I am writing an article about families travelling around Australia for long periods.
I would really love to hear some of your experiences if you have done this recently (or in the past).
Things I am interested in specifically are:
1. Funny stories / adventures
2. Hazardous stories / warnings
3. Things you would do differently
4. Must haves for the trip
5. What you got out of the trip
6. Best places - why?
7. Worst places - why?
We are travelling around Australia in a caravan next year, for 7+ months. Our children are currently 8 & 10.
I would also love to hear from other families who have done a trip like this for tips!!
Posted By Pam on Monday 8th June 2009 @ 08:29:25
We are currently travelling australia in a fifth wheeler with our three kids - 5,6,7. Left home end of April and sold everything to experience Australia. Would love to meet others doing the same. Check out our blog - www.travellingoakeys.blogspot.com
Posted By Nicole on Monday 17th August 2009 @ 13:45:41
Hi all we r travelling with our 2 beautiful kids. 2yrs and 3yrs. We have been going for 21 months. We left Feb 08 thinking we may last 6 months (our kids were 5mths and 22mths), well 21 mths on and we r getting anxious about going back home 2 Vic in Dec - we have rented our house out. we have done a big figure 8 of this amazing country and could talk for hours and hours and days about travelling with kids.
The best advice I think is have your kids in a really good routine before you leave. Don't over plan and be willing to change plans you have made. Have a big lunch box of "clean" food for the car - dried fruit dried biscuits etc. Dress in the same colours so everything can go in 1 load of washing. Talk to your kids about everything you see we r amazed all the time on how much they remember. It is a fantastic bonding experience for the whole family our kids get 2 eat 3 meals a day with both parents we put them both 2 bed every night, the positives are endless. We dont actually have internet on, we r visiting family so will try to get back on with more news before I go.
Posted By Jamie and Marni on Tuesday 10th November 2009 @ 09:50:35
We are setting off at the end of feb 2010 with 3 children 2 girls and a boy 10 8 and 7. We are travelling in a camper trailer. My husband will be working on they way round. would love to touch base with others doing the same thing.
Posted By Rachel Richardson on Sunday 3rd January 2010 @ 06:11:29
Hi. My husband and I and our 3 girls 11,7&4 are heading off in Feb 2010 from Victoria. Getting very excited and nervous. So much to do before we go. We are in a bus towing a car. I will home school the girls and my husband will try to pick up work as we go round. He is pretty handy so hopefully it wont be too hard...Would enjoy hearing your stories. May see you on the road. Raelene
Posted By Raelene Callander on Monday 11th January 2010 @ 23:17:13
Hi there, We are also leaving for our 12 month trip around Australia in the first week of March 2010 with two boys 8 & 12 and 2yr old British Bulldog. We are travelling in Jayco Expanda, heading North to do the Cape as soon as conditions permit. Would love to hear from others doing the same.
Posted By Chrissy on Wednesday 20th January 2010 @ 11:16:32
My wife and I have wanting to do this and have taken the first steps only yesterday to look at vans. We to looked at the expanda. With 3 children 14, 9 and 3 it;s great to see and know that others take the leap. We would like to know how you go about home schooling the children.
P.S. Reading your posts is uplifting. You should all do a blog of the good caravaning cheap sites and great things you see along the way.
Posted By Alan on Sunday 31st January 2010 @ 12:12:40
Hi we are packing up renting our house and travelling around Aus with 2 kids 1 18mth and 1 3yrs. Wondering roughly what the trip is costing you per week? Any info would be great thanks, Garth
Posted By Garth on Friday 12th February 2010 @ 13:50:37
My husband and I are thinking about taking off later this year with our two kids which by that stage will be 3 and 1. I was slightly apprehensive with their ages but after reading you post have renewed confidence. I am interested in what type of van you are using to travel in?
Posted By Kristi on Friday 12th February 2010 @ 16:23:11
My wife & I have decided in the last week that this is what we want to do to. Very exciting and scary all the same time. Kids are 7 & 4. Would love to hear from people on costs, preparation, work etc. Any info eagerly received.
Posted By Clinton on Saturday 13th February 2010 @ 07:49:54
Hi, we are planning to travel with our 4 kids 12,9,5,3, hopefully by the end of the year. We would really like to hear how other families have handled schooling kids on the road and how the kids handled it all. Any tips would be great.
Posted By Trudy on Saturday 20th February 2010 @ 20:53:08
Well our house is up for rent!!! We have decided to head off in July this year, like you worried about how young the girls are, 1 and 3 but after 2.5 weeks in Tas decided to go for it!!!
I have a Jayco Hawk (outback) camper trailer towed by a 2003 GU Patrol.
The Jayco is being slightly modified so I can fit the same size wheels and tyres as the patrol.
I have installed a small Air Cond in the van and bought the "Fiamma Privacy Room" to attach to our Fiamma wind out awning for some extra space. We had a full sixe annex but decided that we would never use it as it took so long to set up, the privacy room is quick and easy and can be done by myself (wife probably feeding kids!!!).
I have bought a cheap Generator as Microwaves come in handy for the kids, and it can also run the vans air cond.
We have what we call a "Baby Jail" that keeps the kids safely in the bed they share at one end of the van.
Plan on doing some off road, Cape York, Fraser island etc with the van. Would like to do a big figure 8 over about 12 months or so.
Anyway let us know of your plans, tips etc and we might see you out there somewhere!!!
Posted By Garth on Sunday 21st February 2010 @ 21:12:09
Looked at this site back in January and there were only two messages but now there seems to be alot more of you out there doing the 'trip', very encouraging as we are about to set off with 4 kids aged 4, 2 and 5mth twins. Will have a change of email address soon and then would like to keep in contact with the other mums and dads.
We hope you have already done some travelling around Australia, as we have kids age 8 & 10 and would like to travel ASAP!! We would rent our house and be gone!!! unfortunetly need to work along the way. Any advice would be appreciated.
Posted By Sheza on Friday 12th March 2010 @ 17:42:12
Hi we have been on he road since May 09 and have a blog which may be of interest check out www.curryfamilyadventures.wordpress.com
Posted By Belinda Curry on Sunday 14th March 2010 @ 18:31:21
Hi our blog might help look for the home schooling tab at the top. would love your feedback. Belinda.
Posted By Belinda on Sunday 14th March 2010 @ 18:36:34
Hi, we are the Longdon Family, we have 2 children 12 and 8, we are travelling around Australia for 12 months and would love to hear from other family's also travelling, our blog address is www.travelozwiththelongdons.blogspot.com we started our journey in February 2010 and we are currently in Victoria and heading along the Great Ocean Road for Easter and then up to Alice Springs and then Darwin by May, we would love to hear other stories and any suggestions for our journey
The Longdon Family
Posted By The Longdon Family on Sunday 28th March 2010 @ 20:07:04
We're just about ready to hit the road in 6 weeks (end of May 2010) with our 4 children (5yo and 3yo triplets) for a 6 months+ trip around Aus. We did a 'trial' 4 weeks trip (highly recommended) and are making slight modifications to our Jayco Eagle for the big trip. We budgeted $100 per day (including petrol) during our trial trip and it worked out well.
It's great to read that so many families will be travelling around Aus, Can't wait to hear more stories and read your blogs. Can't wait to hit the road!
Posted By Malika on Sunday 18th April 2010 @ 22:21:55
Hi We are currently travelling with our 3 children 10,9 and 7 for 2 years around. We started in Feb and are in Roma Queensland now. My husband is working as we go. Absolutely loving the trip so far. Kids just thriving :) Cheers Rachel
Posted By Rachel Richardson on Thursday 22nd April 2010 @ 03:46:24
We are travelling with 3 kids 10,9 and 7 for 2 years we have just started. when i get time i will drop you a line. Or you could follow us on facebook. I put up news videos that the kids do - they are also now on a fishing show and on you tube (posted by the "Reel Fishing Show") all stuff thats happened in the short time we have been gone - cheers rachel
Posted By Rachel Richardson on Thursday 22nd April 2010 @ 03:50:27
Hi Hope your trip is going well. We are also travelling with 2 girls 10 and 9 and our son 7. We left in Feb from Newcastle NSW and my husband is also working as we go. We plan on going for 2 years. I am homeschooling the kids and just loving it. We are now in Roma and work has been easy to find . Off to Charleville on Saturday. Cheers Rachel
Posted By Rachel Richardson on Thursday 22nd April 2010 @ 04:00:44
Hi Belinda. I read some of your blog and passed on it to a lady who is interested in travelling around Australia and is undedcided about how to school her kids. I am travelling with 3 kids 10 9 and 7 and we left in feb this year and will be gone for about 2 years. I have chosen home schooling to and love it. I found your blogg to be very informative on this subject. Your trip looks fantastic. My only other comment is that things like places to stay and things to do it seems that you are advertising for them. I assume you are paid for those entries which is absolutely fine i dont have a problem with but it would be very interesting to see what you really loved about other places you stayed that didnt have the budget to pay you to chat. In summary i find the majority of your blogg interesting but very commercial. I wish you well on your trip and thanks for the effort you put in about homeschooling i think it was spot on. Cheers Rachel
Posted By Rachel Richardson on Thursday 22nd April 2010 @ 04:32:21
hi there - we're in the early stages of considering taking 2011 and travelling australia. daughter is 14 in year 10 now, and son year 7 now. how will u educate your daughter with regard to highschool? im not finding a lot of info online. distance ed vs. homeschooling?
thanks. happy travelling.
Posted By karen on Wednesday 28th April 2010 @ 10:41:01
Hi, We head off in 7 weeks to do 6-7 months around Australia. We have 2 children a girl 10 and a boy 8. We leave at the end of June when the kids finish Term 2 and return for school next year. We have a Jayco Eagle which we are doing final preparations to. We have been following many different blogs including the Currys, the Oakleys? and many others on travelpod. I am surprised how many families are doing this trip and hope to meet many others on our trip. Now to get finalised and get ready to enjoy the trip!
Posted By Janelle on Tuesday 4th May 2010 @ 18:28:43
I would like to know how to find you blog. We r seriously thinking about heading around australia for up to 6 mths, with 2 kids, 12 & 8. I am wanting lots of info eg. home schooling, preparation, costs (weekly), where to stay etc.
Posted By Claire on Thursday 6th May 2010 @ 12:16:26
Hi there, we are also leaving in July 2010 to travel Australia with our 3 kids 9,11 & 13. We have done a fair bit of travelling in Queensland and looking forward to seeing the rest of the country. It is trully a mission to incorporate renting a house,packing and organising home schooling. I can't wait for early July..bring it on..
Hi, We would love to do the big trip around Australia, Our trip would be a working holiday. We have 2 kids aged 8 & 10 and would like to hear from family's who have experienced traveling aroud Australia that had to find work along the way and home school kids and give us the courage to do the same.
Posted By Sherrie on Saturday 15th May 2010 @ 13:09:51
Wow.. I have been told there are lots of other familiies travelling, but we really haven't met any of them!!
We sold and left our place in, in Newcastle, April 09, with 3 kids. 14months on and the kids are now 4,3 and 1. We are in moranbah at the moment (QLD) but heading to Yeppoon for a week and then off to Mt Isa, Lawn Hill and then back down to Birdsville, as we missed it and then off to Darwin.. I am toying with skipping Alice, but I am hearing great reviews.. anyone care to comment??
Kids are loving it.. our key was to pack up the DVD players... oh, we have an expanda, which has been a treat, made it up to Weipa and back!!
Would love to hear from other's... Will attempt to message other people!
Posted By Narelle on Friday 28th May 2010 @ 20:53:24
We have been travelling since April 09.. with three young kids.. our youngest was only 1.5wks old when we moved out of our place..
We have been doing family hopping since then, helping friends and waiting out the wet, as the helping friends bit put us at the wrong way with the seasons.. We have done the cape and flinders and are about to leave QLD via Mt ISa (Lawn Hill) and then across to Darwin..
AT this stage i have a rough budget that i am about to enter into a spreadsheet.. I read in another blog, that they allow $100 a day.. which fits in with my budget..
oh.. and don't use dvd players in the car on long trips.. ours drove us nuts!!
where are you headed first?
Posted By Robyn on Saturday 29th May 2010 @ 13:06:20
HI to all those going on a trip around oz, my wife and i went around in 2008 with our two girls age 3-4, had a awsome time and would recommend it to everyone, it was that good we are in the process of planing second trip in early 2011, we had a jayco expanda outback, it was great bush camping had the honda geny fire on the side of the road.
Left brisbane, canarvon gorge, alice springs, darwin, halls creek, broome, tom price, perth, margaret river, kalgoorlie, nullarbor plains, cooberpedy, adelaide, great ocean rd, blue mt, brisbane, did lot's of other things on the way, all up did 27800km with my trusty hilux, we are now buying another jayco expanda again for our next trip, we did all that in 3 months we also did ayers rock, king canyon. bloody ripper time just get the bloody hell out there and don't look back, go the hilux and jayco i say, all those out there that rubbish the jayco, are just p... that they paid more for there van, and we tow ours to the same spots. just enjoy and drive to the road conditions. see you all out there..
Posted By jason on Friday 4th June 2010 @ 20:18:27
We left WA with our two kids 12 and 8. Time was running out we needed to follow our dream b4 our daughter hit high school. We have been home schooling through SIDE. Currently we are in NSW and heading North. The funds are running out fast and we would love to have any input on where to get work.
Australia is such an amazing country, so natural and rugged, why wouldn't you want to share it with your kids!!
I now have the time to pause and really look at my kids; laugh, play and threaten to post them home when they push your buttons.
Posted By Tozza Gang on Saturday 12th June 2010 @ 10:15:26
Hi Guys, we are in the process of selling our house and be on the road before my son starts high school.
I have heard work is easy to find, my hubby will have to work so hopefully that will be the case.... if you have any info then please email me.... how much do you think you have spent per day on parks, fuel etc?
Posted By Karen on Thursday 17th June 2010 @ 21:30:10
My hubby and I and our 18mth old son are going to be caravanning around Australia once our house sells. I have read all of your comments on this topic and I am amazed with how many people out there who have done/are doing what we are about to do. We are so excited and cant wait!
I have soooo many questions and concerns though and was wondering if people could suggest some really good websites that cover everything for the beginner, which includes pretty much all you need to know before you hit the road!
Well, I hope to keep in touch and get some advice, and if anyone would like to email me with any helpful information, I welcome it!
Posted By Katrina S on Thursday 24th June 2010 @ 19:19:50
My Husband and 2 children (ages 7 & 5) are thinking of taking off about this time next year (2011) for 12 months. I am concerned about childrens education. I have looked into distance education and home schooling? But not sure where to begin. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Posted By Destination Unknown on Tuesday 6th July 2010 @ 16:57:54
Hi, Five years ago my husband and i sold our house and travelled around Australia with our two boys who were 3 & 4 at the time. It was the best year of our life!
Five years on, (I'm 32 & 36) we find ourselves overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted AGAIN. We would love to travel again but with no time restrictions this time as we would plan to work and travel. We are scared to sell again and not sure what to do. Is there anyone out there who has similar concerns or can offer any advice?
Posted By Belinda on Wednesday 7th July 2010 @ 23:07:19
We have been travelling for 9 weeks now with our three kids 2,4,7. The first 4 weeks were really hard for everyone to settle in but now travelling is our life for 6 months. Some travelling tips are - always have food in the car, the kids always want food as soon as we are ready to drive off.
We have stayed in at least 5 National Parks in QLD. They are cheap and the kids enjoy the bush settings and the animals. Take minimal clothes and toys as the kids find other things to do. I can recommend to be set up to travel off road as some of the best and cheapest places to stay are in National Parks accessed by unsealed roads.
Posted By Jenessa Bolenbaugh on Thursday 22nd July 2010 @ 02:43:33
We have a 6 month trip planned end of the year with our 8 yr old & 2 1/2 yr old girls (ages when we'll be travelling). We plan to leave Cairns start of Dec, travel down to Geelong (Vic) for xmas with my parents, then over to Tassie in the new year, then after: SA, back to Vic, NSW, back up to QLD. Travel itinerary not sorted yet. Am interested in any suggestions, ideas, hints. Hope you're enjoying your trip.
Posted By 3 girls and a bloke! on Saturday 24th July 2010 @ 21:05:02
Great to read everyone's stories... we would love to do the big trip with our 5 children (aged 7 to 22 months). Am interested to hear van options for larger families - have seen Jayco Expanda's but wondering if others are out there. We currently have a Jayco Flamingo with annexe but would upgrade to save on set up time. What has been your average weekly expenses including food? anyone else out there travelling with 5 kids? Are you staying in van parks or doing the free camp option? Tips would be greatly appreciated!
Posted By Sam on Wednesday 11th August 2010 @ 22:54:35
I am thinking about selling up everything & working my way around Australia. Is there much work out there & how much would it cost roughly for a family of 4. I have myself, husband & 17 year old daughter & 3 year old daughter. The cost of living is too high & it is just too hard to stay put now. Do you need heaps of money to take off. I need some help & advice please if anyone can give me some. I dont have a house to sell but I have heaps of furniture, that I can get money for. What about schooling. Any advice would help me.
Posted By Judith Theobald on Saturday 11th September 2010 @ 16:39:01
Hi, Just in response to Schooling of Children on the road. I am not sure whether you have left yet or not. We have been on the road for the past 5 months to return for 2011 school year. Our three children 15 (Year 10 & 3 VCE), 14 (Year 9) and 8 (Grade 2) started Distance ED. It has been going really well and they enjoy the freedom of Home Schooling. It does require internet access weekly to submit work etc, which can sometimes be a challenge. If our service is not available we need to really on WiFi spots and actually Library's can also come in really handy. The other thing that can be problem is that when you are travelling and seeing places all the time there is not always that 3/4 hours a day to do school work and it makes it harder when behind. But all in all they are learning so much just being out there. I wish all the best and have a great time.
Posted By Katrina on Monday 13th September 2010 @ 00:08:29
Hi, my husband just passed this idea past me last night, now I cant stop thinking about it. 6 months to a year travelling around Aus. I have most things covered, however the schooling is freaking me out. Do you have a website I can find out about it. My chn are 8 and 11. Regards,
Posted By Lisa Ranken on Thursday 16th September 2010 @ 08:20:13
We've sold up everything ready to travel with 3 kids (13,10,1) 2yrs around Aus from Dec 2010. We have a Jayco Expanda & a 2010 Prado Kakadu. Been a challenge deciding between home school vs distance education. Hope to speak to others whilst on our travels.
Posted By Maree on Sunday 10th October 2010 @ 16:27:36
We travelled around aus 5 yrs ago my daughter was 9 did distance ed found it okay a bit restricted she is now 14 and we are thinking of packing up and going again our daughter is very keen will most likely do home school we met lots of wonderful people but sadly not to many with children her age so hoping to be able to catch up with other teenagers
we are planning january - Fed 2011 hope to see you on the road
Posted By kerrie douglas on Monday 11th October 2010 @ 10:22:07
We have 2 children 3yrs & 17mths and have decided we will travel around australia next year. We have just started looking at upgrading our van. Love some feedback on what van to buy. I like the expandas but worry the beds may be too hot/cold being canvas? any other tips and hints on traveling would be greatly appreciated. SEE YOU ON THE ROAD!!
Posted By Rosie on Wednesday 10th November 2010 @ 14:51:45
we sold our house in Tassie, gave up full time jobs to work around aust.With our boy who is 8. Packed everything into our landcruiser & 24 ft jayco sterling & crossed bass straight on 1/3/2009. Did distant ED for 5 months and loved it. Have not had any trouble finding jobs and we havent looked back. We are both working in North WA at present with free accomodation. Thinking will go to Darwin next for 12 months then east. Our plan is 10 years who knows. Loving the warmer weather thats for sure. Took us 5 years to take the plung kept getting cold feet. Now am not sure why. Just do it we love it so far and our boy is learning so much. We have met lots of people doing the same. Life is short....
Posted By Julie & Phill & Lachie on Saturday 20th November 2010 @ 17:20:49
Wow! great to see so many families are doing this. We are looking at selling up everything and hitting the road - living in Victoria now, but hoping to do this mid April. Currently looking at caravans (so glad hubby got over the camper-trailer thought!) but struggling with schooling the kids (Year 3, 7 & 9 in 2011). Apparently I have to register them for homeschooling, but need a "residential address" - which we won't have?! Can anyone advise if you've come across this and what you did?
Hope to see some of you on the road!!!
Posted By chuckieburns on Friday 3rd December 2010 @ 08:42:08
Hi, Hope you are loving your trip. I am interested in how you are doing home schooling. We are travelling now with two 11 yrs boys and are home school through the school. We did this as they were only going to be out of school for the last term but now we would like to keep travelling and home school them through to year 10. They have special needs and I have taught them more in 8 weeks then they did all year. Thanks Roslyn Where are you now? We are in Mt Mac Donelled, just near the Vic border, below Mt. Gambier.
