Do you wish you had travelled earlier with your kids?

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:52
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This is a question I would like to ask our retires who are on the road, or have been! A lot of people are negative towards us setting off on a trip of a lifetime and tell us that we should wait until the kids are grown up and it's our time! and we should think of our future etc, etc.,

So I was wondering, if you could have your time again, would you have loved to have travelled this great country with your kids, to let them experience what you have/are and bond as a family or do you think that you made the right choice?

I am happy that I will giving my kids an experience that hopefully they will take with them and cherish for years to come, to me this is more important that money or owing property in later years, but it is a question I would like to ask if you all don't mind.

Thank you
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Reply By: Rob! - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:00

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:00
I think most people with kids just don't have the money or can take the time off work to go on extended trips around Australia.
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:05

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:05
Hi Rob

We aren't loaded by any means, we are gonna have to work to fund our way round, otherwise we can't go, should that stop people from doing what they want, taking gambles in life, to see if there is more then just working 9-5?

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Follow Up By: Rob! - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:14

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:14
I have nothing against people doing this. In fact I think it's a great experience and will greatly benefit the relationship between the parents and the children. I am just stating the reason why most people don't do this.

Many people don't have jobs that they can simply "pick up" along the way. For these people, earning money along the way would mean picking fruit all day at $10 an hour, while their kids spend time in the caravan park. Which is hardly the ideal holiday with kids. Those people may prefer to take shorter holidays spending 100% of the time with their kids instead.

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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:21

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:21
That's a valid point Rob, I wasn't meaning anything by it, it's good to hear people's opinions. I am hoping to stop somewhere for a few months where we find work and then save to fund our next leg of the journey.
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 14:31

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 14:31
dont forget the kids see thing different than us, they are not aware of money requirements to survive, yep we drum it in but it never really hits home until they start working themselfs ............... so in saying that we have found the kids love each new location as it presents it's own challange, we have always placed them in the local schools, even on the aboriginal communitys with only a handful of kids, they meet new freinds and get taken out on trip and gatherings that even we as parents a jelous of, they get home in the evening after school and tell us about the trip to the bush where they caught a goanna and cooked it up, dug for yams, learnt about bush tucker, chased an emu ................
We get home and wonder why our mum n dads did not take us to places like this, and we have to work and the bleedin kids are havin an awsome "working" holiday ...........
My point is it is only what you make of it, yes there will be times when you will wonder why you are doing it, kids will get sick and you dont have family support, you can feel very alone and isolated but it is because you have grown up with it surrounding you and learnt to live like that, trust me you adapt reall quick, people say or ask "how do the kids do it" ?? well a damn sight better than us parents as they just simply go with the flow, if you are un happy then so will they be, if you have fun and so will they ....
Remember there are lots of jobs out remote that offer housing so done be afraid, most just want a good worker, general all rounders are highly sort after and if you can back it with a trade or office skill you are on a winner .....
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Reply By: Member - jlAU (SA) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:01

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:01
Go for it. My biggest regret so far is we were too late (4years) to take the kids on a 6-12 month trip before they got stuck into school years 9,10,11 and 12.
Good luck you wont regret it!
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:14

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:14
Thank you, my oldest son is in year 6 so it'll be a challenge with school work, but I'm going to do Distant Ed so he will keep up with the curriculum.

What age were your kids when you decided it was too late?
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Follow Up By: Member - jlAU (SA) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:43

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:43
ideal for us would have been when the eldest was in year 8 (12yo) and youngest year 4 (9yo) about 3-4 years ago. Once away at boarding school it was too difficult and we are now both full time working.
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Follow Up By: Livin On The Road - Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 at 13:43

Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 at 13:43
Schooling is fairly easy on the road. I can talk to you more about it if you want to email me at
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Reply By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:19

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:19
Why would you not go now if you could! Can think of nothing better than experiencing something like this with your kids. (Aside from all the life skills, experiences and learning that they will get as well)

Answer is simple - go now - AND go later too!!
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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:19

