A digital nomad family is what I call life goals around here. While traveling with kids and perhaps even the family pet does not sound like the most stress-free thing to do, let me assure you that it is entirely workable.
Perhaps you have been thinking about taking the plunge of becoming a digital nomad family.
Or maybe you were a digital nomad in a past life and suddenly find yourself tied down to a life of bills, diapers, and pre-schools while catching yourself daydreaming about your former digital nomad days, then this article is a sign for you to kickstart that digital nomad family life!
Read on as we delve into:
- Reasons why being a digital nomad family is one of the best things you can do
- Some of the challenges of being a digital nomad family
- How to school your kids and socialize them while on the go
- The best ways to travel as a digital nomad family
- Some useful resources for a digital nomad family.
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This article contains some affiliate links which means that I may earn a small commission when you click on them, at no additional cost to you. I do hope you find the information in this article helpful!
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What Is A Digital Nomad Family?
Simply put, a digital nomad family is where one or both parents work remotely using only their best tech and lightning-speed internet, while traveling with kids.
Digital nomad families may face slightly different challenges from solo digital nomads.
As such, a digital nomad family is likely to have different considerations when it comes to travel, looking for work, and finding a suitable place to stay or digital nomad accommodation that is kid and pet-friendly.
Why Become A Digital Nomad Family?
There are plenty of reasons why being a digital nomad family is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and for your kids.
Some of these include:
This is probably the most compelling reason to take your family on the road with you. The element of freedom here is wide-ranging.
You get the freedom to live life at your own pace and manage your own time with work, as well as the time you spend with your kids.
With the flexibility that comes with keeping your own work hours, you get the bonus of family time whenever you want it to happen, and not just when you are done with work at 5 or 6pm!
- Building Priceless Memories
When you travel with your kids to beaches with stunning waters or take them to the pyramids of Giza, or show them the clear blue skies of the New Zealand sky…..
You are creating memories that they will never get if they were stuck at home or in an unimaginative school environment.
- Exposure to World Experiences and Culture
A digital nomad kid will have the best education. Being on the go is bound to bring novel learning experiences daily. Learning and education while being a digital nomad family is not usually confined to online classes or printed worksheets.
One of the best things about being a digital nomad kid and being a part of a digital nomad family is the hands-on learning about life, science, and the way the world works.
More importantly, this is usually done at your child’s pace to satisfy their natural curiosity, thus making learning an extremely enjoyable experience.
Challenges of Being A Digital Nomad Family
The challenges of being a digital nomad with kids are undoubtedly different than those of a digital nomad who chooses to travel alone.
Some of these unique digital family challenges may include:
- Travel Plans May Go Awry
You may not always be able to stick to a schedule.
Kids, especially younger ones run on their own time! You can plan to leave a certain place at a particular time and that’s when your kid may decide to throw up and need a shower and a change!
- Education and Socialization
This is probably the biggest challenge for a digital nomad family.
Balancing travel with ensuring that the kids get a proper and substantial education cannot be emphasized enough. While learning on the go sounds amazing, proper substantial education is also important for your kids to get ahead in life. (More on this later!)
- You May Have To Double Or Even Triple Your Budget
Traveling with kids is not always cheap.
You can’t just dump your bag at the cheapest hostel you can find and go out drinking. You will probably need to get a proper digital nomad house to ensure that your kids are safe. Expenses can add up.
- Being Away From Family
As you are constantly on the go with your kids, they may miss being with their friends and family, especially if your kids are older. You are also more likely going to miss important family events, and that may result in the kids feeling left out and out of touch.
Education On The Go
This is probably one of the biggest factors that sometimes prevent digital nomad parents from taking the plunge and traveling with their kids.
However, with the advent of technology, new learning mechanisms have emerged.
Online and remote education has opened up plenty of doors of opportunities for parents to educate their kids while on the go. After all, there is more than one way to learn!
Recently, the concept of “world schooling” has come to light.
World schooling has been defined by Worldschooling Central as “the deliberate inclusion of travel and learning from the world around you, as a method of educating children, in whatever way that works for each family”.
Education these days is flexible and different kids work at different paces. A tailor-made education is probably the best thing you can give them while traveling.
To get you started, here are some useful worldschooling resources:
- Worldschooling Central
- Worldschool Academy
There are also some extremely useful educational apps for getting your kids to learn on the go. These include:
- FluentU – this is a language learning app that uses videos and music to teach your kids about the country that you are in.
- Khan Academy Kids – this is a wonderful, comprehensive app for kids of all ages, covering a diverse range of subjects.
If you would rather have a routine where you teach your kids on your own, then depending on your child’s age, there are plenty of homeschooling resources online as well. These include:
You may be wondering at this point if your kids will be at a disadvantage in the future as a result of the lack of formal education during this time.
It cannot be denied that most universities require a proper accredited school leaving certificate.
If you and your kids are inclined to go down this path, then it is important to note that worldschooling may not provide you with the required formalities.
That being said, homeschooled students can indeed register and sit for certain general school leaving education certificates.
In the US, depending on the state you are in and the requirements there, homeschoolers are eligible to obtain a homeschool diploma which is the equivalent of a high school diploma.
The Home School Legal Defense Association is a great resource to get more information about this.