Posted By Roslyn Marston on Saturday 11th December 2010 @ 14:13:27
We are leaving for our big trip in 7 weeks. If you are interested in following our adventure, visit our blog at smiffy2011.wordpress.com. We are travelling with our daughter Coby (4) and our son Rhys (almost 3). Getting very excited. Hope you enjoy reading about our adventures.
Posted By Laura fernandes on Wednesday 19th January 2011 @ 01:02:58
Hi we've just sold our house in tassie and are leaving in April to start our trip around oz. Am looking at home schooling v distance ed. Would love to talk to anyone out there with info or who will be on the road when we are. We will head north with our 4 and 6 year olds.
Posted By Amanda on Thursday 20th January 2011 @ 21:25:29
My husband and I are undertaking a very long term plan of travelling around Australia for a year with our two boys in just under 5 years. By then my boys will be aged 10 and 7 1/2. Planning so long term as we want to have the house, 4wd and caravan paid off and substantial money in the bank, as well as the boys to be old enough that they will remember for their life time. Will be home schooling them for the year.
We think it will be such a family bonding experience and open the boys eyes to the world out there, that they will have an appreciation for nature and culture beyond themselves.
We have been doing research already for about a year so I think we will be saturated by the time we leave!! Very excited for those of you that have already or about to leave.
Posted By Donna on Tuesday 22nd February 2011 @ 14:36:58
we have just sold our house and are set to leave to travel oz with our 3 kids- 15mths, 5 and 8yrs. I will be distance schooling the kids and we would love to hear from other families who are into their trip and have those gold tips for starters like us! we are thinking the jayco sterling so we are fully equiped for the 5 of us.
Posted By Leonie on Tuesday 29th March 2011 @ 13:54:32
Hi everyone, We are a traveling family & have now been on the road for 4.5yrs. We have loved every minute of this lifestyle. There is so much to see out there.
We have our son with us & he was 13 when we started, he is now 17. We have homeschooled with distance Ed which has worked for us all.
We are in a 25f Roadstar with a Cruiser pulling the van. As this has been our home I was going to have some comfort.We are able to camp in most places as we are set up with Water tanks, generator, batteries/solor pwr, & the van is a bit more ground clearence.
If you have to opportunity to travel, Get out there, we have never looked back,dont wait till later as later might not come......Travel safe & Enjoy
Posted By kylie on Saturday 16th April 2011 @ 10:27:15
kylie just wondering how your son has coped with meeting other teenages and has he missed friends, also teaching high school work, how did you find it?we travelled 6yrs ago and i found teaching than a bit of a challenge and we are thinking of going again our daughter is now 15 and just having some concern with how she will go away from friends and social contact that school brings but I think the experenice travelling and sharing as a family must be more than a schooling can give
Posted By kerrieanne douglas on Sunday 22nd May 2011 @ 11:25:45
I have never written on a forum, so not sure of how it works!
We are planning on travelling Australia, setting off at the beginning of next year. We are currently looking at what vehicle to buy and are interested in whether it is better to buy a campervan or a caravan.
We are veering towards 4WD campervan as we want to be able to go off road and it feels much easier to travel with than pulling a caravan. I am interested in your view now you are on the road!
Posted By Tara on Tuesday 28th June 2011 @ 22:36:10
We are planning to take off around Jan 2012 with our 2 year old son. We will have to work our way around. We are hoping for some advice on work and travel routes. We are leaving from QLD, not sure which way to go? Our house has already been rented out, just need to sell my car and work for the rest of the year to save some money. Any advice would be great.
Posted By Mary-Ann & Joe on Saturday 9th July 2011 @ 23:36:39
Hi there, my family of 5, consisting of husband, wife, 3 kids aged 12,11,9 are putting into action our plan of travelling for an unspecified amount of time. We have looked at so many caravans, camper trailers, campervans that our head is swimming.
Can anyone offer any advice as to what type of van to get. We originally thought of a Jayco Swan but have ditched that as I wonder if we will end up getting on each others nerves too much. Now looking at vans from 18-20 foot with/without shower/toilet. We didn't want to stick to main roads but also didn't want to venture too far into the middle of the never never.
Any advice would be so appreciated. Are you too limited with a caravan as to where to go, maybe a full size annexe with the Jayco Swan. They won't share a bed, they need bunks I think.
Posted By Helen on Monday 15th August 2011 @ 11:52:58
Hi we are just finishing our 6 month trip around the edge of OZ. We have travelled in a Cavalier 14 foot camper trailer. We have had a fantastic time off road doing Gibb River Road, Savannah way and lots of black top. My personal advice is a big caravan while very comfy, may limit where you can go. Camps 6 is your best friend with lots of cheap camping options.
Posted By Lisa Ranken on Wednesday 17th August 2011 @ 14:45:43
Well we've got a jayco swan , full annexe are are heading off shortly with a 15, 13 and 4 year old , all boys . So we'll let you know how we go . Still haven't finalised schooling plans so woul appreciate any feedback
Posted By davo on Friday 2nd September 2011 @ 09:33:28
We are a New Zealand family who are planning on travelling Australia for one year beginning 2012. We have a twelve year old son who will be the only child travelling with us. My concern is that it could be a bit isolating. Do you know if there is a website that could put us in touch with other families with similar aged children that we could meet up with on our travels. I am inspired just reading about all the families who are out there doing this. Any advice appreciated. Thanks very much. Donna
Posted By TAMMY on Thursday 8th September 2011 @ 21:56:58
I am a single mother with a nine month old. I have always wanted to travel and explore australia and now it seems i have the perfect travel buddy : )Thinking of heading off in about a year and would love to hear any good advice or stories of any other single parents traveling with young children.
Posted By Amy on Wednesday 26th October 2011 @ 14:31:45
My son and I are in the planning stage. I am a single parent to one 5yo and we are savings, getting rid of pocessions and working out schooling. The plan is to travel around Aus for 8-12 months beginning Feb 2013. I hope to have a bookkeeping business up and running by than and possibly be bringing in some kind of income (not sure how this is going to pann out on the road). Eagerly reading and researching all travel blogs and forums.
Posted By Lee on Thursday 27th October 2011 @ 11:58:51
In 2008 my family and I (3 girls currenly aged 10,9 and 7) travelled the Kimberleys for 6 months. We worked there and sent the girls to a remote Aboriginal school - what an experience! They often talk about their time there and loved it!
In 2009 we took 3 months off and travelled in a Jayco Expanda Outback. We got as far as Bowen North QLD (We live on the North Coast of NSW) and had car troubles (our Nissan Patrol kept overheating and eventually lost 5th gear too!).
In June 2011 we travelled in a camper trailer from the North Coast NSW up to Cook Town, with most of our time spent on the Atherton Tablelands and Port Douglas (a beautiful spot!).
In 2012 we are planning yet another trip, but hope to go for a few years and see all of Australia. We are looking at purchasing a Coromal caravan with bunks, or maybe the Jayco with the triple bunks.
The hardest decision is with schooling.
We have used a distance ed school in the past and found it a pain to know where we were going to be all the time in order to receive new work each fortnight. Also, the work load was huge!
We are now looking into registering with the BOS as Home Schoolers. I would appreciate any comments on advice with schooling whilst travelling!
Posted By Amanda on Thursday 27th October 2011 @ 14:15:50
Amanda- I have researched the home schooling thing quite a bit. It's my first choice. But I keep meeting up against the same brick wall- In NSW- you must be residing within the state to qualify. :( Kinda pointless if you ask me.
Please- I'd LOVE to know how you go on this. ATM- I'm contemplating moving to VIC for a couple of months and registering there.
Posted By mick on Sunday 12th February 2012 @ 18:58:22
Good luck Mick. When we travelled my kids were 6,4,2. The 2 year old remembers very little of the trip but it was still a great experience for her. She was very shy when we left and wouldn't leave my side at the beginning and by the end she was very confident. It is an amazing experience at any age, although you need to be very flexible and have lots of treats in the car for the long travelling days.
Posted By Gemma on Monday 13th February 2012 @ 13:38:09
Hi Mick. thanks for your comments on my blog.
When I was planning this trip, people said I was crazy doing this while the kids are so young. They won't remember it. But peoples personalities are mostly formed in the early years from their experiences. I'd like to say, my kids have become very socialable, confident and adventurous children, and have benefited from so much family time during the trip. I say, go for it, but take lots of photos, and keep a diary and memory box for the kids to put stuff in, to help them remember.
Good luck with the planning. Feel free to email me if you have any specific question. This week I'm putting up my last blog post, giving tips and estimated costs. Hope you like it.
Posted By Sharon on Monday 13th February 2012 @ 16:30:50
We are a family of 5 with 3 kiddies aged 13,4,and 1.5 and we are going around the block for 12 months. We are home schooling which is pretty exciting i think more for me than the kids. We are travelling in a pretty old van but has all the mod cons. We like to jazz up the travel a bit with some off site stays especially near the water and have had some fab caravan parks with all the fantastic bits and pieces for the kids and parents. Would like to talk to other families that are travelling for tips and hope that we may exchange ideas. Travel safe and enjoy !!!!!
Posted By Nicola and Rob on Tuesday 14th February 2012 @ 20:14:39
I am 8 months into a trip around Australia with my husband and 3 year old son. We are likely to be on the road for about another 8 months, but it might end up being more. Anytime is a great time to travel with kids, but we have found that it has been very easy and very rewarding travelling with a 2 year old (who is about to turn 3). He is easily entertained and being a shy child it has been great for his confidence and social skills.
We are keeping a blog of our trip, www.jarvismalin.blogspot.com. This has some of our best and worst experiences. But my top tips / experiences that come to mind are:
- Get your set up right. Do you want to go on 4WD tracks? Or do you want the ease and comfort of a caravan. We wanted to and have been staying in lots of national parks which have 4WD access only. So we opted for a good 4WD and a heavy duty camper trailer (Kimberly Kamper). It is a faster set up than a tent but with good sleeping, storage and cooking facilities. We also have a tinny on the top of the camper so we can go fishing and explore rivers and estuaries.
- Most of the caravan parks we have been to have been full of grey nomads. They are have been lovely but there haven't been many young people. So I would suggest getting out into the national parks as much as possible and some of the quirkier caravan park / camping grounds on farms and stuff seem to have more families and young people.
- try to avoid being near big cities and holiday locations during school holidays. The prices go way up in caravan parks and even the national parks are often full.
- Remember the wet season up north. It get's hot and stormy and many roads are closed. Plan around this if you can.
I hope some of this has been helpful.
Posted By Emma on Friday 24th February 2012 @ 02:11:28
Sounds like a great trip with your 3 year old , we"be got a 5 year old on board who"s come on in leaps and bounds , we also have a 16 and 14 year old on board who have had a few issues with not being able to go to their room to shut us out . We"be been 3 months on the road , we have a 2003 land cruiser and a pop up pop out camper van , we"be done a mixture of caravan parks and camp grounds , unfortunately National parks are out for us because we also have the family fox terrier on board , we"be got a tinny on the top of the camper . We"be bit hit a bit cingular to Qld , probably at the wrong time but we intend staying in Qld till about August so once the weather settles down , we"ll be happy . I agree it's mostly grey nomads in the caravan parks who tend to be really nice but yea looking forward to meeting people a bit younger with kids etc . Overall I"d rev commend it to anyone I wouldn't be anywhere else and if it were totally up to me I don't think I"d ever go home
Posted By Davo on Friday 24th February 2012 @ 20:20:10
Hi all, we are looking at traveling hopefully...by July 2012. That is myself, husband and 3 y/o daughter. We are looking at a caravan as it will be home for up to 2 years. After reading the blogs, it appears that most people have the expand caravan?? We are initially looking for a van with shower & toilet. Is this necessary?? We plan to stay at free campsites as much as possible to save costs.
Posted By sharon Smith on Sunday 26th February 2012 @ 09:11:04
One of the trips we did around Aussie, we had a Jayco Expanda caravan, the off road model with shower and toilet. Our experience with it was, that it was very large and spacious, but we had the canvas expanding ends - which let condensation in, just like a tent does, they also couldn't be pack up wet, as they fold in on your bedding. The new model hard lids may stop most of that. The convenience of having the shower was great, but we found the toilet filled up very quickly with 2 adults and 3 girls, so we saved it for emergency only.
We now have purchased a full van with triple bunks and a fold down double bed (folds down out of the wall). We are planning to travel again July 2012. Our girls will be 11,10 and 7 when we go again, so I am just worried about schooling this time, as my eldest will be going into high school in 2013. Anyone have any experience with schooling a high schooler whilst travelling??
Posted By Amanda on Monday 27th February 2012 @ 08:54:15
We traveled around Australia from June 2009 to Jan 2011 our kids ages 6 and 13 Found homeschooling suppliesow very helpful we are back for the oldest to do grade 10 and he has started an apprentiship we plan to go on the road again hopfully in 2014.
Posted By Teresa on Monday 27th February 2012 @ 16:50:55
Can you tell me how you went about the schooling? Did you use Distance Education, or Home Schooling, if so - which company/school did you use? This is my main concern in travelling again. I want to be sure the kids have every opportunity academically, as well as the hands on experience of travel. Thank you.
Also - has anyone registered for home schooling whilst travelling? I looked into it, and you need to have a permanent address, and a room set up for schooling...has anyone got around these requirements?
Posted By Amanda Collins on Tuesday 28th February 2012 @ 08:30:02
We are almost ready to depart. Head off at the end of May having been delayed a couple of times(!!!!!). Two children, boy 7 (yr2) and girl 9 (yr 3). We were going to home school, but apparently as we will be travelling outside NSW, will have to do Distance Ed. Bit of a bummer as we had gone down the track of outlining a cirriculum in tandem with their current school so we could keep the lines of communication open so they slot in when we get back (2013). From forums, I understood Distance Ed to be fairly inflexible, is this still the case? Any recent experiences? Feel free to email me, I would be eternally greatful.
Posted By Luna on Tuesday 28th February 2012 @ 12:41:26
Hi. I am a qualified primary, secondary, special education and vocational teacher with 37 years experience. I am happy to give advice to people about travelling and education. Down the track I was hoping this would subsidise my trip around Australia but in the meantime happy to help people while I work out what people out there want advice, on so I can work out if this would be a viable business for me. So ask away!!
Posted By Amanda on Saturday 3rd March 2012 @ 15:57:39
Thank you for your offer of advice. As a Mum I want the best of both for my kids - a good education, and hands-on experience that comes from travelling our Country. In your opinion what would be the best way of educating whilst travelling? We have travelled for 9 months previously, and enrolled the children at Casino Distance Ed School NSW. I found the schooling took up so much time, there was sujects included like art that came with a HUGE bag of supplies and took a lot of time to complete. In my view I would just like to have set workbooks for reading, writing and maths. The rest I think the children would prefer to cover as we go on our journey. Journelling, art work, photography, geography and even science and history can be covered through daily travelling experiences. I have three girls ages 11,10 and 7.5 years. So my eldest will be entering high school in 2013. Do you think we are jeopardising our children's education by travelling? I would love some advice!!
Posted By Amanda Collins on Tuesday 6th March 2012 @ 11:46:00
How great to be taking your children on such an incredible experience. Schooling is only one part of a child's education but it is life skills that take them through to adulthood as our world is changing at a really rapid pace.
1.Casino distance ed has introduced Mobile Units this year. I don't know too much about them but they do appear far less cumbersome than previous distance ed modules. So ask them.
2. All states will require you to abide by the state syllabus. I suggest you try to understand what the requirements of the syllabus are, then talk to the distance ed principal. The syllabus usually does not specify learning activities but rather learning outcomes. So maybe you could say instead of this activity, could I collect all the letters my child writes to her grandparents taking into account sentence structure and spelling.
I would confidently ask these questions as a school's focus is the complete education of a child but do your homework(!) first. Ask again if you don't understand the syllabus.
I am thinking of writing some things you can do with various ages whilst on a long trip if people are interested.
Posted By Amanda on Wednesday 7th March 2012 @ 18:21:47
Just thought I would talk to some parents who have perhaps pre schoolers to year 2 and are travelling on the road.
One of the things people ask me is what educational activity would be beneficial while we are just chiiling out and kicking back but the kids are looking for something to do.
Conceptual development is vital to a child's education. However it is something we don't teach but hope children learn.
Equipment required -stuff!
Look around the van/tent - a spoon, a shoe, a folding chair, a bowl, a ball. etc...
The idea is to teach/reinforce spatial concepts. Show the child all the stuff then ask them to show you "under". The child puts the bowl under the chair and says " the bowl is under the chair". This sounds petty but there is also next to, between, infront of, behind, before, after, middle etc.
This can turn into a real family game when done inside because it is pouring rain outside. It becomes more fun when siblings and parents get asked to be the "props" for middle, on top
Message to parent: great to play this game with your fingers over your eyes. 2 purposes, CHEAT. Don't want kids doing "on top of the stove" but also fascinating to watch how they came up with the solution through the gap in your fingers
If you want a list of concepts, post a message and I will help6f
Posted By Amanda on Saturday 10th March 2012 @ 21:18:41
What a great thread to find! We are hoping to travel in 2 years or so when my husband has his long service leave. At this stage we estimate it will be for around 12 weeks. Our childrens years at school will be year 9,year 6,year 2, kindergarten & one in preschool. At this stage our daughter who will be in year 9 is currently attending a Catholic school. As its only early days I havent spoken to the school about it yet, but just thought Id ask on here in case someone can tell me! Im wondering whether I can obtain a terms worth of work from school....or do I need to go through distant ed. From what I have read distant ed is for travelling over 12 weeks,so if we travel just under the 12 weeks does that mean we can just organise work through the school?
Id be interested in reading info on schooling Amanda.
Just out of curiosity, what type of work are people doing in their travels? My husbands work doesnt allow for travelling & flexibilty, but Im still curious as to what others do to make ends meet. We will soon be renting out our house due to work anyway, so that will be a source of income.
So exciting, wish it was sooner that we were going!!!
Posted By Miranda on Sunday 11th March 2012 @ 08:29:22
Hi all my wife and I are planning to head off on a working holiday for 6 months around aus with 2 kids under 4 just wanting advice on what's the best way to go- bus, caravan or camper trailer? Any advice would be great.
Posted By Grant Chislett on Sunday 11th March 2012 @ 15:10:00
Hi there, we have been planning our "big trip" for the past two years...put the house on the market, bought the 4WD and constantly looking for caravans for when the house does sell. We have 3 kids, girl 13, boy 12, girl 10 and are looking at an offroad bunk van under 20 foot. My husband and I are at LOGGERHEADS as he doesn't want a toilet/shower inside but I do as I'm concerned about the middle of night jaunts to the outside toilet. Can anyone who has done this give us some good advise as to if I'm being pernickety and over anxious or is there nothing to worry about with the toilet outside in a privacy tent attached to the caravan somehow.? Kind Regards Helen
Posted By Helen on Monday 12th March 2012 @ 08:42:41
Helen - We have purchased a triple bunk caravan, it is 20ft. It is not off road, but we have just had the suspension under the van flipped over (only cost $160) and now it has the ground clearance of an offroader. We chose to have a large shower, but no toilet. We use a bucket, sat in the shower cubicle for night emergencies, and public toilets other than that. We used to have a van with both shower and toilet, but the toilet was directly under the shower which made for a very small cubicle, and we found that with three girls in the family it would overflow as the guage showing how full it was, wasn't very accurate. We like the Windsor Genesis range that have the double bed that flips down from the wall, and has bunks at the other end. It gives you so much lounge space, and still minimal setting up. We ended up buying a van very similar to these and absolutely love it. We have tried camper trailers, Jayco Dove, Jayco Expander OUtback, Royal Flair with fold out bunk, and now we have a Scenic van and wouldn't go back to any of the others. Hope you find the van that suits you.
Posted By Amanda Collins on Monday 12th March 2012 @ 11:08:42
Hi Helen, I have just returned from traveling Australia for two years with my husband & 2 children. My children are now 11 & 13. You MUST have a toilet & shower. We used the Camps 5 book (free camping) because the cost of parks would have doubled the cost of our trip. We went absolutely every where. OMG, if we didn't have the luxury of the shower/toilet and the privacy for the kids (when they felt they needed it to get changed etc), the trip would not have been as smooth, or long. My husband was against having a toilet/shower and now says that it paid for it's self within the first week. GET A TOILET & SHOWER!!! Enjoy, it was, & will remain to be the best two years of my life!!!!