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:19
we are half way through our hols and we have kids, these are "official" hols of 5 weeks but we have been working on the road for 10 years now .....
Our kids are 4, 9, 11 and they had had the best lifes, always out in the bush, as we have actually worked we dont have accomodation problems as almost all remote jobs come with a house and mostly a 3 bedroom house, we have been on average at one job for 18 months ..
We started in Tom Price, went to Cygnet Bay pearl farm, to Cooinda in Kakadu Nat Park, Leeton in NSW, Darwin, Maningrida in Arnhem Land, Bickerton Island in the Gulf of Carpentairia, back to Darwin, Yarralin near Timber Creek, Nyirripi out on the Tanimi and at present at Doomadgee in FNQ.............
Dont know what you are expecting out of it but YES MANY freinds and family will question you, why as they dont understand it as they have not done it, the absolute MAJOR focus is on owning land and/or a house and it is simply stupid, why get in debt to a bank and be locked into work for the rest of you life, finally you can enjoy it and the one thing that makes us all happy... our children .... are all grown up and gone probally dont have much to do with you ... great, you then go and hit the road with the rest of the GRUMPY, RETIRED SENILE old f@rts that spend every hour complaining about the cost of everything, whinge about anything they see and wonder why there kids dont keep in contact, they are not happy as they have left it to late to enjoy it, filthy rich, $80,000 dollar van and $90,000 car, houses in every state getting rental returns and old, tired, sad and grumpy ...... they will never admit they should have done it when younger as they got this far by being stubborn so nuthin is ever going to change em now ..... hahahahaha
Yes i am on holidays with the kids, now hit 7000klms and 3 weeks and we have seen them all, the roads are seething with cars and vans, all swapping fuel prices and food prices and it is actually funny ..... god bless them all ..
One thing, DONT take or pick up any PETS along the way, yes kids will pester you for one but it will severly restrict where you can go, it will blow most good plans ..... and another thing, it is the best way to have a good look at what land is out there to buy and retire on after you have had fun with the kids ...
Just do it
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:35

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:35
At last someone else who thinks paying a mortgage off for 30 years is a waste of life!!! As the TV ad says " that ain't livin Barry" Thank you for your comments, you made me smile :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 15:13

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 15:13
Ho Joe n Mel n Kids, I suspect you are generalising when describing the retired in our community, I don't know where you are meeting all these people but we have travelled fairly extensively ever the Western half of our beautiful country and haven't seemed to run into all these 'Grumpy Old F@rts' as you call them, we have met a lot of lovely 'elderly' people out there who are very friendly and talk of their travels, where they've been etc. I will admit there are some out there but we just smile and go on our way, we don't draw into conversation with them, but a very small minority. :) :) :)

As for travelling with the kids, we did it in small bouts when ours were young, Hubby use to have 6wks annual leave and we would pack up the van and head off taking the kids out of school, it certainly didn't effect them in any way shape or form. You will always have friends and family saying it won't work, that you shouldn't do it, but that is only because they don't have the desire or the same mindset to do it. We are all different in our ways, that's what makes the world go round. Pack up your kids and do what you want to do and don't let others tell you what you should or shouldn't do. Enjoy your trip.

Simba, our much missed baby.

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Follow Up By: Trailerparkscotts - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:12

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:12
I know you were asking retiree's but just thought I would post

Do it now!!

We have been on the road for 2 years. It has been hard at times, but for the most of it has been amazing. We work 3-4 months at a time, we have never been with out a job, (and never been paid less than $25 per hour- its not all fruit picking out there!!).

We have managed to put away money aswell so when we do want to settle we have a good nest egg, and not worrying about a morgage etc now.

Our boys LOVE it! We have been on a farm the past 5 months and staying in a house. The kids are so hyped to be back in the van- we went and weighed the car and van and on the way out the youngest nearly 3 shouts hooray hooray hooray- we thought how cute! On the way back as we turned in the driveway he yelled NO NO NO!! So no one can tell me we are doing the wrong this for our children!

Our eldest is only in kindy, he has loved going to the different schools, playgroups, libraries and other great activities they have been able to do, (which previously they would not have had access to.)

We do not have a time plan, as long as we need I guess??

My only advice would be to leave with a good amount of savings- enough at least for 12 months of bills. That way if you do go without work you have the back up there, (or your engine blows or something similar).

