Can you travel with kids while working a full-time job? This is a common misconception, and a handful of skeptics will say no, but that dream is possible. Here are ten ways to merge two of your favorite things: traveling and your kids.
1. Wait for Them To Grow Up
A seasoned jet setter speaks about their current travel lifestyle with their parents.
“In my mid-20s, my parents and I started traveling because I was able to pay for (most) of my own way, split costs, etc. Before then, we would only get on a plane to visit family and snuck in a few activities that made it feel more like a vacation. Now three people are splitting the bill, so it's doable.”
2. Change the Travel Itinerary
The kids I babysit express extreme enthusiasm for collecting rocks in their backyard. If you don't have the money to fund an international trip, look into cheaper, closer, day or weekend trips. Depending on the state or country you live in, you can explore all over with your kids.
3. Read the Fine Print
Companies offer vacations depending on income level and job positions. If traveling abroad interests you, look into the fine print before accepting a job or transferring to a new one that allows you to travel. Some jobs provide travel packages and discounted hotel stays for families.
4. Invest Before Having Kids
Traveling doesn't have to rack up credit cards and force you to take out loans if you plan it properly. You may know you want kids and want to continue to travel the world, but you can't see how it is feasible given your circumstances. Putting aside a few months into a savings account a week for a few years will add up and provide a cushion for your kids once you decide to create a family.
5. Work in Travel Agencies
My mom worked as a travel agent for over ten years. She learned the best savings methods while traveling during her job and earned fabulous discounts. She took me and my dad worldwide for much less than it cost for non-travel agents. Of course, you must express passion for this work, but you will save a hefty amount of money.
6. Get Creative
Unless you have a double-income household averaging somewhere mid-six figures, you won't be able to afford a five-star resort stay with a first-class roundtrip ticket each trip. However, suppose you want to instill the same delight of travel in your kids that you experience. In that case, you can camp, stay in hostels, rent a camper, or do something different from the traditional hotel experience. This saves money and entertains children—depending on the kid.
7. Drive Instead of Flying
“I know it must seem like everyone in Western countries can travel internationally. The reality in the U.S. is that most cannot afford it. In the U.S., if one lives close to Canada or Mexico, they can drive there, which is less expensive,” one user replies.
Another adds, “I know families who will literally drive across the country in order to travel with their kids. Airfare really adds up!”
8. Research Currency Exchange Levels
Many countries operate under different currencies, which works within the country, but the exchange rates muddy up costs when traveling between currencies. For example, travel from the U.S. to Peru. You can enjoy a week-long trip for under $500—as one USD equals about four Sols. Still, if you travel from Peru to the U.S., the currency conversion depreciates. One Sol equates to about .25 USD.
9. Take Time off To Save Up
“We save for most of the year and live simply so that we can afford travel within our country and overseas. We manage 2-3 local road trips in the year, some day outings, and one overseas trip to my husband's home country. However, we always go for budget accommodation in cabins or bed and breakfasts and venture out independently for activities and sightseeing. It can be done with kids. We're now planning how to save for the next two years with a baby on the way,” a respondent reports.
10. Freelance Work
Alas, if you want to travel the world while feeding your kids, look into freelance work or starting a business that permits you to take your work with you as you travel. Building up the income needed to support trips may take some time, but it's worth a try.
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