At Our Whole Village, we plan meaningful vacations for families who want to create lifelong memories and show their kids the world in a more conscious and intentional manner.
We help families take meaningful vacations so that they can escape everyday life, show their kids the world and make lifelong memories - with care, confidence and peace of mind.
Your (free) guide to the top travel destinations for families with babies, teens and everyone in between.
Around the world travel (RTW) with kids doesn’t have to be a vague and unfulfilled fantasy. It can be a feasible goal, brought to life through an admixture of know-how, dedication, and desire for adventure. Of course, must-know tips to help you bring RTW family travel to life help, too.
After more than a year in limbo, waiting for travel restrictions to lift and life to get back to normal, there’s no better time than the present to eschew cabin fever for world exploration. Here’s what you need to know to bring a family travel around the world itinerary to life.
No two families are alike, and neither are their reasons for embarking on around-the-world travel. So, before you settle on places to visit, decide on your family’s why. After all, everyone espouses different reasons for wanting to travel, and this fact is only intensified by extended plans on a global scale. Whether your family wants to meet new people, explore different cultures, partake in adventurous experiences, or all of the above, you need to define these objectives in advance.
07By doing so, you can better prioritize experiences and destinations. What’s more, having clarity regarding your motivations for long-term family travel will ensure you don’t lose momentum during the tedious travel planning process. (So will working with an experienced family travel professional! Here are a few more things to consider.)
When it comes to transforming dreams into actionable plans, creating deadlines remains a must. This starts with setting a launch date for your proposed RTW experience. Yes, the date may prove arbitrary and require adjusting as you move forward, but grounding your plans in real and schedulable terms will put you in the right mindset to realize your epic family journey.
Taking full advantage of the resources available in this techie age help, too. Try using an application such as Tasklist, Trello, or Notion to organize and prioritize steps related to RTW travel planning. That way, you’ll develop measurable goals and deadlines you can hold yourself to. These apps also allow you to track your progress over time, providing you with a sense of accomplishment as you move towards your upcoming adventure.
As you go through the two steps above, remain conscious of including your children in the planning process. That way, you’ll get their buy-in from the get-go. This approach proves essential to the success of your trip since extended travel can feel uprooting to children (and teens!), especially if they think decisions are made without their input.
Providing them with this sense of control will foster excitement for the trip. And it offers a positive focal point when children feel concerned about leaving the familiar behind. Having kids actively participate in constructing the itinerary and shaping the outcome will help them better cope with the changes that are an inevitable part of travel. Visualization proves key in this process, so load up on travel magazines and guidebooks. Your kids will learn while developing the global knowledge needed to offer feedback about what they’d like to see and do.
Families on the go have unique needs based on their ages, interests, and needs. For this reason, map out the destinations you wish to visit with care. Yes, we understand that your goal is a world travel experience, but that comes with the need to select nations your family will most enjoy and feel comfortable traveling through.
Cultures can vary widely when it comes to matters like sexual orientation, gender-based restrictions, and religion. Understanding how these factors have impacted other travelers’ experiences will guide you in deciding where to go. The same holds true for regions experiencing political or civil unrest.
Recovery from the global pandemic has exacerbated some of these issues, so bear this in mind as you decide on an RTW itinerary that makes sense for your family. Check out our How to Create a Family Travel Bucket List for more tips.
Now that you’ve fleshed out where your family will go and what you’d like to do and achieve, it’s time to make a budget. This will have a direct impact on how your adventure unfolds from day to day. Likewise, it will impact how long you travel and perhaps even how you get there. Again, apps can come in handy for staying on budget.
While travel can get expensive quickly, so can the details of daily life. For example, many people are surprised by the savings they see with small changes like nixing their morning specialty coffee habit or packing a brown bag lunch. Cutting out cable or dish for a while can also come with big rewards, making room in your budget for travel quicker than you ever thought possible. Here are some more ideas for savvy budgeting for family vacations.
After you’ve created a list of your family’s geographic must-visit spots and started budgeting, it’s time to organize your family’s top destinations in terms of geographic proximity and time constraints. For example, one family that we recently worked with decided to dedicate June through September to visiting the British Isles and the Continent, including England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, and Italy.
From there, they headed to Africa between September and October to see Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Seychelles. October through March of the next year was dedicated to Asia and destinations like India, the Maldives, Bali, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan. March through May were devoted to Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand, and May through June culminated in a tour of South American nations like Chile, Argentine, Brazil, Panama, and Peru. This incredible itinerary incorporated must-see destinations all year long while permitting the family to finish on a high point at the veritable top of the world in Peru!