I also agree with dunworkin- caravaning full time is not for everyone and there will be a lot of people that wonder what on earth is going through your mind!! My family (3 sisters) all have a van and we are all on the road with children. My otherside of the family and a lot of friends could not believe we would sell our home, give up good paying jobs and head off to the unknown. Everyone is different.

Good luck with your future travels!
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:21

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:21
Thanks trailerparkscotts, great to hear you are having the time of your lives. Even better to hear there is work out there!!

Where would you say the majority of work is, also what kind of work are you doing?

Do you plan on going back to the same place you left or have you found somewhere that you would call home?
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Follow Up By: Luckyphil wa - Friday, Sep 30, 2011 at 22:44

Friday, Sep 30, 2011 at 22:44
My wife and I took a year off 15 years ago to travel oz with our 3 kids who were all primary school age at the time.we bought a ford trader truck and a 16 ft modern kids are grown up now and they still talk about the experience
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Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:21

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:21
Interesting question and whilst we are not retirees we have often thought about this question. And I’ve assumed you are talking about an extended trip. Our son is 11 years old and we have travelled at every opportunity within the bounds of the school holiday timetable.

In principle both my wife and I agree that travelling the country, and experiencing what it has to offer has some benefits in a broader life experience. But the question we have pondered over the most is that if we did take an extended trip and took him out of school, are we truly doing it for his benefit or ours.

A sound well rounded education is a prerequisite, but certainly no guarantee to a job of your choice these days. I’m not sure that distance education fills the gap, and personally I think if you are doing it for a life experience I wouldn’t focus too much on distance education.

The other piece is the impact of taking him away from his friends and peers at his age has, after all they are important in his life presently.

I’m sure there is no precise answer to this question as everyone will see it differently. And for what it is worth we’ve taken a decision not to.

But good luck in your deliberations...
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:30

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:30
Thank you Landy, the points you have raised have been big sticking point's for us, the main one "is it for us or them" but we feel it is for all of us. As parents it is one of the toughest decisions we have had to make, and hopefully it will be the best one!
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Follow Up By: didiaust - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 14:12

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 14:12
I wish you great adventures but in 30 years you may wish you paid off that mortage. I was fortunate and could take 12 weeks holidays with my kids(took leaves at 1/2 pay) and now I am glad that I have a comfortable income in retirment and no rent to pay.

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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:16

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:16
Hi Di

I'm not sure that I would ever want to pay off a mortgage for 30 years, I don't see the point, you are given one life, so why work 6 days a week, miss the family to pay off a house and then if you needed the money you would have to borrow it back from the bank at a rate of 6%+. I watched a programme last week about 2 retires who just have their house, no savings, living on the poverty line and someone has come up with the idea that they will lend them back 40% of the equity they have in their house for a 60% return when it sells!!!......what's the point they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in a house they can't even access....before the GFC I may have agreed with you, but we have lost a lot money in property over the last couple of years and it has taught us that bricks and mortar are not the be all and end all of life!
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Follow Up By: Rob! - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 15:15

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 15:15
I think you'll find buying a house gives people the advantage of locking in the costs of a place to live. If you decide to rent, the cost of renting will increase every year and over 30 years will actually cost you more than buying a house. and you'll have nothing to show for it.

So it is not as easy as saying that you don't want a mortage. You still need somewhere to live for which you will have to pay.

In your example, the 2 retirerees can sell their houes and spend the $500k on whatever they want. If they were renting, they wouldn't even have that option.
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Follow Up By: BrownyGU - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 17:14

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 17:14
Great response Landy,

We've been on the road for 9 months now, Me, Wife and 9 year old son, I'm almost certain it was a selfish decision to take off for a 12 month trip, financially it is a silly decision, and if given the opportunity, I'm sure Nicholas (our 9yo) would go home tomorrow back to his mates and school etc, but I'm also fairly certain that once back into the norm, and he gets older he'll say to himself.....Gee, how good was that 12 months touring the country!

Well I hope thats thew case anyway.

