Tag Archives: travel with children

To travel with kids, or to travel as a family, can for some seem like the ultimate challenge. To others, like ourselves, it’s just the greatest of opportunity for learning and growing together.Traveling together for a long time gives you the opportunity to get to know your family members and to see who they really are. In many families today, you don’t know your family members very well. You spend so much time away from each other, at work, school, at different activities and when you get home, you sit in front of the computer or the TV. And then, what’s left? How much time do you have every day to connect to and communicate with your spouse and your kids?

TLong term travel with kids is so worthwhile...

Long term travel with kids is so worthwhile...

Sometimes, when things doesn’t go the way I expect, or want and hope for them to go and I start blaming myself for not having done this or that in the right way (I know in theory, this is not the best of things to do, but I’m not perfect, yet:lol:) I often end up thinking. “at least I won’t regret not having spent enough time with my kids”. My family has had a big priority in my life and a big part of our time together we have spent on the road.

When we talk to people about this, we’ve realized that many are concerned that spending a lot of time with their family would make them crazy. Maybe they’d even come back ready for a divorce?

What we’ve found in reality though, it’s usually the opposite. When you go on an extended journey, you leave most of the different sources of everyday stress at home. You get rid of the things that stand between yourself and the other members of your family: all the stuff, the activities, the obligations. What you have left is just yourselves and your adventure. Now you have the time to see who this person you sometimes meet in the hallway on your way out really is.

When you travel, you will be away together in new unknown places and situations. You’ll create new circumstances that can help you to break old negative patterns and habits that are connected to your life at home. You will experience loads of interesting things together. You will get plenty of opportunities to practice cooperating with each other since problem solving is a natural gift of every long term trip:lol:.

And sometimes, the road isn’t just easy to walk on and the sun isn’t shining and things aren’t very fun, but this will be part of your journey together and oftentimes, the “worst” situations are the one’s that’ll create your warmest memories.

Doing some long term travel with kids and spouse is just so different to being at home and if you haven’t done it, it can be really difficult to imagine what a “boost” for your family life it really can be.

So, what’s your family life like? How would you like it to be? Imagine yourself 20 years from now. What kind of memories would you want to share with your wife/husband and your children?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

There always seem to be something stopping us from going on that long term journey. For some of the families we meet, the reason is that their children are too young. “It will be better when the kids are older and can manage more by themselves and will be old enough to enjoy the experience”. Ironically though, for the next family we encounter the reason can be quite the opposite, that the kids are too old. “They have their school work and their friends which they don’t want to leave”.

Writing in the olive tree in Spain

Writing in the olive tree in Spain

For us personally, school has never been an issue since we’ve been homeschooling. Well, that is not perfectly true. At the time of our first long term journey, our oldest daughter, Viktoria, was actually attending school and it was a bit of an issue for her to leave her friends there.

For us the parents, it was a surprise to be confronted with what power the idea of schooling has over our society. When we told the teacher that we were taking Viktoria out of school to go on a 6 month journey, we were told that we needed his as well as the school boards permission! Realizing that the school authorities could claim to overrule our decision was chocking to us. How ignorant we were…

Anyway, what was more interesting for us during that first long term journey, was the possibility we got to compare class learning to real life learning. Like most people we were convinced that school was something that everyone had to go through in order to learn anything. We had never even really questioned the fact that learning was something that had to be done in a school setting, more or less.

That first long term journey changed it all for us. Just to witness all the fantastic learning that happened was an awakening for us. All the different languages, cultures, climate, nature, wildlife, distances, currencies, exchange rates, social behaviors and lots of other things. And all the different people we met and their varying customs we experienced was definitely a crash course in socialization.

Who says you have to be sitting in a room on a chair to study? The options are endless, reading in a pool in Fiji for instance.

Who says you have to be sitting in a room on a chair to study? The options are endless, reading in a pool in Fiji for instance.

The biggest insight for us though, was when we got back home and Viktoria returned to her school. We then realized, that while Viktoria and our whole family had been out exploring and learning in the world, her classmates had spent all their time in the same class room. That’s when it became clear to us how limited the school world can be and that was when we started our search for something else.

We are not saying that homeschooling, our choice, is the right way for everybody. But we do believe that school by no means should be an obstacle for taking your children for a long term journey and exploring the world. The question is not if you dare to take them on this adventure but rather if you dare not to.

To find out more read our Children and School and School Ideas page.

Taking Viktoria out of school at that time impacted our lives and our whole way of living. We’re very glad we did it and grateful for having had the opportunity to do it. To travel as a family is a fantastic way of connecting and of learning and we just wish and hope more families could experience this.

