Travel With Children Is Us.

Travel with children. world travel family travel blog

Travel with children is our favourite sort of travel.

  Family world travel, it is possible! 

We left home, Port Douglas Australia, at the start of June 2013, to travel with children long term, we’d been saving and planning for 12 months.

We’ve now completed year 1 of non-stop round the world family travel, it’s been a blast but we need to take a break for a while in London, one of our favourite cities in the world. Full time travel is pretty labour intensive, we need a rest and London is a great place to un-travel with children while we catch up on work and the kids education.

 I met my husband through travel, it’s been a big part of our lives. Having children slowed us down for a while, but once the boys were 6 and 8, we thought they were ready to start this adventure and get a lot out of it. It’s a great way for us all to get an education!

Travel with children adds a whole new dimension to a trip, seeing things through children’s eyes is magical.

  travel with children thailand. Travel as education

You can almost see the learning happening here! Koh Samet, Thailand

Read about our 12 month countdown to leaving home to travel here. What needed doing, how we raised the money, what irrtional thoughts went through my mind, the worries of travel with children, it’s all here.

Travel With Children is Brilliant!

A lot of people find the idea of setting out into the world with a backpack a little scary. Add children to the picture and it can look impossible.

We know it’s not. We can give you some ideas and tips on the practicalities of travel with children. It’s not a picnic, you have to adapt and change your travel style to accommodate them, but it is possible, more slow travel, less rush.

This was our second round the world trip. That gave us an advantage, we already knew what to expect.

In our lives, we have been to 43 countries, the kids have been to a lot of those with us and we have many more to see.

If you would like to follow us around the world and see how it all turns out, please help us out by signing up for email notifications in the box on the right. Having followers directly helps us fund our travels. Maybe  join our little Facebook community, too, there is lots of stuff going on over there. If you could share this with all your friends, we’ll love you forever!

What about school?

World Travel Family about us Ko Phangan

“School” during our 6 weeks on Ko Phangan while my husband had emergency surgery.

The children don’t go to school, we’ve sorted that bit out already. Homeschooling works really well for our family. I’ve had plenty of practice and I’m in touch with some amazing homeschooling and unschooling families online, they give us loads of support. We have no plans to put the kids back into main-stream education at any point, we see travel with children as education.

How long can this trip last?

At the moment we don’t know, we’re thinking at least two years. If we’re still having fun and have enough money we’ll keep going longer. If we’ve had enough we can stop any time, anywhere. We have no fixed itinerary, we’ll go where the wind blows us. Stay connected to find out how we get on with this adventure. You can sign up here.

You can find our ideas on destinations in Where are we going to go?

So far on this trip we have been to Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, the UK, 2 Atlantic crossing cruises and now the USA, Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador,Portugal, Spain and France.  ( Find out how a cruise can be budget travel here)

Travel With Children World Travel Family travel blog

Central Park in the polar vortex, January 2014.

Initially we planned to stay in Asia for a few years where our money would go a long, long way. We thought we could get by on $40 to $50 per day in Asia. We did, near enough, Family problems brought us to the UK for Christmas 2013. Our first cold Christmas for 7 years was fantastic! The cruise to New York was too much of a bargain to pass up, so we followed that up with a 1 month east coast road trip. After that we headed for Central America.

How do we fund the long term stuff? Extreme Budget Travel!

We aren’t particularly rich, there is no inheritance, company to sell or big investments. I haven’t worked for the last 5 years and my husband doesn’t earn that much as a chef. We travel as cheap as we can to keep us travelling longer. Find our tips on family budget travel here.

That’s not  say we don’t mix it up, we love all kinds of travel, but to keep going for a year or more, extreme budgeting is required. We’re not talking a 2 week break here!

Staying in Asia on a tiny budget for years would have been easy, but we inadvertently made it to the UK and then the USA via a Trans-Atlantic cruise. Our budget got a lot bigger.

We saved for 12 months, we aimed to have $30,000 in the bank by the time we left.

We sold everything, including the car, all that’s left is a few boxes. We don’t miss any of it.

The blog is bring in some money through advertising ( don’t hate us for running adverts) to top us up and we have a small rental income on our home.