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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:31

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:31
Hi Travel bug
We are now just a tad under 70.
When my first was born I worked 7 days a week in Sydney and had up to three jobs at once. The main job was a milkman. No holidays for about 10 years.
Not a good setup for family life.
By the time she was 4 I had sold the run and had one job that required me re educate but gave me six weeks paid holidays each year.
We bought on old secondhand Jayco and a new 60 series and every year we would be off on the last day of work for the whole six weeks with what is now increased to three kids.
We took them out of school no matter what.
All three of them have occupations that come with high reponsibilites and they are all happy.
Right now we are dog sitting waiting for the eldest to come home from a holiday to Adelaide, lake Eyre, William Creek in their Jayco so we can get away. They have three kids and the youngest can't talk yet.
We travelled all over Australia taking our kids and we all benifeted by it.
But even just weekends away plants the seed.
Thats my story
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:41

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:41
Great story Pinko, glad to hear it didn't effect your kids and they have great jobs. Thank you
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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:37

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:37
We didn't just travel, we were transferred by the company I worked for. The kids were 6 8 10 yrs old at the time. When we came back home they were 11..13..15 yrs old.
They still talk about their time in Qld and Fiji . They still have friends they met while at school . Education wise, just fine. One department manager, one graphic designer , one civil engineer . All happy and reasonably well adjusted. Go for it and enjoy.
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:43

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 13:43
Thanks Muzbry great to hear.
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Reply By: kidsandall - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 14:47

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 14:47
Hi travel bug, this is a topic close to my heart as we had lots of people tell us we were crazy selling our house and quiting our jobs when we travelled. Our girls were 3 and 5 when we left and we spent 3 yrs on the road. It was the best thing we could have done and our family is so much better for it. My daughter (now aged 10) said to me the other day after I gave her a pair of earing for her B'day, I said Diamonds are a girls best friend, her reply, camping is my best friend. She has her priorities right lol. Both our girls love life and value the small things, like going for a walk, or watching the sun set. They see life differently to most kids.
While on the road we never met a young person who said"I wish I'd waited till I was older, but we met plenty of older people say "I wish we'd done when we were younger.
The life expirience they will get on the road can never be taught anywhere else. They see stuff on tv that they have done or places they have been to. Being on the road will cement your families bond for a long time.
There are to many gunna's out there, one I'm gunna, when I retire I'm gunna, when the kids leave I'm gunna.
About a year ago I had a scare with my heart (I'm only 38) that if it turned out to be what they thought (thankfully it wasn't) I would not be here now. But lying in the hospital bed I was content and if it was my time then fine. I had lived a pretty good life and had done a lot of what I wanted to do. Imagine lying there thinking, bugger I can't die yet I haven't done my trip, I haven't enjoyed life, sure I have a good job, earn lots of money, have a big mortgage, but there is so much more I wanted to do when I retired.
Enjoy your travels and have fun. Most of the people who bagged us for doing our trip are now doing trips or now see the relationship we have with our kids and realise the value of travelling.
When your sitting on the beach somewhere or just finished walking to the tip of Australia and your friends are just getting home from work or your up north in the sunshine and it's raining back home, you'll realise how good being on the road is. Will it always be good, NO, but the bad days are far and few and they make the good days even better. Have fun

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Reply By: Member - sassenach.girl (QLD) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 15:21

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 15:21
This is definitely something that some of our friends don't understand as well. Why spend all this money on a trip around Australia when we could put the same money towards our mortgage? The answer? Because travelling and spending time with our children now, rather than later, is more important to us.

We're in our late 30's / early 40's with girls 6 and 4. We have a mortgage, very well paid jobs etc, and have been saving since this time last year to take 7 months off next June to travel around Australia. The girls will miss half a year of Grade 1 and Prep respectively, which we feel (in the scheme of things) is a blip in their total education life.

Sure, we could use the money instead to pay off a substantial part of the mortgage, but then we'd have to wait until the girls were older until we went on the trip of a lifetime -- on our own and without them. What is the point of that? Sure we'd have a house but we won't have the family experience or the time spent with them.

I work to live, not live to work, so when I'm old an gray, I'd prefer to have my memories (and the knowledge that the kids have the same memories) than a paid off house.


