes we used these compression bags. Yes, it sounds super mom-like, but trust me, these things saved us loads of space and we didn’t even need to suck out the air with a vaccum cleaner. It works by closing the Ziploc-like seal and then pressing out the air by rolling the bar together. The result being monster-packed suitcases and boxes like this one:

A suitcase packed full
That poor suitcase is holding a brave amount of garments.

And what would travel prep be without cleaning? After some (extensive) tidying up and throwing A LOT of junk away, the place was ready to go. And you know what else was ready? These bad boys:

Two backpacks, fully packed
12.6 and 12.7 kg respectively. Respeck!

In case you are wondering, the one on the left is a Deuter 35+20 Liter backpack, while the one on the right is a Deuter 50+10 Liter one. I have been using the 35+10 for a couple of years and, while this is my longest trip so far, it still didn’t struggle with the size and was in no need of a bigger one, to be honest. If you’d like to know how I managed to cram everything I need into a 12.6 kilo bag, check out my upcoming rundown of what to pack and what to ditch. My husband’s bag is somewhat bigger, but we still used pretty much the same weights – and his even includes snorkels and masks!

Thinking Ahead as Part of Travel Prep

If you have decided to sublet your apartment for the duration of your trip, I’d recommend nominating a trusted friend to hold on to a set of spare keys and to collect any important mail you might receive during your absence as part of your long-term travel prep . We did that this time around (and have been ‘those’ friends before), meaning that IF anything happens, you’ll have boots on the ground nearby to try to help out. It has happened to us that someone who was subletting a friend’s place locked themselves out, so having a set of spare keys was really helpful in that moment!

Is everything taken care of? Yes? Then let’s go! First posts from Sri Lanka are coming up soon! And, if you haven’t already, make sure to check out my rundown of the 7 steps for starting your long-term travel planning to find out what there is to do if you’re considering traveling for an extended period of time!

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