Posted By Prue on Monday 12th March 2012 @ 12:20:45
Thanks Amanda for your information... Sounds like you are onto something positive with travelling education - you would surely be a valuable contact for the many travellers... My biggest concern is providing the level of education required for those of high school age... Most particularly years 10-12.... In your opinion would it be detrimental for a student of these year levels to not be in a structured school environment?? Would you recommend home schooling or distance Ed?? As a parent we are responsible for providing the best possible start for our Childs future so I would hate to think that by taking them travelling at such an age we could be actually hindering it....
Posted By Toni on Monday 19th March 2012 @ 11:16:55
Hi All, my husband and i are taking our two kids (8 & 10) on a 10-12 week trip from Vic through NSW and up to Nth Qld. We have a Jayco Swan and plan on leaving May this year. We are all very excited and i have loved reading all the comments on this site - such a help. My only real concerns are the kids education whilst we are away. I think it will be a great opportunity to spend time together and really get to see as much as possible - and a great learning experience for the kids (though I havent told them that bit). Would love to hear from anyone about their experience or advice.
Posted By sandra walls on Monday 19th March 2012 @ 20:10:37
Please remember this is my personal opinion but please find below comments that may assist you in your decision
1. Life experiences gained from travel are known to enrich a child's education
2. This is especially true of adolescents for whom the increase in confidence, self image (as they have numerous experiences to recount and therefore make them more interesting to other people) and a chance to learn about other people's cultures and values are all important aspects of "growing up"
3. It is predicted that the average adolescent now will have probably 3 career changes (that's careers not jobs!!) and will probably work in at least 2 different countries. Think how much travelling, learning to be adaptable and meeting lots of different people will assist them to manage these changes.
4. Now think about each child. If the year 11 and 12 child wants to, and has the ability to, enter a university to do a course which has a very high entrance level score then don't try to educate them yourself. The structure of secondary schools is geared to a flow on to university as its first priority. The structure provided to the student supports this goal
If on the other hand the child has no idea of a career or is not academically inclined then you probably have nothing to lose. Many Tafe courses are direct entry at many points. Some universities also offer entry to students who have been out of school for a number of years.
5. As to how to educate, the same decisions apply. Year 10 Home school unless wanting to do Year 11 or 12 units.
6. Year 11 and 12. Hey aren't you trying to have a good time travelling as well. Accept Distance Ed where you don' have to even think about the curriculum. However try to complete only the minimum number of units to get a certificate. Better few done well than lots not successfully completed
Hope this helps
Posted By Amanda on Tuesday 20th March 2012 @ 18:21:33
We returned last month from a 9 month clockwise trip departing April 2011 till Jan 2012 with 2 girls in Prep and Grade 3. 2012 will be remembered now as a fantastic year full of new experiences and great social encounters. We loved our outback Expanda Caravan especially the extra space with slide out lounge suite. The pros of canvas ends outweigh the cons. The bed ends essentially reduce the outside van length by 6ft and assist ventilation after hot days. We often used shade sails but probably wouldn't have set up a full annex. The shower toilet was fantastic especially for a lengthy trip and can be used for storage during transit. The van (tare 2020kg) has clearance for most creek crossings and I was able to pull through mud tracks and semi soft sand. We only travelled 4wd tracks after local enquiries regarding conditions and grading.
My diesel Prado 2007 with upgraded suspension performed well but be prepared to drop speed to 70kmh during strong headwinds or endure very high fuel consumption. I averaged 18litres/100 towing and was probably loaded close to the maximum 2500kg tow limit.
We were pleased we chose Distance Education Victoria. Although the curriculum is sometimes difficult for travelers, the teachers allowed us lots of flexibility and we really only concentrated on Maths and English. The kids enjoyed the structure and it was great to fully understand and address our children's strengths and weaknesses plus provide one-on-one tuition. Rather than a chore or distraction to the travels, we embraced the opportunity to be able to teach in an efficient manner with our daily schooling usually complete by the time the kids are starting a normal school day. The traveling makes it difficult to fully complete all units on time however with regular work submissions and teacher dialogue the school requirements can be met. We were fortunate to meet many other friendly travelers of all ages that ensured our kids enjoyed many social encounters and new friends.
Post traveling, our girls have integrated extremely well into their school with the routine of our regular homework sessions continuing. We would love to embark on another longer trip say 12-18 months and believe the huge logistical job of renting our house is well worth it.
Posted By Jon on Thursday 22nd March 2012 @ 11:35:42
HI, quite a few people have been asking about what set up they need for a trip round oz. We are in the middle of our 18 month trip with our 3 year old and we have a 4WD and a Camper Trailer. We have put up a page on our blog outlining our set up, with lots of photos. Please feel free to check it out. hope this helps people get on their way.
Posted By Emma on Thursday 29th March 2012 @ 22:31:44
Only discovered this thread tonight. Wish I had seen it 14 months ago. We are travelling with two girls, aged 8 & 10. We have a 24ft Regal with triple bunks (3rd bunk holds school supplies, laptops, printer, box of toys, box of board games which we haven't touched). The van has a shower/toilet and built in washing machine. At up to $5 per load in some parts of Australia, it paid for itself very quickly. Being able to have hot, albeit quick, shower at the end of every day was a 'must have' for us. We have a full annex but haven't used it once in 14 months. The awning and shade cloth are regularly used.
We have been travelling since 19 Feb 2011 and have budgeted to travel until the end of 2013 (3 years in total) when our eldest is due to commence Yr 8. We do distance education and while the workload was larger than we expected, we have since negotiated to drop everything except Maths and English. Oh, we also do Japanese and Violin lessons over the phone each week. The new Australian Curriculum is organised into 5 week units and apart from text books, is all accessible online and on USB sticks provided by the school. If we were travelling for one year only or less, I'd ditch formal school altogether!
We venture into a caravan park about once a fortnight, mainly to access water to do the washing and to enjoy power and longer showers. We received memberships to the various chains as farewell gifts so generally get a 10% discount. We do aim to spend a full week of each school holiday in a caravan park as the girls love being able to mix with large numbers of kids.
Despite the seemingly large numbers of families travelling, we must all be in different spots as in 14 months we have come across very few travelling families. We would LOVE to meet some of you!
Posted By Tracy & co. on Tuesday 10th April 2012 @ 01:32:38
It's so exciting to hear about your travels Tracey, our girls are 11,9 and 7, we also have a triple bunk caravan with shower. We have travelled on and off for the past few years, visiting the Kimberley and North Queensland. We enrolled the girls in Casino school of Distance Ed, situated on the North Coast of NSW, and also found it to be a bit much whilst travelling. I will be going through them again though, just negotiating the work load as you did. Travelling our beautiful country is awesome, it brings our family much closer together and we have such wonderful memories. We hope to start on the road again in July - maybe we'll see you out there somewhere!
Posted By Amanda Collins on Tuesday 10th April 2012 @ 11:40:34
Hi to all the travelers out there,
Our family of 4 is planning to head off next year, in a Volvo bus/ motorhome, just waiting for our house to sell. We have no plan of how long we will travel for. Our daughter will be 16 and our son will be 14 when we plan to go. I would really love to hear from people with advice to home schooling vs distance Ed, How it works to do year 11 & 12 and how the children cope with it. We will be also traveling with 2 dogs, I would love to hear from anyone who has advice on doing this.
Love to hear from you,
Posted By Naomi Hedges on Wednesday 18th April 2012 @ 11:32:48
Our family has travelled Australia over the past few years. It is a great family bonding experience and we all loved it. We are planning to use Southern Cross Distance Ed school in Ballina NSW for high school and we use Casino Distance Ed for our primary schoolers.
A lot of caravan parks don't allow pets, so you may want to grab a "Camps Australia" book that has all the free camp sites in it. There is also a website called Oz Trekkin' that has free sites listed as well.
Good luck to you on your journey.
Posted By Amanda on Wednesday 18th April 2012 @ 14:26:06
Hi all, I'm a single mum about to travel for 3-6 mths with my 3 girls (12,8,4). Won't be able to work along the way so any tips for cheap / savings much appreciated. We will be roughing it mostly, keen to meet other families while on the road :-) any safety concerns? Thanks for any advice....
Posted By heidi on Saturday 28th April 2012 @ 22:35:06
Hi Heidi - Buy a Camps Australia book - I think it's up to version 7 now, it lists all the free campisites in Australia, and also tells you if they have toilets and showers, tap water etc. A great investment as we found camping in caravan parks really expensive with our three kids.
Posted By Amanda Collins on Sunday 29th April 2012 @ 15:02:29
wow its great to hear there are plenty of others traveling Australia with kids. We are planning on heading of next year for the whole year, planning on working our way around. We are hoping to try to get work on one of the outback station as we think it would be a great experience for our kids. Has anyone done this? If so how did you get work on there? Our kids are in primary school here in Vic so I'm looking into distance education at the moment, would love to hear from anyone else using them.
We will try to stay in mostly free camp sites to make it cheaper & try to save. We are also taking our 2 dogs with us so would love to hear from anyone traveling with dogs.
We tried to do this fue years back but money was tight as we stayed in caravan parks, who charge so much just for a site. Then we came across the free campsite book this year & thought we'd give it another go.
Posted By Renae on Wednesday 2nd May 2012 @ 13:29:04
Excellent , should be great fun Heidi , yes definitely get one of those books for a rough guide , also use visitor information centers as they might know other local places and get info on which rest areas allow camping and for how long , usually you can stretch the time you stay a little more than is stipulated , I think sometimes it's just a way of being able to turf out undesirables . Simple things like remembering to camp on the high ground if there's a chance of rain . Be friendly but wary in case . National parks generally charge to camp , for you and 3 kids about 10 or15 dollars a night , caravan parks could try and charge about 40 a night for a powered sight , high price for electricity and a hot shower so beef up your 12 volt/solar options , 12 volt showers are pretty cheap and a fair amount of free camps have cold showers . We"ve been going since December and not seen too many kids , lots of backpackers in vans and grey nomads so I think you might have to get a bit involved in local activities to get the kids socializing , libraries are good . Good luck and have a ball .
Posted By Davo99 on Wednesday 2nd May 2012 @ 23:09:28
A BIG HELLO all!!
We are just to embark on a 6-12month trip with an 11 mth old bub and a 7yr old boy. Absolutely can't wait. We are renting out our house and enrolling in long distance educ through Sydney. We have a Jayco Hawk Outback a little on the small size but have decided it is going to have to work. Our plan is to depart June and head north in an anti clockwise direction. We are currently setting up a blog.....once we have I will add a post with our details on it for anyone interested in following our adventures. Renae I would be really keen to hear about how you get on with work on the Outback Stations.....keep us posted if you don't mind.
HAPPY TRAVELS all and who knows we may bump into a few of you along the ways!!
Posted By Nadina & Scott Stapleton on Thursday 3rd May 2012 @ 12:54:57
Hi Nadina & Scott
I'll let you know for sure how we go getting onto one of the stations. I was thinking of setting up a blog also about our adventures and also to get more info out there for others about the places we go & work we find.
We will most likely head off once school finishes this year in Dec. Kids are very excited.
Posted By Renae on Thursday 3rd May 2012 @ 19:01:48
Hi All. I just wanted to put an idea out there for some cheap travelling. There are Camp Hosts at almost all of the campsites in WA National Parks. They get to stay for free and in return have to collect fees, clean the toilets (not much of task for a pit toilet) and just generally keep an eye on the place. I think they need to stay for about a month. They almost always are grey nomads, some of them very annoying (some nice though). However, as a travelling family we would LOVE it if we came into a campsite and found another family as the camp host. If you are just starting out on your trip maybe this is something that you might like to look into. I think all the details are on the WA National Parks website. The other states might do it too but we haven't been in the other states during the peak season so that might be why we didn't come across camp hosts.
Have fun on your journeys. We are now in the Pilbara and have met heaps of other travelling families up here. Hopefully we'll see some of you guys too.
xx Em, Rob and Jarvis (3 years old)
Posted By Emma Maratea on Monday 7th May 2012 @ 15:22:37
hi all we are heading of mid july with two teenaged girls 12/13 from grafton i guess north but do not know how far well get before it gets to hot will have to work as well.may be around bowen? then were? all suggestions wellcome we have 23ft on road van self sufficient no time limit house rented. thanks heaps neil,and family.
Posted By neil,sue,samantha and emily on Wednesday 9th May 2012 @ 20:36:23
It's so great to hear so many families getting out there and seeing the country with their kids. My husband and I have been deciding for almost 3 years we got close in 2009 and got the car ready and then my husband thought it wasn't the best time to go. So we did cape york instead and it was great. We had 2 kids then a 3yr old and 20 month old. We have now decided to go and are planning to leave at the end of the year. We now have 3 children 6yrs, 5yrs and 2yrs (when we leave.) Any advice and tips about schooling and finding work would be much appreciated and love to chat to anyone planing a trip around the same time.
Posted By Charmaine Testa on Thursday 17th May 2012 @ 15:18:33
Next January we will be heading off in a Delica Van, a camper trailer and heading West (from Tasmania) for 6 months. The 'we' consists of 2 adults and 6 kids ..some say we are mad, we say 'Let the Adventures Begin!!'...Would love to chat to other families embarking on a gypsy life style.
Posted By Amanda on Thursday 31st May 2012 @ 11:19:12
Hi folks , we've been a bit stuck in Cairns 6 months into our trip from Adelaide around oz. Our eldest boy 16 has been playing Afl with one of the local teams .We thought it would be our best place to give him a few games on the way . You guessed it , now he wants to stay of course and see out the whole season which ends in august , we've been here since easter . It's been good we've seen lots of beautiful places , made a few freinds . managed two days work learned a fair amount of local aboriginal cultures , but we're ready to move on now. We've billeted the boy out to the B grade coach and his family so that's a left field option for older kids . We're going to cape York/Thursday island for a look then back down to Palm Island near Townsville then head to Darwin , our other kids are 14yrs and 5yrs , i'm sure these experiences are very educational for the kids and the potential to integrate experiences into subjects like english( writing _ , social studies ,geography , Finance etc.etc. not to mention the fitness and practical/logical thinking etc. I think it's fantastic for little kids , they're still so eager to listen and interact , we've found the teenagers need a bit more outside of the family time which can be a bit hard apart from the obvious , like movies / money things especially if they fight and don't like going fishing or swimming together , skate boards and scooters have been good because most towns have a skate park . Definitely only take what you will need , we can't help but buy things and if you're like us and follow the sun you honestly don't need your big overcoat and 3 pairs of shoes and the kids don't need all their toys . Anyway i'm bumbling on now . Cheers everybody and continue to enjoy our magnificent country .
Posted By davo99 on Thursday 31st May 2012 @ 22:11:53
Hi, we are leaving from South West Australia for our around Oz caravan trip in July this year for 8-10 weeks with our two boys 6 and 3.5 years old. We'll be visiting family and friends along the way, so will be a pretty condenced experience in that time frame covering a lot of distance some days. Any handy entertainment tips for the longest stretches? Any proven effective in-car rules and discipline that you can follow through with while driving to help keep the peace?
Posted By Matt & Nik on Friday 1st June 2012 @ 13:56:56
Hello we are from Tassie and have been on the road for just over 3 years with our now 10 year old boy. Started off doing distant Ed. Now he is in the local school. This is his 3rd school change since being on the road with no problems at all. We are loving the life style and the warmer weather. 12 months ago we sold our Jayco family van and brought a 5th wheeler with bunk house and slide out lounge. Getting round Australia is a long term goal for us so this is our home. We have hardly scratched the surface of our trip with most of our 3 years in WA working in the Pilbara in towns like kununurra, Broome, Port Hedland and Karratha. Our plan is to head north to Darwin in about 12 months time. We get itchy feet all the time and always have the maps out ha. we are looking forward to our next move but we like to stop and smell the roses along the way,..it is a surprise to us how many are doing this, each in there own way. Big rigs right down to tents and loving it all the same.. Happy and safe travels to all who have taken the plunge to live the gypsy life and follow the sun....
Posted By Julie on Saturday 2nd June 2012 @ 10:35:58
We are new to this site and loved reading all the great stories you guys have written, we to would love to travel around oz but are still unsure about how to start. We have done a few small trips in our camper over the years mainly annual holidays etc.
Both my wife and i have been stuck in the same job for the past 20 odd years and feel now is the time to go, we have 3 children 21, 19, 14.
Our 21year old would probably stay put, our 19 yr old daughter would love to go but our 14yr old son has a very busy social life ie footy/cricket all his friends and dosent fancy the idea of going,but this may change with the idea of no school and home schooling for 6+ mths.
So what to do next? do we sell the house or rent it out, chuck the jobs in? we dont know what the best way to start is. Any ideas would be great.
Thanks and safe travelling.
Posted By Teresa on Wednesday 13th June 2012 @ 08:02:01
See if you can get leave without pay if you don't want to quit your jobs. Having rental properties I don't have a problem with renting out our home especially if you still have a mortgage. At least you don't have to worry about where that money is going to come from.
We are going to work our way around and the aim is to pay our way around. I have organised to get all the school work from my daughters school so that is great.
But weather to quit your jobs is I can't offer too much advise as I am a stay at home mum and my husband works for himself. Good luck.
Posted By Charmaine Testa on Wednesday 13th June 2012 @ 15:29:16
My husband and I left our jobs..I had been in mine for 20 years, Phills 5 years. Got tired of living the same repetitive life working and a mortgage. We weren't attached to the house so we sold it and all it's furniture as we knew in our hearts we weren't going home for a long time. 3 years working round Australia and we haven't looked back..We have no idea where we want to live..Right now we are enjoying the freedom and the life style. Doing this doesn't work for everybody as all needs are different..i remember us trying to make a decision then we just did it...We are putting money in the bank and hope to pay cash for a house one day if and when we do settle..or we may decide to just live life on the road..who knows what the future will bring...Cheers
Posted By Julie Hope on Wednesday 13th June 2012 @ 17:34:17
I was able to get 3 years leave no pay from my employer, while my husband resigned his position. While this is a comforting safety net, I doubt I'll return to the position. We also sold our house to fund the trip, but scimmed some off the top to use as a deposit on a cheap 3 bed rental home. The rental income covers the mortgage while we are travelling and the house will be a base should we decide to return to that location. Our children are also quite young (8 & 10) so they weren't so attached to a house or town as older kids might be who will have a more extensive social circle. Every family's situation is different and what works for one won't work for another. I found alot depends on your own 'comfort zone' and attitude to risk. Good luck!
Posted By Tracy & Co on Sunday 17th June 2012 @ 22:09:20
Enjoyed reading your story on working and traveling around Australia! My wife and I are looking at doing the same thing we have just sold our house and two business's and are looking to purchase a caravan to embark on our journey. I am interested to know what kind of work you have managed to obtain whilst traveling and how easy it was to come by.
Happy Traveling hope to hear from you soon.
Posted By Peter Zubrycki on Monday 18th June 2012 @ 12:45:12
Does anyone know if there is a site to meet other travelling families to correspond with, and maybe meet up in different areas, I have a 13yr old daughter and an 11 year old son and we are about to head off on our trip, my daughter is having some reservations about meeting other kids her age, does anyone know how to deal with this, and how to reassure her it will be ok ?
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Posted By Donna Aikamn on Saturday 23rd June 2012 @ 18:03:36
Hey Donna, we're heading off in a month from Vic, straight up the east coast and spending as much 'dry' time as we can up north - I have 3 girls aged 12,8 &4 I'm sure my 12 year old would love to spend some time with someone around her age :) Let me know if it seems we may cross paths - perhaps shoot me an email and we can work something out?
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Posted By Heidi on Saturday 23rd June 2012 @ 19:46:07
Hi Heidi, thank you for your email, My daughter is in grade 9 queensland, and is very social so this trip is going to be a huge change for her, we are heading up North in the next couple of weeks, as soon as I have exact details of where we will be I will send you an email.
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Posted By Donna Aikamn on Sunday 24th June 2012 @ 08:44:31
In the planning process of travelling around Australia for 12 months with our 8 year old son. Just wondering how much a day on average it costs. We are thinking we can do it for $100 a day?? Is anyone able to give us a more accurate estimate?
Posted By Annie on Sunday 24th June 2012 @ 18:19:26
I would also like to know if there is a site for travelling families to correspond with. We are leaving in about 3 months with my 19 year old & 4 year old. We will be working our way around. I am more worried about my 19 year old meeting kids her age. We will be heading to probably Adelaide first then may be across to Perth. Just taking our time, enjoying the gypsy life. No better way I reckon to see our beautiful country.