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Reply By: Member - Joel and Michelle (WA - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 15:40

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 15:40
Hi Travel bug,
We too are a family who have been travelling for 16months and will finish our trip at Christmas. We have two sons, 13 and 10 and they have absolutely loved the trip as have we. We had lots of people tell us we were crazy but we talked to the kids and decided to go before my eldest starts highschool. We are home schooling and it's not as daunting as it seems. Distance Ed is way too much work and we didn't see it as a flexible alternative. We were pretty close already but the trip has certainly cemented us as a family. The things they have experienced and learnt from the places we have visited and varying people we have met is absolutely priceless. We don't regret it for a minute. Admittedly the boys miss the social side of school and especially their sport but they wouldn't trade the last year and a half for quids! We talk about places that my husband and I might re-visit in years to come and we get, "Can we come too" all the time. Enjoy it and go for it - you'll be amazed at how adaptable kids are and how much they will love it.
Good luck and safe travels
AnswerID: 466160

Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:07

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:07
Hi Joel and Michelle

That's good to hear considering my son is the same age. Can I ask how you feel now your coming to the end of your trip, are you going back to your home town/job or have you found somewhere else you feel you would like to call home?
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Follow Up By: BrownyGU - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 17:28

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 17:28
Interesting thoughts Michelle,

My Wife and I and 9yo boy have taken 12 months off, and we have been doing the distance ed thing, and you are spot on, it's a heap of work, it really has an impact on the travelling, making sure your in a place to send work back at the right times etc, allowing enough hours per week to complete the allotted work is a real challenge, and the stress related with Mum (and a little bit from Dad)now being teacher is not fun, we just hope it allows him to easily move into grade 4 when we finish.

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Follow Up By: Member - Joel and Michelle (WA - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 20:03

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 20:03
Our blogMathletics website
We lived in Karratha for the last five years before we left but sold our home in Perth as we considered it a chance to look around this fabulous country and see if we might like to call somewhere else home. As it turns out we had a very wet year travelling but still have loved it all. We will return to Perth as we have family there and I am studying too next year, which I can only do in Perth and my husband works in the gas industry and WA is the best place for us atm. The boys and I handled home schooling quite well and they used to use an online program called mathletics and spellodrome at school for homework and I just continued the subscriptions and they kept going too. I've included a link to the website if ur interested. It allows them and me to gauge their progress, are they keeping up with the curriculum, etc. As a parent you get a weekly report of their progress and so far I couldn't be happier with the product. We've had our days when they don't want to do any work but you deal with it and work through it. They are both independent learners and read voraciously too - the hardest job is keeping up with enough books from the book exchanges for them:)
When we are not in internet service they use workbooks of both maths and english and everything else you encounter can be used to engage them regarding history, geography, science, etc. When we go offroad, like the Cape for 6 weeks, they keep a daily diary instead of formal work but it has to be reasonably descriptive:) If in doubt visit your kids current teachers and if possible the teachers they may have had for the following year. Most of them are more than happy to recommend workbooks, references, etc and all I approached said they'd learn more on the road than they would have in the classroom as it's more one-on-one. Sorry to babble, if you have any questions please feel free to mm me and I'll try and answer as I can. Oh and we try and free camp as much as possible. We have had no dramas and you seem to meet the best people out there too as people are a bit more friendly than they are in caravan parks:) and you get great info on places to see and things to do. We have a blog on our trip too which at some point I will copy onto the blog area on this site too. Good luck with it all:)
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Reply By: Member - Matt M - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:00

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:00
We traveled for six months when the kids were 5 and 10. As it was only six months we weren't required to do a formal distance ed program. As it turns out my wife and I decided very quickly that neither of us could ever home school our kids. Too many arguments.

We still did plenty with them in terms of 'school work' but made it all part of the daily travel and fun routine as opposed to sitting down each for more formal lessons. Once we worked that out, we were all much happier campers. Like you we were concerned about the impact on school progress, but neither of them skipped a beat when they got back.