We can give you some ideas to help you in raising the money for long-term travel. It’s hard, but it is achievable. There are tons of budgeting tools available online for free (such as Intuit’s tax estimator) that make planning a trip financially feasible.

 

We are, Alyson, James, D and Boo, we are World Travel Family

I always wanted to see the world. I used to travel solo and then, luckily, I met this lovely, amazing bloke with equally itchy feet. I am a Mum, I was a medical scientist in my life before kids and I am Welsh.

World Travel Family.Long term travel with children. family travel blog

At the chef’s restaurant in Port Douglas. Alyson, D and Boo.

We own seven British and Australian passports and we emigrated from London to live in Port Douglas, tropical  Far North Queensland, when the children were tiny. It was a big change, tropical living in Port Douglas is pretty interesting

James is a chef and an Iron Man, so we didn’t see much of him.  It was about time we did. He is Australian.

D is eight, Boo is six. They were both born in London, in a tiny flat in Twickenham. Both were homebirths, I don’t like to do anything the “normal” way.

long term travel with children

At the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

The boys will only be boys once, this is it. So we’re just going to do it.

I fished James out of the Nile while I was touring solo in Egypt in 2000, since then we have packed in, a 12 month round the world trip, the Inca trail, the Trans Siberian, an engagement at Machu Pichu a wedding in Sri Lanka, scuba diving, trekking and exploring all over the world.

Our travel style has included backpacking (tips on backpacking with kids here), luxury resorts, camping, glamping, package holidays and small group adventure holidays, all have a place and suit different needs and situations, you won’t find any travel snobbery here.

We have some great  travel horror stories, some will make your hair curl, yet we still have an insatiable thirst for more. Travel with children may make us adapt and change our travel style even more, stick with us and find out!

 

Thanks so much for visiting, I hope I can inspire or encourage people to try long term travel with children, or without.  I’m no journalist,  just a Mum with a passion for travel and for my family. Maybe I can put a few minds at rest, it’s not such a big scary world out there and anybody can take off to travel long term with children , if they want it badly enough. Did you sign up to follow our journey yet?  Thanks for reading, hope you come back soon.

 

 

Comments

  1. Wow! Your blog is such an inspiration!! I hope to travel with our kiddos someday too, so I am so glad to have found your blog! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Wow have just stumbled across you guys – what an adventure! Hubby and I and our two four year olds are heading off for our first backpacking adventure to Malaysia on Thursday, so I was interested to read about your travels. Just three weeks for us, though! Enjoy! I will be following with interest.

  3. We’re looking forward to following along. I’d be interested in posts about how you budget as you go along. When I was growing up (many eons ago), my parents somehow found a way to fund world travel for a family of 5 on my father’s teacher’s salary which was a pittance in those days (before teachers in the US were unionized). As empty nesters, my husband and I can now afford to spend more on travel, but old habits die hard, so I feel strange spending more for a meal than we used to spend on several nights accommodation. (But, seriously, I need to get over that. There’s no sense fretting rather than enjoying an experience).

  4. Wonderful blog Alison, and inspiring to see you follow your love of traveling with your family. My gf and I are considering moving to PD, but I’ve read here that you say it’s very expensive to live as a local. Besides rent – I know the prices and our budget for that – just how expensive is it? I am a fellow traveller like you, having travelled full time for several years, and it is scary to give that all up! Big decisions, so I’m really grateful I found your blog! Thank you. Congratulations on traveling with your children, really inspiring!

    • Hello Mike, I’m so glad you found us. I can give you a few ideas,unleaded petrol was $1.55/L, diesel was about the same, when we left in June. Our 4 bed house with pool is rented at $460/ week, to buy it, you’d be looking at around $450,000. That’s less than we payed, house prices have dropped. Food is expensive to me, supermarket food is more expensive than the UK (excluding meat but we’re non meat eaters). Fresh fruit and veg is very seasonal. you can’t buy bananas every week, prices fluctuate hugely. In the wet season it can be difficult to buy anything fresh as flooding further south closes supply routes. A trip to the reef to snorkel for a family of four will be around $500, you won’t be doing that every week! A coffee in a cafe $4.50ish, Fish and chips, 1 fish $8.50-$9.50 per portion, chips $3 for a small portion. Dinner for two at a fancy restaurant over $100 depending on wine, main course about $35, starters around $16 ( my husband, the exec chef, is giving me these figures).Bottle of wine from a bottle shop $10 upward. If you have any more specific questions, shoot them at me, I’ll help as much as I can. It’s a beautiful place to live, we found managing on one salary pretty limiting, we do like to eat out and have lots of fun, we’re no good at simple living!

