With over 100,000 people on their way around Australia at any one time, here's how you can stop dreaming about it and make your trip a reality.

It sounds like a staggering amount of people but it’s true that right now over 100,000 people are on their way on the trip of their lifetime travelling around Australia. A year from now it will be another 100,000 and a year after that, another.

Sounds like it would be crowded but Australia’s a big country and there is plenty of room for you.

But while there are so many people out there living their dream, there are a lot more people that would like to go but never will. They say ‘I’d love to do that one day’ but they never will. When it comes to the crunch, selling or renting their house, quitting their job or taking the kids out of school just seems too hard.

Many people resolve to go when they retire and become ‘grey nomads’. By far the majority of around Australia travellers are grey nomads forming impromptu convoys up and down the highways around the country.

This is a great thing and I fully expect to become one myself in 20 or 30 years from now but here’s the thing.

Many grey nomads you meet on the road will have a similar story.

It goes something like this . . .

“It’s great to see you travelling around Australia while you’re still young, and with your young kids as well – fantastic. Oh how we wish we’d done it when we were younger and not waited until retirement”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had that conversation of a variation of it.

I met a man at one of our camps who came over for a chat. He was in his late sixties and had been on the road with his wife for about 6 months. He told me about how he had seriously considered retiring 5 years ago. He had tonnes of money to see him out so didn’t need to work any more but despite this chose to work another 5 years before taking off on their perpetual big lap.

It had turned out to be the biggest regret of his life. He literally teared up while telling me about it. He already had enough money 5 years ago, now he just had more – so what.

What he now knew that he didn’t then is that travelling around Australia doesn’t need much money and he’ll never get those 5 years back. He could have lapped the country 5 times and met thousands of new friends, instead he just had more numbers in his bank account.

If travelling around Australia is something you really want to do and you’re not ready to retire yet then ask yourself what you will regret more – going now OR not going now. I think you already know the answer.

To make your dream trip, the ‘Big Lap’, a reality the very first step is to actually make the decision to go.

Most of the people who will be on their way around Australia 2, 3 or 4 years from now are dreaming about it and planning it already. They’ve made the decision and are working towards it.

Jen and I made the ‘decision’ to do the big one on our way up to Cape York from Melbourne in October 1998. We had escaped from our business for 10 weeks and were in our newly purchased second hand 80 series Landcruiser (same one we still have) and we started talking about taking a whole year off to drive around the whole country. We’d sell our business and just go. It was a fantasy that we allowed ourselves to indulge in but we kept talking about it.

For several weeks it was just an idea, a dream that was a lot easier said than done. Our business was not in a ready to sell state as we’d recently bought a new printing press and had a LOT of debt wrapped around it. We had a few years of work to do first at least.

But despite this, in the space of that 10 week trip, we resolved to do it, one day, one way or another, no matter what it took we were going to devote at least a year to doing the Big Lap.

At that stage we were in our late 20’s and without kids and we expected to go before kids arrived on the scene – funny how things turn out.

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Planning To Go – Turning your dream into a plan

Once you’ve decided that you are no longer thinking about it but are actually going to do it then everything else starts to fall into place around the trip. It’s almost like magic!

It doesn’t matter how far out the trip is, it can be years away like it was for us (7 years and 2 daughters in fact). But every decision you make and everything else you do from that point onwards will be done in consideration for how is it going to affect your trip, one way or another. If we buy a house what will we do with it when we go? Sell it or rent it out? If we buy a car will it be the one we take around Oz or not? What if we have a baby?

This helps to make your trip a reality because you talk about it and take actions as if it is a reality and inevitably it happens that way.

Draw a line between now and the future when you’ll be leaving and figure out what you need to engineer to get there. These are then your goals and your to do list.

To help keep you focussed on the goal, buy yourself a big map of Australia and stick it up on a wall somewhere in the study or the pool room. Somewhere that everyone can see it.

