14 questions to ask yourself before making the decision to travel full-time with your family:

1. Do you like your family?

You may have chuckled with this one. But there is a reason this one is #1. When you travel full time you are with your family 24/7. Seriously. This means Grandma isn’t down the street or the kids aren’t going to school 5 days a week. It is you and them. All. The. Time.

Yes, you may make friends at campgrounds or find friends you travel with which will break up some of that time, but there aren’t always other kids at campgrounds and usually you don’t travel 100% of the time with another family.

Don’t get me wrong this is one of the things I really LOVE about full time family travel. But it isn’t always easy and is definitely different then the busy life we had when we were living in our Sticks and Bricks (S&B). When on the road, there can be a lot of downtime for you and your family. This can lead to great bonding, playing, and just hanging out as a family, but from our perspective, it was a lot more of that time once we were full-time compared to when we were in our S&B.

It was overwhelming when we first started and it really was just us. It took some getting used to and was great having family visit and travel with us. Meeting people at campgrounds has definitely helped our kids make friends on our journey.

2. Is Your Body Ready For It?

This one caught us by surprise. We really were in pretty good shape before we left, but this life is physical especially if you move often. Every time you move there is packing up, hooking up, and getting things ready to go. That takes a lot out of you.

Then when you are visiting places you are normally out exploring, walking around cities, hiking, swimming, etc. Again it can be exhausting. But so much fun too!!!

Of course you could decide to take a slower approach to how often you travel and what you do at locations, but if you are like us and want to get out and see and do a lot and move every week or two, be ready for it!

3. Are You A Planner?

Do you like planning? You can choose to travel less and stay in places for longer so there is less planning, but there is still planning to find where you are going to stay and then what you are going to do when you are there.

If you plan to travel a lot (every couple of weeks or even more often) it takes a lot of time to find where you are going to stay, what you are going to do, and all the logistics that go along with it. I have a love and hate relationship with this part. It takes time and as anyone that is working and has a family knows, time is limited! But it is also so fun to learn about new locations and to put together an amazing trip!

Be prepared that planning could take hours each week or a matter of a few days to a week to get your whole year planned out and scheduled. We like to schedule about a month ahead of time, but are working on scheduling farther in the future. But we do like the flexibility of making least minute decisions.

4. Are You Ready To Not Be On Vacation?

This was a tough one! When you first start we recommend adding a few extra thousand dollars to your budget as you work through this. The first place you go you are going to want to do and see everything and totally act as if you are on vacation. The money quickly adds up and you start to realize, “Wait a second, we can’t do this every place we go or else we will be totally broke!”

We always Google “FREE things to do in…” (the locations we are going to). There really are a lot of free things to do around the country. We have also really gotten in to hiking which is great since it is free! If there are things we want to do, we will research them ahead of time so we know how much they cost and will save up if we think it is worth spending the money on.

5. Are You Prepared To Be Homesick?

Luckily for us my sister and parents are on the road with us, so that obviously helps with homesickness. We still really miss Craig’s family and all of our extended family and friends! Plus, we just miss the familiarity of being home. Are you prepared for this? If it isn’t friends and family you miss it may be your favorite coffee shop :).

6. Are You Ready To Question and Doubt Yourself?

We have continuously questioned and sometimes doubted our decision to live our life this way. But we always come back to knowing we could never go back to our old life and we are having so much darn fun that we don’t want to stop! It doesn’t mean that the doubt doesn’t sneak in . . .

I think that has to do with living an unconventional lifestyle. I also think it is just life in general. If you are someone who questions and analyzing things that doesn’t go away when you start this life.

7. Are You OK Being the Odd Ball?

You will be that family. The one your in-laws or high school classmates talk about as being the crazy people that sold their house to hit the road. Don’t worry, they are all probably a little bit jealous 🙂 or they may genuinely think you are crazy and that is ok. To each his own. Just be prepared for it to happen. Then smile and wave as you head out on another amazing adventure!

8. Are you ready to be changed forever?

Are you ready to expand your comfort zone, your thought process, your beliefs father then you ever thought possible?! Are you ready to know what freedom really feels like? Once you go down this road you will forever be changed. In good ways and bad.

This way of life has definitely ruined us for normal life – in a good way! But we also feel if we ever hit a time to be ready to settle down again, we will be happy in the decision (at least for a while) since it will be made with all the backing of the experiences and knowledge we have gained from traveling.

They will be OUR decisions. Not decisions based on the masses or what everyone else is doing. But a decision based on what we know is the right direction to go with our family. Or at least what we want the next step to be. Each step leads us down the path that works for us.

9. Ready to awaken your wanderlust bug?

Once you know all the amazing things that are out in the world and you can experience them at a slow and leisurely pace, you won’t want to stop exploring! We traveled a little bit growing up and before kids but it definitely wasn’t a strong focus in our life. Now I couldn’t imagine going months without exploring somewhere new.

10. Can You Leave Simple Behind?

Yes, our life is simplified when it comes to things, but it isn’t simple in the sense that we can’t come home on a Friday night to a house that we know is there and just relax for the weekend. We are always thinking a few steps ahead of where we want to go next and what we want to do. We love that part of our life, but it takes away the simplicity of just knowing what your days and weeks look like.

