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5 Perfect Times In Life To Travel With Kids

Does the idea of travelling the world with your child(ren) excite you?

Do you have niggling doubts and questions as to when — or even if — you should actually sweep up your kids and go travelling?

Well, you’ve made it to the right place.

In a society that highly values education and schooling, you may be faced with negative feedback from friends, family or others about “ruining” your children’s education or “risking” their health.

But what’s right for your family may not be right for others.

You know what the best part is? It’s your family, so, woo hoo! You get to decide what to do.

Thousands of families happily travel the world every year, with babies, toddlers, pre-teens and teenagers. From single parents to two parent families and budgets of all shapes and sizes, they travel wherever they want for however long they want. Six months, a gap year, or even continuously, with no end date in sight.

Right now, you could travel to most countries around the world, and find plenty of other worldschooling families to meet and connect with. How cool is that?

So, here are five perfect times to set off and go travelling with your child(ren):

#1: Before You Have More Kids

Do you have one child? Two? More?

Do you plan on having more children sometime?

Great! The time is perfect for you to travel.

A trip before you have another baby or two will not only happen sooner, but it will also be cheaper. You’ll be purchasing fewer plane tickets and less food, not to mention booking accommodation for fewer bodies (more space!) and everything that comes with world travel.

Not only do some travelling families get pregnant or have babies while travelling, but a year away to bond with your family as it is now, is exactly what the doctor ordered! Connection time is precious, especially before you become preoccupied with another baby.

So many people think they need to wait until they’re done having kids before travelling.

Thousands of travelling families are living proof that you don’t need to!

#2: Before Your Child Turns Two

Have a baby younger than two years of age?

Great! The time is perfect for you to travel.

If your child is younger than two years of age, you don’t even need to pay for a plane ticket for him or her. If you breastfeed, food is free! And they’ll be free when booking your accommodation too, unless they have a small cot fee, and you don’t co-sleep.

#3: Before Your Child Turns 12

Have a child younger than 12 years of age?

Great! The time is perfect for you to travel.

As soon as your child turns 12, most airlines class your child as an adult, and full fares apply.

Accommodation is still cheaper, as younger children are usually free using existing bedding. For a small fee, you can organise an extra bed in your room.

Also, because your child is not yet a teenager, they wont be the wild eating machine a fully fledged teen is. So this will save you money on food. Like, a lot.

#4: Before Your Child Starts Highschool

If you plan on sending the kids back to traditional schooling after returning from your trip, travelling right before high school may be a good choice for your family.

It gives your child the chance to finish primary school with their friends, before giving them a growth-filled, enriching gap year before high school.

While this means your child may be 12 or older (see point #3), they’ll gain an extra year of maturity before starting high school. They’ll also receive an education like no other, as they travel the world, seeing the sights and learning about culture and history. Most of all, they’ll learn a tonne about themselves.

World travel gives children a real-life, unique educational edge, compared to the usual book-based studies they receive in a classroom.

#5: Right Now!

Seriously, there are no hard and fast rules. When it feels right or when your heart calls you — go with it and don’t look back!

I had a spontaneous, crazy idea to travel the world in the middle of 2014. It came out of nowhere. So we decided the kids would finish their year of school and then we’d do it. Our youngest daughter turned two, and our eldest was twelve. We should have gone a year earlier and saved a heap!

Other travelling families decide to head off much sooner than six months. Others plan on saving for a year or two. But know that saving can be the slowest way to get yourself travelling if it’s your only plan of attack.

So many people waste so much time doubting themselves and procrastinating. They lose precious time they could have spent travelling! I don’t know one world travelling family who regrets their decision to go ahead and take that leap of faith. Even during the tough times, they keep going with no regrets, because the good times are just so great.

Travelling families are never the same people they were when they started out. And when they return home, all they can think about is when they’ll next be off travelling again, and where they’ll go this time.

Those families – from single parents to extra large families of many children — are gifted with the knowledge that long term world travel is totally possible. All because they wanted it enough, and decided to take a chance.

Loving the journey, being part of an amazing community of world travelling families and having the travel bug running through your veins, will leave you wanting to be travellers for life.

Life is meant to be lived. Whatever you do, don’t miss out.

Want to travel but have no idea how to make it happen? Here are 10 suggestions to help your family get travelling faster – several of which we’re doing ourselves.


Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a doula, writer and mother to three awesome children. Currently she's travelling the world for 12 months with her partner and three children, and hopes to inspire more families to do the same.

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