Use a texta to mark places you want to go and things you want to see. Talk about what you expect an area to be like and circle the ‘must see’ destinations. Get everyone involved including the kids if you have them. When you start to actually see your trip unfolding on the map it becomes a lot more real.

It’s likely there will be many hurdles to overcome between the decision to leave and driving out the driveway but determination will get you over the hurdles if you stay focused on your goal.

Be flexible, you may need to change dates, you may need to wait another year.

But decide now that no matter what, you are going to do the trip one way or another.

Now watch and see how everything starts to fall into place.


How Much Does It Cost To Drive Around Australia?

FB-TBL-AD11-Big-Lap-SpreadsheetIt’s the number one question on peoples mind when they are planning their trip around Australia and the answer is different for everyone because it depends on many variables.
Click here to read more about it and download my FREE Big Lap Budget Spreadsheet to help you plan your trip.

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Filmmaker / Travel Blogger / Photographer / Adventure Traveller - I'm a road trip junkie! There's nothing I love more than packing up the 4WD or motorbike and heading for the horizon in search of new adventures. I travelled 46,600 km over 16 months around Australia with my wife Jen and 2 young daughters and made a 10 episode documentary series, The Big Lap.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for a wonderful site,My wife and i am 66+ and my wife is 62, Unfortunately we had a failed business venture and have decided to sell our house to pay off our dept and with the remainder of the money (plus pension) travel around Australia.Yes i can here people screaming don’t do it but its either that or keep working until i am 72 to pay the loan off.We already have a 4wd so a caravan is only required.I have motor mechanic and heavy vehicle licence qualifications We are heading for the WA gold fields (from Melbourne) as we are already into gold detecting.Selling the house and much of our belongings (apart from sentimental items) is a daunting task.and scary but does just does show how much material things we have which in fact we don’t really need,Well wish us luck.

    • Hi David, you won’t hear me saying ‘don’t do it’! I know it’s a big thing to sell your house when you’re at retirement age but there’s more to life than work and bricks and mortar. Most people don’t have the courage to do what you guys are doing although they wish they did and I have no doubt you’ll never look back. Good luck :-)

  2. Reading this article and the comments has me COMPLETELY inspired to take a year off work and experience the big lap. I’m hesitant in only 1 regard – as a single bloke in his late 40’s, it’s a bit daunting to jump in the van and tackle the trip on my own (with the dog of course!)……….Any advice you can share Steve?

    • Hi Craig, you’ll be surprised to find out how many people travel around Oz solo in vans, 4wd’s and even on pushbikes. Once you get out there you’ll find that you meet people all the time. Unlike the ‘real’ world where everyone’s busy getting on with things, out on the road people have more time and you’ll find yourself meeting plenty of new people and likely travelling with them when they are going the same way as you. Having a dog is great but will restrict you getting into National Parks so keep that in mind. Good luck with your trip. Cheers, Steve

  3. Wow it’s amazing reading all this info. My hubby and I just randomly decided to start travelling we purchased our coromal caravan within a month and within a month we finished renovating our house ready for rental and left. We had a 7 month old and nearly 3 year old. We travelled up to gladstone for work and stayed there for a few months to earn some dollars and then headed south. We are currently at Merimbula Nsw and only except to travel for a year as can’t do many rural places with a caravan. We then are gonna sell the caravan and buy a camper trailer and do remote places like Cape York (hubby has been there already for a boys trip) and other remote places around Australia. We are lucky as we have lived in Darwin and Gold Coast and northern nsw and flown to cairns and Sydney etc so seen a lot but still so much to see. We find it hard with the kids at times especially being young tired and can’t take them everywhere like fishing off the rocks etc. Any help or advise on travelling with kids now would be great from anyone.

    For those asking about travelling with school aged children, we have met people who have home schooled their children and due to travelling they still get that social interaction and they have handled it fine and the kids seem smarter than their age. Some stop in areas for a while to put their kids in school too.