11. Are You Able To Leave The Structure You Are Use To?

When your time becomes “Your Time “, structure goes out the window. No boss to tell you when to be somewhere. No school telling you when to drop and pick your kids up. It is all in your control. Amazing and scary! We are still figuring this one out!

12. Can You Grocery Shop in an Unfamiliar Place?

Had to add this one :). This is no joke. As a Mom trying to feed our family as healthy and cheaply as possible this is a definite challenge . . .

13. Can you be Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It?

Whether you have an RV or travel via planes, trains or automobiles, things break. If you hired someone to fix every thing that breaks or goes wrong while traveling, your budget will be blown pretty quickly.

If you’re brave enough to fix things on your own, even if you have no idea how (hello Google!), then you have a fighting chance to stay traveling for a while.

14. Are You Ready to Have the Most Amazing Adventure of Your Life With Your Family by Your Side?

Are you? Hopefully yes!! Can you deal with 1 – 13 so you can go on this amazing adventure? That’s why we do this and that’s why we love it! This roller coaster ride of emotions, stress and comfort zone stretching is one wild ride, but it is worth it.  We are living our life by our terms and we are so glad that we went for it.

How did you do? Are you ready?! In all honesty, we say even if all of these questions scarred you or made you think twice, just go for it! We definitely did not have all the answers before we started and if we waited until we did, we never would have left. Our hope with this list is to help people be prepared mentally for traveling full-time as a family and to know that it takes a little (OK maybe a lot) of crazy to live this way, but it is totally worth it and doable!

22 Comments

  1. For us it is just the 2 of us but many of the considerations are the same. We definitely plan to spend some extended time on the road travelling around the country and there is a lot to think about .. but I can’t wait.

  2. That’s a very helpful post to help you decide if you can travel for a long time. You have some points that I have not considered at all.I haven’t decided to do it yet but who knows..

  3. A fantastic read and lots of pointers there to think over. 🙂

  4. Super important post! I think that many people just think that spending your life in the road is a simple thing. But it’s not. Specially if you’re thinking of doing it with your entire family. There’s so many factors you have to put in the scale. You address key points here, but if you’re able to handle it, just go for it! 🙂

  5. We made a similar decision about one year ago and are still asking ourselves some of these same questions. Even though we don’t have kids, the questions are the same….my personal favorite is “are you ready to be an oddball.” This one is particularly difficult around family….but as you mentioned, they are probably jealous. In the end, life is too short not to be lived fully!

    • Totally! Glad it relates to people without kids too. And hey it is cool being the oddball right?! At least that is what we tell ourselves :)!

  6. This is a good list of items that any family looking to travel full-time should consider. The first one is really important. Even if you are traveling with friends. I actually enjoy buying groceries while traveling. It gives me a change to learn something new and on some occasions make me appreciate what I have back home.

    • That is a great way to look at enjoying a new grocery shopping experience. Maybe when the kids are older I will feel that way :)!

  7. Currently, I’m only traveling with my boyfriend. However, we plan to get married and have children, so this list of questions could help us. Nr. 8 is kinda scary, though.

  8. Love the article, and to be honest, those 14 questions are not only important for families that want a start full-time travel lifestyle. They work perfectly for couples and friends. I have been on the road with my husband for almost 3 years, and we had to go through all the 14 topics you listed. Great advice!
    Happy Travels,

    Nat

  9. Haha love #1, but it’s very true. Takes a very special unit to be able to travel full time as a family – being with each other 24/7 with not much means for escaping each other can be pretty tough. Doesn’t have anything to do with not loving each other, just how well you can gel under stressful situations and being around each other continuously for so long. This is a fantastic list of really practical considerations 🙂

  10. my daughter is going on 9 and at this point, while we could go live in 1 other place for a year or two, we would never travel full time. I think for our child it would be taking away as much of value as the travel experience would offer. In particular she has benefitted so much from the opportunity to have deeper, long-term relationships with adults that aren’t us, deep friendships with other kids and the chance to stick with an activity or club she likes long enough to get all she wants to out of it. taking that away would be taking away a lot. think when kids are little these thing matter less but at 8/9/10/11 they start to matter more and you are literally pulling up roots. Good luck with your adventure though. Kudos to you for trying it.

    • Great insight. Yes we struggle with this too. I think as parents we are always questioning what we are doing and making sure it is what is best for our kids. That never stops.

  11. This is a really great list of questions. Something that I didn’t expect – hiding on the weekends from all the people that come and basically recreate their subdivision in campgrounds and RV parks. I also didn’t realize how loud the kids were…except when they are sleeping of course. Thanks for sharing these. I am sharing with others so they can ask themselves before its too late. ha ha…not really, but they are real considerations.

    • All true! Thanks for sharing! We totally wish we would of had this list before we started. Would have helped us better prepare!

  12. This was such a good read! Answered so many questions I had! Thanks being honest, even about the downsides, in a positive way!

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