After a lifetime of working my parents went into retirement, bought a caravan, and turned into Grey Nomads!


Last year they escaped the long wet winter we had in Perth to follow the sunshine Northwards, travelling around the ‘Top End’, before coming down past Alice and slowly heading home.


They were away for 12 weeks.


With some help from myself, they had planned well for this trip.  The caravan was stocked up with food, drinks, books and card games.  The car had been serviced; I had given up my rental place and moved in to keep an eye on their house, pool and garden.


They enjoyed it so much it didn’t surprise me when they started planning the next trip as soon as they got back home. They are currently away on a 10 week adventure back in the old country re-visiting old haunts and finding new places to explore.  Of course you don’t have to wait until you retire to head off on grand adventures; you just need to plan them.


My parents were lucky that I had the flexibility of leaving my rental to house sit for them.


But what happens if you don’t have a friend or relative able to move in to make sure everything’s okay for your return?


  1. There are organisations who can arrange house sitters for you. This may be an option if you have pets that require looking after while you are gone and can’t take them on your travels with you. Alternatively –
  2. Book your animals into boarding kennels as soon as possible as they get booked out quickly.
  3. Think about getting a monitored alarm on your house, with the contact being a family member or close friend with a key.
  4. Run the freezer and fridge down as much as you can.
  5. Ask a trusted neighbour to bring in your mail.
  6. Put a sign on your letterbox – No Junk Mail.
  7. Cancel the newspapers, if you get them delivered.
  8. Consider putting a timer on your front room lights, to come on and go off at certain times, giving the impression you are still there.
  9. Hide laptops, external hard drives and other expensive electronics you are not taking with you just in case.
  10. Your plants won’t need as much water during the Autumn/Winter months, move them so they can catch the rain, or make sure the reticulation reaches them.
  11. On the day of departure, turn off and unplug any appliances that are not being used.
  12. Check windows are closed, set the alarm, lock the door, and go ENJOY yourselves!


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Written by Deb Reynolds

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