    Thanks
    Sarah

  4. HI, my husband and I are in the process of selling our home and we have already purchased our van and new 4×4. our kids are 2 and 4 and we cant wait to get started. we plan to really not plan anything, except we will live in our van at a local park for the next few months to save more before we leave. if the house doesn’t sell fortunately we can afford to rent it out so that will be ok. I am reading all of the replys and so excited and nearly in tears as I know we will be off very soon. just reinforces my decision to do this.

      • we are hoping to find somewhere to settle and open a business….Im so excited and full of positivity about this. It just seems like the right thing to do for our family. Thank you for your site. It has been very inspirational and informative….

  5. Hi Steve,

    Awesome trip! My wife and I completed our first 6 month lap in 2007 when I was 24 and she was 22, we saved hard and bought ourselves a 4×4 and an older pop top caravan and set off. We also got to have many discussions with nomads who wished they had taken the time to “do the lap” when they were younger, they also liked to joke with us about how we had borrowed our grandfather’s caravan, all in good humour of course.

    We found camping in National Parks, roadside rest areas and even caravan parks a very welcoming experience and often helped people hitch up, unhitch or reverse their caravans. Because we had a caravan we were part of the grey nomad culture and because we were young we must have reminded them of their children and often got to share a camp fire with more experienced travellers and pick up heaps of off the beaten track places to go.

    Now in 2013 we’re planning another lap in 2017, 10 years after the first and this time with our kids who we hope will enjoy it as much as we did. We’re using your site to plan how to travel with them and keep them entertained. We might even take the same 4×4 and caravan.

    Keep up the good work!

    Tim

    • Great plan Tim. Maybe you can go every decade and make a ritual out of it. It’s be a different experience very time!

  6. Hi Steve, thanks for the memories. We took the kids out of school and did the ‘big lap’ in 2005 when the kids were in Year 3 and Year 5 (ages 8 & 9). My daughter had her 10th birthday while we were travelling and we filled the tent of the camper trailer up with balloons when she was asleep. The look on her face the next morning… priceless!

    We started out from Perth and headed north, visiting the gorges of WA, travelled the Gibb River Rd, up to Darwin then down to Dunmara, NT. We stayed on a station in Cloncurry where they took us around and showed us fossils of dinosaurs (Rosegreen Station).

    Once we discovered the Camps 3 book and we stayed at free campsites (or very cheap ones) with the most amazing experiences. Some of them were on roadsides but it was here we met the most amazing people and we all looked out for each other, even sharing campfires and marshmallows. Most of the people staying at those spots were grey nomads and since they missed their kids, our kids were the centre of attention.

    We went to Cape York and visited the most northerly tip of Australia, and Byron Bay to visit the most easterly tip. We took the kids down a mine in Mt Isa; saw the whales at Fraser Island; went digging for precious metals at Ruby, Sapphire, and Ballarat. We took so many ferry rides with car & camper trailer on board we lost count, even travelling to Tasmania! We even discovered the Royal Flying Doctor Service in outback Qld (where the RFDS visit a small town and the locals gather from hundreds of miles around for their RFDS get together) when my son slipped and fell into some burning embers, which was an experience in itself.

    Because we were only going for 6 months we tended to only stay 1-2 nights in places, unless there were places which had a lot to see. And because we had kids, our trip revolved around educational kids activities. We didn’t register with the Education Dept, deciding that the trip would be a massive school excursion. Instead we focussed on the timestables and they kept a diary for a little part of the trip when they decided they’d prefer to read books.

    After talking to people on the road who did register with the Education Dept, they had to be at certain towns to receive their education packages, and had to report in at certain times. We weren’t dictated to by that at all which was great. The number of times we planned to go somewhere and decided not to because of roads closed due to rain, or there were more interesting things elsewhere we didn’t know about, we could either stay longer or drive through places so we had so much more flexibility without having to wait for mail to arrive. Things may be different now with the internet but they were certainly challenges to people we came across.

