Would You Go Insane Traveling With Your Kids Long-Term ?

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Most people’s response when we say we’re travelling full-time with our kids is,

“I could never travel with my kids 24/7. I’d go insane.”

Wiser words have never been spoken. Insanity and I have become fast friends.

Now, I LOVE my kids more than anything, and I’m VERY grateful to be living this traveling life that we’ve created together, but let’s bring some clarity to the situation.

Every day is not perfect. Long-term travel has its flaws. Parenting is tough. Our kids are not perfect angels and we are so far from being perfect parents.

There’s barely a moment I don’t have a mini-me jumping on my back when I’m sitting down, covering my eyes while I’m walking with them on my shoulders, pulling down my bra to flash my “boobies,” fighting over who gets to hold my hand, interrupting any conversation I have with anyone, or crash tackling me just to make me pick them up.

Uluru base walk - one of the best short walks in Australia

It’s endless demands, sleepless nights, constant whining, constant nagging and a sometimes thankless job. Parenting can suck! You go from having this amazing freedom to a life where you’re thrown in the back seat – no make that the boot!

No I couldn’t imagine life without them, they’re the best thing that ever happened to us, we’re forever grateful to have healthy happy kids and they bring us more joy than anything, but…

I’ll be honest, being a parent is a hard adjustment.

In fact, the majority of parents I speak to feel the same way. They’re tired and frustrated and over it! Any wonder why so many don’t want to travel long-term with their kids.

I go on silent reconnaissance missions in playgrounds and supermarkets and anywhere there are families. I watch parents faces, listen to their conversations and notice how and what they say to their kids.

This is not done so I can judge, but so I can check that I’m not the only one going nuts. I get instant relief (and I must admit a chuckle) when I hear the same exasperated expressions flying out of their mouths.

I’ve come to the understanding that it does not matter where you are or what you do, parenting is tough and you’re going to lose it once in a while. Accept that shit is here to stay.

Now instead of focusing on the tough stuff, switch your focus to the good.

Because good is always present in your life too. The trick is to deal with the shit when it comes, but intend to make the good extraordinary.

When your life is full of extraordinary moments, instead of just good ones, you can easily deal with the crap.

That’s why I travel full-time with my kids.

They drive me freakin nuts. And judging by the eye rolls, I drive them nuts!

There’s probably not a day where I don’t wonder when the straightjacket will arrive. I constantly want to bury my head in the sand and escape back to the reality of traditional school for Kalyra and daycare for Savannah and let someone else share the burden.

But, then I know my extraordinary will reduce to mostly habitual good moments that are barely memorable.

Despite hating parenting for the most part, I LOVE being a mother to my two daughters.

I love nurturing them, experiencing life with them, having conversations with them, guiding them to be the best they can, helping them to discover themselves and the world, playing silly games and giggling hysterically with them. I love taking them on Mummy Daughter dates, and just watching how they experience each moment purely.

Mead's Quarry Lake - one of the best things to do in Knoxville, Tennessee

Long-term travel only helps to make these moments more enriching and it gives me more of them right now than if we were settled somewhere working jobs and going to school.

I love that I’m here for all of their special moments now. I get to delight in the cuteness of every new word Savannah speaks, and discover the way Kalyra absorbs the world and forms her opinions on it.

I get endless cuddles and giggles and our bond is deepening in a way that wouldn’t be possible in a life filled with traditional school and endless interruptions that separate us.

If you want to know the truth, I often long for time out away from the demands of parenting, but when I get that time alone, I miss my girls like crazy. Far more than I ever did when I had time away from them when we weren’t travelling.

So yes, I am insane travelling full-time with my kids. But, I’d go insane with them if I just lived a normal life, because I hate that parenting side of things. The only difference would be that I wouldn’t have as much to remember their growing years with.

In a way being full-time with them on the road is more intense and challenging than if we did have a normal life as you’d at least get a break from each other!

And I guess that’s the thing with us. If we were just travelling around Australia and not homeschooling and running a business at the same time, it would be far less stressful.

But I know this nomadic journey together is not going to last forever. We don’t intend to travel full-time and we go through stages when we want structure, when we want stability, and we certainly don’t intend to homeschool forever either. We need separation and think it’s important that our kids learn to take instructions from other adults and aren’t always the centre of attention.

I also know that in 5 years time as friends become more important to them, I’ll become the invisible person who’s just there to ship them around and give them what they need.

So I’m going to make the most of these next few years.

I’m going to build a strong family foundation, so no matter what, we always have these memories from the journey we’re taking together. The benefits of our current travels with our kids far outweighs the challenges.

