We are a Full-Time Travel Family. How?

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This is a post about how we, the owners of World Travel Family travel blog, get to travel full-time or even permanently, as a family. We’re not unique, there are plenty of other globe-trotting, full-time, long-term travelling families on the world circuit, but to the vast majority of people what we do sounds far from possible. But we do it, and we’ve been a travelling family for over 5 years. Our family travel blog has been the key to our freedom.

How to travel full-time or long term with kids

A Full-Time Travel Family

It’s time to explain how we went from family gap year travellers to nomadic full-time travel with kids. Also, is this nomadic travel lifestyle really so great? We’ll tell you in this post

What are the pros and cons of a travel lifestyle, and is it as much fun as it looks?

What’s hard, what’s easy, and of course the big one. How do we pay for it? You may like to follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.

full time travel nomadic family
Full-time travel, for our family, was way cheaper than staying home, and way more fun.

We never set out to be full-time family travellers.

This family travel blog was just a hobby that became a business, a huge resource for travel tips, information, and know-how.

It is designed to help other families travel the world.

We headed off on a family gap year (or 2) and decided it was too good to stop so we made it happen through hard work and determination.

Family travel times are the best of times, we never wanted it to end.

About one year in I read this book, it opened my eyes and gave me that extra push to make it happen, efficiently and calmly.

I realised we were already part of “the new rich” and that far bigger things were possible.

If you’re interested in planning and executing your own Family Gap Year, we’ve got your back. See our Family Gap Year instructions, destinations, tips and ideas here. If you think there’s any information we should add to that, let me know.

We are from the UK and Australia, we have also been based in Romania and Vietnam.

You’ll find that it’s very common for families that travel full-time or for extended periods to be of mixed nationalities.

There is so much to explain about our globetrotting lifestyle. I’ll keep it brief, links in this post will take you to more in-depth information to maybe help you on your way to travelling the world with your family.

How to Afford Full-Time Family Travel?

our travelling family
Our travelling family, a few years into full time travel, in Thailand.

A short family round the world (RTW) trip can be funded on savings.

A lot of travelling families simply take a gap year, not so many of us continue travelling for years and are able to make a living as they travel.

This is how we got started and year 1 cost us $30,000 back in 2013. $ US and $Au were pretty much equivalent back then.

Now, I honestly don’t think it would cost much more as prices seem to have dropped as travel slumps.

In 2023 I’m seeing price drops travel is very much back on, this year we will be a part-time travelling family as the world eases back to normal.

Of course, if you’re packing a deflated currency like the UK pound, it would be much harder for you now.

You need to cut all expenses back home, you can’t continue to pay a mortgage or big bills while you’re on the road full-time or permanently.

We rented our house out, others sell if homeownership looks like too great a financial burden.

Our rental income covered our mortgage, but home ownership from overseas is quite a headache and there can be unexpected bills to pay.

How did we raise that $30,000 If you click through here we’ll tell you. Alternatively, in the next link we give you a break down on spending for our first year on the road

After that one year lump sum ran out we had to start earning.

We started our first travel blog in 2012. That website was bringing in a useful amount of money within 6 months.

Today our blogs fund our lifestyle.

On our website we don’t just cover travel, we have information on how to start a blog that generates an income too. We don’t sell courses, it’s all free, we don’t think you should have to pay for know-how. Take a look at these posts maybe, or you can find our blogging section in the top menu. 1. How to start a blog easily 2. How to earn with affiliate sales. 3. Tools to help grow your blog

We are also lucky in that we have 2 passports, my husband has been able to work in London from time to time to get us through financially.

He’s a hard worker with a great work ethic. He found jobs easily.

London is possibly our favourite city in the world and our closest thing to “home”.

Spending months on end in London with kids has been great for them in every way.

The Kids’ Education in Long-Term Travel

Full time travelling family kids playing Bangkok
We’re very serious about education and our online business takes a lot of effort. But it’s not just work. There are plenty of long family meals, hanging out together and with other families and friends. There are many moments to play and relax. There is sight-seeing, adventure, and some tough physical challenges. We are scuba divers, skiers, cyclists, and my husband is an Ironman triathlete. He’s also a chef, so you’ll find lots of food content on our site. This photo was taken one early evening on Bangkok’s famous Khao San Rd.

