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The 7 Essential Steps to Becoming A Full-time Travel Family

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

Forever Traveler Family

Flexible Travel Plans

We are getting ready to become full-time travelers, and many people ask us how we do that, and what we are preparing for our new adventure. The truth is that we only just bought our first ticket this week, now 2 months before departing, and we have not even started to read up on the destination yet. Too much planning ahead is not for us anyway. We want to stay flexible so we can go to places we hadn’t thought or even heard of. But I won’t get more into our plan of where we’ll be going, as that is a whole different blog post in itself. What is the first destination then… It’s Tokyo. Why… because China, which we had initially decided on, is such a hazzle in terms of visa application, so we wanted to do something easier, and since Japan is on our list of places we want to go, we might as well start there. We still want to go to China, but it just gives us more time to get our visas.

Speedy Process: From Idea To Decision

But let me rewind a few months. We have always talked about the idea of traveling the world as a family, but honestly, I didn’t think the opportunity would present itself at this speed. From the idea in mid-spring to the decision end of spring, informing family and friends early summer and buying the first ticket mid-summer to become full-time travelers end summer was way faster than I ever imagined.

What Luggage To Bring?

So, what are we doing now two months before our first flight to Tokyo, and only one month before our move from Barcelona, where we have lived for the last four years? We are trying to figure out what luggage to bring. We’ve bought two new pieces of luggage, and we are testing what will fit in those. We’ll each carry our own things, Toby and Philip will each have a smaller backpack/suitcase (Samsonite Paradiver Duffle/Wheels 55/20) they can carry on their bags/pull and Martin and I will each have a full-size backpack (an old Lowe alpine backpack and a North Face Base Camp Duffel L). We’ll also carry along an all-weather duffle bag/suitcase (Samsonite Paradiver Duffle/Wheels 79/29). Now, this is our plan… will we stick to it? I honestly don’t know. We’ll be doing a test packing in the coming weeks to see how much we’ll be brining.

Valid Pass Ports & Vaccination Overload

I just thought about checking the passports for expiring dates the other day as some countries require min. 2 years of validity for issuing a visa. All passports were good. Next thing… vaccinations, we needed a few, but Philip (8 years) needed 10! Yes, he needed ten jabs before we leave Barcelona. The Swedish/Spanish vaccination program he is on, needed to be speeded up so he has all the necessary vaccinations for this type of traveling to all different countries and places. He is being very brave though and not complaining about it.

Forever Traveler Family

International Driver’s Permit

Then on to International Driver’s permits. Not surprisingly the Spanish system will hit you hard in the face with its bureaucracy, so we found a way out of that, by getting them while in Denmark in August. Not done yet, but it should be a smooth and simple process.

Insurance – Which One To Choose?

Insurance is next. It’s a big one and an unsettled one at this time still. Who do we choose and what kind of coverage will we need? We’re not sure yet at all, as we first need to find someone who will cover us without being official residents in any country. This is also a weird thing. To not be a resident of “anywhere” – we didn’t know that this was even possible, but it seems that it is.

Phones & Internet Around The World

Finally, we need to get new phone subscriptions with internet use. One that will give us good coverage around the world. I’m sure there are lot of options out there and since we need to tech up on new phones, to have better cameras and batteries, this is good timing.

What To Bring & What To Get Rid of?

We have gone through all of the boys’ clothes to see if they needed any clothes for the trip and at the same time get rid of clothes that will be too small for them in a year’s time. They won’t fit any of their clothes when we come back anyway. I should mention, that even though the boys are 3 years apart, they are almost the same size, so unfortunately, no clothes to pass down anymore. Conclusion on the clothes go-through: the boys definitely don’t need any new clothes for the trip. It’s almost embarrassing the amount of clothes that we’ve given away. Some of it went to smaller friends and the rest was donated to local organizations.

One of the boys was very focused on why we don’t sell it to make money for the trip and for himself. It’s easy, I simply feel much better giving it away, as we don’t need it anyway, and there are families out there who do need it. We also have lots of toys to get rid of as well. Some we’ll donate and other toys they’ll sell to make money for them to spend while on the road. But the getting rid of toys is the harder part for the boys.

Where & How To Store Our Belongings?

All of our belongings will be packed up at the end of the month and we’ll store it in Denmark in big boxes, as we expect to settle there for some years, when we are done travelling. Big boxes are 6 m2 wooden boxes stored indoor in constant temperature all year round, that are cheaper and more flexible size wise than a big container. Having lived in 5 different apartments/houses over the last 15 years with more or less the same furniture means that some things we are done with – they have done their duty. It’s so deliberating getting rid of things, and I wish this is something I’ll remember once back in a house, as I expect to apricate the simplicity of living out of a backpack for a long time… we’ll see.

Saying Goodbye To Our Favorite Places In Barcelona What else are we doing? We are sightseeing lots of places in Barcelona that we felt we’re not completely done with, and we will of course share the best places to go to, see and eat at in Barcelona here on our blog.

Last visit at FC Barcelona's home field Camp Nou with the Champoions League trophy

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