This bit feels like work – actually I need to re-think that as I have always loved work. This bit feels hideously tedious. Its called getting our house in order and although I know there is a very large reward at the end of it I have still ended up cussing and ranting mainly at a computer screen – I have tried hard not to subject real people to my loathe of all things that involve prolonged question answering, form filling and general sorting out.
The (ever-growing) list:
Cancelling Contracts and Services
- BT home phone and internet
- Current mobile contracts with Vodafone
- Car and current MH insurance
- Mobile phone insurance
- Home contents insurance (if letting out)
- Mobile card terminals for our business and the accompanying merchant account
- Credit cards that do not offer a good deal abroad
- Gas, Electric, Water, Council Tax, TV licence
Keeping connected – mobiles and wi-fi
- Researching of new mobile phone contract – we needed to keep a UK number for business purposes but not be penalised for using in Europe. We already have the phone so were able to go for a sim only deal from carphone warehouse using their ID takeaway package . This will give us 500 mins, 5000 texts, 1GB data for £15 p/mth. You can use this plan to call or text UK numbers in the following countries Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and USA.
- MI FI (mobile wifi whilst travelling) – we have also got a mobile dongle (which piggybacks off the 3 network) from the guys at http://www.motorhomewifi.com/. This will allow us to have internet whilst on the move for approx £15 per month. The tarif will also work in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. Anywhere else we will need to pacik up a local sim.
- We intend to pick up local sims for the country we are travelling in if we feel it will be necessary for local calls.
- We quickly discovered when looking into insurance for our MH our choices were a little limited due to the fact that we intend to travel for a full 12 months. We basically found that the 2 companies that we could get cover from were comfort (our current insurer) and safe-guard. Although there cover will include items in the motorhome such as pans, bedding etc it will NOT cover personal items like phones or cameras so we needed to ensure these were covered on our travel policy instead. At twice the price comfort lost out and we opted for the safeguard policy for around £550 inc Euro RAC cover
- Travel and medical insurance was also a little challenging as at 47 and 49 we found ourselves a little too old for most gap year insurances and I’m glad to say a little to young for the specialist over 50’s policies. Holiday Safe though did a good long term policy and we opted for their platinum level to ensure we were well covered at a cost of £358.
- None of the above policies covered our electric bikes though so another policy was required with cyclecover another £133 but we are now covered for 365 days in Europe (edited 30/12/15 thanks to David and Karen from the greygappers who pointed out that our original policy with cycleguard only covered us for 90 days in Europe!)
Medical checks and prescriptions
- Fortunately both of us are generally fit and healthy although we both have a couple of items on repeat prescription. Docs in the UK can only prescribe 3 months worth of meds though so we are planning to take the max we can and if we need more ask at pharmacies overseas to see what we can buy locally. Fingers crossed we may not need to do this.
Banking and credit cards
- We applied for a Caxton FX pre pay card which allows us to top up via our bank account and when used it calculates the transaction at the current rate of exchange on the day which will be a better rate than at a bureau de change. It also means we don’t have to carry much cash around.
- We have also ensured that all our bank cards etc have a long enough date to take into consideration that we will be away for a year. Some have had to be renewed early to ensure this.
- We have informed our bank that we will be travelling and that our cards may be used in Europe next year. We have also made a note of all land line numbers in case we have to call from overseas as we won’t be able to use 0800 numbers or 0845.
- We will be leaving a cheque book and paying in book with my mum just in case we either get a windfall or the opposite!
- Set all regular payments up on Direct Debit or Standing Order.
Other Matters still on the TO DO list
- Before we leave we need to do meter readings and submit those for final bills
- Sell Car and pass no claim bonus on to MH insurers
- Redirect mail
- Order maps and guide books for travels (our very generous friends and family gave us Amazon vouchers this year for Christmas which will prove very useful)
- Take out boiler, plumbing, electrical and drainage policy’s on rental properties for peace of mind whilst away
- Ensure we have details of all policies, paperwork, bank accts etc with us for MH, home and businesses
Is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel????
Love Andi x