This week’s family travel goal interview is with Kellie from 4 Worn Passports. If you’re looking for global family travel inspiration, look no further. This Alabama-based family completed their goal of seeing six out of the seven continents (no Antarctica…yet) before their oldest graduated from high school, including a five-month trip across the globe!
You can find more family travel goal stories here.
A bit about Kellie:
We are an Alabama family with a passion for independent global travel. Kellie is the Chief Blogging Officer and travel planner. Dale works in the real estate industry; Delaney (18) begins Auburn University next month; and Riley (17) is a senior in high school.
Does your family have any travel goals? If so, what are they?
We set a family goal when Delaney and Riley were in elementary school to take them to every continent except for Antarctica before they finished high school. Many parents think their traveling days are over when kids come along. But we disagree! Travel is one of the greatest things you can do as a family.
A lot of U.S. families start their international travel with Europe, but we chose a different path. Our philosophy was that Europe is (relatively) close and super easy to travel independently. We wanted to take them to the far away places–like Africa, Asia, and Australia–that wouldn’t be as easy for them to do on their own when they get older.
Why did your family choose these travel goals?
We believe that travel is the greatest gift that parents can give to their kids. It’s the one gift that won’t break or go out of style. Additionally, we believe that life’s greatest lessons are not learned in the classroom; they are learned in the real world. We wanted to explore the world and learn these life lessons as a family.
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Have you made progress toward your travel goals? How’s it going?
We met our “six continents” goal two years early! Africa was our last continent; we spent three weeks in South Africa and Namibia in 2016. Our eldest daughter, Delaney, just graduated from high school in May 2018. She has visited 34 countries to date. Her sister, Riley, has been to 31. (Delaney picked up an additional three countries–Czech, Austria, and Hungary–on her recent senior graduation trip.) Dale and Kellie are tied at 41 countries and counting.
Riley is trying hard to convince us to take a family trip to Antarctica so we can have “all 7 continents” bragging rights. I just haven’t figured out a budget way to get there. Stay tuned…
What excites you most about your family’s travel goals?
Planning and creating the best 5-star itineraries–featuring bucket list adventures, boutique lodging, and authentic experiences–at a 3-star price!
What has been your family’s favorite trip so far? Why?
Our favorite trip is what we call our “big trip.” When Delaney and Riley were 14 and 12, we withdrew them from middle school to travel around the world. We spent 5 months “world-schooling” our way from Iceland to Thailand, and from the Great Wall to the Great Barrier Reef. We visited 10 countries across three continents and spent less money than many people spend on cars…and our memories won’t depreciate! Without a doubt, it is the best parenting decision we’ve ever made, and the highlight of my life. Besides our big trip, we each have different favorites:
- Dale loved every minute of our month in New Zealand!
- Kellie loved the African safari in the Timbavati and New Year’s Eve in Sydney
- Delaney loves the European cities of London, Paris, and Prague
- Riley loves Thailand and all other beach destinations
If you had to give other families advice about traveling, what would you say?
I have two main pieces of advice:
1) Most of the world can be traveled independently. If you are willing to do the research and make your own plans and reservations, you can enjoy authentic experiences while saving enormous amounts of money.
2) Middle school is the absolute best time to travel with kids. Why?
- They are old enough to pack and carry their own bags;
- they are old enough to engage and learn in a meaningful way with their experiences;
- and they will REMEMBER it!
Once they hit high school, it’s harder to take them away from school and friends for extended periods.
Tell us about the name of your blog, 4 Worn Passports. What does the name tell us about your family travel approach?
We are a family of four who is passionate about independent, global travel. Our mission is to help other families travel boldly. Our motto: No Travel Agent. No Tour Group. No Trust Fund. No Problem!
With careful planning, we have been fortunate to experience many of the world’s most extraordinary adventures on an ordinary travel budget.
Tell us more about your blog. Where can people find it, and how can they follow you on social media?
We started our blog as a way to document our around-the-world trip and meet homeschooling requirements. Since then, it has become a travel site full of valuable information and inspiration for fellow travelers. Whether you are planning a two week adventure vacation or trying to muster the courage to take a family gap year, we provide tips, itineraries, ideas and advice for traveling the world.
You can follow us on:
4 Worn Passports: https://4wornpassports.com