Family Gap Year

Travel Forums General Talk Family Gap Year

1. Posted by GraysonRye (First Time Poster 1 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

We're planning a family gap year, and would love inputs, perspectives, risks, etc.

We're a family of four, when we go the kids will be 7 and 9 years old. Currently based out of San Francisco, CA, USA. Right now we're focusing on Southeast Asia, China, Russia, Northern Africa, and Western Europe.

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 506 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

Have either of you (adults) travelled previously?
How are you intending to travel (Hostels/Buses …. 5 Star hotels/Limousines)?
What are you most interested in experiencing (history/seeing the local lifestyle etc)?
Any countries, Cities or sites you especially what to see?
A year sounds like a long time but you've named some very big places there.

3. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 832 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

From the USA you have to get a visa for Russia and it is very expensive and takes about 3 months. I don't know much about China or Northern Africa or anyplace in Asia, but the easiest way for a family to experience Europe is to rent a car and then rent a cottage in various places for about a week (IMHO)

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 835 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

Are you making arrangements with the kids schools to home-school them? They should be able to give you all the materials and most teachers will also give you things to help the kids understand more about the places they are traveling.

You have a year, but you are not always allowed unlimited time in different places so make sure you understand the places you will need visas and places that have time limits, like the Schengen Zone in western Europe. You can plan around all this but you have to know about it first. Get your visas sorted as soon as you can.

In Europe we lease a car so we have a new car, full insurance and 24-hour roadside assistance. It is literally your car. Then we rent cottages for a week to a month depending on where we are and what we want to do. There are lots of places to do this, so if you're interested, let us know and we'll give you web addresses.

We have also camped in Europe and with kids that might be fun. It would depend on the time of year, of course.

Give us a little more detail and we'll give you a lot more information.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.

5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 832 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

The people that I knew that did this were from Canada and the parents were both teachers so they were capable of doing their own home schooling. They were living on their boat and they sailed down the east coast of the USA to Florida. They had a problem with the engine on their boat in St. Augustine so they wintered over there.

It is pretty common among boat people to sail to various locations and home-school their kids. The boat provides a place to stay and transportation.