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Posted By Judy on Monday 25th June 2012 @ 09:48:04
my name is jason, my wife and i with our 3 girls have travelled around oz twice now and love it you will have a great time, your budget of a hundred dollars a day could be done if your staying in free camps, we sometimes spent $100.00 a day in just fuel, we mainly free camped around it's the best way to go and you meet good people, we went into caravan parks every few weeks mainly to have a good clean up of all the gear and for the kids to have swimming pools etc, we had an expanda with shower toilet on both trips and we are in the middle of planning our next one for next year, would love to go for 12 months, but our trips are usually for about 3 months at a time. enjoy the whole trip as it goes very fast and the best things along the way are free, always fill up with water and fuel when ever you can, this way if there is something of the track you want to do you have enough on board for a few days all the best hope you all enjoy.
judy i think this site is going to be your best bet for keeping in touch with other families and you'll also meet them as you go around.
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Posted By jason on Monday 25th June 2012 @ 16:31:37
Hi Guys, check out the Families on the Road - Travelling Australia Facebook page, heaps of families on it.
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Posted By Amanda on Monday 25th June 2012 @ 18:01:46
Hi All, We are a Swiss family and my wife and I already spent 6 months in 2002 to learn English and get a nice life experience abroad... We loved Australia and people. At the time, we had no kids (we were 20 and 22 years old). Now, we have 2 boys (6 and 3yo) and we are thinking about doing a 3-4 months tour in Australia within the next 3-4 years. We may have another kid by then. What would be the 4-5 best advices you could share with us to plan accordingly (i.e buy or rent a van, mobilehome, carvan, daily budget, places to visit, things to consider, to avoid)?
Many thanks in advance for your advices. Roger
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Posted By Roger on Friday 29th June 2012 @ 19:48:20
Hi Roger, To visit oz in good style the budget would be about $250 per day this will also give you some left over but better have to much than not enough, so if you allow for this you will do it in less depending on what you want to do, the caravan parks here are now getting very expensive so try and get a set up that will allow you to do some free camping also, this will save you lots and give you more of your budget for fun things, we travelled with our 3 girls for 3 months and mostly free camped, but we went into caravan park here and there to give them a chance to play with other kids and have a swim in the pool.
We had a 4wd and a caravan to do our trips with and the van also had a shower toilet which in my opinion is the most important thing to have if you want to do free camping, but you properley wouldn't be going off road so you could get away with a motor home, for me some of the best things to visit are off road, but you need a good set up to do this, on our last trip we took the van to the top of cape york then over to the kimberlys along the gibb river road and upto mitchell plateau, but this trip is not for the average traveller as it can get very rough in places, and it will also take you longer as you are going slower on the dirt roads, the van has to be air tight or you will be sleeping in dust, and the 4wd needs to be a good one that want break down as the cost to recover in some of these places can run into the thousands.
Here are some of my videos of our last trip to cape york and the kimberlys.
Hope this helps and I say do it you'll have a great time we are planning our next trip over the simpsone desert then across the canning stock route this time next year, keep them wheels turning all the best.
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Posted By jason on Saturday 30th June 2012 @ 08:34:42
Here is our video of the gibb river road also enjoy.
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Posted By jason on Saturday 30th June 2012 @ 19:02:31
Hi Roger, My husband, son (3) and I are celebrating one year on the road today. It has been amazing. We are travelling in a camper trailer and 4WD, with a boat on the roof. We absolutely wanted the flexibility of getting off road and being able to camp in isolated places for more than a few days. The set up has been perfect for that. We have a description of our setup on our blog which i have put on this site before, but is here also: http://jarvismalin.blogspot.com.au/p/rig.html Obviously a camper trailer doesn't allow as much space and comfort as a caravan and can get squeeze with three kids, but we've met plenty of families along the road doing it with 3 kids. We have a solar shower but probably go into a caravan park about once a week for a good shower, a swim in the pool and some laundry. Our budget has been about $1000/week. This is more than enough when we're in the bush but we always seem to use it somehow (car ergo, bills etc). There are so many good places to visit and half the fun is finding them yourself, but i recently put our top spots is WA on our blog: http://jarvismalin.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/farewell-western-australia-its-been.html Good luck and have an amazing trip. Emma
Posted By Emma Maratea on Sunday 1st July 2012 @ 13:51:30
I love that the initial question was written in 2008 and this forum thread is still going on strong.
Me and my wife are planning to hit the road on 1st May 2013 (we only decided we would do it about 2 weeks ago). We still have a lot to do before we go. We need to get a new car (we have a small suburban car), we need to get a caravan and we need to save some money. I am hoping that I can make some money while we are on the road as well.
We are documenting our journey all the way through the planning phase (which is intense) through to the actual trip itself. I am learning a lot and grateful for all the blogs that are out there teaching me things.
Posted By Daddy on Monday 2nd July 2012 @ 23:05:21
What kind of work are people picking up?
Posted By Amanda Coleman on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 @ 00:40:16
Hi Amanda, We have found that unless you are willing to stay somewhere for 6 months or more (or lie) the only work available was 'traveller' style work, like harvesting, cleaning, bar tending etc. My husband is a building and he heard about a few contract based jobs, but in small towns most of these went to locals. In the end we found the easiest thing for us was to head to head to Margaret River for the summer and we picked up some work there. We went outside our fields of training and my builder husband drove a tractor for the vines and I worked in one of the breweries (I'm an engineer by trade). When the tractor work picked up, I dropped my job to stay with our son and I cleaned the bathrooms at the caravan park in exchange for our rent. It was a lot of fun, easy and very stress free. Perfect for travelling. We met heaps of other seasonal workers and had a great time. The pay was terrible but we managed to cover all our costs while we were in Margaret River and then started back into our savings when we hit the road again after 4 months. Gumtree is a great place to check for temporary work and work in exchange for accommodation. Good Luck, Em
Posted By Emma Maratea on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 @ 18:32:31
I haven't left yet but I am planning to do online freelance work if and when we need extra money. Freelance writing is my main forte, but I can also do basic web design and copywriting as well.
I am wondering if there might be opportunities for me to help small country businesses create cost effective websites (and make a little bit in the process).
I will have to wait and see what Internet is like on the road but I am hopeful I will be able to ring in enough money to be sustainable and not have to take on extremely low paying jobs.
Posted By Traveller With Kids on Sunday 8th July 2012 @ 11:49:48
Hi all :) Am just about to set forth on a 6 -12 month trip around australia - myslef a single mum and my 2 year old son. leaving in around 8 weeks from Newcastle NSW and heading in North direction . Travelling in a holden 4wd. any pointers, advice or tips for our travels?
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Posted By ellabella on Sunday 15th July 2012 @ 22:55:32
Ah, ellabella - this will be me in oh, about 11 months time. :) Except I will be travelling with a 6yr old - with all the homeschooling adventures to look forward to. As I am yet to depart - I have no words of experienced wisdom but I am so looking foward to hearing yours. Please drop in often and tell us how your travels are going. What are you doing for accomodation and vehicle? Lee
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Posted By leej on Tuesday 17th July 2012 @ 15:24:47
Didn't realise that so many people are doing the Big Trip. My husbanmd and I and our 2 girls are taking off in Februay, 2013. We have a kimberly camper and landcruiser, and will be heading north from Sydney. We plan on going for at least a year, and i'm just wondering the best way to keep up their schooling. Not too keen to have to keep to a strict schedule, that i've heard some options have, the girls will be 6 and 8 (YR1 and YR3). Thanks for any feedback.
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Posted By mel on Sunday 29th July 2012 @ 07:47:53
Hi everyone. I am the teacher who responded earlier in the thread. We are leaving on October 8 and heading north up the coast leaving Bendigo Vic and heading toward NSW via the coast. I am home schooling my 14 year old along the way and happy to answer education questions along the way. Thinking I might have a facebook page and happy to share the curriculum I intend to cover. Not many sleeps now
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Posted By Amanda Coleman on Sunday 29th July 2012 @ 13:49:09
Hi, We are leaving in December this year and I will be teaching my daughter who will be in year 2 next year. I have applied for an exemption from compulsory schooling. So everything is coming from the school she is currently enrolled in. Go and see your school principal and talk to them about it. It will take alot of the stress out of planning and strict schedule. Hope this is helpful. Bye Charmaine
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Posted By Charamine Testa on Sunday 29th July 2012 @ 21:15:30
I have loved reading this thread for such a long time, probably over a year, and it made me harass my husband regularly along the lines of, 'We can do this, look at all of these other people that are!' Well, when our business went under contract we decided that we would put our house on the market and just start working towards travelling Australia with our two boys (6 and 9). Our business settled on the 29th of June (about 2 months after going under contract) and on the 2nd of July our house went under contract! At this point all we had done towards preparing for our travels was what we had always done, read more stories and books. Thank goodness the person buying our house wanted two months to settle, but the house was condition free in two weeks. During this two weeks we found a caravan that we felt would be suitable for indefinate travel in Australia with two boys, giving space and privacy for us all (Retreat Daydream). Since the 16th of July, we have put a deposit on the van, packed up or sold nearly everything we own and have started organising the kids schooling. As it stands now, we will be leaving Cairns on the 10th of September, but only going as far as Innisfail for a week. Our aim is to get to Tassie by Christmas. As for the schooling, I feel confident about home schooling, utilising the services of 'Home Schooling Supplies' in Victoria. If anyone has any suggestions of other groups or how you are going about it I would love to hear. I will be contacting Amanda (a few posts up) for her advise also. We have a blogspot, email@example.com, and I would love to hear from people, especially if I can help in any way, or if anyone has any advise. We have had a lot less time than what we expected to plan for our adventure and the nerves are pretty high, but it's been exciting and we can't wait to do it and meet many new friends on the way. Catch you all on the road, Carolyn.
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Posted By Carolyn Soper on Sunday 5th August 2012 @ 09:36:52
How exciting for you Carolyn. Just do it. Happy to check out your blog. Maybe we will catch up somewhere.
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Posted By Amanda Coleman on Tuesday 7th August 2012 @ 10:37:08
Hello Aussie travellers,
We are in the early stages of planning our big round Aussie trip, which we are thinking will probably begin in 2015. Then our kids will be 5 and almost 2 (one still in the belly). I'd really love to hear experiences & recommendations on transport ie.bus, 4wd/camper, 4wd/caravan etc. We're not sure what mode of trans/accomm is going to be best for a year on the road with two small kids.
Also if anyone has experience with doing the trip with small kids tips are welcome too and would love to know how it is going with them or how it went.
Thanks, Robyn Res.
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Posted By Robyn on Wednesday 8th August 2012 @ 06:59:24
Take a look at our blog. www.smiffy2011.wordpress.com
Posted By Sharon on Wednesday 8th August 2012 @ 22:03:59
I've spent far too long reading this thread when there are so many other things I should be doing but it's completely riveting. My husband and I have travelled extensively ourselves BC (before kids) but as we now have four (10,7,6,2) not much travelling has been done in the last few years. We've tossed around the idea of taking the kids out of school for a term before the eldest hits high school and travelling through the harder to get to places in OZ. We've recently decided next year is the make or break year. Anyone got any advice on the best vehicle/s? We are thinking caravan/4WD mainly because with 6 of us and three of the kids being boys we need a little more space than a camper trailer would give us.
However, hubby would really like to get to the tip of Cape York and I want to show the kids the Gibb River Road and Mitchell Plateau. We know very little about either vans or 4WDs so will need to do LOTS of research. Our only real experience is a hire 4WD campervan we travelled in from Broome to Darwin 15 years ago. Any advice/pointers to websites etc. welcome. Jo
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Posted By Jo on Tuesday 14th August 2012 @ 14:33:52
After deciding just over a year ago that the end of 2013 is when we are hitting the road, we have 5 kids all under 9 and have just purchased a 2007 Nissan patrol st-s 3.0 turbo diesal and a 18-57 jayco outback Expanda. We decided to get in now and start doing a few small trips here and there.
To get us used to it all so were ready for the big trip come end of 2013. Should be a once in a life experience to see this great Country of ours not to mention some quality family time.
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Posted By Michael on Tuesday 14th August 2012 @ 16:59:46
Hey Sharon, great blog! Our travelling family (2A+2kids aged 8 & 10) are half way through a 3 year trip around Australia. We are currently in Fitzroy Crossing and heading west so I've been reading up on your travels in that direction. Very helpful, thanks!
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Posted By Tracy on Thursday 16th August 2012 @ 02:29:10
Hi everyone, I just want you all to get out there and do it, stop worrying so much about the planning because it can hold you back!... I am a single Mum on the road for just 4 weeks now from VIC currently in Daintree - I have 3 kids (12,8,4) and a VERY limited budget.
I bought a second hand camper trailer (great quality but 10 years old) which we didn't even have time for a trial run in (poor weather in VIC) except for a few setups on the lawn at home. I already owned a 4WD (Pajero). We are having a ball, and spending longer than i thought in some places, but went into this with 'flexibility' as the motto. we have barely come across ANY other families - mostly grey nomads but they're all so friendly :) We're going until Christmas, and hoping to make it all the way around the outside of the country - obviously some things will be missed but the experiences will be (already are) amazing.
As for schooling, we were originally only taking a Term off, which meant no formal work necessary, however as it neared I wanted longer! we're not enrolled in any formal schooling as my philosophy (backed up by teachers) is that the learning they will get from this trip far outweighs anything they may miss in only half a year. My eldest is in grade 6 - so it was now or never as she begins high school next year. Her teacher was the most relaxed - very little formal learning takes place in second half of that year, they've got school production and graduation etc... I am not at all worried about them being behind, and would hate to spoil the natural learning gained from this with 'sit down and do homework' times.
Each child - even the 4yo - is keeping a journal, and the eldest is doing the money diary for me. every one of them has 'jobs' for every set-up, pack-up etc, and they are learning from real life experiences - far better than any book or classroom can offer. We have expert staff at our fingertips for everything from animals to plants and in between, particularly travelling out of school holidays and often being the only children in places.
Anyhow, my point is - just do it!!! don't live with regret of the 'what if's' - worst case you go home.... as a good friend said to me before we left "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone" :) good luck all - any other families in the area please email as we'd love to meet you,
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Posted By Heidi on Sunday 19th August 2012 @ 22:06:57
Hi Heidi, agree totally about doing too much planning and not enough doing! We've been on the road 18 months today and like you, met very few travelling families on the east coast, that's because they are all in the NT and WA! Right now we are in a caravan park in Derby WA and are surrounded by families. My girls are loving it!
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Posted By Tracy on Sunday 19th August 2012 @ 23:16:27
We are thinking about traveling around australia with our 3 sons.I have traveled alot as a young teenager with my dad n also as a grown man so have some idea of places id like my family to see.Our boys are 8,10 & 12 atm n are typical outdoor kids.The two eldest ones are average students who would prefer to be yabbing then hitting the books however i beleave they would possibly do as well or a bit better learning at home while traveling simply because you can cut to the chase of learning without having to do all the added things they put in to make up a school day.Along with this they would gain priceless experiences that would shape their lives something they could get know where else i would love to hear peoples thoughts exspecially those who are actually doing it with kids of the same age thanx Kirk.
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Posted By kirk&sheri road trip on Monday 1st October 2012 @ 07:46:07
Hi Kirk & Sheri,
We traveled from Albury NSW and followed the Murray river to where it joins the ocean in SA. We also traveled the east coast from Brisbane to Melbourne, great ocean road and into SA with two 10 year oldm twins. Theses boys had special needs, they loved the driving the out doors and everything about it.
You can take your children out of school for 12 months but must have them back in school the day before the twelve months finishes. Check this with the school they are enrolled in now. We did this and the headmaster, gave us what work they needed to do. This made it so much easier because the kids are already enrolled as being at school and all is above board. Do check with your headmaster .
It took approx. 1 1/2 hours each school day and all was covered. Many days they missed but they caught up on week ends. The school felt that there is so much they can do and learn while travelling. Reading was from pamphlet of the places we were going too, english spelling etc was easy. The school had them type up a diary in their computors and send it to them every week. Just two or three senescence Simple! and Maths was online. That was it.
Hope this helps and have a wonderful time. We left this time two years ago.
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Posted By Roslyn Marston on Tuesday 2nd October 2012 @ 00:30:33
Hi Kirk and Sheri We are 3 months into an epic year long adventure around/throughout Australia. We have a tiny outback Jayco Hawk caravan, a 15mth old bub and an 8yr old boy. I enrolled our school age boy in long distance education before I left and have found it extremely hard to fit in the 2-4hrs a day work. Influences such as space constrictions in van when raining, long days driving, no internet/power in certain places for days at a time, quick overnight stays with minimal setup. We have decided to concentrate on the essentials such as maths and english but even this is proving to be tricky. To combat it I get our son to read and identify animals, rocks, fossils. He has learnt to navigate us to destinations using maths. He has to read any tourist literature so we know what hikes, parks, tourist items are in that area. We get him to calculate distances etc. BUT it is the most incredible experience being on the road and even though it is tricky managing at times we wouldn't change what we are doing. Infact it is quite the opposite....we are trying to figure out how to extend our length of time on the road. Enjoy it is such an amazing unbelievable adventure you are thinking of undertaking!!
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Posted By Nadina on Tuesday 2nd October 2012 @ 09:32:45
Hi. I would love to hear from a few people who are currently living on the road with young children or who are planning to next year. We are considering taking off next year for 12 months or longer but I am a little bit nervous about the social experiences my 5 year old may miss out on by not starting his first year of school with his class mates. I am an early childhood teacher so I am quite happy to home school him on the road. My other son will be around 18 months when/if we go :) we have camped a lot with the kids but living away from their friends and routine for so long is bit daunting!
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Posted By Bec on Thursday 4th October 2012 @ 11:11:37
Hi Bec, I think there are enough posts on this website to support the notion that any long term travel is only an advantage for kids. We are 19 months into a 3 year trip with 8 & 11 year olds (girls). The girls are confident approaching other kids to play and can speak easily to adults from any walk of life. This confidence is a direct result of our travels.
Our one and only headache is schoolwork! We do distance ed, which provides a quality education but takes up a large proportion of our day. I am also a former teacher but did not feel up to the task of organising a home schooling program that would prepare them adequately (academically) for our eventual return to mainstream school after 3 years absence. If we had our time over again, we would travel for 12 months only and not do one ounce of schoolwork in that time! However, as this website also clearly demonstrates, there are families travelling in all sorts of rigs and timeframes with kids of all ages. When to go, how to go, how much to spend and what to do about school will be different for every family. The main thing is not to procrastinate so much you never get around to it at all!
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Posted By Tracy on Thursday 4th October 2012 @ 13:18:44
I totally agree when it comes to slightly older chn Tracey, but for a child who hasn't had that first couple of years at school learning how to interact well with others their own age I'm just not so sure. He is already one of the eldest in his year so I wouldn't like to see him repeat when we get back. I havent looked into the schooling stuff much yet. Is it legally ok to just not do anything formal?
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Posted By Bec on Thursday 4th October 2012 @ 14:34:06
Hi guys, new family in the planning stages of our Australia trip, we're a family of five, three boys 10,7 and 5. Thinking of renting or selling the house and travelling for four to six months at the start of 2015, could it be sooner! Bit daunting.
Looking for tips on caravan or camper choice as we would have a tinnie (boat) on the roof of the Hilux with canopy. jayco outback swan or outback expanda 18.57.6 triple bunk. Has anyone done long trips with these? Washing machine and showers, solar power and batteries? We like to get off road alot to explore.
We've got an offroad tent camper trailer which has been allover SA and VIC. Looking for advice on schooling for the boys and preparations and camper/van choice for the trip.
So many inspirational stories, loved the site,
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Posted By Rustydog on Saturday 6th October 2012 @ 20:51:34
Hi we are currently planning a big trip for next year but we also did a smaller trip 2 years ago with our son in a jayco flamingo. We loved the camper and it took us to a lot of places but I def wouldn't recommend it for any longer than the 9 weeks we went for. Although we had setting up down pat it was a real pain having to fight through all of the boxes etc we had to have on the floor of the van because of the lack of storage space. You also can't really pack it down if the canvas gets wet because it all folds directly onto your matresses. We overcame this by putting matresses protectors over our bedding when we folded the van up but it was still a little frustrating. We have decided for next year to take a full size van. The extra money spent in towing it will be well worth the less stress hopefully. Hope this helps :)
Posted By Bec on Sunday 7th October 2012 @ 14:23:41
Hi we had a Jayco flamingo and setup time was between 1 -2 hrs Which is a pain so we upgraded to a expanda outback hard top 18.57 and setup is a breeze With a power awning and pullout BBQ is a must We just received a twin tub 3.5 kgs washing machine with spin Which is easy to lift around and works great Cheers
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Posted By Michael on Sunday 7th October 2012 @ 14:31:07
Hi All, love sitting here reading through all the blogs. My husband and I have 3 kids, 10, 8 and 2 have started very seriously planning road trip around Australia next year. Just went to Melb Leisurefest on weekend and got very excited looking in all the vans. Looking at the queen bed/triple bunk arrangement... just felt that some of the vans felt quite restrictive in the kitchen/dinnette area and trying to imagine us all in there. Would love to know others thoughts on how this works, never having done this sort of things before and any other tips, great site!!
