How do Kids cope with traveling round Aus

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:04
ThreadID: 77111 Views:2674 Replies:12 FollowUps:9
This Thread has been Archived
Hi All

We are in the process of planning our long awaited trip with 2 kids in tow! Firstly I would like to hear from other families who have done or doing the trip and how the kids found things, i.e did they settle into it easy or just moaned the whole trip!! I have a 10 year old and 4 year old (both boys).

My next question is camper trailer or van?

My husband is a solid plasterer and would be looking at working on our way round, has anyone found that it is easy to get work as this would hinder things somewhat if he or I couldn't fund our way round!

And lastly I'm unsure if we should sell the house or not, I am concerned that we may not be able to get back on the ladder at a later date......but at the moment I am so fed up with paying for a mortgage and worrying about things I don't think I care, but it would be nice to get other people views....

I have looked at the Smith family blog and Matthew and Caroline which have made me even more determined!

Thank you in advance Karen

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:28

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:28
Have you thought of renting the house out? I know of others who work to fund their travels, so it can be done, but I can't offer anything more detailed than that.

As for the kids, well I'm sure if they were having fun and you stopped every so often then they should be ok. Most kids love camping but long drives can be tiresome so stop often, don't rush.

CT or van? It depends where you will be going and what your budget is. Vans are far more expensive. A good solid s/hand off road CT can be had for under $10 000. They offer more interior space for longer stays but take longer to set up for o/nighters.

Barnesy

AnswerID: 410029

Reply By: Wizard1 - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:41

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:41
Well that certainly is a "how long is a piece of string question....

It all depends on the children, their exposuer to camping and travel so far

The qualities of the parents.

Every family and their children are different so how can someone else comment on their experiences when they aren't your family with your life expereinces and dynamic.

Just get out there and find out for yourself......
AnswerID: 410031

Reply By: new boy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:05

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:05
Hi Karen
My Daughter is currently doing it with 3 boy,s a husband 5 and 3 yrs old and loving it. The boy,s have learnt so much from fishing and see all sorts of wild life they have been to musuems and sight seeing .There set up is an old full van 24 ft with room of the boy,s to have a sort of bedroom to play in .Apart from the long haul across the Nullabor the boy,s have travel very well when free camping (done to save money) they have met lots of simalar aged kids .They put in some hard yards in Newman WA to finance up to now but work will have to come soon which I beleive is not hard.
Get out there and do it IMHO keep the house you need to A. have a base to return to B. stay in the rising market.
Good Luck
AnswerID: 410037

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:33

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:33
Hi Thanks for that, reading your post makes me want to get out there now!! How long has your daughter been on the road for? Karen
0
FollowupID: 679967

Follow Up By: new boy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:44

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:44
Karen
They left Geraldton May last year spent July to end November in Newman .True travel started November Kalgoorlie Nullabor, Eyre Pen, Adelaide GOR and as at yesterday were in Geelong. They intend to go north to the warm and find work and then who knows there main plan is to be away about 2/3 yrs .My Daughter is a teacher and was always keen to do the trip before Jai started school but that has changed I guess she might do some correspondence teaching or has realised the boy,s are leaning more on the road.They are home for a week in April will know more.
0
FollowupID: 679969

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:17

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:17
How exciting for them all, please keep me posted.... Karen
0
FollowupID: 679971

Reply By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft,NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:08

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:08
I am going to say similar to the other two replies above and throw in some more questions for you to answer!

Don't sell the house. Do something else, rent to friends, family, or something but don't sell up.

As long as you guys are prepared to work at anything there will be work for you. Don't always count on just getting your specialised field of work. Money is money, work any way you can to pay the bills while you are away.

Have you considered a shorter trip first to see how things go? Maybe do a month to the cape, or explore around Alice and Uluru for a month? Then you will see how everyone copes but you have the safety net of returning home easily.

Where are you based at the moment? That may determine where you choose for a test trip. IE QLD = cape york NSW Cape or inland west NSW. WA = Kimberley etc

We have 3 kids. Two boys 11 and 8 and a girl 3. My work is not the sort of work that I can easily get in and out of so I have to deal with month or six week long holidays every once in a while. That way we are not totally uprooting. Yes we don't get to do it all in one go, but we have the safety net of being able to come home after, or during if needed, our trip.

We are off to the Kimberley for 6 weeks this year and have worked out where we plan to go and how far each day etc. We average 500 km a day between Sydney and Kununurra. More than that on a day in day out basis and the kids get ratty. Less than that and we don't make it to the Kimberley before we need to turn around and come back! We travel for 7 days then stop for 4. Then we do short hops between Kununurra and Broome, then 8 days back.

