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How to Travel Full Time with your Family
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Lots of people have been asking for specifics: how do you travel with your family? In this solo round episodes, I go into details about how we lived in 10 countries in the last year with our family.
Travelling with your family is definitely different compared to travelling solo. When you are with your family, you want some degree of safety and comfort, and a lot of other considerations.
Me and my family have been to twelve countries in the first fifteen months since my son, Axel, was born.
Let’s start with the airports. We have been flying to all these different places and one of the important things is the access to the airport lounges. There, you can get your meals, have some rest, and take showers. You can even grab a free alcoholic beverage for yourself if you are stressed out. The key is to make the transit much easier. We have also been very lucky and strategic about booking so that we try to get three or four seats in a row for long international flights so that Axel can sleep for long flights. He has been flying for free until he is two, so flying with an extra seat for a baby is really awesome.
So where have we been? We have been to Mexico, Croatia, Budhapest, Hungary, and now in Bali, after stints in the US and various little side trips.
Mexico was our test run. We were in a family house and it was in this local village, where the roads are made of sand. The poor internet connection made it hard to work. Other than that, Mexico is very cheap and we met people and did some road trips. That was where we learned how awesome people at reastuarants can be – they can watch and hang out with your kids. We had a stroller in all of these countries except for Bali. We just carry him through a carrier.
Croatia was our favorite country because we lived next to the sea. You are allowed there for three months, and it was outside the Schengen zone so you can move in and out of the European countries nearby.
The key was building the community quickly by reaching out to the people. We did it through connecting with people directly though Instagram. Also, expat Facebook groups were of great help in finding english-speaking friends before we arrive in a country.
Another useful tip is to scope out the real estate in an area so that we can check the rates of housing in these places, the good neighborhoods, and for setting the budget.
Getting help. If you are traveling with family, you often wonder whether you can get help. As for my family, we have been able to find local people who help watch our baby for two to four hours a day. It’s well worth the investment to free up some time and focus on work. It also supports the local economy. It’s a great connection to the neighborhood.
Medical. Recently, our kid had his first fever. We basically rely on local doctors when we go to places. In Hungary, I had a tooth filling come out and had it replaced. I’ve seen various specialists in different places. There is medical tourism, and Hungary is actually one of the places where the most of Europe go to for dentistry because there are really skilled and, also inexpensive. We are not relying on our US-based insurance and generally just pay out of pocket.
Food. We usually do breakfast and lunch at home and often go out for dinner. Food is generally so accessible that you want to have your meals out. In places like the Budapest or Bali, you have the whole world of cuisine available for you.
Languages. I tried to learn Hungarian but it is very complex. Its such a complicated language, so its much more valuable to learn through body language. This is actually a skill you take with you from country to country.
Timing. When moving to a new country, it takes three weeks to adjust to a routine. When you are adjusting, you tend to have more friction in the family. The baby becomes so fussy and does not sleep well. We were more likely to have arguments. Therefore, focus on communication when going to a new place.
How do we pick which city we are going to live in? How do you pick what town? We actualy use this website called Nomad List to help us investigate. Its actually a list compiled by nomads and they give ratings. All these different metrics in their website help you sort out the cities.
Hopefully, that has answered most of your pressing questions. Once you start travelling with your family, you just get going. The hardest thing is the first trip and figuring out the little details. It then gets easier and easier.
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