Things to Consider before you go


You're thinking about all the places you will see, how great it will be for the children exploring this vast land, you're going to follow the sun, escape the rat race and have the freedom to go where you want when you want. 

Fantastic!  Or is it?  Here we are putting together many things to consider before you set off.  They say forewarned is forearmed, so let's do just that.

Homeschooling

Without a shadow of a doubt this will be your biggest challenge.  You have a few choices on which way you intend to go (if you haven't already please visit out How to Home School page) and whichever way you choose will determine to a degree how much you will be doing.  It is intense, make no mistake. BUT it is doable and with a few hints you will be able to get through it. Give yourself a chance to get into a routine.

You will have days when you feel you cannot do it, or the children are particularly uncooperative.  You will have times when you feel as though it's just too hard.  You will have times when you feel that the schooling is overtaking the 'trip' and that they are just not learning anything. 

BUT equally you will have days of extreme reward, where you see your child learn something from YOU!  You will have days when they just get on with it.  You will have days when you just decide 'not today' and that's okay because one of the absolute beauties of this time is that you can fit the schooling to suit your trip.

It helps to be organised and have a regular time of the day that you dedicate to schooling. 

Other hints:

  • Sometimes just concentrate on the basics; reading, writing and maths.  Lets face it, a lot of geography and history will be naturally covered on the trip.
  • Take every opportunity to learn from local attractions. eg. weather stations, aquariums, museums, caves, mine sites etc.
  • Use your 'car time' with spelling, times tables and reading. Get some information from the last visitors centre about the place you are heading to and read to the children, the history or any significant information.
  • Keep a diary!  Not only does this mean they will be writing, it really is a good recount for them as you move from place to place.  Most teachers will certainly encourage this.
  • Be creative when doing 'normal' things - they will learn so much and not realise that they are; ie build a fire and talk about energy transfer, solar power etc. Get them involved in all aspects of your trip; finances, fuel usage, planning, food preparation etc.
  • Explain to them how lucky they are not to be in school for 6 hours and that as long as they do the allocated work, when (and if) they returned they wouldn't have to repeat the year - meaning not being with their friends!

Setting up and Packing Down

Make your set up as simple as you can!  Do not take everything that you think you need - you won't need it. Check out our camping check list for the essentials.  Pack simply.  If your set up is too much you will get exhausted by it.  It is very important to get this right and choose your method of travel carefully.  A camper trailer will get you to some fantastic places that the average caravan would not be able to BUT the setting up and packing down has to be worth it.

To read about how the kids can help too here!

Together 24/7

No matter how much you love them all, being with not only your partner 24/7 but also your children, needs some 'adjustment'.  Especially for the partner that is not used to it. It is intense and can be very hard for the first few months.  But there are things you can put into place to help you deal with this. Check out some hints here....

 Missing other adults and children

Let's face it, we need other people in our world and without friends and family to call upon, you do crave other adults and the children really crave other children.  It's not too bad to be honest for the adults to find other adults - there are many nomads travelling this great land. 

BUT of course it's much better to be around people in a similar stage to you, with children and better still with children the same age as yours.  This does not happen as much as you think.

This is one of the reasons that I have set up the Travel Australia With Kids Facebook Page and the Travel Australia With Kids Facebook Group - which I encourage you to follow and join.  You can ask any questions to families that just might be going through or have gone through the same things as you. 

Also, to help you find other families, grab a TAWK sticker.  At least with the sticker, you can visually see that there are TAWKers in the camping spot, even if they are out and about touring, you can look out for their return and introduce yourselves. Grab yours here.

We also have our Where are you Wednesday posts... you got it; every Wednesday! Giving you the opportunity to see if other TAWKers are nearby and if they are:  You must strike the TAWK Pose!!  Hahaha   Here in the photo below, are a group of families that did just that....

When you do find other families a TAWK Pose is the order of the day!!

Grab your TAWK sticker today!

A great way to recognise other family Also Traveling Australia with kids

Time  Apart AND Together - 'Roadmance!'

You, your partner AND your children will sometimes need to get away from each other and have some 'down time'. Ensure you make time for this to happen. 

Maybe a fishing trip for dad without having to constantly re bait and re rig the children's fishing lines! (you know this moment!). 

A nice walk for mum, some time to just get away from everyone for even an hour helps.  Some down time for the kids, just to hang out and not have to go and see something is very important too.

Even more important is some romance and together time for you and your partner.  We asked our TAWK Families how they manage to find time with each other - it's a fun read here!

Limited Space

Gosh this is one of the things that you may hate at first and somehow miss when you get back.  There is so little space and it is of a premium, you will need to be pretty organised and tidy! The good news it that whilst you have to be particularly tidy, there is not much to tidy.  It's not like having to keep a big house tidy. 

Just moving about the caravan, camper trailer or tent is a feat in itself without bumping into each other.  You will all need to work together to make this easier and the good news is, you all will learn to.  The children even learning not to be so .. clumsy!

You will find that you have so much but need so little and you will no doubt, either send stuff back home or leave it along the way.

We do have some "Must Take" suggestions though, that other TAWKers have told us that they have found handy when travelling with kids.  You can find that list here.

Sightseeing

This is one of the reasons you are doing the trip and yet the children will not embrace it - at first - as much as you will.  Depending of course on the ages of your children will have a big impact of how much you can do and how you do it. 

Be realistic!  Otherwise you will set your selves up for a challenge.  Start off small and make it interesting for the children.  Stick with it - would be the single piece of advice I would give to you.  They will start to enjoy it, but again you may have to make it interesting for them. 

Check out the places that other TAWKers have put at their must sees in the different states at the top of the page - under the Where To? heading.

In The Car

Australia is vast!  You know that, so to be able to see it all, you are in the car a looooong time. So how do you get through this?  Obviously taking a break every couple of hours not only helps the driver but also gives the opportunity for the children to stretch their legs and get some fresh air.  You can often incorporate the stop with a sight seeing opportunity.

Car time is also time that you can utilise to get some schooling out of the way.  Spelling, times tables and of course learning a bit about the place you are heading to. 

With today's technology; iPads, iPods and Android Tablets are a way of life.  You don't want the children to spend hours and hours on them.  BUT they can certainly serve a purpose whilst travelling and with a bit of investigating from you, you can find some educational apps that the children will love and not realise that they are also learning. 

Some cars are fitted with DVD players and you can also purchase personal DVD players.  Again this can be a good way to pass an hour or two with a movie, when you have a big distance to cover.

We wrote our TAWK Quiz Book with this in mind, passing time in the car AND a way to get them off their screens and all play together in the car.  Check out all the benefits of our great little book here.

Be aware of the hardest things about TAWKing

Do you really want to know!?  Of course there are hard things about being on the road. BUT remember, it's not always rosy at home either!  However, forewarned is forearmed my parents used to say.  So let's do this.  Bear in mind; everyone is different and what one family find to be a problem others do not.  We did ask our travelling families 'What are the worst or hardest part about being on the road?" and here we list some of the answers. 

Go and have a click through as these are your peers that sharing their thoughts.

Things to consider

Hopefully this has given you a bit of an insight into things to consider when on the road.  Let us know below, if you think of other things that we have not covered here and we will add them.

Most of all remember, things happen at home too.  Different things, but lets face it; there's always something and it's about making the most of every moment of our time with our kids.  Before you know it, they will be all grown up.

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