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Old 05-12-2021, 09:23 AM
 
1,820 posts, read 739,260 times
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This summer my husband and I will be leaving on our first ever very long vacation — 34 days from out the door to back home again. Does anyone have any tips? Planning this feels very different from planning a one week or even two week vacation.

Things that I have already thought of:

*Bills — we will miss an entire billing cycle, so I will need to set up automatic payments or handle this in some other way.
* Mail — the post office only holds mail for 30 days. I suppose we could just have them hold thirty days, then let the extra four days accumulate in the mail box.
* Medicines — we need to make sure we will have enough before we leave and get prescription renewed.

Anything else I am not thinking of?

We don’t have any pets, so that is one thing we don’t have to worry about.

We usually have someone watch our house when we are out, but only from the outside. (They don’t have a key.) Maybe we should find someone we trust to come inside. (My husband is extremely hesitant to give anyone who is not a family member a key to our place, though, and we have no family members nearby).
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
17,639 posts, read 23,417,676 times
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We've done many trips of 30+ days - domestic and international. We've done trips of 3-7 months as well.

Give somebody the key. Your husband needs to get over it. Emergencies happen. Like a power failure - wanna return to a freezer full of stinky, spoiled meat? Consider turning off the water for the inside if your home. Get a gardener. Empty out the fridge. Personally, I'd have a neighbor collect the mail. That way it doesn't get lost at the post office (yes, it happens) and if something looks important, they can open it and read it to you or scan it to you. Like a notice from the IRS.

As far as prescriptions, if you're with Walmart, Walgreens, etc you cam refill anywhere.

Paperless statements and autopay are the only way to go - even when you're not traveling.

Give him one credit card. You carry another. That way, if somebody loses their wallet, you still have a good credit card. We do this with debit cards, too, but that requires two bank accounts (preferably at two different banks).

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Northern California
83,394 posts, read 6,982,905 times
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Pack light, you won't need as many clothes as you think. You can get some laundered along the way. This is especially important if you are flying overseas, with the baggage restrictions.
Your method of travel would be helpful.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:13 AM
Status: "Let's go Brandon!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
11,457 posts, read 6,294,844 times
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Turn off the water. Get a timer for a couple of lights. (One that allows for random on/off times is preferred.) Arrange for someone to mow your lawn. Have newspaper deliveries put on hold, and ask a trusted neighbor to pick up any that show up anyway. Ditto for packages left on your front porch. Leave the blinds open so that the interior lights can be seen from outside at night.

If you've leaving any cars at home, hide their keys so that if anyone breaks into your house, it would be harder for them to steal your car. If you have a garage, leave the car inside of it, even if you need to do some cleaning first. (A car that sits outside and never moves is a pretty clear sign that no one is home.)

Clear out as much of your refrigerator and freezer as possible before you leave, so that you don't come home to spoiled food. I'm not sure what to do about the mail, though your thought about having it held and then having the last few days delivered is probably your best bet. You could ask a trusted neighbor to check your mail in the few days before you come home.

And finally -- DO NOT post your vacation pictures on Facebook until after you get back home. You may trust your online friends, but can you trust their friends? Don't advertise that you're not home.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
10,775 posts, read 19,119,528 times
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The 21st century version of a light on a timer is smart light bulbs that can be controlled from a smart phone. And there are any number of smart security cameras that don’t require a monthly service fee- there’s just a phone app.

Remember to block out time to do laundry, grocery shop and stop at a pond and feed the ducks. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:28 AM
 
1,820 posts, read 739,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evening sun View Post
Pack light, you won't need as many clothes as you think. You can get some laundered along the way. This is especially important if you are flying overseas, with the baggage restrictions.
Your method of travel would be helpful.
We will be driving, but in a very small car (Toyota Prius C).
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,546 posts, read 1,339,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
* Mail — the post office only holds mail for 30 days. I suppose we could just have them hold thirty days, then let the extra four days accumulate in the mail box.
.
When your hold expires the Post Office will deliver the mail that they have been holding in a bin and leave it at your door. Your best bet is to start the 30 days on your 4th or 5th day so that your mail isn't delivered until after you return.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
3,704 posts, read 4,802,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
This summer my husband and I will be leaving on our first ever very long vacation — 34 days from out the door to back home again. Does anyone have any tips? Planning this feels very different from planning a one week or even two week vacation.