RTW tickets stand to save your family time and money if you understand how they work. A travel advisor can help you navigate this process too. For example, RTW tickets must begin and end in the same destination, and they must proceed in one global direction (either West or East).
To meet the requirements, you must make at least two stops. You’ll also need to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean at least once apiece. The duration of each stay must be a minimum of three days to one year, and your vacation must include between two and 15 stops. The maximum number of flight coupons you may use are 16.
Besides RTW tickets, which comprise the backbone of your trip, we also recommend supplementing with airline tickets that you purchase as you go. But bear in mind that most nations require an onward ticket, so think ahead a minimum of two countries when purchasing these additional flights.
When it comes to visa and passport requirements, make sure your documents won’t expire less than six months from the end of your RTW vacation. You’ll also want to work with a travel agent to ensure that you meet all visa requirements throughout your itinerary. An excellent travel professional will provide you with links to online applications for all visas. What’s more, they’ll also help you to stay on top of the latest COVID-19 protocols as they can change rapidly.
Besides budgeting for your big adventure, you’ll also want to create a foolproof system for tracking your expenses while traveling. That way, you can make the most of your money without going into debt. This method can also help you define ideal accommodations for your family as well as tours and other potential splurges. You’ll keep your budget in check thereby ensuring smooth sailing during your RTW travels.
One of the easiest ways to keep track of your expenses is with an app on your phone. It will let you plug in all expenses and then view them within the context of your annual budget. One of our favorites is Mint by Intuit, a simple app that provides a full financial snapshot all in one spot.
And don’t forget to check in with your accountant before departing the country. That way, you can guarantee they have everything needed for tax season. Your accountant will also file your taxes while you’re on the road, taking the stress out of tax time and letting you focus on your fun-filled RTW adventures.
As you firm up RTW family travel plans, it’s vital that you take care of loose ends related to your daily routine back home. For example, what will happen to your home while you’re traveling the globe? Will you hire a property manager and rent it out? Settling such questions sooner than later will put you ahead of the game and provide you with peace of mind.
Besides coming to terms with your property, you’ll also need to wrangle your domestic mail. We suggest having it forwarded to someone you trust. If this seems like too much of a handful, consider renting a post office box that you’ll have a friend check periodically.
When it comes to traveling, especially internationally for extended periods, you need to take the right precautions for all involved. Start by ensuring your life insurance policies are in place. And if you have a job that you’ll be leaving, remember to request continuation of insurance coverage.
You’ll also want to work with a reputable travel agent to get the best annual travel insurance plan for your family’s needs. Look for a policy that covers cancellations, medical emergencies, and interruptions.
Last but not least, make sure your applicable will and trusts are in place. While not the most pleasant aspect of traveling, it’s vitally important that you take the right precautions. Remember that travel planning is all about hoping for the best and planning for the worst.
During RTW travels, you’ll need to change your thinking when it comes to financial considerations. That means ensuring your bank accounts are readily accessible online no matter your destination. The same goes with ensuring you’ll receive direct deposits if working remotely.
Now’s also the perfect time to bone up on requirements for using ATMs overseas. Find out what ATM fees look like in other countries. Remember that most private banking institutions will reimburse you for foreign transaction fees at ATMs outside the US, but you’ll want to double check this ahead of time. We also highly recommend getting a credit card that rewards mileage points. After all, you’ll be racking up the miles!
Packing for an RTW adventure can feel overwhelming. But the trick is keeping your belongings light and minimalist. Otherwise, you risk feeling weighed down by too much stuff. Instead, pack between seven and ten days worth of clothing with as many mix and match items as possible. From there, you’ll want to plan on doing laundry every ten days. Avoid heavy jackets, sweaters, and other cumbersome items in favor of lightweight clothes that you can layer.
In terms of travel gear, think strategically to avoid lugging unnecessary items. For example, a good set of luggage will go a long way when it comes to meeting your travel needs, whether you opt for Osprey backpacks or wheeled duffle bags and packing cubes by Eagle Creek. AWAY luggage sets also receive rave reviews
Traveling for a year often involves remote work and worldschooling for different members of the family. Fortunately, there’s never been better technology to support these activities. But you’ll want to plan ahead to ensure connectivity when you need it most. For example, consider purchasing a mobile router and WiFi hotspot.
These two items are a little pricey upfront but well worth it when it comes to working and studying overseas. Two brands worth considering include Skyroam and Google Fi. But you should also touch bases with your mobile phone carrier. After all, they may have additional internet connection options.
If around the world travel has been on your mind, you owe it to yourself and your family to explore the options. Especially as international travel bounces back and people start heading out into this big, beautiful world again. Ready to start planning RTW family travel? Let’s chat! We can help your family develop a customized itinerary that fits your unique travel style and goals.
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