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Posted By Andrea on Monday 8th October 2012 @ 10:49:50
Hi Rusty dog, We are just over 3mths into a year long pilgramage round Australia. We have a 15mth old bub and an 8 year old boy. We have a mitsubishi triton 4x4 towing a 2 year old outback Jayco Hawk. The Hawk has been fantastic but it is a real task to put up and down if you are doing one night stopovers. Even if we stay a couple of nights we really never set up the annex as it is too time consuming (extra 30 mins). We had a fiama awning fitted which I would def. recommend as it is super quick to wind out and so easy to bring back in....maybe 2min all told. We are looking to trade in our Jayco and spending an extra $5k to go to a hardtop with bunks. Number of reasons;
1/ As we have bub sleeping in a cot on the table it is impossible for our boy to do school work outside if insect ridden, cold, really windy or rainy and believe me it does get all the above quite alot. 2/ Storage space is literally zero. We halved all our clothes so that we are down to 3 storage tubs but there is still stuff stashed on the floor so that if it is rainy it becomes so tight and cramped in the van. 3/ Living together in such a closed environment for a long time can sometimes become overbearing. It is nice to have space....even if it is for the kids to sit somewhere and watch a dvd. When the kids were sick and they had to spend time in the van and it was rainy or extremely cold outside there was literally NO room inside. 4/ But most importantly the time factor. We find after 2 weeks of nightly put-ups, pop-downs we view the nightly stays with dred. After driving 6 hrs with tired kids it would be such a nice change to pull up, plug in and relax. We also would have found a hardtop caravan handy at lunchtime for when we stumbled across a gorgeous spot we wanted to pull up at and have a cuppa/lunch. Instead each morn we prepare an esky and thermus. Also at one place we stayed we had a violent brawl outside our van (and this was in a park where we paid $50 to stay!!!). We were trying to figure out how we could pack up the van quickly to get out in the middle of the night when it was about a 30min job. If we had our time again we would DEFINATELY go an offroad caravan with bunks.
But in saying all the above we are having the most incredible time and are just trying to figure out how we can extend our journey. It will be the most amazing experience for you and your family. Enjoy
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Posted By Nadina on Monday 8th October 2012 @ 16:03:00
Thanks Nandina and others thanks for the replies. Didnt expect such great feedback. Sooo many things to think about. May have to look at selling the hilux as it wont be up to pulling the Weight of the Jayco expanda loaded which is about 2500kg or more. Saw one being towed easily by a v8 diesel 79 series landcruiser wagon, may need the size for the tinnie on the roof.
Thanks guys for the tips about the jayco campers- had our resevations/thoughts about if we could cope or not. The Expanda HL with bunks seems to be the go , alot more money and you need a bigger 4x4 .... it would be worth every cent by the sound of others.
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Posted By Gavin on Tuesday 9th October 2012 @ 18:25:01
Awesome great to read this Nadina, shall take all on board!!!! thanks, Andrea
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Posted By Andrea on Tuesday 9th October 2012 @ 20:38:29
Our family being 2 adults and 2 girls aged 8 and 6 travelled around Australia for 9 months in 2011. We schooled the girls prep and grade 3 via Victoria Distance education which worked well and allowed us flexibility given the many time restraints on schooling. The girls adjusted very well returning to their local primary school with the prep now in 1st grade and socializing very well. I should note that we met many other families on the road so the girls were constantly meeting friends as we travelled.
We previously did small trips in our Jayco Outback but made the very wise decision to take on the longer trip with a Jayco outback caravan expanda. Sure it's heavier with more wind resistance but we took our time and believe the higher fuel consumption is worth it.
I can highly recommend the larger van especially with slide out lounge and beds at each end. The toilet and shower was a bonus especially at more remote sites without facilities. My wife and girls loved the comfort of the van and importantly means that we would all take off again for a year or more if the opportunity arises.
The van tare is 2018 kg and was towed by a 2007 Diesel Prado.
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Posted By Jon Bale on Tuesday 9th October 2012 @ 22:04:48
We are thinking on taking a road trip next year with our 20 month old son and 8 year old daughter and was wondering if anyone has any tips? I would love to hear what people think about schooling as my daughter will be in year 3.
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Posted By Rebecca on Friday 26th October 2012 @ 09:38:31
I am Amanda the teacher with Distance Ed and Home Schooling experience who is travelling around Australia (see previous posts). Currently in Maryborough Victoria and heading toward Gippsland. Let me know if our paths cross. To Rebecca, lots of people will agree with me, just get on the road and do it. Talk to us closer to departure as education requirements vary from state to state and there are quite a few ways of doing schooling on the road.
Sent from my iPad
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Posted By Amanda on Sunday 28th October 2012 @ 00:06:14
My partner and I are looking at going around australia with our son who is 8 in 2014, been planning it for the last 2 years.
So so excited, we have a 2010 Prado and looking for a Paramount Duet to live in for a year. Not sure about to sell up or just to let our two older kids stay in the house, undecided on that.
We are looking at heading west to start off our trip and then up the west coast across the top into the north east. I have been reading as much as possible to get as much info as I can, taking clips out of magazines putting them into a folder, they might be of the best places to visit or on how to change wheel bearings, what to cook, tyre pressures on different surfaces etc etc.
Keep writing on your experiences of your trip I'll keep reading.
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Posted By Scott on Wednesday 31st October 2012 @ 19:43:01
My husband is soon to find out if he is being made redundant from the army, if he is then we are considering a 12 month trip to Australia with our daughter, she will be almost 2 when/if we go and any advice would be very gratefully recieved. I would like to travel in a camper van but wouldn't know where to start looking! I'm very nervous about doing this with my daughter but after reading previous posts I feel alot more optimistic. Very exciting!
Posted By clare on Sunday 4th November 2012 @ 20:30:31
Hi Clare, We just got back from a 14 month trip around Australia with our 3 year old. he was only just 2 when we left. We found it a very easy age to travel with. He was happy for us to go several weeks without other kids but also got a lot of enjoyment out of meeting other kids on the road when we did. We took a 4WD and a camper trailer so that we could get off the beaten track a bit. Details of our set up are on our blog (also posted several months ago on this site): http://www.jarvismalin.blogspot.com.au/p/rig.html
We met a few people travelling in campervans and their only complaints were that it get's pretty small with a family but also that it is a bit annoying when you want to set up camp for any long period of time because you camp is also your car so you have to pack everything away everytime you want to drive anywhere. Just a thought to keep in mind when choosing your set up. I hope you guys have a fabulous time. It's such a great country to travel with kids.
Posted By Emma on Monday 5th November 2012 @ 15:05:10
Thanks Emma, I will definitely take your advice on board and check out your blog :D
Posted By Clare on Monday 5th November 2012 @ 21:06:26
Hi Rebecca, we have just completed Yr 3 and Yr 6 through a school of distance education. It's a thorough education but a lot more work than we had anticipated. Happy to discuss further if you want to email me directly.
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Posted By tracy on Wednesday 14th November 2012 @ 15:21:34
Setting off in February for year in Outback Eagle and Prado. Travelling with 5 year old daughter and old terrier.
Interested in advice/tips particularly around organising/setting up for the big adventure.
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Posted By John on Monday 19th November 2012 @ 10:16:52
My husband and I are heading off in the last week of January 2013 with our two children, girl (aged 9) and boy (aged 7). The kids will be doing Distance Education and the only thing we are planning, is to head west first. We are hoping to travel for 12 months to 2 years, but until we are on our trip, the possibilities are endless. We are hoping to pick up work along the way.
Have started a blog: jarvisfamilyoztrip.blogspot.com We have a 24ft Roadstar caravan with two bunks and separate toilet and shower, and a Toyota Landcruiser 100 series.
We are renting our house out. Hopefully will meet some families along the way!
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Posted By Sue on Wednesday 21st November 2012 @ 17:22:39
Heading off end of January. Just want to know if anyone out there has travelled with a tv and if so, what sort of aerial do you have? and what sort of reception is out there??? Would we have to go a satellite dish? or a stick up aerial be sufficient? (Not wanting to watch a lot but would be handy if cold/wet days). Also, we have planned to use a portable wifi for our internet. Is there a lot of reception out there for that? What are peoples thoughts? Thanks Sue
Posted By Sue on Sunday 2nd December 2012 @ 11:40:03
Hi Sue, in relation to WiFi, we use a Testra NextG dongle and in the last two years have only missed about 3 school lessons due to the lack of internet/phone coverage. You won't have any problems on the east coast, the west coast (especially in remote areas) is more patchy. An aerial on our car and van helps considerably to get a stronger signal if the signal is weak, however if there is no reception, the aerials make no difference. You'll find a lot of information about TV's and internet while travelling just by googling.
Posted By Tracy on Monday 3rd December 2012 @ 15:03:47
Hey there all, Im a proud Mummy of 5 handsome boys, (14, 13, 11, 9, 3) I thought my dream of traveling would never be until I read all of this, Its suddenly brough a whole surge of hope to me. Im so wanting to go to Australia and now sitting planning in my head ways of doing it. Im wanting to go somewhere peacefull but also fun for the kids, dont care if its camper van, motor home, caravan.... is there any advice on good places to go where other families go, and is there any way of going by boat so i can take my own car, Im thinking of taking kids out of school 2 weeks before summer holidays and they return normal date so I dont need to do the home schooling thing, what do others think of this?
Any advice be great from others that have done this experience, such a great idea and big thnkyou for this site, gave me hope of a dream I thought wouldnt be possible, Blessings all, Emmz.
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Posted By CheekyEmmz on Friday 4th January 2013 @ 00:15:14
Hi this message is for amanda, the teach travelling from home schooling.. Can you please let me know what the best way to educate my 8 yr old and 6 yr old ... In yrs 3 and 1. We are heading off on our big trip in beginning of may this year. I really don't know where to start looking for info on the education.
I have seen other people say the home schooling takes up alot of time each day and don't want to have to stressed out trying to complete something when there is so much to see and do. Also I have a 14 mth old baby.
Help please or from anyone.... We are so excited to get started!!
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Posted By Erin on Saturday 12th January 2013 @ 20:16:13
We used Australia homeschooling supplies all book have answers in the back of them
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Posted By Teresa on Monday 14th January 2013 @ 13:07:37
Great to hear you are considering the trip of a lifetime. I am happy to give educational advice but it is different for each state and each family. You can email me direct for individual information re your state and your children's needs at email@example.com
Letting home schoolers know I will be in the Gold Coast area at the start of the school year. Happy to catch up with home schoolers as we travel NSW and Queensland. Let me know where you are and we will see if we can link up, if not ask a question and see if I can help.
What a great education to be in the classroom most people just call "Australia". What an incredible opportunity to learn.
Posted By Amanda on Monday 14th January 2013 @ 22:36:19
Hello all, We have just completed a 6month trip with two children aged 1 and 7. We schooled through long distance education although trying to complete all the work with the demands of a crawling baby proved tricky. Also some of the school work involved buying newspapers, watching tv or news broadcasts (for a project on the Olympics) and in areas where we were literally in the middle of now where we couldn't complete segments of the program. We were very tight on space as we had a Jayco Hawk Outback caravan/camper trailer. The two large crates of work for the program was tricky to accommodate. In saying all that the teacher was sensational and very understanding and tried to re-work the work as much as possible to fit into our nomadic lifestyle.
Re travelling with a wee one couple of tips. We bought a baby bjorn travel cot lite. Yes upfront cost pricy but this proved to be one of the best buys. Clarke rubber cut a foam mattress for the cot to make it a little more comfy. Folds down flat, lightweight and very breathable for bub. My little on is huge for his age and it easily accomodated his height and girth. Also the phil and teds baby carrier back packs was worth every cent. We even completed a 18km up hill, over rocks, wading through rivers and scampering through tight canyons hike and bub was comfy and slept so well. Lots of storage space in them and comfy for the adult to wear.
If planning to go in summer make sure you get one with a hood to stop the sun from beating down on them. Big W sell a brilliant small highchair that sits approx 40-50cm off the ground with detachable legs (it also has a set of longer legs so it can be made into the standard size highchair). Easy to disassemble, lightweight, all plastic so you can just hose it down and packs away easily. Proved a treat. Have a lot more tips if anyone interested just email and I will reply.
Enjoy all it is the most amazing, rewarding and totally satisfying thing we have done as a family. We have been home a month and are already talking about hitting the road again in the next couple of years. Nadina
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Posted By Nadina Stapleton on Tuesday 15th January 2013 @ 12:43:57
What electronics did you let your kids take around australia
Posted By becky on Wednesday 23rd January 2013 @ 15:19:41
Hi Becky, We have got all our kids iPods for the trip. We have decided only to use it for educational apps and some games. Since they are only 6 (almost 7), 5 and 2 they will not have any music or movies. We also have an ipad for us which we will also use for books and movies for the kids. I hope this is helpful. Charmaine
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Posted By Charmaine Testa on Thursday 24th January 2013 @ 16:51:54
Hi Becky, our girls (9 & 11) have Ipods (music only), Kindles and DS's for games. Apart from when driving, the Ipods and DS are used as rewards for helping out, completing schoolwork etc. Kindles are used whenever they want to read. I wish there was one device that did all three (IPads can but are bigger in size and still expensive). There is also the issue of leads, batteries and recharging.
Posted By Tracy on Tuesday 29th January 2013 @ 03:14:01
hi there, my husband and i and our 3 kids 4,8,10. are planning to purchase a caravan and travel Australia this year, we are putting the house on the market in the coming weeks and will sell most of our things and put the rest of the stuff in a storage container and leave it at a mates house. We have no plan as to how long the journey will take us or where we would like to settle down. Schooling has been a big concern for us we have spoken to the kids current school and they will help us sign up to distance ed, the problem is i have read into it and they want an itinnary we are unable to give them one as we dont and cant predict if we like a place and want to stay for a while, or if we find work and stop travelling, it is a fee you have to pay every time you re register the kids, if in a place for more than 3 months you need to enroll them into school and de register distance ed..... we are wanting to enrol the kids into different schools but are not wanting to pay the fee everytime to re register them. we are considering just unoffically homeschooling the kids, through workbooks, websites, hands on experiences, ect ect just are unsure if we would be in any trouble from the government, or it is purely a decision up to us as the parents,,,,,,,,,..........
Any information would be muchly appreciated. We are based in qld if that makes a difference. Kylie
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Posted By robertstraveloz4810 on Wednesday 13th February 2013 @ 14:53:46
You may have seen my earlier posts. I am also travelling Australia and am a registered teacher. I repeat my earlier posts. Don't be too concerned as it is usually quite manageable to do education on the road, however you have to get it legally right and each state varies.
When you are ready to travel send me an email at email@example.com and I will give you specific advice re your kids and your state. I am looking to put an advice post re the best way to do travelling with schooling and kids on this site when all the idiosyncracies of each state have been sorted out.
For anyone interested I am currently in Brisbane, heading north in the next few weeks if anyone wants to catch up, ipswich, caloundra, rockhampton, gladstone then who knows.
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Posted By Amanda Coleman on Wednesday 13th February 2013 @ 16:18:01
Hi there Amanda, would love to catch up with you, I am at Redbank Plains, near Ipswich if you could email me email@example.com and we could swap numbers and work out a date. many thanks kylie
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Posted By robertstraveloz4810 on Wednesday 13th February 2013 @ 18:21:33
My husband are taking the plunge and travelling around with our 3 kids, 5, 2 and 1 years. Leaving in May back by Christmas. We have enrolled our oldest into SIDE for home schooling. Can't wait we are all so excited.
Looking forward to meeting lots of interesting families on the road.
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Posted By Laura on Monday 18th February 2013 @ 00:53:48
Fantastic news, enjoy your journey.
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Posted By Amanda Coleman on Monday 18th February 2013 @ 15:09:06
Well, it's finally happening. We are on the boat across Bass Strait on the 6th April. We, being myself, hubby, eldest son (22), daughter (13), son (12) and daughter (11). We have an offroad caravan with double bunks, drop down table, pull out double bed. We have bought a double swag as well. Very very excited. Are heading off for 6-12 months, and have to work our way around after the first 2 months. Just wondering with a family of our size, what to use for cooking. Tossing up between a weber bbq200, turbo convection oven or cobb cooker. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Cheers, Helen
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Posted By heni on Friday 1st March 2013 @ 10:48:15
I would take the webber Q 200. easy to use and portable ,ours is great.
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Posted By Gavin on Friday 1st March 2013 @ 15:48:07
Hello how exciting!! We have just returned from a 6mth jaunt with an 7year old and a 16mth old. We took a webber and absolutely loved it. We did everything from homemade pizzas, garlic bread, fish, chicken, roasted vegies, roasts. There is a webber recipe website to get heaps of recipe ideas and cooking times. Yes it does take up valuable space with its' odd shape but definitely worth it. We bought a bike chain and chained it up of a night time to the van as they are a target for thieves in the van parks. Enjoy, such a fantastic adventure!!
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Posted By nadina on Friday 1st March 2013 @ 16:01:26
We use an electric frypan and a turbo convection oven for 90% of our meals. I am a pretty good cook and we are still on our 1st cooking gas bottle after 5 months. With your 22 year old son, we bought our boys Glenn McGrath and other different BBQ cookbooks. They grew to enjoy cooking as we seemed to always be able to find a barbie. Suggest you read them first and have some basic ingredients on hand: foil, lemon juice, sauces, store bought marinades etc
Posted By Amanda Coleman on Friday 1st March 2013 @ 16:23:47
We are a family of 5 that sold up our home of 15 years and took off in January this year. Kids are 10, 8 & 7 and we plan to go for all of this year. We have just taken off and not registered my kids in QLD where we have come from. We are homeschooling daily with appropriate year level books and websites. Not sure how this will go when we re-register them back in school next year. I do think they are learning more on the road. Would love to meet up with other travelling families.
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Posted By shelly on Monday 4th March 2013 @ 16:14:34
When you re-register an educational journal will be great. Email me at email@example.com and I will tell you how to set it up. This applies to all states.
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Posted By Amanda Coleman on Monday 4th March 2013 @ 18:36:02
Hi Shelly, great to hear of your trip, My husband Jason and I are heading off in June, we have 3 kids, aged 10, 8 and 2. Like you, I am not registering the kids and will follow along with the QLD curriculum for Maths and English and then plan to do Journaling, lots of reading and projects along the way. How are you finding it all so far?? Andrea
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Posted By Andrea on Tuesday 5th March 2013 @ 10:57:57
Hi Andrea Yes we have books for Spelling, Maths, Grammar & Handwriting. We also do Diary Journals of places we stayed and write letters/postcards to Nana's who don't have computers/email. We try to make everything we visit to be an excursion with some learning, then we have reading books. So far so good now into our 8th week. We started on Sunshine Coast and we have just arrived in Melbourne. The first month was hard for our middle child of 8yrs to adjust to limited room and all of us so close in the van. She became a bit selfish and was fighting with the other two. We had to and still have to remind her that we are one now and there is no mine and yours and everthing we do has to be shared. We felt like sending her back on a bus in week 3!! We are now in sort of a routine and things are settled a bit more.
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Posted By Shelly on Tuesday 5th March 2013 @ 21:46:05
Hi There, was wondering if anyone has travelled in a bus? We have a Volvo 36 foot bus we are doing up with kitchen, beds etc, we are doing this because my husband will have to work in some places, so we will have to stay on for a while. I really want to go off road though, to see some of those amazing places people talk about, but won't be able to get to them in the bus. We also have a huge tent, and are thinking of maybe parking the bus for a while and taking the tent for some camping, but would have preferred to just do it all along the way without having to back track. I have even considered just leaving the bus behind or selling it, and travelling Australia with a 4WD and tent only, but the decision is so hard....any advice? Thanks.
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Posted By Leisa on Thursday 14th March 2013 @ 15:59:37
^^^Forgot to mention we have 4 children.
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Posted By Leisa on Thursday 14th March 2013 @ 16:01:01
Hi Leisa, This is a dilemma I have been thinking about for a while. We plan to travel Australia for 12 months in 2015 with my wife and our 2 kids ages 2 & 4 now. My wife thinks a bus is the best option as we need space, but I am worried we will miss the best bits and end up following tourist buses around to the usual tourist traps. So, I need to work out is it worth changing plan and going for something different. My thoughts are to buy a second hand Mitsubishi Canter 4WD Dual cab, and build a custom unit like a trayon but bigger to fit the truck. This would give us the best of both worlds but it's a lot more effort to make. How much of the really good stuff will I miss if I can't go off road?