  5. Thanks Alyson! So helpful. It sounds like PD is almost big city prices, which is a lot for a small town! I did look at real estate for renting earlier this year and thought there were quite a few good places for fair prices – but now that it’s the main season there isn’t nearly as much available. So I guess it’s good to get a yearly rental in January or the like – when few people are interested in PD.

    My girlfriend is a yoga teacher… so either she will do retreats (with people flying in)… or work locally (which I would guess would be hard?). My business is completely online – is fast internet a problem up there? Is it only slow internet… and does it take a long time to get installed? I’ve heard Telstra can be very lazy outside the big cities!

    Thanks so much for your help, very generous of you!

    I hope you’re enjoying your travels, wherever you currently are!

    PS – My sister and Dad recently came back from London and said that for the first time they can remember (we are there every year or two) Australia is much more expensive! So maybe it’s not just PD. The changing AUD has had a big impact on prices I think

    • We had good internet in Port Douglas Mike, we had 120GB/month $90 with Telstra. My husband thinks they connected it the next day.It cuts out occasionally in bad weather, but on the whole, good. There are a lot of yoga teachers in Port Douglas already, including on the beach, in the park etc. It may be tough to find enough clients, but obviously, I’m no expert. And yes, you’d probably do better searching for a place in the wet season availability wise, husband thinks prices remain fairly constant year round but there is always a slight under supply of rental properties. ( there are a lot of sharks in Port Douglas, most of them in real estate). It’s an upmarket sort of place, you pay upmarket prices. On the bonus side,living in Port Douglas gives you local discounts for attractions, some shops and restaurants.
      We’re in Laos, and yes, we’re having a lovely time travelling with the kids, thanks!

  6. Thanks Alyson, very useful! Laos sounds wonderful. I stayed on the Thai-Laos border for a month, working on a book. Such a beautiful area! I appreciate your brilliant help! Enjoy Laos!

  7. love this page. you are amazing! sooo proud of you dear. gabi
    gabi klaf recently posted..Family Travel Blog Dreams- Biking Through Spain, Italy, France, and PortugalMy Profile

  8. My partner and I just finished our RTW trip back in August. We are having serious withdrawal! Oddly enough, we were just talking about how amazing it will be to take our (future) kids with us on a trip one day! Glad there are others out there who feel the same!

    PS- LOVED Port Douglas. We were there to dive back in April!

    Have fun!
    K.T. recently posted..Britney Spears’ Advice on Travel: You Better Work, WORK!My Profile

  9. Stumbled across your blog Alyson and loving it. What an adventure your family is having. We started travelling with our two kids a few years ago but only a few weeks at a time. So far Vietnam, Bali, Java, Borneo, Kuala Lumpa and just recently Laos and Cambodia. Our kids are now 12 & 9 and becoming quite the seasoned travellers. Neither hubby or I had a chance to travel overseas BC (Before kids) but being able to do it now with our kids in tow is fantastic. I love being able to share the whole travel thing with my family! Shared memories are the best. With our oldest heading into high school next year extended travel isn’t an option for us but there’s always the 8 week Christmas school holiday period to make the most of. For something completely different to our Asia travels, we’re planning to do Dubai, Abu Dhabi and a self drive camping trip through Oman. In the meantime I’m looking forward to travelling vicariously through your blog. Happy and safe travels.