So, if you dream about traveling with your family – just go for it.:grin:

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Our friends from “Have Kids – Will Travel”, the Bartlett family, are inviting other families to join them for a 7 day family cruise in the Caribbean in January.
The Norwegian Jewel
Sounds absolutely fantastic, doesn’t it? Just imagine taking some time off to join them and lots of other families and having the time to just relax, be together as a family and enjoy the sun, swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear waters, the company of other families, new adventures and create lots of happy memories together!

To us, family and travel is just the perfect combination. When you travel, you just let go of ell the everyday obligations and concerns and experience so many new things: new situations, new places, new people. You see and do things together, experiences that you will have in common and that will make you feel connected.

To travel as a family is just a fantastic way to strengthen your family bonds. And it’s fun! And you all learn so much!

Since the Bartlett’s are experts on inexpensive travel, they have managed to get a very good deal for this cruise. And, as they suggest themselves, why not take the opportunity to give your family the most fantastic Christmas gift (yes, we know, it’s a bit early to think about this now, but you may need some planning) instead of all the other stuff that probably doesn’t last that long anyway.

Why not give yourselves the ultimate holiday gift this year, a cruise in a fantastic location together with your whole family!

We’d sure love to be there ourselves and are looking into it at the moment.

Read more about this opportunity here: www.havekids-willtravel.com/cruise.aspx

As you can see from the invitation there will be some “Have Kids-Will Travel” seminars where you can learn more travel secrets.

And since many of the “Have Kids-Will Travel” readers and the Bartlett family themselves are homeschoolers we believe that this will be a great opportunity if you are interested in learning more on that subject as well.

Maybe this could even be the perfect opportunity to start you off in that new, independent, traveling lifestyle?

Have Kids Will Travel BookSo many people we meet want to travel the world with their family and so many just don’t take this desire seriously because they think it would be too costly. A few years ago, we came across this very interesting book called “Have Kids – Will Travel”. It’s written by Dale and Michelle Bartlett, the parents in a family of six who have traveled the world extensively for many years.

How can a family with four children just travel around in the world several times a year, staying in hotels, renting cars, visiting interesting sites and just have a great time without being multi millionaires, you may wonder.

Well, I guess you could say that they have used a variety of very simple and conscious ways of traveling. They have thoroughly researched ways to travel inexpensively and have then implemented these ideas and refined them through their own traveling life.

The family has (so far) mainly focused on shorter trips like days and weeks. Even so many of the ways they have used to lower, and even eliminate, travel costs are of course valid even for extended traveling.

The Bartlett’s have many examples of extremely inexpensive trips they have made. A two and a half week trip to the East coast of the USA (from Utah) for example cost as little as 700 dollar for the entire family! That included airfare, hotels, car rental, food and more!

They have visited Europe several times. Some of these trips have been with both free airfare as well as free accommodation, paying just for their food.

As Dale Bartlett says:

“I believe that with the proper planning and knowing the right travel secrets, any family could travel anywhere in the world for less than it costs to go camping, definitely much less than going to Disneyworld.”

If you’re interested in knowing more about them and to learn about how you too can travel inexpensively, visit their website: www.havekids-willtravel.com where their book also is available. They do ship worldwide.

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We’re having visitors at the moment. It’s our friends from Germany, Gabi, Gunter, and the kids: Esra, Noah and Amy. They have taken some time off from their life in the small gorgeous wine producing village Bubenheim, and are spending 6 months experiencing new things on the road.Family Reichert
Well, maybe you should say “experiencing new things on the beach” because that’s where they spend most of their time. But not laying there under a parasol with a colored drink in their hands though, but photographing. To this family, and particularly to the mother, taking pictures is life. And not just any pictures, but pictures of the ocean and everything related to it.

For this purpose they packed themselves into their camper van and went all the 3 000 km from the South of Germany to almost the furthest North you can get around here: Lofoten, in the northern part of Norway. A fantastic place far, far up by the Norwegian Sea. You absolutely have to check out some of the results from that visit on: www.5reicherts.com

campervan in sunset Norwaycampervan in Norway

Having spent a couple of months up there, they are now on the way down south again, to go to France and take the Dover-Calais ferry over to England. The plan is then to drive towards the north again, to some far away located Island in Scotland. To find more beautiful pictures…
Norway Lofoten
It’s not the first time the family is on the road experiencing the world and creating fantastic photos and memories. They have made an innumerable amount of shorter trips around the European coastline, and also several long term trips in countries like New Zealand and the USA.

How do they do it? How do they get the time and money to just take the kids and go away on these trips? Well, I guess it’s like with everybody else who do similar things, they have a dream. They have a dream about doing more with their life than just the normal school and job race.

