Welcome to our family travel series where we interview other family travelers to show you how they make travel with kids a reality.
You’ll hear from budget travelers, luxury travelers, families with babies, long-term travelers, digital nomads and those who fit travel inside a busy family and work lifestyle.
Introducing Bryanna from Crazy Family Adventure
Bryanna and her family are living our dream at the moments travelling the US in an RV (except they travel with dogs, which is not our dream!!).
Bryanna has been sharing lots of her tips for the RV lifestyle with us and now she’s going to share with you how she makes it work with four kids and two dogs!!
How do you fit family travel into your lifestyle?
We sold our house and bought an RV, so we don’t fit travel in, it IS our lifestyle now!
How old are your children?
Our kids are 8, 6, 6, and 3. Plus two dogs.
What’s your travel style?
We are RV travellers, so we spread our time out between RV parks, state and national parks, as well as dry camping on Free BLM land all around the US. We like to visit cities and go exploring for the day, but also enjoy hanging out at the campground and going hiking.
We are more budget travellers and are always looking for free things you can do. Part of the reason we chose this lifestyle is so that we could lower our burn rate and not need as much money so we could work less.
How do you plan for your family travels?
Google. When we are planning where we are going to go, we will do a quick look online to see if they have activities in the area that will fit our kids. If they do, then we will book the trip then usually on the way there, or when we get there, we will pick out the things we want to do for the week.
We know a lot of other families that travel full time so if they post something cool on their social media account or blog we use that for helping us plan where we are going to go.
What about savings and budget – what’s your approach?
We have savings that we have built up and we would like to keep that there for when we need it. Other than that, we are making what we need to spend.
My husband was working a remote 9 to 5 job and stopped a little less than a year ago and since then we have transitioned over to my virtual assistant business and our travel blog being how we make our income. We also just signed up to be DoTerra oil reps (we love essential oils!) and are in the process of starting a t-shirt company. You know, just a few things to keep busy.
Our goal has always been to work less, like 20 hours a week each, while having multiple streams of income coming in so we can continue to afford this lifestyle.
Here is a post on how we afford full-time family travel
What things do you sacrifice to travel?
A house, a yard, my old Jacuzzi bath tub, my own room, a closet, a big kitchen, etc., but I wouldn’t change it!
What do your kids think of travelling with you?
They love it, most of the time. . . There are times when they will complain about having to go to the beach for the 2nd time that week.
Since this is their lifestyle, they are just being normal kids who don’t want to stop what they are doing to do something else. Once we get anywhere, they always have a great time and when we ask them if they want to keep traveling they always say yes.
Do your kids help you plan your travels? How?
For sure! This whole process for us is about our family traveling together so we always make sure to seek out opportunities and locations that we think they will enjoy. We also ask for their feedback and suggestions on places they want to go.
Do you have a funny or horror travel story to share?
We hiked up to the top of Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park and when we were heading back down we came around the corner, and a large male mountain goat was standing right in the middle of the trail.
He did not seem like he wanted to move . . . we all quickly ran up the hill on the side of the path and waited for him to pass . . . He made a few grunting noises at us and walked past. In the meantime, Craig had gotten his bear spray out just in case! We were glad it wasn’t a bear but were all still a little freaked out. Luckily he just walked by and went on his way.
Read more: How to go hiking with kids and enjoy it
How do you cope with the challenges of family travel?
I drink wine. That and we try to take one day at a time and keep our focus on the fact that we want to deepen our family bond through travel. If a situation isn’t feeling right or if we aren’t getting along we stop to evaluate the situation and work through what is causing the disconnect in our family. Our family has to stay #1 in what we are doing.
We also try not to put ourselves in situations where we know the kids won’t do well. For example, an Art museum probably isn’t the right place for us to be at this point . . .
What do you love most about travelling with your kids?
I love seeing and experiencing new things together as a family. It is so cool to see the awe in our kids’ eyes and have that same awe reflected in our eyes! I also love hearing what the kids think about their day and the things we saw and did.
What do you hate about travelling with your kids?
Having six people and giving everyone a chance to have a say in what they are doing with their day and time is a challenge. There are times when Craig and I want to go out and explore, hike, go to the beach, and all the kids want to do is stay home and play.
Or those times when 5 out of the 6 of us are having a good time, but one of us is having an off day. As adults, we are working on being able to push through that but for kids, it is harder to expect that. It is always a challenge to make it a fun experience and day when one of us just isn’t into it.
Overall we love travelling with our kids. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t do it full time.
Read More: The pros and cons of travel with kids
What are your top tips for making family travel work?
- Lower your expectations. This is not YOUR vacation. It’s your family vacation which means things will go at a different pace, and you have a lot more people with you which means a lot more opinions.
- Downtime. Never forget to include downtime for your kids on your trips. Kids desire time just to run around and be a kid without restrictions and having to wait in line or follow a bunch of rules. Vacation time is no different.
- Relax. Every second of every minute does not need to be planned out to make the most of your vacation. Instead enjoy laying in bed as a family for 2 hours in the morning. Spend hours swimming together in the pool or at the beach. Don’t worry there will still be time to do some activities. Some of the best moments are on the unscheduled and unplanned time you have together as a family.
What are your biggest fears with travelling with kids and how do you overcome them?
Since we travel full time, I want to make sure our kids don’t get jaded! That they will continue to find awe and wonder in everything around them and not think it is normal to see a different city multiple times a month.
Why do you travel with your kids?
We live in a humongous world with so many cool things to see and do. We travel with our kids so they can learn how big the world is and so that both they and we can learn about all of the different cultures and people that are out there. To help us all become more well rounded and accepting of everything and everyone around us.
Do you have any family travel resources to recommend?
If you are interested in traveling full time in your RV, Fulltime Families is a great resource and was invaluable to us when we first started.
Of course yTravel Blog! They provide so much great insight on not only traveling but also how to look at your life and live for the moment!
Pinterest. It is a great tool to use to find great blog posts on family travel. Nothing is better than hearing other families first-hand account of a location and what they enjoyed.
What are some of your dream destinations to travel with kids or where do you think is a great destination for family travellers?
In the US, we love the Florida Keys and highly recommend it for families. The environment is so laid back, and the ocean is beautiful!
We can’t wait to get out to the western United States. Eventually, we want to get overseas. I guess you could say that we want to see it all!
Where can people connect with you?
We blog at www.crazyfamilyadventure.com
If you want to learn about our virtual assistant business, you can check us out at www.virtualpowerhouse.com
We post daily on social media at:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/crazyfamilyadventure
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/crazyfamilyadventure
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/cfadventure
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/crazyfamilyadve/
- Snapchat: www.snapchat.com/add/crazyfamilyadv
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/crazyfamilyadventure