  10. Hello there! Have been following your blog for the past little while and really enjoying it, thank you for sharing your adventures. We are also homeschooling expats/ adventure travel family, I am English, husband Scottish and we live in Kuala Lumpur with our 4 kids. Planning on being here for the next little while and traveling round se Asia having just done a year in Perth,wa. We have done similar things to you in the past, and I love hearing about kindred spirits! Keep it up and maybe our paths will cross …:)))

  11. Nice to learn about you and your family Alyson. I have three, two the same age as yours so I get it. At present we are living on less than AUS$40/day for the five of us. Super budget in Laos.

    Good journey.
    sabretoothedchickenstour recently posted..Week 8 – Sabretoothed Chickens’ FireboatMy Profile

  12. Love the blog. We haven’t done anything as adventurous as yourselves yet but hope to one day. Look forward to reading about your adventures.

  13. Alyson I think you guys are great. I can’t wait to meet up with you one of these days. I follow your blog posts, but thought I would finally check out your “About” page. I know, I know I should be slapped for not having done that several months ago. Keep up the great stories!
    Heidi Wagoner recently posted..Our First eBook Launch! – Live In SpainMy Profile

  14. Hello Alyson,
    I am supposed to finish a paper on canonical law (yes …) but I just don’t feel like it – so thanks for this post of the Ella Gap Temple and you telling us there’s an icy drizzle dripping on your head. The weather is cold here in the Alsace (east of france) but we have a clear blue sky and lots of light today. I just decided to hang the Advent’s calendar on the wall and the Advent Wreath on the door … and I just may go out and buy some candles, so as to fit the upcoming “Christmas atmosphere”. Gives you something to look forward too while you’re on your trip to Kandy!
    Talitha
    Talitha recently posted..Men and women in the kitchen!My Profile

  15. wow alyson this is great!

  16. Hi Alyson,
    I’m not sure if you do awards n’ stuff but I nevertheless, just wanted to give you a head’s up that I’ve nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I’ve also written a few words about you and your blog. Feel free to take a look.
    ‘Hope you like it?
    Victoria recently posted..The Dragon’s Loyalty Award: My second badge of blog honour. Hurrah!My Profile

  17. Hi there! So pleased to have found your site. I am from Malaysia, a total believer of travel in education and we intend to start traveling further and further starting with Europe this year. We won’t be doing all our traveling all at one go though but breaking it up into bits and bobs every year. We will get there eventually! I hope!

  18. I have been driving my husband crazy reading him your blog! I wish we would have traveled out of the country more when the kids were young and I was homeschooling. I did drag them all over the USA. Now that they are older they have personal goals that keep us homebound (1 in University and three extremely competitive athletes).
    I feel I have found a kindred spirit in your writings. I have used vacationstogo for 3 cruises now. And skyscanner is my favorite app of all time! Please send me an email if you ever need any help with travels in the US. I am excited to hear all about your adventures!

  19. We are a like minded family! We have been traveling with our children since the first one turned 7 months old. So far, we’ve only gone for 3-4 week stints, but we are saving up and plan to sell everything two years from now to start our own adventure around the world with no definite plans to return to the U.S. Will definitely be looking to your blog for further information and suggestions. I finally started working on our own travel blog. Slowly piecing together our tips and suggestions as well. I’m excited to read more about your travels and tips. It’s so hard to find information about traveling to some of the far reaches of the world with children!

    • Good on you Melissa! You know what, having kids with you makes very little difference. Maybe we’re more cautious and it’s certainly hitting us harder in the pocket, but otherwise, same same.

  20. wow a great inspiration.. I have had the bug since a child thanks to an Uncle… Am planning RTW trip with my daughter in a couple of years…maybe sooner… we do stints of a couple of wks within Ausland , Japan, SE Asia (where I lived for a good part of 3yrs). Great to see others like minded thanks for the inspiration and look forward to your next blog …ps we are in Cairns and have had plenty of rain x

  21. Trace says:

    WOW!!! I am sitting here in tears, this is so wonderful, never would have thought of it till I read your blog, thank, thank, so hope that we can be brave enough to do this someday, safe and wonderful travels to you and your kin.

  22. I love the idea of traveling with my kids. I work in the travel industry yet somehow as I have kids I dont go anywhere. I need to work on the hubby to do this!! I love it, thank you for sharing and being an inspiration to those too scared to do what you have done (aka me).