Homeschooling is very popular and growing around the world.

Partly this is because of dissatisfaction with an outdated school system, partly because homeschooled kids have such great outcomes and partly because more and more parents are working remotely and staying home to be with their kids.

Of course, the internet is better than any classroom, anyone can learn anything online.

When homeschooled kids travel, the buzzword is worldschooling, learning from the world and what is around them.

It’s so much better to take your kids to the learning that have them learn from books.

There is room for traditional schools and learning methods, of course. But in our experience learning by seeing, living, and experiencing has been so much better for the kids.

If that word “worldschooling” is new to you we can tell you all about that too. This post on Homeschool and travel explains more and gives you some great resources. The next one, What is Worldschooling? explains what worldschooling is by definition. This one talks about destinations to include, Ultimate Worldschooling Guide and resources. Finally this one. The global crisis saw a sharp change of tack. Why we Eventually Put Our Kids in School. The kids are now sitting their exams and doing very well in school. Once the world gets back to normal we will travel again.

I should add that in order to pass exams at the end of high school, a few terms of working with teachers or tutors to pick up exam skills was pretty much essential for my kids.

Exams have some odd requirements and real-world learning doesn’t equip kids for exam day.

Accommodation For Full-Time Travelling Family

Some travelling families “slow travel” they go from town to town renting apartments for extended periods.

That’s not how we do it because we’ve found it’s not what we enjoy.

Other full-time family travellers prefer to house sit their way around the world, looking after other people’s pets and gardens and living in their homes.

We very rarely do this.

We are more traditional backpackers, travellers or holidaymakers, we move fairly fast when we’re actively travelling, staying in guest houses and hotels.

We also have a base in London and in a village in rural Romania that we return to for “down time” to catch up with work and school work.

After the first couple of years, we needed somewhere to stash the Lego collection and we ski in Romania, our ski gear is there.

We rented a beautiful old farmhouse with zero mod-cons in a picture-perfect village there. Living in this village was certainly an example of slow travel and suited our needs at the time.

Don’t be afraid to mix up your travel styles. Do what you need or want to do.

Because we own such a large travel blog, we sometimes have free hotel stays in exchange for promotion, so our luxury stays don’t need to be self-funded always.

Resources we use include always Agoda for Asia, Booking.com and Hotels Combined for Europe and Australia. In the USA we swear by Priceline. Sometimes we book in advance, sometimes we wing it. We have a post here on finding accommodation for families. We also recommend various accommodations, hostels, hotels, and guest houses we’ve used and loved around the world. If you find a destination-specific post on our site, accommodation recommendations will be there. Or just ask in the comments. To book tours, transfers, and activities we use GetYourGuide and we explain why in our GetYourGuide review. I should probably also mention this post on why housesitting doesn’t work for our family. We really don’t like housesitting.

Travelling as a Family, Health and Sickness on the Road

There are doctors and dentists everywhere in the world, finding health care has really never been an issue.

We’ve tested out hospital care in Thailand, my husband had emergency surgery and the service was fantastic.

Obviously, you need good travel insurance to cover any big emergencies like this but mostly health care is very affordable outside the US.

Look into travel vaccinations but don’t feel you need every one the travel clinics offer you. They’re out to make money, do your research well.

It’s often a lot cheaper to get your vaccinations in Asia, we got some in Kaula Lumpur, but Bangkok is supposedly superb for this.

Finally, we got our rabies shots in London for a very remote destination.

As the years went on and the kids grew we visited more and more extreme and challenging destinations and we thought it was sensible to finally get those rabies shots.

We’ve visited dentists in London, Australia, Romania and Guatemala, doctors in UK, Australia, Guatemala, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos.

Medical care has never been a problem and we get sick rarely.

