Is long term travel possible with a family? Of Course it is!
Many of us dream of quitting work, renting out the family home and taking off to explore the world for more than just a week or two. It is a step that so many parents would love to take, but the thought of planning such a huge trip can be overwhelming, especially with small children. However, it can be a lot easier than you think. If you are determined to make your long-term family travel a dream, read on for some ways to make it just a little bit easier.
Decide to do it and stick to it
Like most things, taking the plunge and doing it is the hardest step. If you worry too much about when is the right time to go, you may find that you never do it because sometimes, it feels like the time is never quite right!
There are both positives and negatives to taking a long term travel trip with children of any age. For example, travelling with babies and toddlers is a lot cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about them missing school, but on the other hand, they are unlikely to remember much about the trip in the future. Older children and teenagers will form long-lasting memories to carry through their lives but will miss out on a considerable amount of formal education. Sometimes, the best thing to do is take the plunge and do it!
Choose a style of travel to suit your family
When many of us think of an around the world adventure, we think of a grubby backpack and plane tickets, staying in hostels in some sometimes nefarious places. However, if this doesn’t suit your family, and, let’s face it, if you have young children, it probably doesn’t, you can explore other options.
You may want to think about travelling across continents in a campervan – it is fun, flexible and pretty safe, or even navigating the seas in a yacht or sailboat! Just because you have young children does not mean that you can’t be adventurous! Places like the South Pacific and Southeast Asia can be very child-friendly – you could check out Singapore apartments for rent monthly to explore the region. With older children, you can be a little more adventurous and do things such as safari camping and hiking trips.
This can be one of the most challenging parts of travelling as a family. Quite often, around-the-world adventures mean that space is at a premium, and you may have nothing more than a backpack. Children naturally come with a lot of stuff so that it can be tough. You need to consider the amount of space you have and the absolute essentials that you need. Some things, of course, are non-negotiable, but remember pretty much wherever you are in the world (providing you are not in the middle of the ocean!), you can buy nappies, clothes, and food.
Some things you may want to consider taking are comfort objects, particularly if you have a baby or a toddler, a lightweight sling and/or pushchair, and a tablet or laptop pre-loaded with games for those dull moments. Getting your children to pack and carry their own small backpack is a great way of involving them in the preparations.
Running out of money halfway across the world is never going to be a good situation, so work out a maximum weekly budget and stick to it. Make sure that you do put aside some for emergencies and occasional big treats. If you are on a tight budget, spend the bulk of your time in cheaper countries. You will find that you get through money faster in places like North America and Europe than you would in Southeast Asia or India, for example.
To save some money, avoid the tourist hotels and try camping or staying in family-friendly hostels In some places, there may be schemes where you can stay with a local family, which is a brilliant way of immersing yourself in the culture of the country. Don’t eat out for every meal – have a go at cooking your versions of local cuisines!
Remember the benefits
At times it will be stressful. You will have little time apart, possibly cramped into small spaces and have little in the way of home comforts, depending on where you choose to visit. It can also be expensive. However, the benefits that everyone in the family will get from your trip are immense – memories to last a lifetime. What can be more valuable than that?
Guest Post written by Hannah Ferdinand