Why are you doing this?
The short answer is that we love travelling and want to spend more time with our children. For the longer answer, see this page.
The children are still young enough to enjoy being with us but will be old enough to get something out of the trip. They are also young enough that we think their schooling won’t be too badly affected (see below). Hopefully we will have also dealt with potty training, taught them to swim and caught up on a bit of sleep!
What about the children’s schooling?
1. Leaving School: This was the only major ‘con’ when we were deciding whether or not to go on the trip. We are not able to keep the children’s school places open, which means that they will have to officially leave the school, then we’ll reapply for places on our return. This wouldn’t be a problem if the school wasn’t so popular – last year it had a catchment area of only 500m, with an intake of 90 children. There is a reasonable chance that we won’t get places for all three of the children on our return, but we’ve decided that it’s worth the risk. It’s a really lovely school, but it’s not the only good school in the area and hopefully all three will get places there eventually.
2. Roadschooling: The other aspect of this is that we will be ‘road-schooling’ the children while we are away, to keep them up to speed with their year groups. We will probably take some maths workbooks with us so that they can do the same curriculum as their friends. Otherwise, we’ll probably just make them keep diaries and continue with our usual trips to museums and monuments. I’m really looking forward to this aspect of our trip (I may live to regret saying this!) and think that they will learn a huge amount from experiencing so many varied cultures. What better way to learn about geography than by visiting volcanoes and glaciers with an ex-geologist (Steve)?
How much will it cost?
Based on our previous travel budgets and internet research, I think our budget will be about £100 a day on average. We plan to predominantly stay in guest houses and rental places, rather than hotels, and travel by train not plane, but will also splash out occasionally. Obviously some countries will be more expensive than others, but I think it will even out. Staying on a beach in Thailand will probably cost well under £50 a day, whereas Australia and NZ will cost more like £150 a day. I’ve budgeted £200 a day for Japan, as it’s a lot more expensive than anywhere else.
Tickets and insurance
This blog post covers all the details.
What about your house and belongings?
We are hoping to rent the house out, furnished, to help pay for the trip. We have a large room in the basement that would be ideal to store our stuff (once we’ve had a good weed-out). If we have to, we’ll rent the house unfurnished and put our stuff in storage. Rental prices are so high in this part of London, we’d be mad not to. We’ll sell our car to whoever will have it, if it hasn’t already conked out by then.
How will you keep healthy?
We don’t intend to take any unnecessary risks with our health, and will protect ourselves as much as we can. For a start, we will all be vaccinated against the usual diseases found in SEA, such as Typhoid and Hepatitis A. We will also take anti-malarial medication as well as using other preventative methods such as covering up at dusk and applying repellent. We will take all the usual precautions against stomach bugs such as regular handwashing. We’ve also taken out comprehensive medical insurance as detailed above. We’ll be lucky to complete the trip without any illness at all, but we’ll do our best to make sure that we don’t get anything too serious.