Thinking outside the box for family vacations can present the opportunity to spend extended periods of time in exotic destinations as opposed to blowing a half yearís travel budget on a two-week getaway to an overpriced theme park. Lengthy trips can also serve as a way to incorporate educational experiences along with leisure activities and mobile business interests. Full-time family travel is increasing in popularity. Here are some ways to pursue the dream.
Self-paced study programs, homeschooling and web courses are available to support an extended travel itinerary. Life on the road provides opportunities for children to embrace history, geography and science at an entirely different level. Educational activities can include climbing Baliís Mount Batur to steam an egg inside the crater, studying Incan architecture at Machu Picchu or bird watching in Costa Ricaís Monte Verde cloud forest. As for affordability, monies can be channeled from traditional at-home interests such as sports equipment or dance lessons and redirected towards things like museum fees, eco tours and afternoons spent scuba diving.
Dreaming about life on the road with your family is all well and good, but we all know that Mom and Dad still need to find a way to pay the bills. Professional speaking, travel photography, freelance writing and even storytelling are all location-independent careers well suited to long term family travel. A popular balancing strategy for people who choose this lifestyle is to establish work hours before and after each dayís family outing or scheduled lessons. This enables you to focus on your current revenue streams and projects as well as any additional opportunities in your immediate area.
Play dates with international friends offer insight into customs, language and differing points of view. Interacting with local children also provides fee-free cultural integration and travel memories that will literally last a lifetime. The town of Bolzano, Italy for example offers farm stays for romping and medieval cultural events at local castles where children can dress in period costumes.
Short-term rentals are a great way to maximize your family vacation budget. They allow a home-style environment with privacy for Mom and Dad, study nooks, and a kitchen to maintain family nutrition and dinner rituals. They are also a fraction of the cost of hotel rooms. When the timing is right, family camping can also be a great bargain while still allowing for nature education during your getaway.
Photo Credit: Anja Johnson