Posted By John on Sunday 17th March 2013 @ 22:45:22
In relation to those thinking about going in a bus, I would say go for it! Most of the beautiful parts of this country can now be accessed by the tarmac, or well graded dirt roads. If you REALLY want some real off-road and out of the way experiences, consider towing a 4WD or hiring from town and storing the bus for short periods. I wouldn't recommend taking just the 4WD and a big tent - having recently done the trip with a camper trailer, you don't want to have to set up/ packup anything more complicated than that. Many, many people travel in those all in one vans (motorhome) which wouldn't be much better than a bus. You must take into account things like parts/repairs, etc and fuel economy for a bus. Get out there and experience it! I couldn't recommend it any higher, and what's the worst? It could go wrong and you come home early - at least you will have tried and had some fun!!
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Posted By hr6300 on Tuesday 19th March 2013 @ 11:59:42
Well John, since I posted this, I have been doing ALOT of discovering, looking at maps, destinations etc... I have come to the realisation that we do need the bus for times when we are staying somewhere for a lengthy period for work, and since I have 4 kids we need the room. But I have also found a way to travel in the bus, while not missing a thing...the plan is to plan a place to park the bus, in a caravan park near where we want to visit (some charge cheap rates for storing your bus or van there, then taking our 4WD with trailer and a tent to all of those places we want to go, so we won't miss a thing. We will be planning it all so we do as little back tracking as possible, and end up close to where we have left the bus, picking it up, then doing it again wherever we want. So I guess part of your decision would depend on if you plan on traveling long term, if so maybe the bus would be better, but for just a holiday, or one round trip, maybe an off road caravan would be ok.
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Posted By Leisa on Tuesday 19th March 2013 @ 15:27:04
Yes I agree, we will be towing our 4WD behind the bus, and also have a large tent. Since the Gibb River Road recommends 4WD only, we will be parking the bus and doing the Kimberley with 4WD and tent.
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Posted By Leisa on Tuesday 19th March 2013 @ 17:43:36
We just finished 18 months on the road with our 3 year old and we debated this topic before we left, while on the trip and even since we've been back and still haven't decided on the perfect set up. We took a 4wd and a Kimberley kamper so we could access the really out of the way places and we certainly did. We would have missed a bit if we didn't have the 4wd set up but that said, lots of families we met along the way didn't have off road set ups and still saw so much amazing stuff. The 2wd drive roads are almost everywhere. But that means the crowds are too. If you want to get away from the crowds the easiest way is off road. We only had one child which made it easier and we didn't have to do the home schooling stuff (which a good space would be useful for) but we did live comfortably in the camper for 18 months even for the 4 months we stayed and worked in Margaret river. Good luck choosing your set up. I hope it works for you and your families. Emma Details of our set up are on our blog if you're interested (I think I put the link up before, but here it is again): http://jarvismalin.blogspot.com.au/p/rig.html
Posted By Emma on Tuesday 19th March 2013 @ 20:35:20
Also, could anyone tell me if they've had any experience traveling the Kimberley, NT, and the cape with a pet, like if they're not allowed in National parks, did they have another plan? Thanks.
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Posted By Leisa on Tuesday 19th March 2013 @ 23:44:23
Hi Shelly, good to get your msg, thanks for responding, only have just read it now. Good to hear things settling down a bit now. I did have a bit of a chuckle to myself when you were describing your middle child and trying to adjust. I can just imagine and am sure we will encounter similar things. What sort of set up do you have, caravan or camper trailer?? We have bought a 22 ft Supreme caravan with triple bunks and shower and toilet. In the process of being made now. Is you set up working well for you?? Andrea
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Posted By Andrea on Wednesday 20th March 2013 @ 11:48:25
Hi all, This question is a bit left field but one I'm sure many will have a comment for: How do you cope with the intimacy issue when you are travelling (crammed together with kids). We have 6 teenagers or almost teens 12-17 with us. The eldest boy (almost 15) recently made a huge deal about being asked to sleep in a tent ( we desperately needed adult conversation time ;) wink wink). What disturbed me the most was that he thinks he knows why we wanted to be alone, yet still wants to stay in the camper trailer with us! Any tips or comments greatly appreciated. (by the way, always remember to put down the stabiliser legs and take advantage of windy nights!) Cheers Bec
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Posted By Bec on Wednesday 20th March 2013 @ 12:24:41
well i wish my wife was as understanding as you when we did our oz trip, but even with the stabilizer legs down it doesn't stop the aerial from rocking side to side, if i were you i'd give them all 20 bucks each and tell them to go down the shop for 3 minutes well you do some house work (Wink Wink).
Mostly i don't think you'll be having long lasting love making it's a bit of the old (wam bam thank you mam) when you can, Good Luck enjoy your travelling.
Posted By jason on Wednesday 20th March 2013 @ 13:44:02
Hi All you travellers, need some advice but not about kids as mine have flown the coop a long while back.
I live in Adelaide and a lone female 68 years in fairly good nick for my age and have decided to buy a small motorhome to take a great trip around and into Australia. I have just a small French Bulldog to come with me.
I am not scared of travelling alone but am just wondering what it will cost approx on the road. ie fuel if I travel 1500 klms per week and anything else. I will be set up to live off road but occasionaly stay in caravan parks. I was hoping to be able to get some work ie cleaning, fruit picking etc. I am pretty frugal and don't need much but like to be comfortable. I think all of you people travelling with kids are very brave and must need a lot of patience (depends on the kids I suppose).
Anyway anyone with advice for an oldie would be welcomed. Helen
Posted By helen on Sunday 24th March 2013 @ 12:03:13
Just bought our caravan ( Windsor expanda new ) we did post back in Oct that we were going to buy a paroumont Duet got a great deal on the Windsor ( toilet, shower, off road, hard top ) we are getting closer to our departure date. (Sept 2014) love reading all your posts. As a family we are excited, we have a couple of things to do to the caravan before we go but will do a couple of short runs . Still undecided about selling the house and business wife thinks it would be good to come back to something (maybe we won't come back, I can only live in hope) I'm going open minded.
I do have a question. Will I need to put a water tank on the car for extra water? The caravan does have 160 lts but not sure if it's enough. Scott.
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Posted By Scott Tanner on Tuesday 26th March 2013 @ 19:22:14
We will be selling our 24ft roadstar caravan at end of year if anyone is interested. All set up for free camping. We are currently on our way around but won't need it when get back. Has bunks, separate toilet & shower, queen bed, awning, walls for awning, huge solar panels (we can't flatten our batteries!) Cheers
Posted By Sue on Wednesday 27th March 2013 @ 13:45:53
Back in Brisbane for 2-3 weeks if that would fit in
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Posted By Amanda Coleman on Wednesday 27th March 2013 @ 14:30:55
Hi Scott, we are one week away from getting on the boat to travel to Melbourne to begin our holiday. We have 3 children and carry 200 litres of water in the van and have a 20 litre water container built into the sides of the 4wd. As I'm alway paranoid about not having enough water, we will always carry another 20 in a jerry can. Not sure either if this is going to be enough but it adds so much extra weight and we are already pushing the weight factor. Cheers.
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Posted By Heni on Thursday 28th March 2013 @ 11:37:55
Can anyone give me any feedback. We are heading off in a few weeks time and are using the SIDE distance learning programme for my son who is in pre-primary in WA. the teacher has suggested he studies up to 4 hours a day!
Is this for real? Would love to hear of others who have used this programme at PP level.
Bearing in mind I also have a 3 year old and 1 year old.
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Posted By Laura Fernandes on Wednesday 3rd April 2013 @ 19:23:04
Hi, We are a family of 4 (our boys are 8 and 9) and we are heading off in May for our adventure around Oz. We can't wait!
We have no plans of where to go or even which direction yet..... although North is sounding best so we can avoid Winter!!
We will be homeschooling our boys through the Home Education Unit of Education Queensland. I, with the help of their teacher, have developed a curriculum for them so we can kind of keep them on par with their peers. I think though with there just being the two of them that they may surpass their peers with both book and life learning.
We would love to be able to meet other families like us on the road!! Happy travels, Jo
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Posted By Jo on Wednesday 24th April 2013 @ 22:07:00
It's great to read about so many other families traveling Australia. We are planning to head off in our 1960s Airstream caravan in July with our three kids, three and under. So far all our weekends away have been chaotic and complete hell with their sleep! I'm hoping they get used to it as we would love to travel for at least one year.
I'm keen to hear anyone's tips who is travelling or has travelled with really small kids.
I have also set up a blog to share our own adventures for anyone interested in vintage trailers - airstreamfamily.com.au
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Posted By AirstreamFamily on Wednesday 8th May 2013 @ 21:31:05
Hello I am looking to travel to Australia for at least 6 months with my 3 year old son. Need some information on how to go about this visa and the best form of travel? Etc. thankyou : )
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PHONE : 07530778222
Posted By Samantha Shaw on Wednesday 8th May 2013 @ 21:39:27
I have written a couple of times in this blog, I am writing by keeping my dream alive and reading all your stories helps.
I have just finished fitting an extra water tank to the bottom of my caravan. (62 litres ). I now have 180 litres of fresh water. I was thinking of putting Jerry can holders on the van but after reading the pro's and con's I thought it was the best.
I also fitted a new treg hitch to the van, took the van on a trial run I must say what a differents in towing (for the best).
The van is going in to get some shockers fitted as its on leaf spring just to help with the ride offroad.
EMAIL : Skoty36@hotmail.com
Posted By Scott on Sunday 12th May 2013 @ 20:38:16
Hi everyone, reading of your travel stories/ plans is so inspiring. My partner and I have been chewing over 'chucking it all in and exploring Australia' for 6 months or so with our 18 month old son... our daily grinds are stressful, seemingly pointless and our feet are getting 'itchy'!!
I want to hear how did you get the guts to 'take the plunge'? The idea of quitting our jobs or even selling our home and possessions doesn't worry us too much... the idea of losing that financial security however does a little!
We are happy to sell off and save to make this experience happen... but we have no idea what kind of savings we are going to need??!!
I'd love advice on how you went your planning and sites you found handy? We are looking into a camper trailer or we may actually have access to a caravan via a friend.
But advice on necessary equipment would be great too.
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Kali on Thursday 16th May 2013 @ 13:31:44
Hi Kali, I did a blog about our trip around Australia in 2011. One of the last posts was a rundown on how much we spent over the 10 months. Take a look, it might be helpful. The blog is at http://smiffy2011.wordpress.com/ Our trip was the best experience ever, and we plan to do it again someday. Good luck with the planning. Sharon
Posted By Sharon Smith on Thursday 16th May 2013 @ 14:28:56
If you are able to start your children with Distant Education a term before you leave would be ideal. Our 11 yr old son is into his 2nd term with Distant Ed, we don't leave until the end of the year. He loves it so much & we as parents have our head around how it works. To be honest our on has learnt far more through this school than main stream.We have travelled small trips (2 months at a time) but now are ready for the big one. Having our son already settled with his schooling will make the start a lot less stressful.
Check out eBay for water bladders, we got two 85 litre bags for $140 delivered. They fold away when we don't need them. One of the best things we have bought. When we are going to free camp we stop fill the van & bladders up. We then have over 320 litres on board.
I hope my info may help. Cheers Ferna
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Posted By AFDW on Friday 17th May 2013 @ 07:30:32
Hi Kai, We deliberated selling, quitting jobs and leaving for a while too. It's a big plunge. But in the end we made the decision we were ready for a career change or job change and we were ready to move and we wanted to go before our son started school so it really all just came together.
We put the profits from the sale of our house and possessions in a 12 month term deposit and used the interest to help pay for our trip along the way. When we got back from our trip (6 months ago), we had the flexibility to choose a new place to live based on our new outlook on life and we ended up leaving Sydney and moving to a lovely seaside town on the south coast of NSW (with a much smaller mortgage). In the end the financial security we gained from the trip has been one of the biggest unexpected bonuses.
Good luck heading off on your trip. However it works out it will be worth it. If you want some inspiration feel free to check out our blog: http://jarvismalin.blogspot.com.au
Our son was 2 when we left on our trip and we took a camper trailer so our travels might have been similar to what you are hoping to do. Emma.
Posted By Emma on Friday 17th May 2013 @ 11:15:42
My husband and I sold our house and travelled Australia for 7 months (6 years ago). We blew all our $$ but it was the best trip ever and although we did have jobs to come back to, we have never felt settled since we've been back. We now have a 4 year old and 16 month old and are itching to go again - issue is this time we do not have a lot of $$ to get us going. We are keen to explore somewhere else to settle. Has anyone else ever taken off with children without the security of renting out their houses or having a lot of $$ to get them started (we are prepared to work along the way) Any advice/experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Bron
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Posted By Bron on Wednesday 26th June 2013 @ 12:57:23
Sorry for my slow reply, pondering and planning has been taking up my time. Thank you ladies for your advice, the information on both of your blogs has been both inspiring and helpful... enough so that we are convinced taking this 'plunge' is the right thing to do!!
Sharon, your cost break down is awesome, thank you for that.
Emma, the experience your family had sounds very similar to what ours will be. We have just the one child (19 months), like you we will be travelling with a camper trailer (which we have purchased and are in the process of 'setting up), do you have any pointers there? How did you find living in a Camper? Did your boy settle into the idea easily? Was it difficult to keep clean?
Like you we also will be selling our home and possessions to help fund the trip. I will certainly be looking into the term deposit too, thanks for that tip!
That's awesome you found somewhere different to settle, I imagine we will be like this too. Where did you settle (if you don't mind my asking) we are currently on the NSW South Coast.
So, anyway... we are looking at leaving in the later half this year and heading down and around. I'd love to connect with any other families who are currently planning a similar trip or who may already be on the road. My email is email@example.com
Thanks again Kali
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Kali Thomas on Thursday 27th June 2013 @ 11:23:34
Hi Bron, we have been travelling for 3 months now with a 14, 12, 11 year old. We have an offroad caravan. We sold our house, quit our jobs, put everything we own in shipping containers. We are basically jobless and homeless. It is quite unsettling not having anything to go back to but we weren't happy where we were, my husband hated his job so we thought we would do this trip to open all our eyes to all possibilities and maybe settle somewhere else. We ran out of cash last week, but have a small amount in a term deposit from the sale of our home. My husband now needs to find work but up towards Gladstone, there is plenty. We are in Noosa area at the moment as we have friends here so that has kept our costs down. It is the most amazing, fun, stressful thing we have ever done but it is everything we wanted and more. Happy travels....
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Posted By heni on Thursday 27th June 2013 @ 14:57:59
Hi, We are looking at heading off in 6mths for 2-3 yr with 5 of our 8 kids. Just trying to get my head around a few things.
Distance education - How exactly does it work when you are on the road with no real plan? Is most of it done online? Or can you download and print it? What is the best way to do it so it works well and is successful for my kids? - will I need a printer? - If I'm downloading everything what amount of gb would i need or use for a school week?
Any other tips you can give me to make our trip a success?
What are the "must packs" for the kids entertainment?
What is the minimum amount of clothes needed?
How much water would you use a day for drinking, showers, clothes washing?
What are the best foods/meal to travel with?
What is the best plans for internet?
What are the best set ups for communication etc?
Sorry to ask what may seem like silly questions but I worry about all!
Any other question or things I should be asking or thinking about?
Any help much appreciated
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Lisa on Saturday 6th July 2013 @ 01:36:11
Hi there, Glad to help. I found distance education which is exactly the same as the national curriculum a pain in the neck. First of all, two of my children have to do it online as they are high school aged. This meant too much time spent trying to complete work as the amount of hours spent is still the same. Granted, they can complete it more quickly than when they are in school but we found we couldn't download the amount of work quickly even though the areas we chose to camp in had reception.
We bought a portable wifi device which is theoretically able to run 5 devices at the same time but this certainly was not the case for us. The other problem was if the children missed days or weeks of school they still had to "catch" up which put a lot of pressure on them, resulting in tears and arguments. Our primary school child coped okay with the paperwork as hers wasn't done on line but there was still a huge amount of work to get through. I have now switched over to "home education" as there is a lot of flexibility in this and the whole purpose of this trip was to educate them on the road with regards to new sights, areas etc. They all help with budgeting, cooking, calculating kms. etc. setting up and packing up, reading. They also work through maths and grammar text books to keep them up and they all have online access.
The clothes issue is interesting given that we have a 14 year old daughter who seems to collect clothes as we go around. We have come up with a deal to get rid of clothes she is not wearing to make room.
We carry 180 litres of water in our van and an extra 70 in jerry cans. This doesn't leave water for showers everyday but is enough for general cooking and washing and we always try to find camps with showers and toilets if possible. We have a small black and white laser printer. We left with a camp oven and a three burner outdoor stove and our caravan has a cooktop. This has not worked really well as I dislike cooking in the caravan and it's especially hard when it is raining and all 6 of us are in the van.
We are now going to buy a weber as you can grill, fry and bake in this. I don't mind the camp oven and have been cooking some lovely meals in it but you at times can't have fires so the weber will take care of this. I hope this helps a little bit.
The only other tip I have is make sure the van/camper trailer you buy is exactly what you want as we bought a 4/5 berth (the table drops down for the 5th) and I wished I had held out and bought a triple bunk where the kids all have their own space. We had the idea that we would make it work and we have to a certain extent but it would have been better to have bought what I had originally wanted but we couldn't find it at the time.
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PHONE : 0439486253
Posted By heni on Friday 12th July 2013 @ 11:53:22
Hi all, we are currently in the early stages of planning our "Big Trip". We went looking for a van today, upgrading the car etc etc. When we set off early next year we will have a 16 month old and 4 year old.
I think our biggest hurdle we have at the moment is our two cats. We don't know what to do with them when we are gone. What did everybody else do?
Posted By Jess on Friday 12th July 2013 @ 20:59:31
We are currently on our trip around but will be home in Vic by Christmas. We have a 24ft Roadstar Caravan and will be selling once we get back from doing Cape York end of September if you are interested.
It has bunks, separate toilet and shower opposite, oven, heaps of solar panels, concertina doors at kids end and parents, end, roll out awning with full annexe walls. We've found it great as it is your house and if you run into bad weather you still have plenty of room. Cheers Sue.
Posted By Sue on Saturday 13th July 2013 @ 15:34:54
Hi Sue, Cape York ( can't wait to get up there ) :-) The van sounds great but would love a little more info. Do you have an email address I can contact you through? Jess
Posted By Jess on Sunday 14th July 2013 @ 11:05:18
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know what other info you want.
EMAIL : email@example.com
Posted By Sue on Sunday 14th July 2013 @ 15:56:56
I'm heading to Australia dec 13. plan to travel with my 6 yr old.
I'll be in Melbourne for 1st 3 weeks then take it from there .
Love to meet other travellers. Or anyone selling a van around my timings
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Posted By Nicola on Monday 15th July 2013 @ 00:08:01
Hi Jess I love how this post is 'alive' with people trip planning. How did you go looking at cars and vans? My partner and I are also 'planning' hoping to head off over the next 6 months or so with our (currently) 20 month old son.
We are also facing the pet hurdle... we have 2 dogs and 2 turtles and haven't quite figured out our plan for them :(
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Posted By Kali on Monday 15th July 2013 @ 17:17:41
This forum is becoming Very Helpful already :-). Thanks Sue, I have sent you an email.
Hi Kali that sounds like a wonderful idea to "compare notes". I will send you through an email also.
We must nearly be going to head off at the same time. No luck with the pets yet. And getting closer to knowing what we want as our home away from home.
Posted By Jess on Monday 15th July 2013 @ 20:21:24
This is great info as I am going to travel with my 13 yr old son where did you go thru to get the outcome you were after thank you.
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Posted By kirk&sheri road trip on Monday 22nd July 2013 @ 12:52:14
I will be traveling with my 13 yr old son I am now considering home schooling rather as from reports it seems to work better could anyone confirm this with me. Also we have a little toy poodle and want to hear of anyone's experience traveling with there pet thank you Kirk.
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Posted By kirk&sheri road trip on Monday 22nd July 2013 @ 12:53:32
My husband and I are looking at travelling around Australia with our three children, 4 year old and 12 month old twins. We're really not sure about what caravan/camper to buy which would be the easiest with children but not break the bank. Also would be lovely to hear from anyone who has travelled with little children with any advice...im so going to need it!! Thanks Julieanne
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Posted By Julieanne on Tuesday 23rd July 2013 @ 09:12:38
Hi Julieanne, I just sent through an email. Congrats on deciding to travel. We are really getting into our planning now. And would be great to swap ideas if you would like. This forum is great :-)
Posted By Jessica on Thursday 25th July 2013 @ 21:48:37
Gday we are 45 and 38 and have a 6 yr old and a 3 yr old, after several years of living around the Maryborough Hervey Bay area we have decided to Go Go Go, We are tired of groundhog day and going through the motions of daily life & dealing with petty unhappy people every day
We have an old 1974 viscount van a Mazda e2200 truck to pull it and carry bikes etc. we plan on taking two cars one for wife and kids and the truck to pull the van, we are hoping to do a few hundred k at a time and staying in place for a week or longer exploring and searching for utopia.
