Planning a family gap year, where to go, destinations, costs, ideas, saving for travel, budgets, and our experiences of being on a family gap year. We sold everything to travel the world with kids then aged 6 and 8. Through choice we would never have gone home. We have a wealth of information to share with you below on how to travel the world with kids.
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Our family gap year turned into almost 6 years but we can certainly help you plan a one year round the world trip with kids.
Family Gap Year
We started when our kids were 6 and 8 and now they are teens. We need to give you all the tips, ideas and destinations you need to plan your family gap year in multiple blog posts, find what you need below. First some steps or tips. Read these, then dive in.
What is a Family Gap Year?
A gap year is one year, 12 months, a break from work and school to take a sabbatical, to travel. Families with kids or indeed babies and toddlers take gap years, but I know of more than one family who took grandparents on a family sabbatical, making their travels multigenerational.
A gap year is a longed-for sabbatical, a break from the daily grind, a time to do something different and be together as a family, to reconnect and explore. We talk about gap years as being just one year, but families do embark on extended travels for a few months or even several years. Our family’s gap year lasted six, almost seven years. Travel, education, fun, and adventure can be the purpose of a family gap year.
First Steps in Planning a Family Gap Year
- Convince your partner.
- Brainstorm destinations. Make a list. A family gap year bucket list if you like, of places you just have to go. ( The destinations we cover on this website lie beyond that “destinations” link or you can find them any time in our top menu. We cover over 50 of the most popular family travel destination countries)
- Consider how you’re going to escape work, school and mortgage.
- How will you pay for it? Most people fund 1 year on savings and selling possessions.
- Does it look possible? Set a date. 12 months from now is good.
- Tell the world, no going back on your word now!
- Start saving like crazy, sell stuff, simplify, minimise.
- Get your head around homeschooling, or if you prefer, understand worldschooling. Start being your kids educational facilitator, right now. The sooner you start the better.
- Think of creating a remote income stream if your gap year should really be two years, or six. Blogging is good but it’s a lot of work and isn’t a quick fix. How else could you start an online business or location independent income?
- Look into RTW ( round the world) tickets or just book a 1 way ticket to anywhere and make up your trip as you go.
- Get Insurance! Travel and health cover is vital and will likely be a big expense. Not so many companies will cover gap year, long term or open-ended travel. There is a specialist, this is the insurance company we have used for the last few years on the road.
- Start reading through our blog posts below, we have heaps of information to help you plan, visualise and make your family’s trip around the world happen.
Budget and Costs For a Family Gap Year
Our family gap year, for 4 people cost us $30,000. This sum included visiting Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, The UK, a USA Road Trip, Central America and 2 Atlantic cruise crossings. You can read more detail about real, honest costs in our costs breakdown for one year of travel.
If you’re interested in budget travel and how to keep your gap year costs as low as possible we can help you in many ways. Firstly, take a look at our budget travel tips and ideas. Next, you’ll need to figure out how to use Skyscanner to save money and plan the most effective route. Planning is important, see how we go about planning long term travel, pen and paper and brainstorming.
You may also like to check out some cost comparisons for one year of travel. There is incredible variation in what people spend and what they consider “budget”. We can also give you tips on how to travel for free, there are a few good hacks, but a lot of them won’t work well for families.
Information To Help You Plan Your Family Gap Year Destinations.
Posts on this site are here to help you plan your itinerary, budget, book anything necessary, and generally prepare. There are a lot of blog posts and we cover Asia extensively, Europe, Australia, some of Africa and parts of the Americas. If you use the search function you should be able to find destination specific posts. A particularly helpful one would be Southeast Asia with kids, a great place to start thinking about your gap year itinerary.
The Age of Your Kids Will Affect Gap Year Plans
Obviously, we parents have to be mindful of our kids’ ages, personalities, interests, and capabilities. If you have tweens and teens you’ll probably be able to take on more adventurous destinations than families with babies and toddlers.
We travelled with our kids from birth to older teens, so we had a good think about the best age to travel with kids.
As the years progressed and I found myself travelling, mostly solo, with my 13, 14, 15, 16-year-olds, I wrote this post on how to travel with teenagers and love it. The key is to respect their needs and who they are. I love travelling with teens, in many ways it’s the best time.
COVID came and changed the world, unfortunately. Yes, we worldschooled our teens to 15, but then we faced a long lockdown in Australia. They did return to formal education at that point and did amazingly well. Read about why we quit homeschooling here, and how they carried on with iGCSEs.
Finding The Money To Travel
One of the first-ever posts I published was called finding the money to travel, and it went viral. It’s still valid, take a look. It’s very closely linked to this one on how families afford to travel the world.
We hope you find this information useful. Our website has over 1,000 posts, slowly I’m sifting through them to find which are most useful to you in planning your family gap year. I’m updating this page often. Bookmark it, maybe to Pinterest, and come back or ask in the comments. What information do you need? We’re happy to help if we can.