This is useful for you. What Travel Insurance do We Use? It turned out that for long term, extended, random travel there was only one company we could use and this one was it. We also talk about our ongoing travel vaccination issues, there are 3 posts, start with this one. The Travel Vaccination Drama.

Possessions and Long Term Family Travel

Everything we own fits into 2 large backpacks (Mum and Dad) and 4 carry-on-sized backpacks (one each).

We have enough “stuff” for multi-climate travel anywhere worldwide.

We carry toys, school books, laptops, kindles, phones and specialist travel gear.

When we need something we buy it, so for our treks in Nepal we stocked up in Kathmandu, for our cruise ship Atlantic crossings, we hit the sales in London.

The trick is to “let it go” if something has been used for its purpose, leave it behind. There’s no point carrying stuff you don’t need.

If you’re wondering what gear we carry with us or what you need to buy to travel comfortably, we have endless posts on that! Family and Kids Travel Gear is here. Why we Don’t Travel Light is an interesting one. When we were on the road full time for years, it was impossible but then as we made bases where we could ditch stuff we started Flying Carry-On Only. We do that a lot now and we’re good at it. I can easily pack for a month in my carry on. The amount of tech gear we have to carry for work is a problem though. Gear for Nepal and Trekking is a separate post because that’s specialist stuff. Please don’t slavishly follow marketers packing lists, read our post first and save yourself some money. Travel Essentials is another post people like. Also power pack recommendations, people love power packs!

Our major possessions from our home in Australia, we sold.

A few things we stashed in the attic, but I can honestly say we’ve never missed any of the “stuff” and living a more minimalistic lifestyle is cheaper, lighter, and less stressful. 

By way of update, we did eventually have to go back home for various reasons and at the time I was very glad we kept some things, cross with myself for keeping some others. We hit the road again as soon as we could. My advice to anyone would be to sell up, get rid of everything. Houses are a millstone and a money pit. I’ve changed this opinion over the years, through experience.

Missing Friends and Family While Travelling Permanently

We honestly don’t miss people much.

We have a few friends around the world that we make a point of visiting from time to time and others that we bump into on the road intermittently.

We find that old friends and family can’t adjust to a life shift like this and fall by the wayside, you make new ones with more similar outlooks.

These days, with Skype or Zoom, it’s super easy to stay in touch and talk face to face if you want to.

Who Makes Up Our Travelling Family?

family time traveling luxury

Our travelling family members are Alyson, Chef, D, and Boo.

We have never used real names in public other than mine, because I’m the author of several books, mine is out there.

Alyson, the mum, is in her 50s now, Chef is in his 40s.

Alyson was a chief medical scientist before becoming a travel blogger.

Chef is a fully qualified Chef, he was an executive chef before leaving to travel.

The day our travelling family walked out the door, D and Boo were 6 and 8 years old, they grew up on the road.

We returned to our bricks and mortar when they were older teens, around 14 and 15 years old.

What was to be a temporary pause turned into the lockdown years.

The kids are still travelling with us now as older teens and young adults in 2024. Our most recent trips were to Jordan, Thailand, Bali and the UK in 2023 and in 2024 to Japan and Sydney. So far!

During our years travelling full-time, we visited around 50 countries, we don’t count countries and our aim isn’t to visit every country, we just spend time in the ones we like best.

We were not a particularly wealthy family, neither were we poor.

I had zero skills in travel blogging, but I’ve educated myself along the way and now Chef and the kids help out with this travel website and a few others.

The kids, when we were unable to travel because of lockdown, were sitting exams, keeping busy with volunteer work and part-time jobs, and building their own online income streams.

They’re very happy that we are able to travel again.

Travelling Families and The Pandemic

travelling family traveling in Romania
Happy times travelling as a family in Romania. Life on the road can look pretty normal.

By total chance, we were caught at our bricks and mortar when borders closed in 2020.

Today we’re able to travel again, part-time.

In the last few years, our lives had started to look different, we were splitting up to travel more and our trips had become a few months long, from a home base, rather than full-time as a whole family.

This will be our future travel model. Splitting up allows us to visit destinations that are most interesting to particular family members.

