The digital nomad lifestyle appeals to many people, and with good reason. The idea of traveling around the country, relocating on a whim, and working online sounds romantic, freeing, and exciting. Just think of the adventures you could have!
While it’s true that many digital nomads are young, single individuals, plenty of parents and families are embracing the digital nomadic lifestyle, too. It’s absolutely possible to travel with your kids, and this eccentric lifestyle can even give your children a unique, valuable education and upbringing. If you’re a young parent and the digital nomad lifestyle is calling to you, there are several ways you can make it a reality.
Carefully Plan Your Destinations
Any digital nomad needs to carefully plan their destinations since the availability of reliable internet access, and the local cost of living can directly affect the success of the trip. When you’re traveling with children, you’ll need to consider more factors. You may consider the availability of local prenatal care if you’re pregnant, the quality of child healthcare services in the region, and the availability of schools or homeschooling programs to support your child’s education.
There are some tremendous European travel destinations for families, and because traveling between European countries is relatively affordable, heading to Europe might be an excellent opportunity for your family. Currently, United States citizens can travel to European Union countries without a visa. Still, that policy is changing in 2021 when United States citizens will have to apply for a European Travel Information and Authorization System visa waiver. Each of your family members will need to apply for the waiver and will require both personal data and information from their passports.
If you’re thinking of traveling to Europe, plan well ahead, especially if your travel will take place during or after 2021, when the new waiver requirements take effect. Book your flights ahead of time to get the best deals, and remember that much of Europe attracts tourists, so plan to deal with higher travel and lodging costs during peak tourism seasons.
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Take Steps to Make Traveling Easier
Traveling is central to a digital nomad lifestyle, but traveling with children isn’t always easy. If your children are young, it may be easier to start small, with some national (rather than international) trips. A taste of traveling and all of its benefits can help to get your children on board with the process of traveling and exploring.
The way that you decide to travel can affect how easy it is for your family to embrace this new lifestyle. Frequent relocations can be tough on children, but if you choose to travel in an RV, you’ll always have some sense of familiarity no matter where you decide to journey. Traveling in an RV is great for many families, thanks to the current lower cost of fuel and the lower interest rates that make purchasing a new RV more practical. An RV can help you to save on lodging costs, which can make for valuable savings if you want to travel to an area with a high cost of living.
No matter your means of transportation, before you start traveling with your children, start with plenty of planning. If you’re traveling with babies, you’ll need to make sure that you’re able to bring everything from diaper bags to car seats and travel high chairs with you. Plenty of planning can help you travel with children like a pro. Even if you have older kids, you’ll need to find kid-friendly lodging, plan a travel schedule that allows for rest and recovery, and decide on destinations that are safe and appealing to the whole family.
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You may choose to embrace the digital nomadic lifestyle because of how it benefits your whole family, but it’s essential to make time for work, too. Just because you’re traveling and in new places doesn’t mean you can afford to miss conference calls or deadlines, and you’ll need to learn to embrace the norms of the culture where you’re living.
If you’re working abroad, take steps so that you can conduct business professionally. Different locations tend to have different priorities. For instance, events in Canada usually start on time and are run with punctuality. In Brazil, meetings often run past their scheduled ending times, so plan on staying later if you’re in this location. The more you understand about how to conduct business, the more professional you’ll look.
While having your family with you can be great for exploring, it isn’t always conducive to working. Schedule calls and meetings during times when the kids will be out of the home or when you have someone available to care for them. Create a professional background for video calls and take all calls in a quiet, private area where you can fully concentrate.
The digital nomad lifestyle may be the perfect choice for your family, and it will likely lead to adventures that you’ll never forget. With some planning and preparation, you can embrace this unique lifestyle and give your kids special, valuable life experiences.
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Magnolia Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time and covers a variety of topics. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book.