‘800 days volunteering around the world with our young kids’
Hello nomadic family! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, we are a Spanish family with two kids, actually, they are 7 and 2 y.o.
We have been travelling our whole life, before and after we had kids.
Right now, we’ve just got back home after 772 days travelling the world in Asia, Oceania and America.
How did your nomadic lifestyle start?
When our youngest son was born, three years ago, we decided to stick together, and the best way to do that was to travel around the world. We travelled to Europe and then China with a one-way ticket. Nothing else was planned. We expected to travel around the world from there.
We created our Travel Website soon after we had kids. It’s like a diary about travelling with kids: the best places, advice, low-cost and slow travel experiences… However, we also have stories of our one-parent adventures. Honestly, it takes a lot of work but we are slow also with our social media: we’ve been using Instagram (since the last trip), Facebook and Twitter. We also have a Youtube Channel but we are looking for ‘lovers’ not ‘followers’.
How could you afford to travel for such a long time?
Firstly, we try not to spend very much, so just gas and food. We also avoided touristic spots. Of course, we used Couchsurfing (during our last trip we were hosted by more than 100 families) we also used other websites like hospitality club and Servas.
In addition, we volunteered using the most famous Voluntouring platforms. These websites provide food and accommodation in exchange for time spent working.
We also used house swapping, especially in places where accommodation is expensive.
Most of our last trip, we were sleeping on a 77 VW bus so we didn’t have to pay for overnight accommodation. When travelling for a long time, sleeping in your car, van or caravan, is a great way to save money as you only need to keep a cheap budget for the rest (staff, food, kitchen, sleeping).
Flying can always be expensive, but there are some good deals that can be found if you book months in advance. Indirect flights or long flights are the cheapest.
What’s your fondest memory of the trip?
It was probably when our little one started walking. We were in Mexico.
In general, wherever you are, you can collect wonderful memories: you can find cosy places and nice people. When you live the same routine it’s hard to meet interesting people.
What about the best food you tried?
We believe the nicest food we had was in Japan.
What is, for you, the real meaning of travel?
For us, the real meaning of travel should be sharing experiences together and just live the moment, anywhere and anytime. Also, it is important to stay away from the routine and avoid wasting time on social media. It’s better to spend that time with your kids!
How do you prepare for a new journey? What do you put in your baggage?
We always forget to pack a lot of things, but it’s not a problem: you can buy clothes or other stuff anywhere you go, especially if you travel for a long time and with kids (They grow very fast); besides, every country has a different climate which you need to adapt to.
Apparently, packing is a very stressful part of a trip for most people. We think the best way is not to prepare anything! Everything you need will be eventually provided by the journey.
What do you think about the traditional tourism? Resource or exploitation?
We used to travel like normal tourists but in the end, we decided to travel slowly and we stopped rushing.
We walked long distances and we tried to melt into the local culture. Traditional tourism is too comfortable and easy for us. It exists so that most people can have a one-month rest from work and other people, ‘the locals’, live off that.
What about the negative sides of travelling with the family?
The best way of travelling is clearly… alone!
Travelling with other people is more complex, especially with small kids: many places are not child-friendly. In addition, children get sick very easily, they are very vulnerable, and the budget required for such a trip is much higher. Last but not least, you need to adjust the entire trip for their needs.
It is very hard to travel low-cost with the family.
Would you recommend your experience to other families?
We’d advise anyone to leave their fear at home and not to plan the trip too much. Things they’ll never go to plan anyway!
What do you think about Slow Travel?
Slow travel is very important especially with kids. It may be otherwise stressful and tiring, just rushing from one place to another.
A message you’d like to leave to the readers
Every journey has to be unique to each individual or family. Try not to copy somebody else’s way of travelling just because they have an appealing website. What we see in many travel blogs and magazines today is just ‘virtual’: behind these websites, there is often a different reality. You can meet amazing people on the road, on a real trip, every day.
We have found the ‘virtual’ experiences we’ve had on our trips very frustrating, but we’ve learned our lesson and we will keep learning more lessons in life!
So be yourself and create your own trip!
Keep in touch with this Nomad family:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lestrellaviajera