For instance, D and I went to Bhutan, Chef took off blue-water scuba diving with minke whales, Boo got a domestic trip that interested him.

It’s a good way to travel while maintaining pets and a garden.

Other travelling families were on the road when the pandemic hit. I know travel families riding this out in many countries, but I don’t know any who “went home” because of that current situation.

I know of quite a few who started long trips after the lockdown began. Travel is different today, but it is still happening.

Please could you save this to Pinterest? We want people to share this know-how.

Full Time Travel Family how

We hope this goes some way towards explaining how we do and did what we do.

If you have any questions on this full-time family travel lifestyle, please put them in the comments below.

We have a free Facebook support and advice group for families aspiring to change their lives or to travel as we have. You will receive an invitation when you sign up to follow our website.

What posts do I want you to read? What are my favourites? Well, I love destinations that are steeped in culture, so read about Bhutan. D and I went solo on that one. Another one I love is our Manta Ray Snorkelling one, because my son wrote it when he was maybe 13. And of course, Everest Base Camp. That was a 3-week trek and the kids got there at, I think 11 and 13. Want to know where we used to live in Australia, Port Douglas, take a look. You’ll be mystified as to why we left. Of course, you must see our village in Romania too, it’s called Breb and it’s pure magic.

From Full Time Travelling Family to Part Time Travelling Family

traveling family in US
Our travelling family visiting the US, in the early days. We’ve been serveral times, east and west coast, Canada to The Keys, and of course, Disney.

2024 won’t see us return to full-time family travel, instead, we’ll be taking extended trips from our new home base in Australia.(Sign up to follow this new website if homestead life is your thing.)

Southeast Asia and Asia are our favourite destinations, there will be a lot more Asia, but maybe this year we’ll see more of Africa.

We will split up and take trips in 2s and 3s because either somebody has to stay home to take care of the animals and pets, or we’ll need to get house sitters.

We still have the financial freedom and work freedom (working online means we get paid as we travel) to travel at least part-time, but now we’re grounded, with roots in ground we own.

Life is good, we own land and pets. We enjoy country life, but travel is so important to us that we will never stop.

We’re looking forward to sharing our part-time travelling family adventures with you here!

Our kids are grown now, they’re not minors, they’re older teens and family travel looks a whole lot different with teenagers! Visit our post on travel with teens.

The old quote is true, a family that travels together stays together.

There are many more family travellers out there, long-term, full-time, extended and permanent and we all travel, work, parent, and educate in different ways, this is our way and we hope you find yours. We have hundreds of blog posts on this website that will tell you everything you need to know. Scroll back up and take a look at the links or use the search box on our website, it’s up top. Thanks for reading.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

42 thoughts on “We are a Full-Time Travel Family. How?”

  1. Such great info! We’re hoping to hit the road for a few months/weeks at a time starting in a year or two (kiddo will be age 7) and I’m starting to think through where we’ll want to go, logistics of finding an expat community and playmates for the little guy, etc. Would love any resources, including facebook groups to connect with other families!

    • The big hubs like Chiang Mai and Hoi An are where you’ll find the travelling families Erin. It wasn’t really something we did much, we were too busy travelling to need other people. But sometimes if we stopped somewhere for a month+ it was long enough to form connections. Good luck with your trip! A lot of FB groups are a bit toxic, so tread with caution.

  2. Your blog and services have exceeded my expectations, leaving me quite impressed. I have one of the most reliable restaurant suppliers in the UAE. A to Z World is supporting the dreams of full-time traveling families with our exceptional hospitality supplies, available in Dubai and beyond. Let us help you make your travel dreams a reality.

  3. My Husband and I have been traveling together for the past 10 years and when our son & daughter were born (3 years and 5mo) we never stopped!!

    Wow, I’ve never even stopped to search the web for other “traveling family’s” but I’m so glad I did. I love our nomadic lifestyle even though it is hard work.. especially with a toddler and infant.

