The future of family travel includes a popular trend of leaving normal life behind to pursue full-time family travel. Every day, more families are selling their houses and most of their possessions to hit the road with their kids. I believe one of the driving forces behind parents uprooting their home-based family life to pursue travel with such a passion is the desire to bond more deeply with their kids.
As parents of four young kids, my husband and I always hear how fast the time will go. Before we know it, we hear, the kids will be grown and out of the house. Families that travel full-time are hearing this and, in turn, changing their lives so they can be with their kids 24/7 and basically live their retirements now with their kids.
This trend also looks to buck the system and prove that you don’t have to take just one extravagant trip a year that could cost your family $5,000-10,000, but instead you can set a budget that allows you to travel all the time, visiting cities, national parks, beaches and state parks, all at very reasonable prices; and find plenty of free activities too. But – and this is important – full-time travel isn’t a full-time vacation; it is a lifestyle. A lifestyle that can turn travel into a family bonding experience each and every day.
That bonding comes from down days when you sleep in, have breakfast at the picnic table, lounge on the beach, or enjoy a moment wherever you may be as a family. No rush of parents having to run off to work or kids having to get to school. Instead you enjoy that precious family time on a daily basis. The icing on the cake is that you are experiencing all of this in a new location each week!
Then there are other days that are filled with sightseeing, hiking, exploring, biking and visiting attractions. There is no better way to bond as a family then through experiencing new things together and seeing the awe in each other’s faces. Climbing a mountain, going snorkeling for the first time and spotting a bear as you drive through Yellowstone National Park are all experiences that are made better when done as a family unit.
Full-time travel also lets you take your time and slow travel. You don’t have to rush from landmark to landmark, but instead could spend a whole day, week or month in one location and truly take in the experience. Plus you can visit in the off-season, so you get a chance to experience everything without all of the crowds.
Families are traveling via RV, on bikes, in tents, through Airbnb, home exchanges and house-sitting. They are also doing this through the US and around the world. Once you go down this path, there really is no limit to where you can go. It is more a matter of figuring out when you will go.
Full-time family travel isn’t all rainbows and sunshine! It definitely has many challenges. As parents we are still in charge of educating, parenting and feeding our kids. Granted educating is easier when your kids are experiencing so much. What could be better than smelling, hearing, feeling and touching what you’re learning? Parenting, however, can become more complicated, since you are together all the time. There is no break and there is no teacher or babysitter to help. It is just you as parents.
Plus there are the challenges of planning where you are going to go and stay, and also figuring out how you are going to work from the road, all while wanting to find the balance between exploring new locations and not being stuck working 80 hours a week.
What we have found is once you take the leap and start your full-time family travel adventure, you figure out the rest and see how many doors open for you. It really is amazing what is out there once you leave the picket fence behind. There’s a whole world of possibilities that aren’t all about the 9-to-5 and school schedule!
Back in May 2014, my husband and I hit the road with our four kids and two dogs in a 39-foot Class A motorhome. We have been on the road ever since. It has been amazing how much each of us has grown and how far our comfort zones have been stretched. We never realized the magic that existed in full-time family travel and how much more we would get out of it besides just seeing our amazing world as a family. I will be the first person to tell you this isn’t an easy path to follow, but it is so worth it. Looking at travel as not just a vacation, but instead as a lifestyle, is a truly amazing and eyeopening experience and one we will never regret.
As we look to the future of family travel, we will see more and more families reveling in these opportunities to travel longer and slower with their families and focus on their family bonds, not just the destination. Are you ready to give it a try?
Bryanna Royal, her husband, four kids and two dogs sold everything, bought an RV and have been traveling full-time around the US since May 2014. They write about deepening your family bond through travel, things to do with kids at the destinations they visit and what life is like on the road at www.crazyfamilyadventure.com. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
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