    When we returned home they were only a little way behind the kids who had been at school all year, and didn’t take long to catch up on that little bit. Which is pretty amazing since my son couldn’t read, and had no interesting in reading before we left, to reading the entire Harry Potter series at least twice and having to visit 2nd hand bookshops wherever we went.

    We were absolutely slammed for taking the kids out of school for 6 months but the kids learnt more in that 6 months than they could ever learn in a classroom. The best bit is that now, 8 years later, there is a 6 month block in their memories and whenever something comes up at school to remember funny moments, or do assignments, they can go back to that block without having to delve into a lifetimes worth of memories. Not to mention that we have that experience as a family and we still talk about it.

  7. Hi Steve.
    I have just read this article. A few years ago, we decided that our girls were nearing the end of their education and planning to leave home and see the world and we didn’t want to be sitting in an empty house waiting for them to visit. Why not visit them! We decided it was our turn for our new path in life, and so started our 5 year plan (we hopefully have 2 yrs 2 mths to go, but who’s counting!). In this time we have undertaken training in new areas of employment as we plan to travel and work around Australia for at least 15 years, just taking our time. Although some people may say it is unfortunate to do so, financially we will be selling our family home to fund the purchase of our motorhome (already chosen) and custom built trailer, with just a small amount left in the bank. We have decided that we don’t want to be worrying about having any debt, so this is the answer. I am sure that as we travel around Australia, we may find an area that we may think, “I could live here”, and buy a block of land for the future, but certainly, at the moment, we are completely over the rat race. We have been gradually sorting out what we need, buying those things that we want new (our poor family room is becoming a storage corner). We drive our kids mad because every time they are buying us something, if it won’t fit in the motorhome we tell them “don’t buy it!”
    Everything now is falling into place and we seem to be in the “biding our time” phase which is really hard. It is wonderful to hear of so many people taking the plunge, and realising that having everything isn’t what we need….it is the simple things in life enjoying this wonderful country we live in, and sharing amazing experiences with those that we love that really counts. I do believe that we are setting a good lesson for our children, showing them that approaching fifty doesn’t mean that you stay stuck in a rut and can not make changes and you have no life. We are embracing our lives for our next chapter….. can hardly wait!

  8. Hi stev, leaving in 12month, kids will b 3yrs, 21months & hopefully a new born (might even have set off before they arrive). It will be a slow trip we will take 12-18months and might not get right round. We are complete novices do you think with 3 kids so young we would wait? And what mode of transport/accomdation would you recommend for are circumstances?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Sam,
      Sounds similar to our trip. Our girls were 21 months and 4 when we left with the youngest, Sara, still in nappies. I don’t think she was too young but we did have to be conscious of her wandering off. Your newborn will be easier in that they will not wander off but you’ll need to be conscious of mosquito bites which can be hard to avoid and could be tough for a baby to deal with. I’d also look at a back pack baby carrier for walks etc. Don’t be put off by having young kids, just adapt to it. We were keen for our eldest, Savanna, to start school on time which became the deadline for our trip, something you might want to consider if your 3yo is approaching school start age around the end of your trip.

  9. hi Steve,
    Finally We Are selling Our Cows/farming Equipment, And Heading Off For Our Big Trip In March 2014. We Will Have Two Kids With Us, 8 And 10. We Are Both Gonna Try And Pick Up Work While We Go, Im A Nurse, My Husband Has 17years Agricultural Experience Plus Other Tickets So Hoping Itll Be Easy Enough???? :) While One Works, The Other Will Do Home Schooling!
    My Husband Also Wants To Work On A Cattle Station, Think We R Gonna Be Busy !!!
    We Are Leaving From Gippsland In Victoria, and I May Have work lined up Already In Clare Valley Region, So I Think This Will Be Our Main Starting Point. We Were Gonna Go Clockwise Around But Were Not Really Sure, So Exciting Times Ahead Planning Everything.
    Ur Website/blogs Are A Great Resoure So Thanks!!!
    Cheers,
    Emma

