“Oh, I would love to travel full time too, but we have kids”, was the response from the customer service representative when we called to cancel our internet service.
Followed by my response “Yeah, uhm, we have kids too! ” Cue the awkward silence and then “Wow, that’s…that’s amazing!”
So many people think they can’t RV / travel full time or for extended periods with kids. This is not the case. Whether you are planning for a 1 year trek across the country, or you think this might be your life for an undetermined amount of years, you can take the kids with you! Here’s how you can RV / travel full time with your kids…
Updated December 19, 2016
AGES 0 – 5
This age group will transition easily to RV / travel full time. RVs are pretty child proof – everything shuts fairly tightly and electrical outlets are out of reach. Doors, windows, and fridges are near impossible to open (just watch me open any of the windows in the “living/dining room”). If you are staying in hotels/rentals, just purchase and take basic childproofing supplies with you. Sleeping arrangements can be a little trickier. Here are several options: 1) baby in a bed (made baby safe, no blankets, pillows, breathable mesh rails, etc.), 2) separate small crib/playpen (many hotels have them available), or 3) co-sleeping (This is always a controversial topic, do your research. We co-slept with our second child, not with our first). Toddlers and preschoolers can move onto their own bed, with or without bedrails, or you can co-sleep. Do what works for your family.
If you have been homeschooling your kids already, the transition will be a little easier, since the kids are already use to a non-school environment. If your kids have been in school, the transition might not be as easy. Just hang in there and take it one day at a time. Traveling will give you the opportunity to learn as you go. Check out various cities, different foods, culture, museums, and parks. Enjoy this special time that you have as a family. You are rethinking your life, so rethink the way you school. 🙂 There are plenty of ways to homeschool during your travels. You can use curriculum, find an online school, sign up for Minecraft homeschooling, or just learn through your everyday experiences.
Homeschooling laws vary greatly from state to state.
Definitely make sure that you have done your research and are fulfilling the laws for your home state and any state that you are residing in long-term. We are Florida residents and we have been able to maintain residency with a permanent address. Our oldest (now 7 year old) is enrolled in Florida Unschoolers, a private umbrella school for elementary, middle, and high school. If you are not a Florida resident, search online for umbrella or correspondence schools. Some are free, others require a fee. If you have sold your home and do not have a permanent address, there are various services that help you establish a domicile, such as Xscapers.
School-aged kiddos will miss their friends when you make this move. The older the child, the harder the transition will be. My 7 year old misses his friends and the hours they spent hiking and playing together. We have made sure that we are emotionally and physically there for our son. We talk, we play, we go to interesting places, and we make sure to meet up with kids wherever we can. If you have lived in the same area for years and your children have strong friendships and routines, it will take quite a bit of work to have a healthy transition. Make sure to help your pre-teens and teens have plenty of opportunities to connect with to others.
Facebook Groups for Traveling Kids and Families
Fulltime Families, specifically for families with children.
RVing Whole Life Unschoolers – Click here to find out about Whole Life Unschooling (AKA Radical Unschooling).
The move from living in a sticks & bricks structure to a rolling house or foreign home/apartment with kids is possible. There might be additional paperwork and a bit of research before you start, but it it is totally worth it! It will be a life changing experience for the whole family. Even if it ends up not being what you thought it would be or you have to cut your travels short, at least you tried it and you can always say “Hey, remember that crazy time that we tried to RV / travel full time?!” We’ve only just begun this journey ourselves so please tell us what you think, your experiences, and continue to follow us on our adventures! For more on friendships, check out this post: RVing Kids and Friendships