Things that I have already thought of:

*Bills — we will miss an entire billing cycle, so I will need to set up automatic payments or handle this in some other way.
* Mail — the post office only holds mail for 30 days. I suppose we could just have them hold thirty days, then let the extra four days accumulate in the mail box.
* Medicines — we need to make sure we will have enough before we leave and get prescription renewed.

Anything else I am not thinking of?

We don’t have any pets, so that is one thing we don’t have to worry about.

We usually have someone watch our house when we are out, but only from the outside. (They don’t have a key.) Maybe we should find someone we trust to come inside. (My husband is extremely hesitant to give anyone who is not a family member a key to our place, though, and we have no family members nearby).
Bills, we double them by making an extra payment plus a bit of fudge factor. This works for utilities. With todays mobility and smart phones everything else you can do online. Pre smart phones we used public library's for internet access and you still can if you need to print something out.

Mail we have held it and then let them deliver the few days after the 30 days. We have also had neighbors pick it up for us.

Medicines, we always bring enough, though from a friend that stayed with us left his diabetic medicine at home so I went on the internet and found his doctors info so he could call the office and he used the CVS in our town to pick up his refill. It helps having a national retailer to purchase your prescriptions from.

Pack light, we packed the laundry balls and a few dryer sheets with us and trash bags to put our dirty clothes in.

If you have smart lights use them, if not timers. We turn off the water also. Someone mentioned lawn cutting.

Credit cards, have more than one. We always let our credit card company know we are headed overseas or domestically traveling. While it has not happened to us we have family members who had their cards shut down as their purchases from different locations sent a flag. The card company tries to notify you but that does not always work.

Doesn't bother me but my wife brings her own pillow on long trips for the hotels that have horrible ones.

Check in with a family member each day or so with your location.

I always take a picture of my drivers license, credit cards, medical card and passport with my phone (in case I lose my wallet). Make sure you lock your phone.

Friend just came back from Vegas and the Grand Canyon, her phone was not synched to the cloud. Unfortunately she lost her phone and all her pictures.

Keep the tank filled once you reach half, not so much for possible shortages but we have been on the Pacific Coast Highway and so blown away by the scenery we almost ran out by not paying attention. This has happened several times over the years but I do not tell the wife unless the light comes on (which it has).
We pack a small cooler and fill each morning at the hotel. We usually get some fruit and a flat of water for the trip.

On a last note if you have your hotel reservations already done for a few weeks out I like to put them on a word document with their address, phone number and confirmation number as it makes for easy access.

If it is a long road trip, how about AAA.

Everyone has contributed some great advice here. Have a great trip and stay safe.

Last edited by JBtwinz; 05-12-2021 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:53 PM
 
2,275 posts, read 907,976 times
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This might sound old fashioned but I always make a hard copy of my license, passport and credit cards and I keep the copies separate from my wallet/purse. Your phone can get lost or need charging. Speaking of charging, always pack a second charger. It's really easy to leave one behind in a hotel room. Always pack lightly.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Southern Illinois
10,350 posts, read 19,270,677 times
Reputation: 15461
We did a RTW trip with two very young teens for a year and the first thing we did is make a list of the places we wanted to go and then figured out the best season for weather to be in each. This was important because we did a lot of tent camping to save money.

For clothes, we packed 4 bottoms and four tops plus a couple of camis for us girls and a very light windbreaker/raincoat in at least a size too large and long so that we could layer. And a swimsuit for each of course. I've managed to cover all weather eventualities except the very fiercest and packed into one of those small carryon suitcases that everyone has now and it's way better than packing 2 weeks worth of clothes, because on an extended trip you're going to have to do laundry anyway.

Online banking and bill paying is the way to go and after an experience I had going to Chile a couple of years ago, I will always have two debit cards with me. Yes, the machine ate my card because I almost forgot to retrieve it and less than a minute later it gobbled it down. They made a HUGE deal out of retrieving it for me and sadistically waited till about 15 minutes before my next flight to get it back for me. South American ATMs don't automatically return your card like US banks do and my son in-law has lost a few cards that way even though he's from S. America, lol.
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