    • Sounds like a great trip Emma and I have no doubt you’ll find plenty of work to keep you busy – the only question I have is . . . how did you manage to get almost every first letter in your comment message upper case :-)

  10. Hi steve. My wife and two kids aged 3 and 3months have just sold our home, we have done trips around ozz several times on outback work breaks. We have planned to leave in feb 2014 for 12 months on a working holiday. Its been something we always wanted to do but now we have sold our home we are getting cold feet. We are worried on what the kids may miss out on and we wont have a home to come home to, but the biggest worry taking 12 months off work and returning in a lower position. Im a carpenter by trade with experience in most fields and was also wondering is it possivle to make good money to keep travelling abd what do my family do while i work.

    • Hello Steve I made my decision last year to go and work around Australia. I have the plans set in place 2013 4WD – 2001 Jackaroo, have been saving since last year. Getting in July August this year(Yah). 2013 to 2014 keep saving for Jayco Swan, start doing up car and van. 2014 to 2015 continue fitting out car and van do some short trips. Youngest child finishes grade 10 2015. (She wanted to finish at school with her friends)
      2016 sell up household contents, settle older children, keep saving. Well plans are to maybe leave 2016 to 2017 it depends on where older children wish to set up or if they want to come. A bit about me, I am 51 and have for the last ten years been bringing up my children on my own on a pension, we a going out less to implement our plans but everyones okay with this, I have tried to find employment but to no avail?? so I am going looking. I have plans to do a touring and national parks course and get the kids some retail training as well, so we will keep saving and working towards our BIG day when we can live independently and wherever we want to. Hopefully I see you out there. Charley

  11. Yes!!! Finally have the hubby talked around to doing “The Big Lap” in 2015. So excited we’ve set a date. :) We have such a beautiful country to explore and we’d rather be out in our big wide land living a life than being slaves to a never ending mortgage. Things do not make people happy, having a simple life is the key! We only get one shot at life, and we don’t want to be too old and grey wobbling around australia’s beautiful places to see and the interesting people we’ll meet. Cant wait!!!

  12. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us all. We live in WA, and my hubby (site foreman and carpenter in the construction industry) works 6 hard days a week / with very long hours – with no end in sight to a new job.
    We rent and live quite comfortably – however being fairly new immigrants to Australia, having immigrated from SA – don’t have money in the bank to fund a trip around Australia.
    However – my hubbies job is affecting him and our family life, and a change is needed.
    We wouldn’t be sacrificing any job opportunities that are likely to come his way, as he has looked and looked for work that would pay enough for us to lead our current lifestyle – and they are few and far between in the town we live in. FIFO is very difficult to get into and if you dont have ‘red dirt’ on your CV – even harder. Also we wouldnt be having to haul kids out of school.

    In your experience – can a couple with 2 kids (3 months and 3 years) pack up – and work their way around Australia? The aim is to take charge and lead a simpler life for a bit.

    We would sell our cars and upgrade to a larger 4×4 and also possibly take a loan on buying a camper trailer.
    We would have ongoing expenses because of this, but as we are happy to work our way around – im sure we could manage.
    Ive looked through your site, and most people seem to have quite a nest egg before setting off. That is not our position.
    I would like to pick your brain on this, as its a huge decision, but one I feel needs to happen – if possible.
    Im busy downloading your spread sheet – to start costing it out.

    Do you know of any Agencies that we could join, that help find casual/ part time work for travellers?
    What other tips or advice can you spare time to give us?