Probably sound very idealistic but society has really left us jaded & we are hoping we can find some old Australia on the RD, I have the feeling that people on the rd. are searching like we are and are kindred spirits We would love to hear from families travelling you can add us on face book or share your travels with us.
Would love to know great places to visit with the kids to open their minds to the wonderment of nature Cheers Pat.
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PHONE : 0449 045 865
Posted By Pat Fatman Heaton on Friday 2nd August 2013 @ 15:11:41
I am a single mum with kids 10, 8 and 3. I'm sick of struggling to pay bills living week to week in 'suburbia'. I'm moving out of my rental, buying a huge 2nd hand tent and going to live in a local park for 6 months whilst we save and prepare for our trip with a hopeful departure date of 1st Feb, travelling approx 6 months going all the way around!! heading south from Brisbane. I'm looking into short courses before we go on photography and journalism. I can write and sell articles via internet, therefore getting paid to document memories of our trip. Interested in hearing 'anything' that could be helpful or anyone who may be travelling with kids around the same time.
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By donna on Wednesday 7th August 2013 @ 01:49:05
That's a brave thing moving from a home to a tent with 3 kids, I take my hat off to you, I've done lots of trips around Australia and can say they have all been awesome, and plan on doing plenty more, from reading your post you will be doing the trip on a budget, so to give you a head start call our office on 1800 187 561 or visit our website www.best1cleaning.com for when you need your carpets and pest control done and we'll arrange it for you free of charge, happy travels.
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PHONE : 1800 187 561
Posted By jason on Wednesday 7th August 2013 @ 13:28:38
Good Luck Donna, maybe our paths will cross, Cheers Pat & Melissa.
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PHONE : 0449 045 865
Posted By Pat Fatman Heaton on Wednesday 7th August 2013 @ 14:12:09
Back again just to say we have had our shockers fitted to our van ( ref:blog 219) and very happy with it we also had a checked plate box made to go across the front of the van to put the gas bottles in and extra gear. (looks great)
I'm amazed by how many of you guys have sold up ( the house) to do your trip around Australia.
If only I could convince the other half to the same and sell the business , no go yet. . She's worried we won't have anything to come back to , I keep telling her maybe we won't come back.
We have already planed out our first 6 months going clockwise leaving Vic heading West. Every night I am on the iPad looking at great sights to go to and reading as much as I can.
I still have a couple of things to do on the prado b4 we go like new shockers, cargo barrier and draw units to go in as well .it's all about the $$$$$'s
We have also decided to take a boat ( to go on top of the prado) it has a 7.5 hp motor . Any way just an up date on where we are so far with things.
If anyone wants to talk more about there trip or planning there trip , exchange ideas just email me @ Skoty36@hotmail.com
EMAIL : Skoty36@hotmail.com
Posted By Scott on Tuesday 13th August 2013 @ 16:03:08
Scott tried your email It didn't go through oh well email@example.com
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
PHONE : 0449 045 865
Posted By Pat Fatman Heaton on Tuesday 13th August 2013 @ 16:22:49
Hi Pat, Try me on this email, email@example.com
EMAIL : Skoty36@hotmail.com
Posted By Scott on Tuesday 13th August 2013 @ 20:49:34
Hi Donna, Well done on your decision. we've been on the road 2.5 years now with two girls aged 9 & 11. It's not without its challenges (especially schoolwork) but overall it's been a great family experience. You mentioned travel writing. The Caravan & Motorhome magazine are regularly looking for feature writers so it may be worth checking out their website.
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Tracy on Wednesday 14th August 2013 @ 00:17:49
I hear you, I'm in the same boat over in the West. As a single parent now with a 14 year old since his brother went to live with his dad, I'm seriously thinking of selling up, buying a camper trailer, home schooling and leaving this horrendously expensive state. Just the thought of being able to move wherever we want, whenever we want is exciting and there are so many things to see in our own country. As someone else said, maybe we'll cross paths in the future. Good luck with your plans.
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Posted By Vicki on Wednesday 14th August 2013 @ 17:35:57
Hi loved reading the posts lots of great feedback, we are free campers from way back but only ever travel about 3hrs from home near Ballarat Vic as always had a tent and too much to set up.
However we have just purchased a new 2013 Jayco swan and ready to start exploring our beautiful country with our 5 kids 2-12 yrs, we are set up with battery and solar and have camp shower and toilet. So after any suggestions on great free camping places that doesn't require 4x4 access as we only have a Hyundai Imax and its only 12 months old so not ready to trade in for a 4x4 yet as its a novated lease so will plan to do that in 4yrs.
The plan is to only travel for 3 mths at a time max ( maybe a few weeks before school finishes and back a few weeks after first term starts) so late Nov- Feb, as I won't have time to homeschool as there are so many and 3 of them have ASD so keep us busy enough:-) So def suggestions on family friendly free camping areas, would love some to have rivers or lakes where they can swim/fish if possible.
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Kerryn on Friday 16th August 2013 @ 12:40:26
Hi all , Well our planning is well on the way. And we have our van. Yay. End of Jan is our head off date. I'm thinking of starting a blog. Does anyone have any advice on how to go about this? Thanks.
Posted By Jess on Friday 16th August 2013 @ 22:27:25
Hi Kerryn, We are also about to do the much awaited trip around Australia. Leaving VIC mid Oct.
Like you travel as a family & have found a great app 'Wiki Camps" its free to down load. There's people recommendations, photos for free camping etc. Megan : )
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Posted By Megan on Saturday 17th August 2013 @ 15:31:02
Thanks Megan will get onto it, safe travels and enjoy your trip :-)
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Posted By Kerryn on Sunday 18th August 2013 @ 10:12:54
Have you tried looking at ozcamps.net ?
EMAIL : email@example.com
Posted By David on Sunday 18th August 2013 @ 14:48:03
Wow, there has been so much activity here since my last post, it's always awesome to see so many people daring to live the dream!!
We are on the home stretch now, we have our Camper Trailer and Car set-up well underway and this week we are hoping to exchange the contract for the sale of our house. Once it's settled we are going to rent it back for 10 weeks and head off at the end of November... we're so excited!
I've also been keeping a bit of a blog, if anyone is interested in it checking it out: www.thetravelling3.wordpress.com
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Kali Thomas on Monday 19th August 2013 @ 11:45:09
Hi all We love to hear about people planning big family trips. We run a caravan hire company with a difference. We are based in Byron Bay, NSW and our company is called Hip Caravan Hire. We have a van you can hire which is perfect for families called the Brady Van. It has toilet/shower on board, plus all mod cons like flat screen tv and espresso coffee makers. We are happy to help you plan you family holiday so please feel free to get in touch.
EMAIL : email@example.com
PHONE : 1800 711 007
Posted By TIm on Thursday 29th August 2013 @ 23:45:47
Wow! Here I was thinking Hubby & I were the only ones sick of the merry-go-round of "livin to work". It had been but an unreachable dream for so long but now it's our reality, "Livin the dream"!
We were tired of not spending quality time together as a family(2x adults & 1x 5.y.o daughter). We through in the towel of "normal life" & left the sunny coast of QLD about 5 months ago! We sold up, hubby said goodbye to a secure job, & I closed down my successful hairdressing business, brought our dream mobile establishment(comfort is everything), invested our hard earned dough & haven't looked back! We did lots of research. We have estimated we can sustain our venture for a year on $600 a week, not working or 2 years with the intention of only one of us working, while the other one looks after our daughter. We plan to free camp and "slurge" some of the time staying in parks.
The plan, "Not to have a plan", see where our wheels take us. We decided after 3 months rest we'd look for work.(Even though I'd pick up the odd job cutting someone's hair). While staying in Yamba hubby decided to start applying for work in Charleville. Being winter the climate would be just perfect. We stayed in a caravan park for 3 weeks waiting to hear about a council position, but he was unsuccessful. During our time here we got friendly we the owners the station. The other managers shot through & that's when our stars aligned & we created our opportunity.
We decided to be upfront & ask to be the new managers of the caravan park. Who would have thought! Another dream of ours had fallen right into our laps. I believe,the universe decides what you are meant to be doing in that time & space. At first it wasn't ideal working conditions for our daughter taking care of yourself, but we made it work. She remains by one of our sides throughout the day, watching DVD's, climbing trees, making "mud" ice-creams, drawing & doing her maths and literacy books. And being a magnet to any kids that rock up to the park!
As the weather warms up the season is coming to an end & the park will close & we'll move on. But luckily we've meet some amazing people & lined up were we'll be heading for work next. If anyone is interested in working around Charleville or north west of here I have some insight which caravan parks are looking for managers for next season. Please email me. P.S To earn extra cash it's a good idea to contact some of the 4WD & caravan magazines they pay you for your story.
See what are you waiting for!
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Posted By Kat Mitchell on Sunday 8th September 2013 @ 14:39:37
My partner and I have been toying with the idea for a few months now. I'm glad I found this site as it's just given me the push I needed. We have 2 kids, 4 and 2.5 yrs. We are both working alot, he works days and I nights, so we don't see much of each other at all some weeks. Got to the point where we feel we are getting nowhere and losing precious as a family. We plan to find bits of work on our way around. We have both travelled Oz before we met. We met on a cattle station in NT. So we are both familiar with some of the work patterns in seasonal areas. When I travelled alone I worked as a jillaroo on 2 stations, and offsiding for a roo shooter for a short while. This time round, that sort of work may not suit as it's long hours, so I might try and pick up a bit of barwork, which is what I do now. Also a very great industry for quickly picking up jobs. What we both miss about travelling is meeting such friendly people, and as Kat Mitchell said, getting to know people and lining up jobs was the best feeling. I'm a little sketchy now as when I travelled it was just me and my dog. Dragging kids along seems a much bigger decision. After reading all of these comments though it doesn't seem so big. I can just imagine what our parents are going to think....How irresponsible and reckless to throw in 2 great jobs and stability for the kids (plus taking them away from the grandparents!!) I just can't shake the feeling of how much quality time we will have as a family, how much we are all looking forward to that. This time we are looking at a campertrailer, and we have a colorado to tow it. Last time I had a hilux and my partner had a patrol. I hope the colorado measures up! Happy travelling everyone! I will surely be posting more on here and reading more comments too :)
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Posted By Apryl on Sunday 29th September 2013 @ 09:01:22
Hi All, Well been a while since my last post. And we are very busy with our planning. We are now the proud owners of a Jayco Expanda, and we love it. Still planning on heading off At the end of Jan next year. Our first Stop will be Tasmania. We thought its the perfect time of year to head down there, when its not so cold. We have bought solar panels and a battery kit for the van. Its helpful that the Hubby is a sparky and can do all this himself. Miss 3yr old is excited and keeps telling everyone we are going on a BIG caravan holiday all the way around Australia. Still not sure what we can do with our Cats. Anyone else have tips on this? Happy Travelling :-)
Posted By Jess on Monday 7th October 2013 @ 20:20:09
Hi Jess, if you have the funds you could find a cat kennel to leave them at or take them with you. There are list of places that allow pets these days. I've seen an older couple who take there cat on every trip they go on.
Good luck with your trip, I envy you, we had plans of going & taking our 3 dogs but have put it off for the moment as our son is in his final year of primary.
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Posted By Renae on Tuesday 8th October 2013 @ 10:38:33
Hi guys, been part of this forum for quite a while. Very helpful in planning. Our house is on the market and we're off April 2015.
We love to read what works and what doesn't. Just got back from two weeks up in the Flinders, Arkaroola and Rawnsley (we've been most parts of SA). Seriously going to go a triple bunk caravan; after years of camper trailers. The set time! And features for a caravan in hot blowing conditions outweighs the benefits of speed and portability in a camper. Keep for OFF road trips that a caravan won't go.
Means up grading the tow vehicle and purchasing a van, but the free camping and independence will suit us . The northern caravan parks I've heard are hard to get into and expensive.
Is there any real benefit of having your own small washing machine? at $3-5 a load I think it might be worth it?
Were in SA, does anyone have ideas on what they did for home schooling? Three boys 6, 8,11.
Ideas on triple bunk vans off road (2008 onwards) shower toilet, under 2000kg tare? Looking at a 2011 Pajero (3000kg towing) to tow it.
Heading across to Perth and then up West coast, Broome, Darwin Etc... 3-4 mths
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Posted By Gavin on Sunday 13th October 2013 @ 11:46:26
Hi there, We have just finished a 7 month trip up the East Coast of Australia with 3 children aged 14,13,11. We have had a blast. We have an offroad van with two bunks with a tare weight of 2500kg, shower toilet, and table that folded down to another bed. We made it work but it was difficult so more often than not my husband would sleep in a swag so the youngest would sleep with me and the table remained up. My advice is to make sure that the van you buy is exactly what you want because as it's your home for a while, you need to be comfortable. We have a Nissan Patrol 4.2 Turbo Diesel and it pulled it with ease as the towing capacity is 3 1/2 tonne. We left our washing machine at home because of lack of space but we wished we had bought it with us as washing machines at the caravan parks are $4.00 each and if not in the park and you go to a laundromat it will cost you a fortune. We spent $50 at one laundromat in NSW because we had to wash towels, sheets etc. I would estimate that we spent $500 - $800.00 easy on laundry. We also had our 23 year old son with us so there were 6 of us travelling. The shower/toilet debate is an interesting one. I was sure that it was imperative to have one in the van, but after lots of free camping and also caravan parks, I have to admit it actually wasn't that important. Most "free camps" have showers and toilets. I think, in the end, it is a definite luxury but not imperative and it does take up a lot of living room. The other thing is you always accompany your children to the toilet anyway so the "stranger danger" issue that I was worried about wasn't really an issue at all! You also have to carry so much extra water. Our van carries 180 litres underneath, 20 litres in the toilet, and we also carried an extra 70 litres on the vehicle. Heaps of extra weight!! Anyway, good luck with it all, you will have a blast.
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Posted By heni on Sunday 13th October 2013 @ 20:27:43
Gday all, my wife and I are thinking of selling every thing buying a c/van an 4wd and travelling full time with our two girls aged 10 and 8 schooling via correspondence and not having a home to come back too as we probably couldnt afford 1 we are aged 53 and 49 so no finance would back us at our age. Any thoughts would be most welcome. Cheers.
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Posted By george wright on Thursday 21st November 2013 @ 19:33:16
I think that it will be a great experience for all of you. I recall doing a road trip from Albany to Brisbane when I was about 10 back in the mid-70's and loved the adventure. I'm still umming and aahing about doing what you are going to do. Might be another year yet, but as far as I'm concerned, the only home your kids will need, is the one you're going to be travelling in with your wife. I hope you have a great time, after all, we could all be run over by a bus tomorrow and we have to grab at what life offers when the chance comes up. There are some great correspondence schools around, so I'm sure you'll find the right one that works for your kids.
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Posted By Vicki on Friday 22nd November 2013 @ 00:05:39
Hey, we've just come back from a six month trip around oz, it was awesome. we loved every minute of it. we have 3 kids, 1, 3 and 6 year old. We rented our house out, bought a second hand Windsor rapid and did it in that. I home schooled my oldest, which was testing at times. I would recommend renting out your home if you can so you don't burn any bridges so to speak. We found it really nice to have somewhere to come back too.
Whatever you decide, enjoy... the experience you as a family will have will be the BEST ever.
good luck, Laura
Posted By Laura Fernandes on Friday 22nd November 2013 @ 00:39:25
Hi George. Do it! We are 49 & 63 and in January will end a three year trip around the country with our two daughters, now aged 9 & 12. We began when they were 7 & 9. We have also completed 3 years of distance education. Not easy, but they will be ahead when they return to mainstream school in 2014, this was particularly important for our 12 year old who will be starting secondary school. We sold our house to finance our trip but we did use some of the proceeds as the deposit on a cheap house which has been rented the whole time and we will be moving into this house in January. If you can't borrow through a major bank, go through a mortgage broker who will have access to smaller lenders. The big 4 didn't want to lend to us because we wouldn't be working for 3 years, even though we were able to live off our own means and not have to rely on any government benefits, or seek work while we travelled. You should link into some Facebook groups 'Travel Australia with Kids' and 'Families on the Road'. They are full of great advice and info. If travel is something you really want to do, then make it happen. Tomorrow is promised to no-one and already our girls, as young as they are, value the experience they have just had and understand how unique it is for a family to spend so much time together.
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Posted By Tracy on Friday 22nd November 2013 @ 13:00:08
Just over 12 moths until we head off on the big trip. We just returned from Adelaide for Xmas took the van over, I must say I wasn't happy with the fuel 18-20 Lt to the 100 klms (must say the wind was pretty bad on the way home).
My mind is baffled with that I can't work out what went wrong. Towing a 14 ft Windsor rapid. Anyway it's been great to do trial runs as I have been doing little extras to the van each time we get back so by the time we leave should have most things done, I'm sure there will be something not done.
Just put the business up for sale so I'm hoping that doesn't take to long to sell. Starting to get things in order as it will come along very quickly.
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Posted By Scott Tanner on Sunday 29th December 2013 @ 20:18:21
Wow!!! Awesome reading! We are setting off in 10 months 20 days . We have 2 girls who will be 14 and 10 upon leaving. The whole Distance ed / homeschooling is interesting!
We have run a business for the last 2 or so years 7 am to 7pm 7 days a week plus a couple of hours either side has inspired us to buy a 40ft bus and deck it out as our home. It's looking beautiful thanks to my husband!
Our home goes on the market soon so our travelling will be long term until we find somewhere we love.
Planing to start at Copeton Dam and go wherever from there. Hopefully we are able to pick up some work here and there to help fund our travel.
Any advice or info on great places or schooling or anything would be awesome!!!
Safe travels people!
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Posted By Mel on Saturday 25th January 2014 @ 09:42:43
Hi Mel, So great to hear from you, being inspired to travel, so just a quick note today. Where are you both from? It's the way to go, we felt the same but eventually in reality we'll have to settle down & put our daughter through school. If you check out issue 198 of the caravan & motorhome mag we have a article with some tips in there about us working on the road. I've just enrolled our daughter in an a Christian based distance Ed program for PREP via Riverside College in Maryborough in QLD. I am so pleased I choose this form of schooling as it only involves 2 hours per unit per day, but obviously if travelling you can do more, very flexible- cost $200 start up & $125 per term & all workbooks are sent to you! I looked at Brisbane Distance Ed but was going to cost $2000 for a year & involved 5 hours a day online, which isn't possible when travelling if you don't get internet! Check it out on the web! Sorry we are doing school today, as we'll be hitting the road tomorrow for a few days just thought I'd quickly check emails. If you can upskill yourself to do a Barista or RSA course before leaving will help for work prospects in the West in the touristy spots!
Chat soon Katrina
Posted By Katrina on Tuesday 28th January 2014 @ 14:40:52
Will have a look at your article!
We are from Grafton NSW. Have my RSA & RSG, Food safety supervisor ticket and hubby is a butcher, metal worker by trade and has often worked driving harvesters and so forth.
The last few years we have had a post office general store/ takeaway, and still are Australian post licensee's , so we hope to pick up some relief work with other smaller post offices as the paper work and all that goes along with it is a nightmare and we know how to do it.
I will be researching schooling for my girls more in the coming months. Its all a bit daunting in that aspect! Our youngests school principal actually took a year or so off with his kids to travel so he has been helpful. Plus a friend works for the distance ed thing in Ballina and has offered to help in anyway.
I hope you have a lovely few days on the road and look forward to hearing bout it!!
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Posted By Mel on Tuesday 28th January 2014 @ 16:54:29
Looks like you guys are pretty well set! Heaps of harvest work out west, central QLD & NSW, we went through Dirranbandi, which is the biggest cotton area in the southern hemisphere- home to cubby station, which employs lots of contractors in the season.
Do you have the harvest trail app? And work about Australia book? They are really helpful for season work.
I believe NSW residents only have to pay $60 per child for the year for distance education- don't quote me on cost- heard through grapevine!
One couple we met went through North East public distance ed @ Port Macquarie. How long will u guys be on, the road for? When do you leave?