They have a dream about living a more vibrant life filled with passion for what they love; ocean, nature, travel, photography and being together as a family. And when you have a strong enough desire to do something, when you are filled with your dream – with why you want do to something, the how always sorts itself out.

Lofoten Norway

If you have a strong desire to travel and to see, do and experience new things, you plan your life accordingly and put your focus on the things that support this desire. You eliminate things in your life that doesn’t support what you want to do and instead put your time and energy on taking steps that lead you towards what you really want.

Maybe we’re getting a bit philosophical here, but if you want some more practical ideas about the how’s, read more on the pages: Job and Career, Children and School, Travel & Money for example.

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We love Network Travel!  We’d also love to see more people use this way of traveling and build relationships around the world. Here’s how Network Travel can work.

We are a homeschooling family. So, homeschooling is one area we know of and that we sometimes seek contacts within when we travel. When we have been traveling to the USA, New Zealand and Australia for example (or around Europe and even in Sweden where we usually live for that sake) we have got in contact with some different home school networks on the internet. We then write about us and tell people we are going to their country (or area). We ask if they would like to have some fellow homeschoolers come to visit or if someone wants help out with a place to stay or maybe just would want to meet for a cup of tea. We usually get quite a lot of people who answer and want to connect in some way. They invite us to come and stay in their house or to camp in their garden or to show us around when we arrive in their area. To help us find contacts in a place we want to go and where we don’t know anyone.

People around the world are usually very open to and interested in meeting with people whom they share a common interest with. We have traveled, and also stayed for free, for months like this, visiting new friends.

We are also open to helping people who contact us in the same way. We have had visitors from all over the world come to stay. Or we have found somewhere for them to stay in another part of Sweden (it’s actually a big country, but almost empty of people). Or we have met and guided them around in our beautiful capital or just connected in some other way.

Just now we are having a young man from Brazil staying for a while. So, even though we’re at home in Sweden at the moment, we haven’t lost contact with the rest of the world.

Our new friend Tilo, visiting from Brazil, meeting our friendly Hedgehog

Our new friend Tilo, visiting from Brazil, meeting our friendly Hedgehog

We have learned so much from him about his country. We’re all very grateful for not having to worry about Cayman crocodiles when we go swimming in our lake, for example. He has made us all very curious about Brazil and we’ve noticed that we have already started looking in to it in different travel books. It may very well be that South America is a place we’ll be going to in a not too distant future:grin:

So, this way of traveling is both to give and to get. When you travel, you get support in different ways. You also give friendship as well as share of yourself and teach people about your part of the world. You can also give in the form of being open to letting people contact you when they are away from their home.

Network Travel makes the world shrink. It helps you feel at home wherever you go and if you don’t go but stay at home, you can be connected to the rest of the world by having people contact you or coming to visit. It also makes you feel safer – you learn that you have friends everywhere!

Want to learn more about how you can use your networks to travel? Go to our Network Travel section.

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People who want to travel with children often have all kinds of concerns. Are the kids too young or too old? Will they be missing out from school? What if they become ill?

For us, traveling as a family has always been a natural thing. Both the long term trips and the shorter ones that we have done during the last 15 years have been made almost exclusively as a family. We have experienced all kinds of situations and adventures together.

The Whitest Beach in the world”  - White Haven, Australia. Stinger suites required part of the year

The Whitest Beach in the world” - White Haven, Australia. Stinger suites required part of the year

We have been driving through Europe from the furthest north (where we live) to the most southern parts (Gibraltar), several times. We have, at times, been living for months and months together in a small trailer (sometimes also together with our cats!).

At other occasions, we have stayed with other families and sometimes we’ve rented luxurious houses, totally different from the ones we have in Sweden. We have traveled around the world. We have scuba dived and hiked mountains.

We have participated and crewed in many different seminars (all of us) as well as done farm work. We have celebrated many birthdays as well as Christmases abroad (grandma has traveled to many different corners of the earth to celebrate with us).

Fiji Beach (of course we had to bring some of these back home)

Fiji Beach (of course we had to bring some of these back home)

New hobbies have been found and started upon while away, (like piano and Warhammer playing). We have started business along the way, as well as played on loads of different beaches. And of course, we have brought tons of seashells, sticks and stones with us home. And sand!

We have never felt limited in any way by how we could travel with children. We haven’t even reflected on other alternatives.

If travel with children is something you want to do – go for it! We promise you, it’ll be an experience you all will remember for the rest of your lives!

Read more about children, travel and school by having a look at the Children and School section.

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