When it comes to deciding to travel full-time as a family (or alone), a lot of people will have questions. I want to share some questions I’ve been asked since deciding to start full-time traveling and living in our “time traveling machines” 😉
1. The van must come with Wi-Fi right?
No, our van did not come with Wi-Fi, but I did use an unlimited mobile hotspot device which was $100/mo. I found out about this device from another family while we were all camping in Phoenix.
Unfortunately, I don’t use it anymore as it doesn’t work at the RV resort we’re at since neither AT&T and T-mobile work well here – and my hotspot service was through AT&T. Currently, I use the Wi-Fi provided by the RV resort which is included in our rates. It gets the job done and I’m able to work without much of an issue, but if someone needs a stronger bandwidth, then they would have to get their services through a internet provider.
If you’re interested in full-time traveling and you need internet (like for work as I do), then I recommend getting a hotspot device with unlimited service. If you can, always utilize free hotspot services from libraries, Starbucks, fast-food restaurants, etc. Many public places offer free Wi-Fi. This comes in handy if your cell plan doesn’t come with regular unlimited data (which isn’t the same as hotspot).
2. How do you wash your clothes?
I go to either laundromats or simply use the laundry facilities at the RV resorts we go to for our laundry. It’s around $5/load which I believe is pretty normal, but coming from having my own washer/dryer in our apartment units to doing laundry at various locations is quite different for us.
3. Where do you park/put your van when you just want to stay in ya van? Do you stay at different WalMarts?
We generally stay at RV resorts/RV parks, BLM (bureau of Land Management which is intended for campers as you can stay there up to 14 days max at a time), and national parks. Actually, out of all the places we’ve stayed at, we only had to stay at a Walmart once – and that’s because we got to Roswell, NM really late at night. Though many people do opt for parking lots, stealth camping on streets, and/or going to truck stops, I prefer my other options.
I highly recommend the iOverlander app as it has helped me find great BLM spots, RV parks, and even dump stations and potable water locations.
4. When you’re on a roadtrip and you need to go to the restroom, where do you go?
If you’ve seen our van tour video, I showed our bathroom setup. We had an actual wet bath build into our van which had a toilet and shower. If we were out in public, we’ll use the restroom the same way others would.
5. Where have you traveled to this year and where do you want to go?
This year, outside of Arizona, we’ve traveled to the following locations:
We plan to visit all 50 states and travel more out of the country.
6. When you order things online where do they send it to?
When we had the van, I had a personal mailbox through UPS which I paid for. It was $100 for 6 months and provided me real street address. Plus I could ship and receive mail from basically any carrier. I chose this over a P.O. Box because I know that some places will not allow mail to be sent to PO boxes and then I couldn’t ship FedEx mail out of USPS like I could with UPS. If you’re thinking about particularly traveling on a full-term basis, then I recommend getting a UPS mailbox. If you’re ever out of state, then you can call your UPS store and have them ship your mail to your the location you’re at.
Also, most RV parks and resorts allow mail to be delivered to their location – like ours do. I currently receive mail at the RV resort and there are people that’ll sort the mail by the lot numbers. Check first if the location you plan to travel to allows mail to be shipped there.
7. Where do you work? Do you have your own company?
I do not own my own company. I’ve been working remotely at a digital engagement company for 5 years now. I currently manage several client’s social media platforms. As I learn and grow within our company, I am taking notes for our Tiny Time Travelers platform. Since I work online plus in social media already, once I’m off of work, I generally close my computer and simply go outside. I try to reserve my online time now for building our Tiny Time Travelers platform, homeschool, and my job.
As I’m on a financial freedom journey, I’m trying to diversify my income. I don’t get paid to do this, but I do it because I enjoy helping people plus I’ll be able to pass what I’m doing along to my daughters. My goal has always been to create a website that serves as both a travel journal plus a portfolio for the girls. I’m working on helping my daughters develop tech and business skills – which is why they’re learning how to code. I simply want my kids to be well-rounded and grow up with skills they’ll be able to use as adults.
8. How do you stay safe?
When I talk to people about this question – my general response is to use common sense. Literally, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a house, apartment, or travel – you simply have to be smart, check your surrounding, and use common sense. You can be in the most secure neighborhood or not and still anything can happen.