Doesn't have to be a question of whether you do it for them or yourself; the answer is you do it for both. As someone else said, the little ones view the world through entirely different eyes and this only adds to your enjoyment of the experience. Five years after we got back both our kids will still bring up things that happened on the trip and we still have lots of laughs and fun memories. Our kids might have missed six months of school, but they have seen such wonderful things and been to such amazing places that I wouldn't even question the value they got from it. As a family, it was such a treat to step away from the daily routine and TRULY spend some quality time together; warts and all. Took me about 2-3 weeks to relax and stop being Mr Weekend Camper (rush, rush, rush) and to be honest (as a working Father) spending 24/ 7 with my children was a challenge at first, then pure joy once I chilled out a bit (me, not the kids).

The latter years of High School start to be come a challenge and that time rushes up real quick. Better to have done it and accepted the risk, than to spend your life wondering what it would have been like. Money isn't easy and I was lucky that it fit with my long service leave from the Navy. But again, you can have all the money in your later years, but when the kids have skipped home and established their own lives, money wont get time with them like that again.

No regrets whatsoever.


AnswerID: 466161

Follow Up By: BrownyGU - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 17:38

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 17:38
Gold mat Gold,

The adjustment from weekend camper to long time tourer is spot on, took me at least 4 or 5 weeks I reckon, and then it was a chat with a retired traveler in a caravan park in Tassie, that made me realise I was trying to hard to have fun!

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Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:25

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:25
Hi Travel Bug,

I'm gonna ensure I travel with my kids. i believe you cant take it with you so why not enjoy the time you got.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: travel bug - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:27

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:27
I hear you, my sentiments exactly.....
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:40

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:40
G'Day Travel bug,
Just do it!

We lived on the road for 2 years with 2 girls aged 6 & 9 & we all had a ball. We did distance education on the road & it worked out just fine.

15 years later my girls still talk about it. In fact one of them has the travel bug & she went to Africa for 1 year & returned 6 months ago. She went to some real out of the way places on her own & did not have a problem due to all the remote camping she has done with us for all her life. You will give them some great life lessons so don't let people make excuses as to why you should not go.

The only down side is that it will be in your blood always & you will keep planning for the next trip.

Our next one will be without the kids as they have left home but we reckon next time we wont come home until we are ready for a retirement home! We are preparing for it as we speak.

AnswerID: 466167

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:44

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 16:44
Hi travel bug - Only you know your children and how you will all cope, and having made your decision, I'm sure you know they will do OK. As a child it would have been the life for me. But for some, bored unhappy children asking "are we there yet?" when there is going be home in two or three years time, it would be better to defer. It also depends on whether they feel some ownership of the travelling - involving them in planning what they want to see and do as well as what the parents want, getting them in looking outwards rather than sticking a DVD in front of their seats to keep them quiet. Education on the road while primary school age is feasible, but harder for the high school years.

Travelling with my tribe - just for a weekend visit to the Grandparents - was enough to know that they would not adapt to the life on the road, although it was never a choice we had to make.

Have a wonderful time - the experiences for them will be immeasurable.


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AnswerID: 466168

Reply By: rags - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 20:53

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 20:53
I have always believed in the idea of get away as often as possible and for as long you can afford both financially and time wise,and to enjoy your time with your kids.We have travelled with our kids since they where bubs.

I always like to remind people that i still can remember my childhood family holidays but i have no idea what colour our family home or my bedroom was as a kid

Infact we/my brothers/sisters still now like to have a holiday together with our own kids annually.
Yes work and commitments can get in the way these days,but as we are now finding out your kids quickly grow up so enjoy them whilst they are young.
AnswerID: 466192

Reply By: Member - Gordon T (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 22:30

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 at 22:30
I am amazed at the volume of response this has generated. We are now in our mid 60s and in 1990 we travelled much of WA for 8 weeks in a Pajero & Jayco Finch -our 2 boys were aged around 15 & 13 at the time. We took 8 weeks off & did it around the September school hols, adding a few weeks to that. We all had a fab time with as much free camping as possible & we treated it as a lesson in geography, biology, environmental studies & anything esle we could think of. It didn't reduce their normal education & it added considerably to their character development & team committment. One of the most exciting aspects for them around this trip was swimming alone for nearly 30 mins with the dophins at Monkey Mia after the crowd had left & some of the dophins came back in. The next year we did 2 weeks on Fraser Is for a similar bush experience. Now over 20 years later they still talk fondly of those experiences & look forward to the time when they can take their kids on similar excursions. Yes, it is important do it while the kids are young and before boy/girl relationships get too strong for them to not want to go. Make it fun &experience that they plan with you & share in & they will thank you forever.
AnswerID: 466203

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 08:30

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 08:30
G'day travelbug,

We didn't do much travelling with our kids and I probably wished I did. But I just want to provide another perpective, there is a general negative sentiment here about paying off a mortgage and maybe I'm from the old school but there is some upside to doing this! My main concern is when travelling can no longer be undertaken (for any number of reasons) it is nice to have a home to settle back in (or sell for that matter) for the next stage of your life.

