Deciding to family travel for a long-term can be so exciting. Just the thought of travelling the world with the family is such a special opportunity. There is so much to do and plan.
It is both exciting and stressful. Just like having a child, nothing can prepare you for the amazing journey you are about to embark. It comes with ups and downs.
Pros of Long-term family travel:
You will experience new adventures and new countries. Arriving in a new country can give you such a new perspective of what is normal. Living in your own country, you get used the norms. You know how to act. You know where things are and you have a sense of the culture. A new country brings new ways to do things. From how to dress to what you eat. For us the first country we went that was so different from the norm of the UK was Morrocco. The markets are different, the food is different, the way people dress is different.
You are going to taste new foods. Even as vegans, we have had a chance to try many different traditional foods. Experiencing a country through its food is a magical way to get right at the heart of the country. You get a feel for the flavours. We have experienced different food in Europe, North Africa, South Africa and South-East Asia. Each place, although it has some food that is similar, the main flavours and styles are very different. The staple food is different.
You are going to meet some amazing people. This is no doubt. You will meet people that are also travelling and you will meet the locals if the land you are visiting. When travelling you tend to make a strong relationship with people very soon. You are aware of the time that is short and you want to share your time with your new friends. Teach each other new things, share different cultures. Talk about different ideas and thoughts. I have met some amazing people and can’t wait to meet more people.
Read about my new book on preparing for long term travel.
Cons of Long-term family travel:
You will be packing and unpacking many times. As you move around from hotel to house to apartment you will really get to know what you are carrying with you. You will be very picky about what you choose to carry. Everything you buy needs to fit into your bag.
You can’t buy too many souvenirs, as you need to carry them where ever you go. You have the option to send things back to family, but it can be a bit tricky to find the best way and price to send things back. I tend to get small things to keep.
Things can get expensive. When you arrive in a new country, there will be expenses that you haven’t thought of. Sometimes/most times, you don’t know how much things should be, so you have to trust people. We have paid too much for taxis many times. This usually happens when we first arrive in a country. Come off the plane tired and hungry.
Sometimes, it’s nighttime and you just want to get to your accommodation. Food can be a hard one as well. Finding a place where you can get decent food at decent prices. This usually takes about a week for me to find. These are just expenses we have to deal with. You can prepare as much as you can but sometimes it’s just really hard not to.
You are going to be together non stop for a long time. This can sometimes be hard on couples. Time together is so amazing but the time apart is very important. When travelling, it can be hard to take time apart. You don’t have a family that you can visit or friends that you can stay at. So you need to be able to talk and make sure you have time apart. Life travelling is quite intense but you can make it a little easier.
Amongst all the pros and cons, it is still such an amazing adventure that I recommend to anyone who is in a position to do it. I know I will never think back and say ’I wish I never travelled’. Travel, it will change you as a person for the better.
What is stopping you from travelling?