Enjoy the planning? Might see you or there somewhere! Cheers Kat
Posted By Katrina on Wednesday 5th February 2014 @ 02:08:00
Hi Mel and Katrina
We are in the thinking stage of heading off for 6 months to a year with our 7 year old maybe in 6 months time! We are in Ballina and would love to get the contact you have for the distance ed person......plus welcome any tips on times to travel to which areas and how to go about finding work along the way - my hubby is a gardener and I have just finished my teaching qual....plus in our former lives my hubby was a youth counselor and I was in marketing.
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Posted By Jacquie Brown on Friday 7th March 2014 @ 11:19:14
I drove from Brisbane to Sydney which took me and my friend about 15 hours. Just after the car passed the Sydney harbour bridge it decided to overheat and turns it self off. Great start to my holiday, been in Sydney less than 1 hour and the car breaks down.
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Posted By supported disability cruise on Monday 17th March 2014 @ 21:49:41
Hi Jacquie, we have just come back from 8 months touring with our 11,13,14 year old children. We started doing distance ed but found it was so difficult with internet coverage, exceeding internet data, logging in, having the time to do schooling, so switched to home ed which is a lot more flexible but we even found that too difficult (it also probably has something to do with two of the children were teenagers!) Anyway, decided after much discussion with travellers and teachers, that the most important thing to do is keep a daily or weekly journal (depending on what you are doing and how busy) and a program online called “online maths” it was absolutely brilliant! My children are now back at school and all three of them are ahead of their peers in maths and are equal or more in English. The knowledge that they gained (even when you think they are not taking it all in) was amazing and it continues to amaze me with what they recall. Anyway, hope this helps, just don’t get too hung up on the schooling, it is such a small BLIP in their lives. Regards, Helen.
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Posted By Helen on Wednesday 19th March 2014 @ 19:04:07
My family went on a cross country tour of Australia in a specialized motor home a couple years ago. My younger sister Eliza has a peculiar interest in animals and loves to try and communicate with them. My parents wanted to make a nature documentary to start their film making careers which made the trip especially interesting. Overall it was one of the craziest experiences of my life.
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Posted By Luke Johnson on Saturday 22nd March 2014 @ 05:49:31
I am really wanting to go on a casual-working trip around Australia with my partner and 2 children (twins 10yr old) + 1 on the way. My partner feels we are not in the financial situation to do such travel. We have recently updated our car and purchased a van on top of that we have a mortgage. How if any of you have completed your "living the dream" trip with such debts over your head??? Meaning how have you been able to keep up your payments if you are only working part time from place to place.
I have searched newsagencies, googled, asked around at local caravan parks and all other aspects of searching you could possibly imagine lol, I am just at a loss as to how to go about financing my dream trip for say 2 years when I cant go a week now with out working and paying a damn bill.
I am so over the merry go round work, pay bill, sleep, eat, work etc etc same every week. Please help me get out of this rut and live my dream with my family. Any tips / advice would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards Sam
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Posted By Sam on Wednesday 16th April 2014 @ 13:34:13
I don't know if this helps but at 61 I am working full time and my huband at 50 is working 25 hours a week. We pay $6 a day rent for a 3 bedroom house with no fuel costs and all amenities. Let me know where you want to travel to and hopefully I can give some tips on employment.
Amanda and Simon "On the road again"
Posted By Amanda Coleman on Wednesday 16th April 2014 @ 22:38:59
Hi All, Well its been a long time since I have posted on here and we are 3 months into our big lap with our two girls ( aged 4 and 1 ) and our trusty Jayco expanda. We are currently heading up through NSW Orange, Dubbo, over towards Tamworth area then on to Coffs Harbour and up the coast.
We will soon enough be looking for some work. Hubby is an electrician, I'm a chef but we are willing to try different things. Does anyone know if there is any jobs along this way or where the best place for me to look is. I know there is a couple of web sites for working around Australia but I don't want to pay to get access to these sites.
Thanks in Advance.
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Posted By Jess on Tuesday 29th April 2014 @ 19:59:29
I love reading this forum, until recently I thought it an impossible dream to do a lap but it seems things have come together and we might actually be able to do a 6 month trip. We're currently debating our set up though, we have an old (but reliable) 16ft van that can sleep the 5 of us (two kids on dinette one on mattress on the floor), but that involves setting up beds each night. We have considered setting up a tent for extended stays for extra space, privacy etc. Does anyone else travel this way, at what age would you consider kids in tents? Or should we try and extend budget for a van with bunks. Appreciate thoughts on this.
Posted By Claire on Friday 2nd May 2014 @ 21:15:55
Hi, we have just returned from an 8 month trip with 3 children, aged 11,13,14. We had a 16 foot van which extended to 20 foot with two bunks, a drop down table, toilet and shower. When we went searching for a van we really wanted a triple bunk but couldn’t find one in our price range at the time, so we “settled” for a double bunk and drop down table. Even though we survived and made it work, it was a pain in the neck setting up the table for the bed and losing your table. If I had my time again, I would have held out for exactly what we wanted. Living in an enclosed space for a long time, you do tend to get on each others nerves and we felt that if the kids had their own “space” to retreat to, it would have been easier. It’s not a problem on lovely warm sunny days but on cold wet days it certainly tests you. I wouldn’t put my kids in a tent even though they were early teens, even though we never had any issues so to speak, random people did come wandering through our site, and my teenage son tried to sleep in a swag one night but totally freaked out but I guess you just have to gauge the area you are in. I hope this helps, you will have an absolute ball as we did and would do it again in a heart beat but with a triple bunker!
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Posted By Helen on Wednesday 7th May 2014 @ 11:17:22
Thanks Helen for your insight, it's great to hear from someone who has actually done an extended trip with that sort of set up. We are going to test our set-up over a 3 week trip to see how we go, and I suspect like you we will find that it just becomes a pain always losing the table plus the work involved with making the bed every day!
Posted By Claire on Wednesday 7th May 2014 @ 20:02:54
I think it is about time for all of us travellers to rebel against price gougers in the caravan park industry ie ; Nth Coast holiday Parks from $35 p/n ti $55 per night for school holidays what a rip off, Also charging $8 to $10 extra for kids, they reckon the use more water,power etc; when they are banned from going to amenities with out an adult, may they should have an age limit like over 12 years. We no longer have children but are Grand Parents.
Then the parks have the gall to complain about free camps, when I reckon every free camper would spend $100 in the town at least. If we all ask the question maybe the Park operators will wake up Come on forum people spread the word.
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Posted By Phil on Sunday 11th May 2014 @ 19:40:10
Our problem is we can't stay at a lot of parks anyway as they have a maximum of 6 occupancy on a site and I refuse to pay for 2 sites just cause I have 5 children not 4!!!!
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Posted By Kerryn on Monday 12th May 2014 @ 14:48:29
Hi guys, this is my first time on ur page. I am a 33yo mom of 3 children, 12, 9, 5. My husband and I are seriously thinking about a camping travelling trip around australia next year 2015. My 12yo daughter is having alot of trouble at school and just trying to decide what to do wth her going to high school. I feel like i am losing her so seriously thinking about the homeschooling. We cant afford a caravan or camper but we have a Crystler voyager 7 seater and getting towball n trailer. We have a awsum tent so wanting to do it in there. anyone out there whose down their travelling in a tent. We want to go to lots of national parks as we will be doing our trip on a budget. As long as there is running water I am happy, I love rough'n it. We will also be taking our jack russell ''Macy". Would love some advise on what I need to have to be able to be self sufficient. Thanx guys and be safe on ur travels xxxx
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Posted By Donnakebabe on Monday 19th May 2014 @ 14:49:05
Hi Donna, We travelled with a camper trailer for 18 months with our 3 year old which did make the trip easier but it was the type of camper that still had quite a bit of setup for the full setup. The benefit was for single night stays. We found there were quite a few occasions where we just needed a quick one night by the side of the road. This would have been a bit of a pain with a tent. You can see our set up on our blog if you want some ideas: http://jarvismalin.blogspot.com.au/p/rig.html
We were fairly self sufficient with: gas and fire cooking stuff, fridge, shovel for a toilet :), fishing gear etc. we could carry about 2 weeks worth of food but only 1 weeks worth of water. Most national parks and free sites don't have drinking water and only a few have showers, so this becomes a key factor in how long you can stay in the bush before having to go into a town.
Very few national parks will allow dogs. Other people on here can probably give you better info on travelling with pets though.
Good luck with your planning. It is an amazing experience.
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Posted By Emma on Monday 19th May 2014 @ 17:10:23
Do it. My wife and I and 3 kids, aged 2, 6, 7 years at the time left Brisbane on the 1st of February, 2013. We got back at the end of February this year. We spent half the time traveling and the other half working in Alice Springs. We only had our 4wd and the tent. In Alice we were offered an onsite caravan which we chose to take but it wasn't very flash, it had no kitchen so we were cooking outside anyway. Pretty much it was a tent with solid walls but was a luxury in the way of being able to plug a heater in, it was winter while we were there. In my opinion our trip in a tent was awesome, it's affordable and with the right one it can be quite simple to pack/unpack. For us it was either do it in a tent or buy a caravan and then not be able to afford the trip. What we liked with the tent/4wd option was that we were not restricted to where we could go and the fuel and accommodation bill would be lower. While in Alice we put the 2 older kids in school which they loved and was a great experience for them. The rest of the trip my wife was home schooling them and to be quite honest she couldn't stand it. It was very rare to have both kids wanting to do a measly hour and a half each day. Having said that my wife did it for six months before we put them in school in Alice and both the kids teachers said to my wife 'just to keep doing what you're doing'. They were well up to speed. My wife got the exact same books that their teachers would have used had they been at school in Brisbane. We have a blog of our trip if you would like to check it out. testingadventures.wordpress.com If you do visit it just be aware that you will probably end up going on your trip, it's awesome. We have no regrets what so ever and recommend it to anyone.
Feel free to ask more questions. Cheers, Damian.
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Posted By Damian on Tuesday 20th May 2014 @ 00:40:02
Hi everyone! Reading through the posts it seems you are mainly Australian travelling your own huge beautiful country! I am English wanting to travel with my husband & 3 sons (11, 8 & 3). It is a complete mind field trying to organise anything really, so any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. We will only be coming for 3 weeks (xmas 2014) but don't really want to be stuck in 1 place & not see any Australia. This trip is purely to sample if our children would be happy to consider emigration. My husbands occupation is on the listed skills wanted & we have the opportunity to sell up & make big life changes. So, would we manage in a 6 berth motor home in the summer heat? Where should we fly to & start our journey? Where is considered good for children? Is it essential to pre book campsites to park up the motor home? Due to such a long journey, would it be wise to rent a car & villa for the first week? So many questions. Many thanks Kimberley x
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Posted By kimmydiamonds on Sunday 22nd June 2014 @ 06:57:23
Hi Kimberely Yes you would manage in a motorhome as long as has aircond I would fly into Adelaide on singapore air direct flight base yourself in South Aust gives you opportunity to tour Victoria, and NSW also look at outback if you wish you could do a big loop from Adelaide to Melbourne then up east coast to Sydney back across the outback of NSW and SA to Adelaide and fly out.
As for husbands work what does he do as this would dictate where to possibly settle. Doing the above would give you abroad cross section of Climate etc, I know you would not see WA but they have everything you would see in the loop and same climate cross section. I would avoid QLD unless you like humid weather. If you require more comment email me Cheers Phil
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Posted By Phil on Monday 23rd June 2014 @ 10:49:09
SO i am only 13yrs old, but at the moment our whole family is travelling. We have got Mum and Dad (obviously), 17, 15, 13, 7, and 4. We started in Febuaray 2013 and are still going. It has been the best ever!!
Just though i'd give a kids opinion.
Related to a previous post, caravan parks are a rip-off!! $10 per kid adds $50.
Check out our blog, blog2.familytravelinoz.com.
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Posted By Bethany on Tuesday 24th June 2014 @ 11:52:04
Hi Kimmy diamonds, I am English too! I want to stay in Perth in Australia for 3-6 months. I am not allowed a working visa because I have a son, so I will be using most of my savings. But after reading all these posts, it seems it's highly worth it! :D live for the day! My son is being home schooled at the moment because he doesn't take well to the mainstream education system. This trip is a big part of his home schooling. Can any Australians recommend any good educational activities in Perth? Wildlife, nature, history and possibly places to visit outside if Perth on a budget? It would also be nice to meet other families like us. Feel free to email me. It would be brilliant to make new friends, English or Australian. We are coming in October 2014.
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Posted By Kayleigh on Wednesday 25th June 2014 @ 20:29:08
Hi, my name is Anna and I am an editor in chief of a magazine called AWESOME FAMILY ADVENTURES. My husband and I started travelling with our girls at a very early age and have done (amongst other great trips) a 4 month trip around Australia and just got back from an 18 month journey across all states of the USA. We have created our website specifically for the purpose of helping families get inspired and embark on some awesome adventures.
Our July issue has our top 10 recommendations for travelling in Australia. These are real gems, which we have found, which will let you experience the real culture of Australia and it's outback. And everything is specifically catered to the whole family. Our children are 8 and 10 years old now and they are the ones who choose their top 10.
Also, these are the recommendations we give our closest friends coming to Australia!
Enjoy your travels! Australia is the most beautiful country n the world (ok, I am biased)
Posted By Anna on Tuesday 8th July 2014 @ 21:47:35
Can anyone tell me the difference between home schooling and distance education? Im in NSW and we are considering taking our kids aged 6 & 7 around Australia for 8-12 months, Thanks :)
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Posted By Kelly on Saturday 19th July 2014 @ 16:22:09
Hi there, distance ed follows the curriculum of all schools Australia wide and home schooling is where you basically set the curriculum yourself and have to apply to the home schooling education board (I think) and have a suitable curriculum set up detailing what and how you want to school your children.
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Posted By Helen on Monday 21st July 2014 @ 12:05:52
Hi everyone I'm Enjoying all your posts how wonderful and amazing all your memories and adventures My husband and our 6 year old daughter have planned to also do this in 2016 were just starting to get our plans set.
How did some of you go with working? Did You just look and apply for harvest and temp jobs when you arrived to a destination? Did you have enough money on you to not need to work? How much roughly were your monthly spendings? We've calculated roughly $500 approx a month to travel and live We will be selling most of our assets and storing the smallest amount so we'll have funds however you can never predict the future.
I can't wait to hear your answers.
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Posted By Tricia on Saturday 2nd August 2014 @ 21:34:58
Hi Tricia, We spent 2011 travelling around Australia. I wrote a blog post on costs at the end (we kept very detailed records). I hope this comes in handy in helping with your budget. Obviously you have to allow for inflation, as 5 years would have past. The blog is located at http://smiffy2011.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/back-to-the-land-of-reality/ Realistically, $500 will not be enough, unless you are increasing this amount by working, or you can always stay at free places. Good luck, the adventure will be worth it. Sharon
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Posted By sharon on Sunday 3rd August 2014 @ 13:00:03
We travelled for 15 months in 2011 with our 3 year old. We aimed for $500/week but rarely were able to achieve that. Petrol was the killer, especially with the long distances between towns in WA. We got work in Margaret River (bar work and harvest work). It was poorly paid but covered all our costs for the 3 months we were there, but nothing saved.
Your welcome to check out our blog. www.jarvismalin.blogspot.com
Good luck with the planning.
Posted By Emma on Sunday 3rd August 2014 @ 21:02:36
I'm Australian, living in France at present, single parent with a 12 year old son, & wanting to travel around oz with another single parent with a child the same age ... ?
Posted By helen on Sunday 7th September 2014 @ 23:55:29
I'm also a single parent- only with a 9yr old son. We are not in a position to travel around Aus at present but I'd be more than happy to help out where I can. We have a caravan and go away for holidays/weekends whenever we can. We are based on the east coast of Australia.
Have you thought about accomodation? A vehicle? Etc....
Let me know if there's someway in which I can help.
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Posted By Lee on Monday 8th September 2014 @ 12:04:30
Hi Lee, thanks for your reply. Where abouts on the east coast are you ? It's a big move back to oz for us, & changing school systems. My marriage has fallen apart here, and the last few months have been difficult, trying to work out what is best to do. I thought a trip around oz would be something to make the transition, to come back, & then settle somewhere. We have friends in Sydney, Canberra & on the goldcoast, but not sure where to go as yet. I really appreciate your reply.
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PHONE : +33966873357
Posted By helen on Monday 8th September 2014 @ 18:32:07
Hi. I am a single parent with an 8 year boy. I took the plunge and gave up my flat in the UK. Put my belongings into storage. We are now in Australia for 6 months :) currently staying with a friend but wondering if there are anyother single parents or families with kids in the same situation as us! We are in Perth. I would love to hear from somebody. I am thinking about where we can stay next. Do not have a campervan, just us two and some savings. Let's chat and make friends :)
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Posted By kayleigh on Thursday 16th October 2014 @ 22:51:40
I have been looking at camper trailers and on the brink of buying a second hand Jayco Eagle 2009 for around $17k which is just within budget. I have heard build quality can be an issue. Has any one had any experience with Jayco and is their a better alternative, similar size and price?
Posted By Mick on Sunday 19th October 2014 @ 23:07:59
Only 4 months until the big day, (1st March) We have had a few changes since last time I wrote. We are selling the house and not the business as wrote last time (it's on the market) we have down sized the business and our daughter will be running the business while we are away she has been in the business for 2 years now so going along nicely.
Have just finished organizing home schooling for our 10 year old all sorted, fitted a storage box and a rooftop tent to the roof rack last weekend, We went with a 1.8 mt wide rooftop tent so 3 of us can sleep in it comfortably.
The caravan is all done just finished putting a stone guard on the front of it looks good.
We are going to Pambula for 3 weeks in Jan so will pack the Van and 4wd as if we where leaving just to see how things go and what we might need and what we don't need to take.
Finances, we are allowing $1000 a week for food, accomodation, fuel and other things I'm thinking it should be enough some weeks might be more and some might be less.
If anyone has some advise on travalling around Australia please don't hesitate to email me.
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Posted By Skoty on Tuesday 18th November 2014 @ 19:34:41
Sounds good Skoty- will you be blogging this experience? I love to read (and dream) of others adventures.
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Lee on Wednesday 19th November 2014 @ 06:24:36
My family and I are thinking about traveling around Australia for 12 months. I have two children 7 and 10 and was wondering how those who have children coped with the home schooling?. I was just curious of how your daily routine ran and the pros and cons that may be considered?
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Posted By Carly McClintock on Sunday 23rd November 2014 @ 18:22:03
We are travelling around Tasmania in Winter 2015 in campervan as a test run for our possible Big Lap in 2016. We want to work as relief teachers as we go too. Anyone who has done this before and has advice we would love to hear about it. We will be travelling with our 4 year old boy! Also we are considering a blog and would love to get sponsors along the way to help fund it too! Ideas?
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Posted By Emma Talbot on Sunday 11th January 2015 @ 08:57:42
We are a family of four and are kids are 4 & 6. We are planning our big trip around Australia and can't wait to get going when all our duck are in a row. In the meantime I've setup a meetup group in Sydney for anyone who wants to meet in person and share some ideas and plans. First meetup in on Sat 7th March so come along if you are a family planning the big trip of a lifetime.
Posted By John on Monday 26th January 2015 @ 21:37:02
Only 5 weeks until departure just got back from Pambula and found I had to make a few more mods to the van
I have put the spare wheel under the van put a modified bike rack to hold 3 bikes on the back and put a solar panel on the roof of the van , very happy with the mods as iam not usually a hands on person but have enjoyed the challenge .
We will be home schooling our 10 year old and not correspond as the school principal suggested we do, we will be doing mathaletics on the tablet and doing a day to day diary and some projects on some of the places we will be going to.
Still haven't sold the house but not worried as we can rent it out if have to.
After 5 years of research and saving $$ getting the prado/van as close to right as I can D day is getting closer enough reading of others peoples adventures I will be making my own adventures bring it on.
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Posted By Skoty on Sunday 8th February 2015 @ 18:38:47
Well done you'll have a ball. We travelled with 2 kids in 2011. Everyone loved it so much we did another trip 2014 in opposite direction. A great experience for children.
Posted By Jon on Monday 9th February 2015 @ 09:55:59
Hi I am a single mum with a 10 year old daughter. Really keen to 'take off and travel Australia' with her. My concern is finances - just wondering what sort of work I could do while travelling (obviously cant leave my daughter on her own while I go to work)? I am a qualified nurse and am studying disability studies at uni, so neither are jobs I could do online or with my daughter tagging along. Also need to take into consideration time needed for my daughters schooling. We have done a number of smaller road trips (using annual leave) around this beautiful country in our tent, but are keen for a bigger adventure. Would be interested in talking to other single parents in similar predicaments and maybe could look at travelling together? Thanks
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By Karla on Sunday 1st March 2015 @ 11:39:29