How to Prepare for a World Cruise
As a storyteller of the places you visit on a cruise, I am always in prep mode to the day I depart. I also look around me and know that I will be gone for months at a time. It is not unusual to travel, at random times, for six or seven months in a year, although to leave home for half the year in one go, presents certain challenges. Snow birds will understand. They do this routinely every year. Repeat World Cruisers are experts at long-absence planning. The following are a few tips for preparing for a World Cruise.
Consider your mail. Planning for your first World Cruise is a great time to shift to automated payments and banking. Most people I meet are a whiz at running their life from a cell phone or Apple watch. These gadgets are now necessities. Check your phone plan for international access or buy sim cards for travel. There are new phones with multiple sim card slots, to avoid tweezer-surgical changing of cards. These phones are easy to use, offer convenience and some have double screens. US Congress prohibits sale of these phones in US. So US citizens are those folks seen shifting cards along the way.
For paper mail, US Postal Service offers 30-day mail holds. Fill out cards for as many months as you will be gone and have a friend, or someone you hire, place a card in your mailbox each month and take delivery of your mail carton each month. We have a person who will open important mail and advise of anything that requires immediate attention. Be warned, the IRS and tax departments do not send email messages. Snail mail still rules.
A long cruise is an opportunity to do some deep house cleaning. Empty the frig and toss spices and odd items that will expire in the next six months. This is a great time to visit the food bank and thrift shop to donate good items you will not use.
You may wish to disconnect the car battery, suspend cable and check your alarm system. We hire folks to check the house at random times. Even with the water shut off, it is still nice to have someone check inside. In Florida, someone must have access to storm shutter keys when you are away. Consider a house sitter. Living in Florida, there is always a willing relative, who doesn’t mind spending the winter in a warm home.
Make a list of everyone to thank for watching your home and being a surrogate in your life. This is your travel shopping list. Those who do not travel will enjoy knowing of your experiences, although they may take a pass on photo shows longer than a few minutes.
I am often asked if my husband travels with me. He laughs. He picks my contracts. We both enjoy travel. Fortunately, we have become expert at leaving home, together.