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Backpacking/travelling with Children

(11 Posts)
Atalantica Sat 18-Feb-17 09:07:30

Hey smile

Go grab a coffee put your feet up and read this.

I'm creating this thread as I would like to get ideas and opinions and help on the subject of backpacking with children especially single parents that have or are wanting to go traveling around this marvellous planet!

I'm a single Mum to a beautiful 2 year old boy whom is cheeky and charming and he is my whole world. My son wasn't planned and a little bit of a surprise when I found out I was pregnant, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Before I became pregnant with my son I dreamt of going traveling and seeing the world. Learning and embracing new cultures seeing the world through others eyes. I'm not talking fancy hotels, I'm talking salt if the earth camping under the stars, hostels, mud huts the lot. Volunteering, Watching sunsets and sunrises, trekking hills and mountains searching for those spectacular views. Then not to mention trying all the local cuisines where you are. Generally just experiencing the world whilst growing as a person.

Now that I have a son nothing has change for me in terms of my want and dream to travel. If anything I want to travel even more so. I want my sun to experience all those things with me and for him to learn about the world and all it's wonders with me.

However, whenever I even hint or mention the world travel to anyone with a child as a single parent their immediate reaction is to shut me down by pointing out every negative they can possible think of. For example:

"It's far to dangerous to travel with a child"
"It's far to expensive"
"Your child is to young"
"What about your family"
"What about school"
"How will you find yourself, you can't work and travel with a child" (for me this is my biggest set back personally and my reason for this thread)

Sound familiar and do you too feel it's frustrating and infuriating?

Now don't get me wrong I a good parent and so of course I think about the above and so much more. This is why we try to have a bit of a structured plan to stay safe and be financially stable along the way.

I have been looking and researching for months on end to figure out how I'd travel with my son and financially support us along the way.

When I first started to google I found it extremely difficult to the information I was seeking and clearly I still have not found the information or I wouldn't be writing this piece. What I did find was articles and blogs on parents who have traveled with tip on how to stay safe, their experiences and recommendation, but nothing really on how they funded it and on the very few blogs and articles that did mention how they funded themselves they had mostly had a lot of savings, on maternity leave so had income every month, they sold their houses and cars and anything else, and on the occasional one their was 2 parents present allowing one to go out and work while the other was looking after the child/children. The other suggestion I found was working remotely. That's great if you have a business or work for a company you can do that with or you have the time to build a good clientele up to to do some transcribing (which can take years and is a very competitive)

If you are like me and hold a degree, even a couple of degrees or you don't, so you lack in the ability to work remotely, because they don't provide you with skills to be a web designer, or your not a marketing wizard, your not a teach, you don't speak other languages bar your mother tongue and lacking in experience your stuck for these types of jobs. Then what do we do? What can we do?

You see all these websites offering Gap Year experiences but they are all aimed at the younger and child free population. One that caught my eye was You work so accommodation is provided out of your wages, But upon looking it again it wasn't catering for parents let alone single parents. Why is this that companies that are offer these opportunities have never thought about the young single parents or just parents in general regardless of age.

I'm certain I am not the only parent out there who wants to travel, volunteer all whilst bringing my child along, but having this issue of being able to work while traveling due to circumstances.

I am convinced there has to be a big niche in the market for this and would love to find out a possible way to do this so I can go explore and have adventure with my and and help other parents especially single parents achieve their dream of traveling.

If you have been traveling with your children and managed to achieve this especially if your a single parent that worked on your travels I'd love to hear your story. Even if your not but you have idea and tip I still want to hear.

If I could set up a business to help in doing this I'd love to so all help is welcome and much appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

PhilODox Sat 18-Feb-17 09:17:05

The main problem for me is the vaccinations/ local diseases. We were ill for weeks after coming back from Egypt (not sharm) and India, and I couldn't subject a two year old to that. Putting it bluntly, a 2yo cannot cope with diarrhoea, dehydration, etc the way an adult body can. It is a risk to life for them, rather than inconvenience.

Artandco Sat 18-Feb-17 09:19:44

We travelled backpacking a lot with two under two. It was great.
We saved before travel for main costs, but also we are both in 'web' related jobs so worked a few hours each week whilst kids napped

PhilODox Sat 18-Feb-17 09:21:29

And "big niche" is an oxymoron.
The number that want to do this are infinitesimal. That's why no companies offer it.

PhilODox Sat 18-Feb-17 09:23:52

Are you British?
In other countries, when parents travel for work they leave their children with extended family. Sometimes for years.
That's why companies don't offer work with facilities for children provided.

Daisy7777 Sat 18-Feb-17 10:06:31

Thanks for the reply. Of course I would be concerned with the issues of diarrhoea etc. However after giving birth to my son at 24 weeks and spending 4+ months in hospital with him. So I also know that children are resilient and if you look after and watch out for them you can reduce risks as you do when holidaying in general but in this scenario being extra careful. One thing I learnt is kids are so much stronger than we realise.

Yes I am British and I'm the line of work I am in a large number of my colleagues have left their families for up to 12 months plus to work oversea. So I know people do this, but for my area of work a lot of the time their reasoning is to gain experience in their field to take back home or move on. Don't get me wrong I'm certain that the money is a major factor too.

mummymeister Sat 18-Feb-17 10:33:58

if you want to do this as a hobby business, something you enjoy then great. it is far, far too niche to make a "proper" business out of I am afraid. Your target market is tiny. those with money who want this sort of travel use upmarket travel agents who give them the sort of almost backpacking experience you get with jungle camps and tents under the stars with none of the risk.

why do gap years for young single people work - one word, cheap. having a child in tow that you want catered for in some way other through included child care or integration is not cheap. it is never going to happen.

I suggest you do a proper 3 year costed business plan. Look at all of the work you are going to have to put in to find these places that offer parents gap year work.

Its a lovely idea OP, don't get me wrong, but really its not a business.

PhilODox Sat 18-Feb-17 13:15:52

Your child was prem?
All the more reason not to expose them to cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis, etc.
Leave it until they're 10 or so, and have built up a decent immunity and caught up for their prematurity. Did they hit their developmental milestones at chronological date, or original forecast date?

Daisy7777 Sat 18-Feb-17 15:49:58

My child has hit all his milestones both physical and developmentally

specialsubject Sat 18-Feb-17 18:32:12

Your main problem is work. You cant do most jobs without a babysitter.

Even if you could, you will also struggle with the standard backpacker work visas even if you are young enough as having a dependent child disqualifies you.

So the only way is to save first or work remotely. Hence the business idea is a non starter. The long holiday isn't but like all holidays, it needs to be paid for.

Also - I'm afraid small kids are not welcome in the gappie world nor in many hostels. The gappies yell all night so your kid will get no sleep. In the quieter hostels, child disturbance is also not welcome.

Sadik Sat 18-Feb-17 18:41:09

"I'm certain I am not the only parent out there who wants to travel, volunteer all whilst bringing my child along, but having this issue of being able to work while traveling due to circumstances. "

Loads of people go wwoofing with small children - article here. Obviously it doesn't pay but it makes funds go a lot further.

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