Wondering how to do a family gap year? You aren’t alone! Family gap years are becoming a major trend and it is easy to see why. Take your kids to learn cooking in Italy. Let them set foot on the historical sites of Ancient Greece. Practice French in the cafes of Paris. A family gap year is life-changing and it will transform the way that your kids see the world.
Of course, it is a logistical nightmare. The planning is a massive feat, but it IS possible for any family. All you need is serious dedication and a few insider tips. Ready to get started? Here is your guide on how to do a family gap year.
How to Do a Family Gap Year: First Steps
Realistically, the very first step to figuring out how to do a family gap year is communication. It is imperative that everyone is 110 percent onboard. A family gap year takes serious dedication. If you are traveling with your significant other, you both need to be wholeheartedly committed to travel.
A gap year is going to require sacrifices and compromises. If it is not a top priority for both of you, it is simply not going to happen.
Consider Every Option
Is everybody ready to go? Perfect, now you have to figure out how to do a family gap year in practical terms. Generally speaking, you will find a lot of different options to manage your kids’ education. From enrolling in local schools to homeschooling, there are a huge array of options.
Work is another matter. This is where you are really going to have to think creatively. Most of us can’t afford to go a year or even a few months with no income so planning is essential.
Everyone has options for working abroad. You just need to figure out what they are. If you can speak another language, your options will be far greater. If you choose a less expensive destination, your money will go significantly farther.
There are an infinite number of ways to make (and save!) money. Be creative and flexible. Keep in mind as well that a gap year doesn’t need to mean 365 days away. It could mean going on a volunteering trip over Christmas and staying with far-flung relatives over Easter. You could take a work contract in a new city for a year to experience a new destination. It is ultimately up to you to decide how to do a family gap year.
How to Save for Family Gap Year
When it comes to figuring out how to do a family gap year, money is a central factor. While I would highly recommend finding a way to earn income while you are traveling, savings is the real key.
Here is where the sacrifice comes into play! Have a hard look at your needs vs wants in the period leading up to the gap year. Believe it or not, the majority of things in your life aren’t necessities. When you are traveling, you are going to be living out of a suitcase. The period leading up to travel is the prime time to embrace minimalism. Here is a good guide to get you started. Again, creativity is key.
Instead of looking at it as sacrificing things you love, mix things up. Love pizza night? Learn how to make pizza with the kids! Need a bit of retail therapy? Organize a clothing swap! Sure, some things will be a complete bust but stick with it until you find simpler paths to happiness.
You have opened your mind and cleared the clutter, now it is time to do some in-depth research. Boots N All has a useful guide to preparing your family on every aspect of international travel and I’d highly recommend signing up for it. It is a good place to start to get pointed in the right direction.
From there, it’s all about researching your options. Have an open family discussion about what you want. Talk about what you don’t mind. Bring the kids, whatever their ages, to the table to provide input.
Information is absolutely boundless so dig in. You will find countless family blogging about their experiences in every corner of the globe. Start reading!
Get the Kids Ready
Change can be scary at any age. Help your kids get ready for it. Keep them actively involved in the planning process. Learn about the destinations and make them exciting. Practice the local language and learn fun songs. Practice skills that might be useful during travel.
There are some amazing communities out there so don’t go it alone. Connect with other families on similar paths to educate yourself on what to expect.