During each day we try and find somewhere to stop so the kids can run around, be it a park, play things or even just a deserted field. They need to let off some steam around morning tea and lunch. Some times we can manage to skip afternoon tea, which means they want a run when we get to a place. The kids will cope with anything you throw at them, as long as they get their time to let off some steam and you don't do the same thing every day (just sit in the car and drive).

How are you going to do schooling for the 10 y/o? My cousins toured around oz for 12 months when they were in Primary School and are richer for the experience but they had disciplined parents who did school work with them every day.

I have no advice as to caravan or camper. We do caravan park cabins on the way to and from the Kimberley and camp in tents between Kununurra and Broome. Totally different situation for a 12 month stint.

I would recommend a test trip though, month to six weeks, unless you already know everyone is cool with "camping".

sdr00y

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 410038

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:50

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:50
Hi

We are based in South QLD at the moment so would do long distance edu and then when we find work stay in that place for a while and hopefully put my son into school.

I am thinking about maybe selling and buying a 2 bed unit so at least we have a base and are still on the market, but then we would need the funds from the house to buy a van!!.....tough call!

Does anyone have a rough weekly cost, I know it depends on how far you travel etc, obviously food will roughly be the same as what I spend now and I can gauge the parks costs, has anyone found an unexpected cost for instance??

We would only travel say 200 - 300ks at a time as we have found about 250ks they get very bored....

Thanks to everyone for their replies..

One more thing if we left after Christmas would we be better to head south and then up the middle or north and across???

Thanks again...great site!
0
FollowupID: 679970

Follow Up By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft,NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 15:09

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 15:09
Go south after Christmas. North is best travelled in the dry season which is late May to early September.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 679988

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:26

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:26
I can remember back to 1952 when my Parents went to Sydney from Athelstone, SA I was only 9 and those great memories are still with me, they will enjoy the adventure, and learn more than ever can be taught in a school.
As another member suggested renting the house ...he must be joking, not after some of the stuff I have seen on TV , a close relation YES, an unknown NO, not unless you want to get home to find it trashed.

.
still going strong with 836,179 K's

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 410041

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:20

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:20
That is what I want for my boys, I was saying to my son today that this will be something that he will remember for years to come, thank you.
0
FollowupID: 679972

Reply By: downtools - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:37

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:37
Hi Karen,
Go for it.
We had 2 fantastic years travelleing around oz with our 5 & 7 year olds (at the time)!
We sold our house, we didn't think we would be back in Sydney, invested the money and bought a better house when we got back.
I'm a plumber and could have picked up work nearly everywhere we went.
Worked 4 moths in Cairns, 2 months in Alice and the rest of the time was swimming, diving, hunting , fishing and just hanging out around the beaches, deserts etc.
We took a 21' van I fitted with extra water, shower, toilet etc for extended stays away from van parks and would leave the van for trips like the cape, kimberleys etc.
My wife is a teacher so the kids did "school of the air" by corespondance and loved it.
Were looking forward to doing it again asap.
2 years is no where long enough but go anyway and for as long as you can.
Cheers Nifty

AnswerID: 410045

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:01

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:01
2 years sounds great, how do you get back into it after such a long time being carefree....

How old are you kids now, do you think they missed out on anything whilst you were on the road?

We feel like we won't be back in QLD, hence the reason for selling the house, why do you think you went back when you thought you wouldn't...if that makes sense!!

Any tips on which direction to head first??

Thanks Karen
0
FollowupID: 679978

Reply By: downtools - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:41

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:41
Hi Karen,
Go for it.
We had 2 fantastic years travelleing around oz with our 5 & 7 year olds (at the time)!
We sold our house, we didn't think we would be back in Sydney, invested the money and bought a better house when we got back.
I'm a plumber and could have picked up work nearly everywhere we went.
Worked 4 moths in Cairns, 2 months in Alice and the rest of the time was swimming, diving, hunting , fishing and just hanging out around the beaches, deserts etc.
We took a 21' van I fitted with extra water, shower, toilet etc for extended stays away from van parks and would leave the van for trips like the cape, kimberleys etc.
My wife is a teacher so the kids did "school of the air" by corespondance and loved it.
Were looking forward to doing it again asap.
2 years is no where near long enough but go anyway and for as long as you can.
Cheers Nifty

AnswerID: 410047

Reply By: MandJ - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:15

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:15
Karen

My wife and I went on a 8 week camping trip to NT with our three children, at the time ages from 2 to 10 (boy oldest and 2 girls), we went on our second 8 week trip three years later to the Kimberley with the three children (5 to 13) and both times we had an absolute ball together and would recommend it to anyone. We were lucky and had a Patrol with back rear seats, so we had one sit in the back rear seat and the other two in the rear seats, this way they had their own space and we did not have the 'mum he is touching me' scenario. We made it interesting as we could, with games music etc, they had individual cd players and gameboys but we did not have dvd player. Great family bonding, would highly recommend it and the kids love being the only ones at school who have been to these places.

