More and more families are exchanging the daily grind for a life on the road. Whether it’s just a gap year or you decide to sell your house to relocate abroad and become a world schooler – the idea of travelling with children can feel daunting to many parents.
Let’s be honest; it’s not a walk in the park and it comes with its own unique set of challenges. From dealing with toddlers on long bus rides to keeping young teenagers amused in a no Wi-Fi zone—you will encounter hurdles that will push you. But, it’s all worth it. The rewards of travelling as family longer term far outweigh the negatives.
If anything, tackling and overcoming hurdles together is all part of the adventure. Travelling with kids helps build their confidence and self-belief. It strengthens family bonds and fosters greater independence and trust. And, it may sound like a cliché, but really there is no better classroom than the world to learn new skills and gain knowledge.
If you’ve ever experienced the itch to show your kids the world and live life differently but don’t know where to start, here’s a whistle-stop guide to going travelling with your kids.
How to plan your trip?
Preparation is everything. But don’t get too obsessed with finalising all the minute details before you go, part of the fun of travelling is going with the flow and having the freedom to change plans to suit your needs.
Work out where you want to go
Kick-off by brainstorming destinations you want to visit. You may already have an idea. For instance, if you already have family or friends living somewhere then you might want to plan your trip around connecting with them. Other things you may want to consider are places you can work, local schools, climate, budget and local activities.
Decide how you’re going to fund your trip
One of the biggest concerns parents have about taking the plunge and going travelling is money. How will we fund the trip? Will it be career suicide to take a few years off? For instance, quitting you job is good option if you work in an in-demand industry, so if you take a year or two out, you can quickly re-join the workforce upon your return. Another option, many employers offer sabbaticals to long-term employees. When it comes to generating an income while you are away, the good news is thanks to technology you can work anywhere in the world. There are lots of other options too—from teaching English, working on local farms to homestays where you can work in exchange for free lodging and food. Other important things to consider are: how will you pay for your mortgage—sell your house or rent it out?
Decide on a budget and work out how much time you need to save. Most people take 12-months to put together a decent nest egg. Set up a savings account and set aside a set amount each month. You can boost your savings by selling your stuff. For instance, going away for an extended period is the perfect opportunity to declutter and minimise before you go, which you can then sell on.
Do your homework
Research the countries and areas you want to travel in. What vaccines do you need? How safe are they? Are there any no-go areas? What languages are spoken? What currency do they use? Read up on their background, political situation and government advice on going there. Check out travel blogs—this is a great way to get unique insights about a place from
people that have travelled or lived there.
Set the date and go for it!
Work out when you want to go. Consider best time for taking the kids out e.g. non-exam years or transition years between primary to secondary. Set yourself a provisional date when you want to be ready by. This will also give you a goal to aim for in terms of saving up money and organising logistics. Commit to this date, tells friend and family. And most importantly have fun getting ready – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Need help selling your house to move abroad?
Packing up your life up to go abroad, with kids in tow can be stressful. So, if you are planning to sell your house before you leave, then the pressure is on. By using a company like House Buy Fast, who will buy your property for cash, meaning you can ensure the timescales suit your plans. Something that a traditional estate agent can’t promise.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.