    Just spent 6 weeks in the UK, now in the Caribbean, then Chicago, the Mediterranean, and then west coast of the USA for the prime camping season.

    I would LOVE to visit SE Asia, hope to do so soon. Thanks for all the info; I’m very excited to read more about your family’s travels.

    I’ve been toying w the idea of homeschooling too. I always wanted to do a travel blog but seems like a lot of work which I’m just not ready for yet. Maybe when the kids are older.

    Are you and your family multi lingual?
    What portable Wi-Fi do you think is best?
    Do you meet a lot of other traveling families?
    Thank you for such informative and interesting content.

    • How cool! Pleased to meet you. We usually meet a lot of other travelling families in the big hubs, like Chiang Mai or Hoi An, otherwise, no, not really, too busy! You’ll find them hanging out in places like that for months. Bulgaria is popular now too because it’s so cheap. We’re not multi- lingual no, we’re not very into learning languages, but we pick up some. I know quite a bit of Romanian after living there, it was one of the few places where there is a language barrier. I did French and German and Latin in school and remember a bit, none of those have been useful. We buy local SIM cards for wifi. The travel blog is my income and my hobby, yes, it’s a huge amount of work and know-how, but I still love it. We just arrived in Australia (home base) from the UK and Jordan.

  4. Any advice for full time travel with large families? We have 6 children.

    • Honestly – no. I have never seen family rooms for families that big, 3 children, yes, sometimes. I can only say – have plenty of money and know each child’s likes and dislikes and cater to them. Don’t force anything. And good luck!

  5. This is INCREDIBLE. Very resourceful, indeed. Good job

  6. Traveling with family, especially with kids is fun reloaded… Thank you for sharing your valuable experiences…

  7. One thing that always pops up in conversation with my wife and I is security (staying safe). Is it just a case of researching the best practices for places or do you just avoid when you don’t think it will be a safe place? I’ve read of many dangers and scams in Italy for example? Do you have any practices you follow or have developed over time?
    Also, like so many have said, brilliant blog and info. Loving it 😍

    • Hi Kerri, we’ve never had any problems as you describe that were significant. We may have paid a bit more than we should from time to time, but most scams are easy to avoid if you have a few smarts and do your best not to appear like a gullible tourist. We fell for one in Vietnam for instance. We got chatting to a guy on the street and he let us hold a thing and take a picture. Then he asked for money. We said no, too easy. I know of a family who paid $100 for a photo on a camel in Egypt because they didn’t ask the price before getting on – totally their own fault and they laughed about it. Security in terms of theft, we had a bag stolen in Australia, an attempted robbery on a sleeper train in India, our theft-proof bag stopped them getting in, and a pickpocket incident in Malaysia, plus a T shirt stolen in a hostel there. That’s it, I believe, in a lifetime of travel. I’ve been to Italy many times and wouldn’t consider any of Europe even slightly risky. Hope that helps. If you’re scared to go out the door, you’ll have a poor quality life, there’s really very little to fear.

  8. You have a very informative blog, thank you for your efforts and sharing the knowledge

  9. The flight details changing facility provided by United Airlines are very easy and understandable. If you’re willing to change your flights then you need to change them within 24 hours of booking the flight so that you do not have to face any additional charges. But if you in case fail to change it within 24 hours of time then you might have to pay some additional charges as per the policy. The services provided are nice

  10. This is an amazing post! Thank you so much for making it! I have been thinking about traveling with my family full time, but so I could plan, when do you believe is the best time to start? At what age should the kids be when starting? My wife and I have a 4 and 2 year old and we have another baby on the way on several months. I was thinking around when the kids are around 7 or so but I don’t have an idea at this point. Thanks again for the awesome post!

  11. Really great informative post. I love how you have gone so far as to fund your family lifestyle by making modest sums through your blog. It is truly inspiring

  12. Your family is such an inspiration! I just found your blog and am living vicariously through your posts. I was lucky enough to travel extensively as a child and you’re right- travel is the best teacher. While I homeschool my kids, we don’t do much traveling. One day I hope!

