How to Enjoy Life as a Digital Nomad with Kids
So you want to explore the world, living your dream life… but you have kids. Can you really become a digital nomad even if you have a family? Even if you aren’t in your early twenties? Yes, absolutely! If I can do it, you can do it, too!
I’m in my mid-thirties (not even a millennial- gasp!) and started traveling fulltime throughout the United States last year with my husband and our two girls. They were nineteen months and five months at the time. Some people might call us crazy, but we’re living proof that having kids (even young kids) don’t have to stop you from living the life of your dreams.
Finding Balance Between Work, Family, & Travel
Working from home with kids is a balancing act in itself. But if you’re going to enjoy traveling with kids, you’re going to have to be extra diligent about finding balance in your life. You’ll need to find time to work and to explore. And your kids will need time to be kids!
How old your kids are will make a big difference in what you can do every day. Young kids will need time to nap and run around. If you have school-aged kids, you’ll need time for schooling (unless you’re an unschooling family). But the fun of being a traveling family is you get to decide to do with the rest of your day.
When finding time to work, look over your family’s daily routine and see where work time will naturally fit in. Can you work while your kids sleep or do school work? Do you teenagers like to sleep in late and you could work early in the morning?
You might need to think outside of the box. Some digital nomad families make it work by choosing certain days to work and other days to explore. Some partners take turns working and taking care of their kids.
Find Your Tribe
Life gets pretty lonely when everyone you know thinks you are crazy! If you don’t know anyone who is a digital nomad with kids, you might feel like an island. But there are other people out there bringing their kids along on the greatest adventure of their lives! You just have to find them.
Facebook is an amazing place to connect with other travelers. Search for Facebook groups that are similar to what you want to do. Even if they aren’t family specific, you are sure to find other people in there who have kids. Some of my favorite groups for support and advice are Fulltime Families, Digital Nomad Entrepreneur, and Digital Nomad Families.
Slow Down the Pace
There’s a big difference between traveling for a vacation and for a lifestyle. When you’re vacationing, you can eat out all the time, stay up late, and go from one activity to another. But when you’re traveling for a lifestyle, especially with kids, you’ll need to slow down or you’ll burn out.
Traveling can be really hard on your body and relationships. Whether you’re driving, taking trains, or flying, the constant going can really take a toll. If you don’t want to wear out yourself or your kids, then you’ll need to learn to look at travel differently.
Touring different areas you visit becomes a part of your life, instead of your whole day. Don’t be afraid to take a day or a week off to rest somewhere. Don’t try to pack your days full of activities; allow yourself and your kid lots of downtime in your schedule.
One of the biggest adjustments to the digital nomad life is realizing that you don’t have to do things the same way every day. You don’t have to get up at a certain time or run out the door to anywhere. There are no rules about how much you need to get done in a day or a week. It may sound like an amazing way to live life like a vacation, but, trust me, it takes everyone some time to adjust. Be kind to yourself and your kids to allow for that.
Stay a While
If you’re planning on traveling from one location to another, think about spending a considerable amount of time in one place. Not only will it be easier for the whole family to travel less, but you’ll also really get to know a place like a native. You’ll also save money being able to do long term rentals.
Every place you visit has something unique to share with you and your kids. Take the time to learn everything you can. Take in the sights, but also explore your surroundings. Wander down streets just to see where they go. Play in parks and check out libraries. Visit different stores and restaurants. Talk to locals and really get to know them.
Traveling fulltime with kids is an adventure-filled life. It certainly is not for the faint of heart. But with the right combination of flexibility and planning, you can enjoy being a digital nomad with kids in tow!
Dara is a digital nomad with a passion for seeing mamas confidentially launch successful businesses so they can live the life of their dreams. She designs websites for work at home moms through her company, Dara Simons Creative She blogs about mompreneur tips while drinking way too much coffee and dreaming of the day her 2 girls sleep through the night.