Eli Creek, Fraser Island, Australia
Exploring Fraser Island

All we have to do is find ways to manage the family travel challenges (future post coming up) and then put all our love and focus into creating extraordinary moments together.

  Update: We’ve since changed our homeschooling approach again, due to a change in our travel lifestyle. You can read about how we homeschool and travel now. Keep reading this post as well, as it may be a good solution for your travels too!

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Would you go insane travelling full-time with your kids? Could you cope with it just to have the extraordinary memories?

13 thoughts on “Would You Go Insane Traveling With Your Kids Long-Term ?”

  1. It’s a question that I’ve been tossing up for a while – is it worth the stress of kids 24/7 if we went on a long term travel adventure together. Granted, mine are a little older than yours but there are still issues – even travelling up the road all together. But like you say, you have to see the positives & like you I think it would be worthwhile in the long run….. Nice points

    1. Yeah, you definitely have to weigh it up but know that it is only for a short time, not forever. So you might as well jump in and give it a go. If you hate it you can always stop the travels and return home. I honestly don’t think the stress would be any worse than what you have to deal with at home. Because you’re having so many fun times its probably easier

  2. You are definitely not alone! Yes being with our kids 24/7 can drive us nuts, but it does get easier the older they get, yours are still very young. Thankfully at 7 and 12 we’re past the nappies, naps and exposing my boobs in public without warning 😉 but in reality it wasn’t that long ago! For me, it’s their bickering that drives me nuts, or the way my 7 year old son just HAS to push it up a notch EVERY single time lol. But you’re right, we wouldn’t trade the opportunity to spend this time with them for anything, it is worth it… even if life borders on insanity 😉

    1. Oh God the bickering! It’s usually Kalyra trying to do it with me!! I can imagine it would be easier when they’re older as there is more they can do without our constant attention.

  3. We travel with our son every winter. He just turned 3. People often if it is hard to travel with the kid. I believe that you have the same issues just like you’d had at home, but you gain so much more. The high quality time with the family. The experience and memories that you will share forever.

  4. We’re one week into a month-long holiday with our 12 year old and our 2 year old. Parts of travel are a challenge: scheduling for naps and bed times, then adjusting the schedule based on activities that would be fun for both, then dealing with the aftermath of messing with a toddler’s schedule. But having us all discover new places together is an amazing experience that simply can’t happen in regular life.

    1. When we left Savannah went straight from a cot to a bed. Combined with a change in routine and schedule, it was a friggin nightmare!!! She’s only just settling down now to sleep at night. I reckon age 3 is the optimal age for long-term travel because by then they’ve sorted everything out and are probably out of nappies.

  5. Travelling with kids is really burdensome. Frankly speaking, travelling with kids does not seem to be ‘travelling’. It is why I highly value who travel with their kids.
    However, I do agree that kids will grow fast, and the chances will be gone. They will leave… So parents travel with their children even though they know that it will be hard. Every moment spent with kids counts and remembered.
    Thank you very much for your wonderful writing, which gave the determination for me to travel to Europe(I live in Korea) this summer with my kids. Pray for me if possible~:-)

  6. It is my first day on your travel blog and I feel like I have been here for years:) This post hits home, as you have very well articulated my and my husband’s decision to travel, and feed the wanderlust in us, not when the children are off to college, but, right now, while they are still 10 and 6. We love road trips- we won’t pass up a chance to camp or visit Yosemite National Park on a 3 day holiday. Yes, it can be insane to travel with kids who will have their moments, sabotaging everyone’s peace, whining, complaining. And you lose your patience once in a while, raise your voice and act up like them in the end. But, what sticks to me will always be the winner smiles, the thank yous, the theme songs they pick each trip ( kids choose an artist/ album to listen to the whole trip and that will be the theme song for that trip). Lastly, random exchanges on life, the cosmos, the universe- the best discussions take place on the road.

  7. This was a great article! We just sold our house and moved into a RV full-time in May with our 4 kids (6 year old, 4 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old) and our 2 large dogs. We are currently living at a campground full-time and traveling when we can – but hoping to be on the road traveling the US full-time as soon as possible! We are Unschooling our kids and we feel the same way! We always say wouldn’t it be easier to just do what everyone else does and put them in school. But then we stop and think about how everyone says it goes by so fast and before you know it they are all grown up and on their own – so we figure we might as well take advantage of the time when they want to be by us! And why not travel in the process and make it an experience we will all remember!

  8. I really enjoyed this article, this inspires me to travel long term with my two kids. I admire you for coping so well with it. This is about spending quality time with kids and not being selfish. Good job!

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