Long Term Family Travel - Most Important Item

July 08, 2013

Long term family travel - exploring the world together!

Planning a trip around the world or long term travel as a family?

I've given my best RTW travel advice, top 10 family travel tips, best packing tip for world travel, 10 best tips for family-friendly travel, best frugal travel tip, best toys for travel, top tip for packing for long term travel and so much more on this website.

Extended travel can be a great blessing  for a digital nomad family,  beyond your wildest dreams and perhaps the best education possible for a 21st century kid.

Almost 8 years of non-stop world travel and location independent living as the ultimate adventure,  has given us plenty of experience about what works the best and I always try and share it with you. We sold our home and almost all of our belongings in 2005 and began this big dream and leap of faith. Check our FAQ's   Soultravelers3 Questions and Answers, or search our site by topic or country, if you are looking for specific information.

Long term family travel - finding peace in Bhutan


Remember slow travel  is key to prevent travel burn out, traveling Europe in an RV rocks, homeschool and travel are a great mix, raising global kids means they will have amazing opportunities especially if they grow up bilingual or trilingual or more.

One of our best accomplishments on this world trip (being monolingual parents) was  managing to raise a trilingual kid who is fluent in Mandarin and learned fluent Spanish in Spain.

Long term family travel -exploring Petra together


We travel really light with just a carry-on bag each as we travel the world, so we are definitely a minimalist family, but I think we have our priorities straight on what is important. That might be one of the best lessons from travel.

One of the smartest things we did before leaving was create a "family home movie" dvd and scanned tons of priceless family photos from tons of albums onto a digital format. (We actually forgot to do this until the last moment, so had to retreive boxes from a distance to complete.) It's been fabulous for us, but also for sharing with our new friends as we roam the world.

Long term family travel - making good friends abroad

I think home movies are the number one  thing we are happiest about that we brought wtih us on our world tour. We had some with us from the start, but got a whole bunch more when we were last in California, so really loving them. So fun for kiddo too to see herself as a newborn or toddler etc.. We've been on TV repeatedly  too, so add that to our collection.

Long term family travel = taking home movies along

Didn't you love family nights as a kid watching "home movies"? I did and Mozart does too, plus it has added value when you're doing extended travel as it helps a child stay connected to his/her home culture, past, roots and relatives in addition to maintaining family rituals in foreign lands.

Long term family travel, sharing home movies with new friends around the world

We also have home movies of me as a young child and my family, so that is great to share too and lets her also see four of her great grandparents and most of her relatives...even ones that have passed on now. Plus, I suppose, a little history lesson on what growing up in the 50's looked like.

I owe these wonderful recent videos to my sweet sister who had the right equipment to allow us to put them all on DVD. So I suppose it is especially rewarding as we did not see these at all for 6 years. Recently she had to relearn some baby Spanish songs for her new first job at 12  teaching Spanish to little ones here, so it was wonderful to discover her at 18 months happily singing these same songs.

Extended travel as a family - playing with dolphins in Key West

But the ones we had were so important to a young kid to know her extended family as we roam the world. We have video of my brother who died at 40 long before she was born and her Grandmother on her Dad's side who died before she was born. This allows her to have a relationship and connection with them and even today she has a photo of both her grandma's on her bedroom mirror along with more photos of family and friends around the world.

One of the great ones we had/have with us was a family wedding with all the cousins and extended family and the rituals of Xmas and Thanksgiving at the home of both sides of the family. This way...even though many now have passed like both Dads and a beloved step Dad and great uncles, she has them in her memory banks.

A global kid at home in the world and multilingual

Since she lived in the same home for the first 5 years of her life and during my pregnancy...which we have well documented...she also has a strong sense of home and family and mix with the world travel .

When we celebrate holidays abroad, especially ones that no one else is celebrating like Thankgiving or 4th of July, we can connect with our family rituals from past holidays to make the day special. Our blog and Soultravelers Youtube channel and video not up yet, add to the fun.

We ate pizza here on the 4th and celebrated in Asia at Sea World in San Diego, Roaring Camp jumping frogs in Santa Cruz, Conference in LA, Lake Arrowhead family camp, Disneyland, horseback riding at Windermere in Santa Barbara etc watching home movies of past celebrations!

Traveling the world as a family rocks!

Sometimes travel nomads just bring their home country celebrations along with them as they see the world. For a family especially, I think long term travel and home videos are a killer combo!

Do you love home movies too? What is your must have item for long term travel?

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We have found that keeping our boys feeling secure with a sense of belonging does not necessarily entail a permanent home either. What kids really crave are familiar rituals and traditions, like holiday celebrations. They also have some small personal belongings that they cherish and take with them everywhere, like a stuffed animal or souvenir. My wife creates "Big Books of Everything" for each of our sons. They are more than pictures books. They have pieces of cloth, programs from events, ribbons, pressed plants, etc. that chronicle their lives. Both boys love looking through them and remembering where they have been.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Curtis! We don't have room for a "big book" on our world travels, but it sounds like a cool idea.

We've picked up a few amazing souvenirs along the way like leather shoes in Morocco and a traditional outfit in Jordan, Bhutan, Hawaii, Turkey etc that she wore....and maybe some day her kids will too.

I think what kids really crave is just time with their parents and the great thing about extended travel and nomad living is we get to spend endless time together.

That is perhaps the thing we cherish most about our long trip. We'd never would have had this much quality time together if we had stayed at home.

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