Once every few months we'll email you about site additions and cruising news - unless you unsubscribe, of course!
If you leave a house empty for a prolonged period to go cruising, the headings below suggest some things to consider. For more than 90 days away, bigger subjects arise, covered at the end of this list.
Your house insurance will define limits on how long the property can be left unattended, often a month, sometimes 60 days. Speak with your insurers. There will be conditions about turning water, gas and electricity off, or alternatively, leaving central heating on to maintain minimum temperatures. Some will provide extended cover if the property is inspected regularly, say weekly, and if proper attention is paid to security.
The police crime prevention web site gives excellent advice about minimising burglary risks while you're not at home. A home office document describes security features to consider for doors and windows, including locks to use, which will generally meet insurer's demands. And a short home office leaflet gives security check lists for those leaving a house un-occupied. Add to all of this the simple warning: don't publish dates when you're away if your address can be traced; think Facebook, blogs and other websites. A very short summary would be to say, "make your house look occupied". The detail is in the links . . .
Royal Mail 'Keepsafe' will store mail for up to 2 months. For absences of 6 months or more, re-direct your mail to a suitable address. Cancel any deliveries (milk, newspaper). Discourage free newspapers and circulars with a message by the post box, and have a neighbour clear the post box area regularly for those bits which do arrive.
Ensure Bills are paid while you’re away; stick everything on direct debits. Check when insurance renewals are due, TV licence, Road tax. For road tax, if your car is left off the road for a period, your have the option of making a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) declaration. This permits a refund for any whole months already paid for.
Internet banking services are invaluable for long absences. In the Euro zone, if cash consumption is more than €5,000 pa, consider opening a Euro account with a debit card. Transfers from your bank can then be made at favourable exchange rates through currency brokers (google 'currency brokers') rather than high street bank rates. In emergency you may suddenly need a lot of cash at short notice. Ensure you have an adequate bank balance, or put an overdraft facility in place.
Take international phone numbers to contact in case of loss of bank cards, credit cards, with a note of the account numbers.
Obtain cash abroad using debit cards (credit cards charge high interest immediately). Consider a second bank account and debit card in case your first card gets "locked out" and you need cash. Some English cards can not be used in automated French machines. Most banks make a charge for cash services of £2 to £4, so make large transactions. This is a competitive field, so check the Money Saving Expert Site to find good suppliers.
Check period of insurance cover. Many insurers limit EU cover to 90 days. Ensure you know the international contact numbers. Check insurance covers what you will do; will it be insured when 'not in use' by being parked while you're away on the boat? Take all documents with you (registration, third party insurance certificate, original insurance policy). EU rules allow that your car may be "temporarily imported" to another country for up to 6 months (sometimes interpreted as 180 days). More than that, and the vehicle should pay local taxes. Overstays may face fines.
'Travel Insurance' often covers many aspects which are not relevant to someone arranging their own travel. So work out what you really need, and make sure the period insured is adequately long, and isn't prematurely terminated if you return temporarily (family emergency . . .). It is necessary to examine the small print carefully. Take documents with you, and ensure you know the international contact numbers.
A risk that many wish to cover is repatriation to the UK in the event of serious illness/accident.
Things change rapidly in the field of modern communications, so this is just a list of headings to consider:
Beyond the scope of this page. See http://www.jimbsail.info/going-foreign/boat-prep
Any more ideas? Add a comment (if you're loggged in)
Updated March 2015