Great thread!

Kind regards
AnswerID: 466221

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 08:54

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 08:54
I agree i'm from the old school also.

We tried to get away every chance we had with our boys.

And at the same time laid the ground works for a good education and home base.

Now our boys have their own homes and are able to travel when they want and their families go with them.

We also achieved this on one income.

It's good to to own property and also travel.

FollowupID: 740299

Reply By: Nigel Migraine - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 14:36

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 14:36
A couple of points:

If you can’t bond as a family at home you won’t do it anywhere else either.

If you wish to travel in order to educate the children rather than as a bit of fun then go overseas and travel.

There is little difference in culture or environment between Broome and Melbourne or Perth and Cairns but there is a huge difference between (say) Paris and Bangkok or Beirut and Trondheim or Madras and Kuala Lumpur – that is where your children will learn not from seeing the same supermarket chain after 3000km of driving.

Australia is a wonderful country in which to live but… it lacks diversity.
AnswerID: 466251

Follow Up By: Bobba - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 16:19

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 16:19
Nigel I have to disagree with you.

Life at home is different for many people and for us, being away from home, hence work, meant I finally had TIME to spend with my kids. Living in the same car/trailer etc 24/7 is very different to seeing the kids/wife in and around I said, this is very different depending on your situation. Yes I tried to make time but there was very little to find back then!

We have been OS too and wish to take the kids to Japan before too long, but they learnt a damn lot on our trip, particularly about our own great country. The lessons in Japan will be very different, no better or greater, just different.

Melbourne vs Broome...very different and more so when you get out of these major towns into small communities. Where we are in Vic, our kids hadn't experienced much at all with Indigenous people but that certainly changed after our trip.

FollowupID: 740324

Reply By: Bobba - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 16:11

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 16:11
We took our kids on the trip for 6 months and it's simply the best thing we could have done. We have a website about it linked below.


Our website
AnswerID: 466260

Reply By: Livin On The Road - Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 at 13:52

Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 at 13:52
We started travelling when our kids were 8, 7, 4 and 1. Now they are 10, 9, 6 and 3. They love it, and they learn more on the road than they ever could have in a house.

Consider that with schooling, you need to be rigorous with English and maths. Other than that, they are learning science, history and geography from all the places they see and visit. Yesterday, for example, the kids were learning how to convert knots per hour to kilometers per hour, and the definitions of different storms - gales, hurricane, tornado, cyclone etc. Why? Because the winds were so strong and they wanted to know more. They learn about the history, ecosystems, animals, environment and morphology of the area they are in - just the same as us adults do. We all naturally want to find out more about the place we are visiting as we travel. Kids are the same. They learn this without the formal education and worksheets that are required in a classroom.

The kids absolutely love this lifestyle. When we've had to stop to work (so easy to find work, and as we have qualifications we get paid better in rural areas than cities) they get really upset about staying put.
AnswerID: 466322

Reply By: Fatso - Friday, Sep 30, 2011 at 17:22

Friday, Sep 30, 2011 at 17:22
We travelled most years with the kids for up to 2 months.
Now that they have grown up & no longer trave with us the fun has gone out of it.
On our last trip we went to places we had been with the kids & it was no where near as good.
We tried to take the kids to the Lambert Centre a couple of times overe the years & each time we were stopped by floods. On our last trip we got there & it was sad to not have the kids there with us.
Travelling with the kids turns out to be a selfish experience for the wife & I.
We got so much pleasure & learnt so much because of their company.
AnswerID: 466415

Reply By: vk1dx - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 09:19

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 09:19
Nope! Now they have their own cars and don't sit in the back saying "Are we there yet" and have to play "I Spy" all the way!!!!