For traveling specifically, I don’t generally post anything about where I’m located (or tag the location) online until after we’ve left that place. I also make sure we’re not too far out where I don’t have cell reception (or internet service for that matter as I do have to work). Some people think that going out to the most remote areas are the best especially for photos, but that’s what suits them. Once we went camping in a national forest with my church and I’m glad that we were surrounded with people for one.
I also noticed at that point that I could never do that alone as:
1) There was no cell service which meant I couldn’t call anyone or work.
2) Wild animals meant we would be an easy target .
3) Simply because we’re out there doesn’t mean we’d be alone.
Remember: anything can happen anywhere. I’m a realist and I like to think of how things can go both ways. Bringing this up, I want to share to always have cell reception. Go somewhere where you can call people in case of an emergency. What if something breaks down? What if you’re injured and need help? What if you’re not alone like you thought you were and needed to call for help? Please. This lifestyle can be fun, but be smart. I grew up learning that I need to be aware of my surroundings and I teach my children to do the same. This doesn’t mean that we don’t socialize with people, but I simply keep an eye out no matter where we’re located.
9. Do the girls interact with other kids? What about schooling for the girls?
I homeschool my children and though I do “home”school and work from “home” – this doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to stay at home to do these things. We get out and explore a lot. I like a good mix of physical books, online classes, and interactive classes.
I purchased a physical book from the Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool which is a Christian based homeschool curriculum . Although it’s free if you just follow everything right from the website and print off the worksheets, but I liked the idea of having the physical book so I purchased it.
I also use the programs Homer Reading, ABC Mouse, and Time4Learning. You have to pay for all 3 platforms, but they’ve been worth it. Here in Florida, you have to register your child as a homeschool student by the time they’re 6 years old. If you go through the county, then they will have to do an evaluation at the end of the school year (and that must be completed by a certified teacher) or you can opt to unschool (which here is known as a private umbrella school).
Lastly, we LOVE LOVE LOVE hand-on learning! There are plenty of museums, zoos, etc. that offer homeschool days and educational programs specifically for homeschoolers. Some are paid while others are free – and we like to do a mix of both of them.
10. What type of RV do you have? Do you ever get overwhelmed by being in such a small place all the time with kids?
We currently own a Jayco Lite Hawk 23FB. Though it’s honestly a similar size (in length and width) to the Jayco 174BH that we were looking into buying initially, this particular model feels smaller than that one simply because of the layout. If I could change one thing about this trailer – it would be the layout honestly, but I’m thankful for what we do have. Plus, I can stand up in it comfortably. As with the van, we don’t really stay in the RV too much.
You’ll usually find us outdoors or at the pool, clubhouse, gym, or children’s playroom. It’s like when we lived in our apartments honestly. We were typically gone and I am a firm believer of kids getting outside so they do. We do stay inside when we’re of course cleaning, eating, and sleeping…but the majority of our days are spent outside of the RV (as in the case of the van).
11. Is there a way to donate?
Though it’s not mandatory to donate by any means – we do have a Patreon here. When our van broke down, I had several people suggest that we should start a Go-Fund-Me, but I felt a personal conviction of ever doing that. Though I know it’s been done before, I’d feel bad especially knowing I do work and there are people that are in need of financial help. Some people are simply looking for jobs and my heart goes out too them.
That’s why I want to start something where I can remodel affordable RVs, help people find jobs (whether remote or not), plus be able to take care of their families. Trust me, I’ve been blessed beyond I can imagine. God has truly blessed our family even when I didn’t know what I was going to do next. I give not so I can necessarily get anything back, but I give to help someone out. If you have the desire to donate anything, I truly appreciate your support! My family appreciates your support and we’ll be sure to pass this along to others!
12. Are you planning to do this long-term?
I look at everything like this: Nothing is guaranteed to last forever…not even life itself. I try not to make promises as I can’t be sure they’ll be fulfilled. What I can do is live to the best of my ability while I have breath. I’ll continue to do this as long as my family and I want to do this. When whatever the next step happens, then we’ll make the necessary changes. As of right now, we’re loving this and I wouldn’t be doing this if my daughters didn’t enjoy it also. So til I report a change, we’ll be enjoying this nomadic lifestyle.
If you’re interested in doing this – I say JUST DO IT! Test it out, see if this works for you, and if it doesn’t it’s okay! No one can live your life for you, but you so make the best of it!