    • Hi Julie, and thanks. Unfortunately, it’s one-day for us now too. We can’t leave the country. Maybe not even this year. I’m very glad that we did all we did when we did because kids don’t stay kids forever. The clock is ticking for me too. I’m pushing 55, and it takes its toll. Best of luck!

  13. Great piece. The chance to travel full time is essentially why I started blogging.

    We aren’t full time but you guys are the inspiration for us to keep pushing and expanding our horizons!

    • Hi David. Well, we’re not full-time. We’re not even at-all currently. We couldn’t afford it right now even if the borders were open. But it will come back, one day. So don’t beat yourself up if it’s not working right now. I’m on about 30% of my normal income. Just waiting it out.

  14. Hi, I think your blogs are great. We’re an aspiring travel family.
    Can you please sign me up to your Facebook please

  15. This is so much inspiring guys. I really enjoyed this blog. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  16. Your blog is fantastic, I read it with enjoyment. When are you planning to write about South Africa and the wildlife of South Africa?

  17. I love your blog, plus all the great resources on how to be a blogger. We want to visit Egypt (we’re from Australia). My concern is the safety aspect, terrorism seems to dominate the news lately. What are your thoughts about safety in Egypt? We’re planning on getting a small group tour to see the main tourist sites. Thanks

    • Hi,
      Unfortunately, the news loves doom and gloom. We’ve been and besides taking normal
      precautions it wasn’t any more or less dangerous than any other place. If you’re
      taking a small group it will be even easier. Enjoy your trip.

      • Thanks, James, for your reply. I’ve also seen Alert Warnings on U.S. and U.K. government consular sites, so I’ve also been taking that into consideration. When did you go to Egypt? We are thinking of going in late November or early December this year. Thanks.

        • Good Morning,
          Yes both countries have a few warnings up. I don’t follow the US one much though. The UK foreign
          office does state that ( at time of writing) the whole of the Nile Valley is fine to travel to. Western desert and parts of Sinai are advised against but personally all the history worth seeing is in the Nile Valley. Just make sure that any travel insurance covers you. Depending on where you’re from and what insurer that is the
          biggest issue. We travelled early to mid 2017. This was just after the attacks on the Coptic
          Church and we felt safe enough. After the Paris attacks no governments said to avoid France
          but just use caution and do your research well. Enjoy.

  18. I wish we could travel like you. I wish we could do it, but I am the mum who just reads and dreams. Because there are a lot of reasons why we can’t travell full time. We can’ t even take vacations anymore. But I still dream about it. We are in Romania, I wish we could at least see our own country, we live sort of at the opposite of Maramureș, and have never even been there. I just wonder how diferent people and their lifes are…

    • I hear you Ana. I hear you and I feel you. The world is so totally messy, we all need to step back in time.

  19. Love this! My family and I also travel fulltime in our RV (kids are 2 and 4). We absolutely love this lifestyle and seeing other families enjoying the journey as much as we do!

    • Oooh, I’d love an RV. Europe or Asia, it looks so free and fun. I don’t think the kids would be too happy with not having wifi though. Maybe they’ll just have to suck it up. Keep on enjoying!

  20. You have been an incredible source of inspiration to us as we figure out how to fund our full-time travel and work less while traveling.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and the family too.

  21. I actually laughed-out-loud at “we honestly don’t miss people much” because we often feel the same way. Our family is more of the slow-travel sort, and while we don’t aspire to be constantly traveling like you guys, there are some great tips here for my family of semi-frequent travelers.

    • I think I could actually say that we don’t miss people at all. That doesn’t mean we don’t love a few friends and family, just, we don’t. I don’t even know what that feels like.

  22. A really great informative post. I love how you have gone from making modest amounts through your blogs to now making enough to fund your families lifestyle. It is truly inspiring.
    Keep doing what you do, so that we can continue to follow and learn from you, as we muddle our way through a journey of our own!

    • Best of luck to you. I just have this weird brain that’s like a dog with a bone and totally obsessed by data, I was determined to make it work. I even wake up at 1am and start work sometimes. This brain won’t rest.


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