But then again maybe it would have been nice to have the 4WD and take them with us. Unfortunately we couldn't afford it. Not even a beer in the fridge.

But NOW. As often as we can.

AnswerID: 466474

Reply By: Member - *Rusty* - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 15:33

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 15:33
Hi All,

Speaking as someone without kids yet, we haved moved to WA from QLD with the inital plan to move towns whilst being transferred jobs etc. so we could see it all. Plans change and experience is a valuble thing and realising owing a company your removalist cost for a 3 yr contact in a job you hate is about to cost me $13k for breaking contract. But happiness is all that counts and we are still ahead (and we certainly didnt have the money at the time to move ourselves accross the country).

We moved accross the country just so we can afford to take 2 yrs off and do a working holiday. We were lucky enough i supose to be able to afford to buy our house in QLD when we were 21yrs old, which we still own (we are both now 25), and struggled to have any money left over for holidays or even home improvements. 3yrs later, we made the decision to move to WA to earm some good coin and pay off our house and to save for our working holiday. 18months living in Kalgoorlie we are half way to having enough to travel and we have paid half of our mortage off. So to those who say a mortage is more important - you can do both - you just have to sacrifice if you really want it. We have had to sacrifice all our family and friends and our lifestyle back in QLD, but in another 18 months-2ys time - we will (fingers crossed) be able to afford to do both, and still have a home to come back to if we so choose. If we find a better place to stay in - we can sell our house for at least 100k profit (gotta love the industrial boom in CQ at the moment!) and be able to buy again.

We plan to have kids, and our kids WILL be bush educated. Be it permanent working holiday or simply moving towns every 18 months or so with jobs, or even just every school holidays and weekend we can get.

Good on you to those who are doing it now, i envy you (as we are not quite there yet ") but will be soon).
AnswerID: 466581

Follow Up By: Member - *Rusty* - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 17:20

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 17:20
I was just thinking about this topic whilst hanging out the washing.....

For those doubters of distance educatin for kids, what difference is it from travelling families, compared to kids who do school of the air / distance education from rural communities and farms?

If nothing else, the kids would be much better at geography than most :)

Whislt most kids that do distance ed end up getting shipped off to boarding school for high school, all those kids seem to do pretty well for themselves and often half end up at a uni of some kind and do pretty well for themselves before returning back to the land. (Yes i do know this - i used to be a farm hand on school holidays and saw first hand when the kids came back for school holidays from boarding school).

The other statement made many posts above - "If you wish to travel in order to educate the children rather than as a bit of fun then go overseas and travel.
There is little difference in culture or environment between Broome and Melbourne or Perth and Cairns but there is a huge difference between (say) Paris and Bangkok or Beirut and Trondheim or Madras and Kuala Lumpur – that is where your children will learn not from seeing the same supermarket chain after 3000km of driving. "

I'll tell ya what, come over to outback WA and i can show you how different the rest of Australia is compared to WA. I sure learnt alot when we moved here.

Every town has a different perspective on issues, and culture wise - Kalgoorlie is made up of 70% kiwi's, 15% South Africans and 15% Austalian (indigenous and non indigenous) and everything else including Chinese, Indian, European, and sooo many more backgrounds. And i am not exagerating - there are stickers on cars here "Kalgoorlie-Boulder the capital of New Zealand".

FollowupID: 740706

Reply By: X_PAC6969 - Wednesday, Oct 05, 2011 at 14:11

Wednesday, Oct 05, 2011 at 14:11
Just ask the Leylands how they got on?im sure their kids benifeted from what their parent did and only recently seen a doco where one of the daughters and son in law travelled while daughter was preggers so to me i think the Leyland family have lots or memories to look back on.
Only with i had done the same all those years ago.

AnswerID: 466842

Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Oct 05, 2011 at 19:24

Wednesday, Oct 05, 2011 at 19:24
We travelled with our kids, there are many, many interesting things between destinations, yet parents these days seem to encourage their kids to watch DVDs & play video games in the car, rather than see this wonderful & variedcountry pass by.
AnswerID: 466858

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