Good luck and enjoy

Murray and Jody
AnswerID: 410060

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:26

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:26
Thanks Guys, I was concerned that we were kidding ourselves and it would always be a dream, but with the replies so far everyone had or is still having a ball, I believe life is what you make it and you never know what is round the corner I don't want to sit back when I'm retired and say what have we done with our lives other than pay the bloody mortgage!!

Thanks heaps guys x
0
FollowupID: 679980

Reply By: yakodi - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:57

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:57
Gday Karen, the decision to hit the road doesn't really need a great deal of preparation. Just go, you will not regret one moment of the trip and will have the memories that will last a lifetime. We spend 4 yrs doing what you are planning. We left with a 15 month old who was 5 when we finished our long term travels, had also one kid on the road, who basically arrived home to the caravan only to travel half way across Australia so that we could start our new jobs.

We started with a offroad camper - after 15 months moved into an semi-offroad caravan with bunks etc. Keep in mind the size of you caravan if you head down that road - 18-20ft will allow you to fit into most van parks without any issues.

Contact your children's school and see whether they will be supportive of your travel ideas, or contact school of the air, maybe home school, but they kids will not get left behind, nor will they be lonely or need social interaction.

Sell or rent the house- we met many families on the road, some sold up looking for a change, others went back home - but you know your situation. There was work in all corners of the country especially remote areas. If your willing to be a little flexible you will always find the funds to feed the kids and pay the bills, you can always move on.

Enjoy the time, it does get addictive. Cheers
And free camp whenever you can. Camps "1,2,3,4,or 5" will save you a fortune.
AnswerID: 410073

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 16:19

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 16:19
4 years - that's a trip!....:)
0
FollowupID: 679994

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 17:07

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 17:07
Hi Karen

As you have reservations about how they will take to it, don't make the final decision without first taking a trial trip of a few weeks or more. It would be torture for you all if they don't settle in to the life. As a child, I'm sure i would have loved it, but my children were torture just to take shopping, and a trip of a few hours 'home' to our parents for the weekend was terrible. We didn't travel until they were old enough to leave behind. Even now, they run when i mention my travel photos.

As from the replies you have so far, many families are travelling happily.

If you have no great historic ties to your home, i suggest selling it and purchasing a 'rental' at a lesser value - but in an area where you could cope with living if things went sour. I would not rent my own home, unless i intended to 'do it up and sell it' on return. Never rely on rent to cover your mortgage.

Motherhen
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 410085

Reply By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 07:57

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 07:57
True story....friends sold their house ($40,000) so about 30 years ago bought a van, packed up the 2 kids and toured around oz for a couple of years. In northern NSW they did a bit of fossiking and found an interesting looking rock. The kids kept it as a momento and it went along with them for the rest of the ride. The trip came to an end and the kids took the rock to school for a show and tell where the teacher advised them to get the rock checked out. It turned out to be a star sapphire they sold for $45,000. My mate said the kids were chucking it around all over the place for most of the trip cause it didn't look anything like a gemstone, just a really unusual rock.
Anyway, have a great trip. You never know what is around the corner. Many people plan for a future which never happens.
Mike
AnswerID: 410150

Reply By: BundyLuva76 - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:43

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:43
Hi Karen,
We are currently travelling around Aust with two boys, now aged 10 & 8 who are schooled thruough the Distance Education Centre in Melbourne. Not once have we heard from either of the boys "Are we there yet?" and we are genuinely proud of how well they have travelled and enjoyed so many diverse experiences that they otherwise wouldn't have had. We have been travelling for 18 months and dont regret one moment of selling everything up and heading off into the unknown. We travel in an off road Camper trailer and have never had the urge to upgrade.
I agree that if you are willing to do any work then you will have no trouble finding work along the way.
If you would like to contact me with any other questions or general chat about travelling feel free to email me at ourgreatescape@live.com
Good luck with all of your organising and just GO FOR IT : )
Simone
AnswerID: 410177

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)