Welcome to week one of our hit the road plan where we will help you with your dream of full time family travel!
2 years ago we made the decision to travel full time as a family – we have been on the road for 8 months now and haven’t looked back!
We were living in Cairns with our 2 young boys in a 3 bedroom house, both working full time. We were busy, stressed, overtired and stuck in the daily grind – watching the days fly by as our boys seemed to be growing up so fast while we were spending most of our time working for the man.
By far the hardest thing about hitting the road was making the decision in the first place! Despite being stressed and tired we were definitely stuck in our comfort zone – the thought of giving up our income, the roof over our heads and all our possessions was a little bit scary!
So just by reading our hit the road series you’re already one step closer to living the dream – over the next 5 weeks we’ll be letting you in our all our secrets of full time family travel –
- how we organised packing up our house and transferring our lives from 3 bedrooms to a bus
- how we budgeted for our first year on the road (we’ll even send you the spreadsheet we created to figure out how much money we would need)
- how we planned our trip
- where to stay on the road
- how we make money while we travel
If you want to start your own Facebook page, blog or instagram to share your travels with your friends, family or the rest of the world we’ve even got some tips on the best way to start up.
Congrats on making the decision to make more time to be with your family and see this wonderful country of ours. So many people decide to wait a few more years to travel – ‘we’ll do it when the kids are older, when we’ve retired, when we’ve got more money’ – but the truth is that there is often never the ‘right’ time to hit the road – there will always be obstacles and there is a very real danger that if you wait too long it will never happen at all.
As long as you plan your trip, do your research, stay organised and keep all the family involved in travel decisions then your journey to getting on the road and beyond will be stress free, fun and totally achievable.
We often hear sad stories along the way of people who have waited until retirment to make their big trip – then finding on reaching the end of their working life their health is not up to the journey. Who knows what is around the next corner – making the decision to travel now with your kids is something that you don’t need to wait for. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it’s all plain sailing and family singsongs around the campfire (although this does happen a lot!) – there are times when it is full on and we wonder what the heck we are doing! But we often had these thoughts at home too – you can’t escape them with kids I think. At least you can drive to the nearest beach and yell into the waves for a bit to clear the head!
Full Time Family Travel – Start Planning!
Here are the first steps that you can take to cement the idea of full time family travel in your head and start to set your plan into action.
- Set a date – this doesn’t need to be set in stone – give yourself a rough idea of when you think you’d like to set off and go from there. The most important thing to think of here is DON’T RUSH! You’ve waited this long that a few more months won’t hurt – and if you’re giving yourself unachievable deadlines from the start the whole process will be stressful and more likely be given up on. We allowed ourselves 18 months from deciding to hit the road until the day we set off – giving us loads of time to organise and save.
- Tell everyone you know about your full time family travel plans (except the boss!) – it’s so fun to see people’s reactions! On a more practical note – the more people that are involved in your planning the more help and advice you will get and the more answerable you will be. The only exception to this rule would be to keep it quiet at work until you’re absolutely ready to give your notice in – no need to be replaced by the boss then find out you’ve got a few more weeks organising before you can head off.
- Buy a map of Australia and stick it on your wall – we got the kids involved and made some vision boards – we had a load of Australian camping magazines so we cut photos out and made collages which we stuck on the wall next to our map. It helped the kids understand the plans more and got them involved. Seeing the map everyday also helped to make the idea more solid in our minds and gave us motivation to plan, declutter and save.
- Start your Aussie bucket list and get excited! Make a list for the family of all the places you want to visit – look where they are on the map and find out the best time of year to go so you can add them to your itinerary.
- Research! Stop scrolling through your Facebook feed and wasting time on Youtube 🙂 Follow your favourite traveling families and tourism bodies and get inspired!
- Visualise yourself on the road – imagine every day what it will be like when you are travelling – talk about it every chance you get so the ideas become set into your psyche!
- Take mini trips – even if you haven’t bought your caravan, camper trailer, motorhome or tent just yet you can still have a few practice runs – get out and see what’s in your local neighbourhood and be a tourist in your backyard. Take a few weekends away and get the feel for life on the road – you’ll soon get used to what you’ll need to pack, camp cooking and packing up and down. You can even let the kids camp in the garden to get used to the feel of it!
- Stop buying things! Easier said than done – but one of the biggest keys to success on the road is smart spending (in week 3 we will go into more depth about budget). If you’re planning on selling all your possessions then avoid buying new things that will lose their value almost instantly. If you need some practical advice on how to declutter we wrote some guidelines a while back (I’m definitely a hoarder personality!)
Hopefully we’ve given you some inspiration to start living the dream – next week we’re going to talk about the different options of transport for full time family travel – caravan vs camper trailer vs bus/motorhome – and why we decided on ‘Aussie’ – our Toyota Coaster Bus.
Until then – happy planning!