  23. Great blog! Thanks a lot for connecting with us on Google+, Alyson! Keep up the great work and travel safe!
    Hitch-Hikers Handbook recently posted..David Gareja monastery complex, Georgia – photo essayMy Profile

  24. I have been following your blog the past 6 months (feel like a stalker sometimes given how often I log on!) and can I say how useful and inspiring I have found it all! Through your site, I managed to find other like minded families as well, which has been inspiring as well…but I tend to find your site super useful in terms of finding out all the practical(And cheap!) ways to travel, places to stay, homeschooling children etc. My husband and I and our two kids(aged 6 and 9) are setting off on a 6 month road trip, driving from England(live here 10 years) to Bangladesh(where we are from). In my ‘real world’ I don’t know anyone who has done it with children, so reading your blogs and updates really helps to ground our own beliefs that it is possible! We were due to set off in 3 weeks but due to circumstances(our daughter has some health issues) we are now setting off October 25th. I have started a website http://selimfamily.wordpress.com/ but am the most unsaavy tech person ever, probably can take lessons from your sons! If you want to visit up north while you are in England, would love to host you, we live in Sheffield. Thank you for all that you share with the world about your travels and experiences!

    • OMGosh that sounds AMAZING! I’ve always wanted to drive, or walk, or bike to India, just something overland, but it’s a tricky route, I’d love to know which way you’re going. We’ve been to Bangladesh, briefly, but we’ve been! Good luck and well done for being awesome!

      • Thank you :-) We have the route on the website if you want more details http://selimfamily.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/tentative-itinerary/ (still working out how to put map on this page, rather than the link!), but as we grow more confident about doing it for much longer, we are changing it a bit, taking ferry from England to Spain(£259 for all of us, you gave me that idea!) and going down from Spain to Morocco by ferry, then Algiers/Morocco to Italy by ferry as well. Then all land until Iran. From there there is ferry from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. Still stuck on how we will get from Dubai to India (car can be shipped there) we might have to fly that bit, unless can afford a cruise(unlikely). And then onwards from India to Bangladesh! We have a rookie trip this summer 3 weeks http://selimfamily.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/rookie-road-trip/ that will be useful in seeing how we do with budget/camping/packing/what works and doesn’t. Will be going through your helpful ‘what to take’ info a lot more as the trip gets closer!
        samiya selim recently posted..Rookie Road Trip!My Profile

  25. Magali says:

    Hi Alyson, We are a French family who has decided to come live in Australia to show a different life style to our children. We now think it is time to go further and go on the road. We live in Brisbane at the moment and I’m finishing my studies next year so during this time we are going to think and prepare. We are not attached to material stuff and our kids have done home schooling before so no worries on that side. The only thing I’m worried about is dangerous animals encounters. The other thing is our kids have autism, asthma ans anaphylaxis, so need some thinking around that. Thank you for your blog, I have been on it for ours and can;t get enough….

  26. Honor says:

    Hi there
    I’ve just had a thorough look at your blog and it’s been really helpful. Thank you!
    We are currently travelling (left the UK 2 months ago) in the USA, about to head into Canada. We have 3 children with us aged 10,8 and 4 and are away for 17 months. We are heading to Mexico, Guatemala, NZ, Oz, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Ethiopia. Not too dissimilar from yourselves. Weirdly enough my husband also hopes to complete an ironman, we also were engaged at Macchu Pichu, and did the Trans Siberian rail route for our honeymoon travels in winter. We are ‘homeschooling’ in an ‘unschooling’ way as well … It seems to have happened fairly naturally! The girls have learnt so much in the states from the national parks alone- the junior ranger program has been fantastic.
    I do have a question for you. I’m a worrier and need some reassurance before going into Guatemala. The reports of violent crime have me scared. I have found a fantastic language school there where we are keen to stay in San Pedro. Really I’d love for us all to be there for 6 weeks. I feel gutted at the idea of not going there, but don’t want to out the girls at risk either. Do you have any words of reassurance, having been there?? I’d love to hear more about your time on Lake Atitlan, and how you got there.
    Many many thanks for any help … I hope life in London goes well. I guess the learning ops for home schooling there are many!
    Honor

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