Other international homeschooled students are eligible to register for and sit for the O Levels and A Levels certificates. Wolsey Hall Oxford offers a comprehensive homeschool education for this purpose all the way from primary school to A Levels.
As you can see, no matter how old your kids are, you will be able to find resources to ensure that they get a good education outside the classroom.
They are probably going to remember that museum you took them to when you were giving them a history lesson over a picture of some guy in a textbook anyway!
Traveling As A Digital Nomad Family
This is probably the next biggest challenge when traveling with kids, especially if you have a baby. Despite being small, babies need plenty of stuff, especially clothes!
Here are some things to consider when traveling as a digital nomad family:
- Financial Stability
Do make sure that you are financially stable before you jump into traveling with the family. That being said, you don’t need hundreds and thousands of dollars to get you started.
Having about USD5,000 to USD10,000 as a buffer is more than enough. This buffer amount is especially important if you are a freelance digital nomad and your income may not always be regular.
Check this article out for how to find digital nomad jobs for beginners if you are a newbie digital nomad parent to ensure that you have a stable income as a freelancer!
- Look Out for Childcare Options
There will inevitably be situations where you have to focus on work and may not be able to make that tea party that your child insists on having with Tessie the doll and her other soft toy friends.
As such, a daycare center or an enrichment class will both be wonderful options for your kids to be entertained as well as allow them to be around other kids and learn how to socialize with them.
- Socialize Your Kids
There is this misconception that digital nomad kids or homeschooled kids do not know how to socialize because they have not been in a classroom environment.
This could not be further from the truth.
In fact, because of all the exposure that digital nomad kids get, they are probably in a better position to easily socialize with people and can generally be said to be more confident in their demeanor.
That being said, it is also important to ensure that your kids are given the opportunity to mix around with kids their age. A great way to do this is to join local kids’ activity clubs or ad hoc playgroups, classes, or workshops.
Nomad Family Blogs
Nomad family blogs are wonderful resources to learn about what it is like to be a digital nomad couple or a solo digital nomad parent traveling with your kids.
These digital nomad family blogs can also be inspiring in the sense that they show you that being a digital nomad family can be a reality.
All it takes is some life adjustments and an open mind and you can travel and work with your kids while giving them an amazing life.
Here are some great nomad family blogs to give you the little nudge you need to become a digital nomad with your family:
This family of 5 has traveled all over the world together! Looking at all the destinations they have been two with 3 children in tow is truly inspiring and goes to show that you can indeed travel with kids, even with a newborn!
Aside from sharing their experiences about traveling the world with kids, this digital nomad family blog also serves as a great resource for everything you need to know about traveling as a digital nomad family.
They have been to over 50 countries during the past 6 years and their blog is truly a wealth of information for all digital nomad parents.
This is a unique digital nomad family blog as this digital nomad family frequently travels with their kids using an RV. Check out their tips and tricks about being a digital nomad newbie with kids!
This is also another digital family nomad blog that is filled with useful resources for digital nomads traveling and working with their kids.
There is plenty of specific information about the countries that they have visited and unique insights about the suitability of each country for kids, together with the best digital nomad gear for kids.
Digital Nomad Family Communities
The power of community should never be underestimated. More so when you are constantly on the go with your kids without the ability to rely on your family for any help that you may need.
With the increase in the number of digital nomad families all over the world, there are some incredibly helpful digital nomad communities that you can turn to if you need the extra help and support.
Some of the best ones are:
- Nomad Together – this is probably the most comprehensive and resourceful digital nomad community out there. You have podcasts, a Facebook group, and an eBook to keep you going.
- Unsettled – While they started out as a digital nomad community for solo travelers, they have recently started to cater to those with a digital nomad family as well. You can find more information on their digital nomad family community here.
Tips and Tricks For Nomadic Families
While every digital nomad family will have their own needs and interests, there are some universal tips and tricks that may apply to all.
- Travel Slow
This is probably one of the most important things to maintain a stress-free environment when traveling and working with kids. Some digital nomad families spend 1 to 2 months in a particular place before moving in.
While it is a far cry from constantly being on the go, the ability to travel slow allows your kids to adapt and also gives everyone more time to take in the various features of your destination.
- Plan Every Detail
This cannot be said enough. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a 6-month-old baby with nowhere to stay.
The one thing digital nomad parents don’t have the luxury of is playing it by ear.
As such, every possibility needs to be accounted for when planning your digital nomad trips as a family!
- Look For Coworking Spaces
This will be a useful option if you can have someone to look after your kids for a while or if you are a digital nomad couple where one person can head out for a specific time of focused work while the other looks after the kids.
Some digital nomads even have their parents tag along with them on their digital nomad trips for a multi-generational digital nomad family experience!
Now, that’s the dream!
As you can see, the life of a digital nomad is no longer confined to those who are single or in their 20s or 30s. Being a digital nomad with kids is entirely possible.
The internet is filled with digital nomad families who are more than willing to share their experiences and what works for them.
With the resources provided, you can take the best of what there is to offer and do what works for you.
Time and freedom are precious commodities. You don’t have to “wait till the kids are grown” to live your digital nomad dreams. Your kids can be a part of that dream and they just might be all the better for it.