Nomadic with a Home Base: Self-Storage for the Traveller

Are you one that likes to take off and explore our incredible planet? Do you like to keep moving from place to place, uncovering new experiences? Are you always looking for the next adventure? Do you have items that you can’t take with you on adventures, but do want to keep while you’re away? Self-storage is an economical way to live a nomadic life while still retaining a home base to store your personal items.

We at Real Storage are first of all jealous of your travelling spirit and lust for excitement, but we also like to keep an eye out for our tenants who spend more time on trains, planes, and automobiles than they do on the ground. For this reason, we’ve compiled some tips for how to utilize self-storage to help keep you on the move.

Clear advantages

If you are constantly on the move, travelling the world, and spending very little time in your home town, then self-storage provides a clear advantage over almost every other option out there for keeping your personal belongings safe while you are away.

Sure, it is best if your parents or a loved one that has the space to accommodate your items, but relying on someone for this for as long and as frequently as you might be travelling can take its toll on someone, especially if it is cramping their space.

The other option, obviously, is to continue to rent an apartment, treating that space as your storage while away, but this is surely a far more expensive option than self-storage, which, depending on your needs, could be as little as $80/month. If you can find an apartment for this rental amount, please inform us of where!

Rather, a self-storage unit will have less of a toll on your bank account, while having no toll on any loved ones. And, it works well for almost every item you might need to store.

Excellent for…

While travelling, a self-storage unit is excellent for housing…

  • furniture,
  • clothing,
  • sports equipment
  • artwork,
  • collectibles/memorabilia,
  • appliances,
  • vehicles, and
  • tools.

Many items mentioned here are perfect for an outdoor, drive-up unit, which is very convenient for loading and access. Some items though, such as artwork, antiques, and collectibles/memorabilia will require a climate-controlled, indoor unit. Items like those can be harmed by fluctuations in temperatures and/or humidity, so will generally require a climate-controlled unit.

(For additional information on types of units, read our article here.)

Not good for…

Of course, certain items are not permitted in a self-storage unit, so if you are requiring space to store any of the following items, then you will require space elsewhere for them (this is where loved ones will hopefully be willing to lend a hand!):

  • pets,
  • plants,
  • perishable food,
  • garbage,
  • firearms,
  • explosives,
  • toxic substances, and
  • cold, hard cash.

Many of these items should appear obviously unpermitted, and many of them can be taken care of easily in other ways (e.g., garbage to the dump, cash to the bank, pets and plants to a loved one, etc.). It is important to be aware of what can and cannot be stored at a storage facility when planning your travels though, as you do not want to find yourself in a scramble at the last minute when you are trying to catch a flight.

(Read our article here for further information on what cannot be stored at a storage facility.)

Mobility for those who are mobile

There is one other option for storing your belongings with self-storage: a mobile storage container. The clear advantage to the mobile container is that it can move anywhere. You can have it stored at a self-storage facility, or you can keep it elsewhere, on your property (or a loved one’s property), workplace, or other location.

The mobile storage container is also more convenient than the others, because it only requires one load. Rather than have to load a truck, and then unload the truck into your storage unit, with a mobile storage container, you only have to fill it once. This helps to keep work to a minimum, and travel time to the maximum.

Moreover, those that travel often end up eventually settling somewhere, and that is typically not in their home town. With a mobile storage container full of your belongings, it is easy to have that container shipped directly to your new home, rather than having to return to your home town to load a truck and ship your belongings yourself.

The one thing you need to be aware of with the mobile container though, is that it is not climate-controlled, so if you are storing any of the items mentioned above, then you should enquire into a climate-controlled unit instead.


Once you’ve determined the type of storage unit to suit your needs best, you will want to load the space properly. While a lot of thinking can go into loading your self-storage unit (read our article here for an in depth look at loading storage units), the most significant aspect for a traveller to be aware of is the access you leave yourself for the items you may need more frequently than others.

Often, there are particular items that you will not travel with, but when you return home for visits or travel breaks, you do require their use. Items like these need to be left out of the storage unit until the very last minute. Leaving space for them at the front of the unit is important for you being able to access them easily when you return home. Keep this in mind when loading your storage unit, and you will make visits home much easier on yourself.

The Right Storage Facility

Of course, when you are travelling for an extended period, you want to be sure your items are being kept in a secure facility. Always investigate any potential self-storage facility before making rental agreements. Look for things like security cameras, electronic locks, a gated facility, and a well-lit facility. Speak to other tenants of the facility to get an idea of their experience and how secure they find the facility to be as well.

(For more on how to choose your storage facility, read our article here.)

At Real Storage, we work with all sorts of tenants, including those with a travelling bug. Speak with your Real Storage agent today for more information on how to utilize self-storage during your travels, or for any self-storage questions you might have.