    Thanks for you time, and any advice that may follow.
    Regards
    Renee

    • Hi Renee,
      Sounds like a trip around Australia is exactly what you guys need. A change of scenery and pace will most likely give you a fresh outlook on the world and open some new doors for you.
      Fortunately your kids are pre-school (like ours were) so that makes things easier.
      Your hubby’s trade skills will be a big help especially in remoter areas where Tradies are often needed for short term/casual projects which lends itself well to the travelling lifestyle. I met a Sparky who told me he’d stopped telling people he was a Sparky because they would find work for him and he was trying to have a holiday!
      I don’t know of any agencies although it’s an area I need to research and write about because the question comes up a lot. What I suggest is that you talk to a lot of people along the way and be very flexible with what you can do. Ask caravan park owners and the local visitors centre whether they know of any work opportunities, offer to exchange labour in the caravan park for free site fees, visit the Centrelink office when you get into town – the main thing is to get the word out that your there and ready to work and opportunities will surface.
      Travelling can be a very low cost lifestyle so you don’t need to earn a heap of money to sustain it.
      The camper trailer sounds like a good idea although if you could find a good second hand one that you could pay cash for and avoid the finance it would be one less thing to worry about!
      Good luck

      • Thanks for your reply Steve – I can only imagine how many questions you have to answer, and your in-depth one is really appreciated.

          • Steve, if i could post a quick reply to Renee? I live in Darwin and know a bit about the work situation in the Top end and across the north in general, There is a ton of work around up here,and across the north, heaps of projects everywhere tradesman are very much in demand.
            I don’t think you will have any trouble, up this way at least.

  13. Hi Steve,

    My partner and I are arranging our Trip around Australia, we plan to leave in June, with a 6 year old, 5year old and 1 year old. My parents took me and my 3 brothers for a trip around when I was 10years old and I learnt so much as a kid, more than what you do staying in a town all your life. Now I’m 29 and putting my Career on hold to take my kids around. We have got our 80 series landcruiser ready, and almost the van ready, planning on working as we go around, and home schooling the kids. From the perspective of a kid it is an awesome experince that you never forget.

    Regards Cynthia

    • Hi Cynthia – sounds great and you’re right about the kids learning, it will set them up with a much better foundation than they’ll get reading about it in books and watching TV. And you’ve got the 80 Series as well – nice work :-)

  14. Steve, thanks for your inspiring blogs. I found them after I decided yesterday to go around Australia – well I think we will just go half way around first time. I am a single mum of a little boy who will have just turned two when we go – we have 2 months to get our act together! Car and van are sorted thanks to some very accommodating parents loaning their things to me while they aren’t doing the grey nomad thing this year. Do you have any tips for travelling alone with a young child? I have booked into a 4wd training course as a first step. I am not the biggest planner and prefer to wing it. Great to see so many tips on here about it. Cheers Shoana.

  15. Hi Steve,

    I desperatley want to do the trip around oz with the kids!! Just trying to convince the hubby though!! I think its great and children would get so much out of it! Hoping to do it at the end of 2014 so the kids will be 7 and 5 by then :) Just wondering with the cost side of things, what do people usually do to fund trips like these….I know most people sell their house and things and buy a caravan and a big enough car and have $$ left over to live on, but we are only renting. We have some savings, but do people usually take out a loan to get the van and car….?? So many questions…. We have a few years to save up (say 20-25k) but would probably have to trade our 2 cars in for a 4wd and loan for a van…do people do this??? I just want to go lol…. Any help would be great. We are both in hospitality so I wouldnt see us having a problem finding work along the way either. Thanks.

    • Hi Davina, I think that most people who own a house choose to rent it rather than sell it unless they aren’t planning to come back. In your case I would aim to get to the start line without having to take out a loan for car and van even if it means going downmarket with what you buy. Better to avoid the ‘worry’ of paying loan payments without having a regular income. Save as much cash as you can before you go even if it means working extra hours/job etc but even if you don’t have enough for the entire trip when it’s time to go, go anyway and plan to stop and work along the way. When we left we didn’t have a house earning us rental income or enough money for the whole trip saved but we owned the 4WD and bought a campertrailer within our budget ($10,500) and we stopped and worked for 6 weeks in Lake Argyle to top up the bank account. We also hit the credit card a bit in the last few months :-) Good luck.

