Travelling for a month or longer at a time can be a great break from normal life, and also a way to see more of the world for less than the cost of lots of individual trips. For those of us able to take off and leave jobs or apartments for periods of time, travelling in longer chunks is a pretty good option. However when you’re on the road for a while, living out of a bag or two, some of the chores that you would need to do at home start catching up on you in between all the life-enhancing experiences. Knowing how to get this so-called ‘life admin’ done while you are away can make everything run smoother and enable you to spend more time on the important things. Here are a few top tips.
Get organised! This will make everything a lot easier. Most importantly, make sure all the possessions that you’ll be carrying around for so long each have their own place and stay there – so they are always ready when you need them. Get luggage that has lots of different compartments so you can keep things separate. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, sew on labels for each section so you never get confused. Start your travels with a list of everything that’ll be accompanying you and refer to it often so you avoid losing anything. The best way to save space in a suitcase or backpack is to roll clothing items. Use a compressible fabric bag to separate out underwear, with a separate one for dirties.
On which note, give some thought to how you’re going to do laundry. In many places, washing machines might not be available or sometimes only at very steep, tourist prices. Plan for this by bringing along some large zip-lock bags and detergents; for advice on what products to use have a look here. When your clothes are in need of a clean simply put them in a zip-lock bag with water plus detergent and give it a good shake. Once you have managed to create some foam, leave everything to soak for a few hours then rinse out and hang up outside or in the shower until they are dry. Be sure to have a think about what detergent to bring and put it in a suitable container to prevent leaks onto your other items. If you’re going to be away for a while consider laundry soap – detergent in solid form – which is a bit more suitcase-friendly than powder or heavy liquids.
Finally, finding and cooking good food is one of those everyday chores that is actually part of the fun of travelling. Going to new supermarkets or outside stalls is a great way to experience local life. If you have access to cooking equipment, take advantage and buy fresh ingredients that you would not have access to at home. But if you’re moving on and need something portable, focus on lightweight foods and those that pack a high-calorific punch while taking up little space. Think cereal bars, or peanut butter with apples.
Like most things while you’re travelling, doing the chores can be tough, but it’s always an opportunity to learn and do something new. View it as a new experience, just as you would visiting a new place, and try to enjoy your ‘life admin’ for once!