Making Your Family Travel Goals a Reality

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This time of year is all about resolutions and goal setting. I look back on our travels so far as a family, and I still can’t believe that we were able to pull off our family travel goals of becoming a nomadic family!

It seems like a lifetime ago that my husband and I were sitting down together trying to put down on action plan of how we would prepare for our big trip. And now here we are, with two year’s worth of family travel experiences under our belt!

This post was updated on May 19, 2020.


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Visiting Versailles Palace in France (July 2019)

The power of travel

When I think about how we as a society can better improve our interactions with each other, I truly believe that travel can play a big role. This isn’t a classist thing. Even travel to another city, or another neighborhood, is still travel.

It’s all about periodically putting yourself in an environment that’s different than your day to day. It’s understanding that there’s more than one way to live life. And it’s knowing that you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to gain this perspective. There are so many benefits of travel, whether it’s the educational benefits of travel, or the social impact it can have on society.

As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our kids how to be decent human beings. Part of raising decent human beings is teaching them empathy. And one of the best ways to gain empathy is through family travel experiences.

Family travel goals
Riding horses in Guanajuato, Mexico (December 2018)

Making your family travel goals your BHAG

In early 2018, my husband and I were both still working full-time jobs, locked into a mortgage, and loaded with credit card debt. We didn’t think it would be possible to travel with so many things tying us down. But we somehow figured out a way to achieve our family travel goals. We arranged a way to earn income while we travel. We put our house for rent so that the rental income covers our mortgage. and we’re able to manage our credit card debt while we travel.

When I used to work a corporate job, our company CEO always talked about having a BHAG. A Big Hairy Audacious Goal. You can apply this to life too. We need BHAGs in our lives. It’s the only way that we can achieve extraordinary things. Take a read through Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Work Week to get you inspired to start thinking of some BHAGs for your family.

Regardless of how big or small your family travel goals are for this coming year, you have the power to make them happen. I’m not just saying this to be melodramatic. I truly believe that we can achieve whatever we set out to do. But if you need a little push in making those dreams a reality, here are a few tips that might help.

Taking a ride on a carousel in DC (September 2018)

Tip #1: Identify what you want

In order to realize your family travel goal, you need to be able to identify it. Say out loud what you would like for your family.

At the beginning of the year, my husband and I took some time to sit down and figure out what exactly we wanted for our travels. Did we want to visit a lot of countries in a year, or did we want to slow down and take our time in fewer countries? Identifying what kind of family travel experiences you want can help guide you in making your goals a reality.

Family travel goals for Singapore
The Gardens By The Bay in Singapore (January 2020)

Tip #2: Set a deadline for your family travel goals

The biggest thing that helped us with our family travel goals was setting a deadline. In a way, it held us accountable for our goals, by making sure that we got it done by a certain date. And it gave us a set timeline for our family travel planning.

When we chose July 1 as our launch date for our around the world trip, it was because it coincided with the end of the school year. When thinking about a deadline for your goals, choose a date that seems achievable, yet not too far off.

Family travel goals
Running across the National Mall (September 2018)

Tip #3: Break up your family travel goals into manageable chunks

Whenever I have a big task to complete, it always helps to break it up into smaller chunks. This method is no different when it comes to trying to achieve your family travel goals.

It seemed daunting for us to figure out how to leave for an around the world trip. But we broke it up into chunks: travel planning, worldschooling, packing up the house, figuring out income for travel, preparing our will, and putting our house for rent. Tackling the chunks were still challenging, but it was a lot more manageable than trying to tackle the big picture all at once.

Climbing pyramids in Mexico (November 2018)

Tip #4: Don’t get discouraged by setbacks

Our journey to full-time travel was not easy. We definitely suffered some major setbacks throughout 2018. Owning a house means that you occasionally have to pay for repairs. And right before we left for our trip, our sewer pipes decided to break, which set us back on our budget by at least $10,000!

But it didn’t deter us from achieving our goal! As you work towards your own family travel goals, you will undoubtedly stumble upon setbacks and obstacles. But don’t let them deter you. Figure out a way to work around them.

Family travel goals
Hiking at Arches National Park (August 2018)

Tip #5: Tell someone about your family travel goals

The biggest step in helping us reach our family travel goals in 2018 was announcing our intentions to the world. This goes back to the concept of accountability.

By making our goals public, we not only became accountable to ourselves, but also to others, who were now expecting us to achieve those goals. No one is going to punish you for not completing your goals, but making them known to others can help motivate you more to complete them.

Visiting Bed Rock City in the United States (October 2018)

What kind of family travel experiences will you have in the coming year?

As you prepare for the coming year, think about the type of family travel experiences you want to have. What memories will you make with your family? What kind of family travel goals will you achieve?

We plan to continue our travels for the next year. So far, we’ve visited Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, and Vietnam. As we begin our final year of travel, we plan to visit Canada and Ghana.

We also have plans to grow our businesses and continue to be location independent. Thank you for following us on our journey, and serving to be our inspirations for making our goals a reality.

Do you have family travel goals for this year? Share them in the comments!

Making Your Family Travel Goals A Reality | The Wandering Daughter

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Hi, I'm Astrid

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I'm a travel-loving mom of three from Seattle. Join our adventures as we explore the Pacific Northwest and the world!

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