  16. Hi Steve
    Well we have done it. Finally made the decision to sell up everything, the house, the 2 businesses, kick the adult kids out to “fend for themselves” and hit the road. We have planned for 14 months time and I am so excited.

    We are wanting to take the dog with us so I would be interested to hear of any tips etc that people have in relation to travelling with the dog.
    Karen

  17. This is a great site. I’ve been planning to do a solo trip in Australia and this will be really helpful. Hope i can materialize my dream plan soon. Is it safe for solo female travelers to go around australia? thank you!

  18. We’ve been planning ours for the last twenty years and finally collected the Landcruiser today! Currently on track to head off mid next year. Really looking forward to doing home schooling with the kids and having lots of family adventures :)

  19. Hi Steve,
    Iam so nervous about taking kids out of school, closing up our small concrete business and renting our house out – but I just really want to do a year around Australia with the family – I know it will be an amazing experience for us all – but soooo nervous!! Do you find there is plenty of work as your travel around – my husband would be a labourer/concreter – or whatever really!

    • Hi Liza,
      It’s pretty normal to be nervous. It’s a big thing to do and the majority of people who would like to do it never do or wait till they are 65, so you are one of the brave ones. But, you won’t look back. One of the reasons I wanted to make a documentary series about our trip was to encourage people to take the plunge once they see a very average family like ours do it.
      We found there was quite a bit of demand for workers, especially in remoter areas. Let it be known when you arrive at a caravan park that your looking for work which will get the conversation going and you’ll find that the park owners will be tuned in to what is around. They are often looking for labourers themselves on a casual basis as they don’t want full time employees. If you’re flexible and prepared to do what ever you need to do then you’ll find plenty of work opportunities.
      Good luck
      Cheers
      Steve

  20. Hi Steve,

    Me & my wife completed a lap back in 04, and thoroughly enjoyed it, thinking about going around again with our sons, 1 aged 6 the other nearly 3.Our only concerns are the obviuosly the children , i.e schooling & also taking them out of their little social network of friends.Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated, take it easy,

    Cheers,

    Matt

    • G’day Matt,

      One of the great things you have now that you didn’t in 2004 is social media and Skype so it will be relatively easy for you and your kids to stay in touch with friends back home. Every Maccas has free wifi so if you get yourself an iPad you’ll be able to Skype/Facetime for free while having a coffee and a cheeseburger. I think this is the key to keeping your kids connected with their friends so it isn’t like they’ve gone forever, just a long holiday and their friends back home can follow along.

      Our kids were pre-school age so home schooling wasn’t on the agenda but we met many other families that were and they seemed to be coping with it pretty well. Your kids are young enough though that they’ll get plenty of learning from the experience. In fact they are the perfect age for a Big Lap – old enough to appreciate it and be engaged, take photos etc. but young enough not to be still happy to have an adventure with mum and dad – teenagers would be a different story.

      I look forward to hearing all about it.

  21. Thanks, my family is planning to do this in July of this year. As the nerdy forteen year old, I’m put in charge of the researching thanks for your help

  22. Thanks Steve, myself and soon to be wife (next week) are travelling around Australia in a few weeks. We are both 27years old and have taken a career break which is a big and scary step. Its great to read your article and have some positive re-assurance. Thanks very much and all the best to you and your family.

  23. Only an hour ago my husband & I were outside looking at the stars with our girls aged 8 & 4 talking about how many more we would see if we finally took the plunge & went for it. The next thing I did was Google “travel Australia with kids” & here I am! Thanks Steve for reminding me not to procrastinate any longer. I look forward to reading more of your site as we prepare to hit the road!

  24. Mate we’re planning a trip when kids are about 9 and 7, but wondering if you can give us some advice about taking them out of school for a year or so, and making sure that they don’t miss out on schooling. How did you handle this situation and what effects good or bad do you see with your kiddies? Thanks mate, enjoy your trip, I really liked reading the website,
    regards,
    pete

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