20 things long term travel has taught me family travel digital nomad family

20 things long term family travel has taught me

Suewan Kemp Travel tips Leave a Comment

It’s almost 2 years since we got off of the hamster wheel of 9-5 life in the UK. It doesn’t feel like that long at ALL. Here are some of the things we have learnt from our travels.

  1. We love small cities and don’t cope so well in big, bustling cities.
    Being in huge, sprawling cities feels overwhelming. Our happiest places have been in small cities/large towns where we can really explore and get to know the place in a month or two.
    Hoi An, Chiang Mai, Valencia = 👍
    Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong = 👎
  2. Cute custard buns Hong Kong rtw travel family long term digital nomad

    Custard buns in Hong Kong

    FOOD!
    Food is definitely a reason for our travels. We LOVE finding delicious new dishes and snacks as we travel. Some of our current faves are Bahn Mi in Vietnam, Dim Sum in Hong Kong and mango sticky rice in Thailand. Nom nom…

  3. We have found that Roobs has really come round to trying new foods.
    Back at home she was relatively good at trying new foods but would just refuse to eat certain things (tomatoes, mushrooms, aubergine). Now she’s pretty game to try anything! Partly because we aren’t always sure what is in the food we are eating.
  4. We need space from each other.
    Learning to create space for ourselves as we travel has been key to making this lifestyle work. I sense a blog post brewing on this topic…
  5. Good wifi is the number 1 most important aspect of choosing accommodation.
    It is simple – without good wifi, we can’t work or study or play.



  1. Following the sun makes packing easier.
    We have mainly followed the sun these past two years. However, any places we’ve been where the weather has been much colder has meant we needed to buy coats, hats, gloves etc. only to discard them again because we can’t fit them in out suitcases.
  2. We know the quirky things we need to feel like we are “home” wherever we are.
    They include a blender, a keyboard, a ukelele….things which are unique to our family. They certainly aren’t everyone’s travel essentials! We wrote in more detail about the strange things in our suitcases.
  3. Animals feature highly on Roobs’ list of the fave places we’ve been.
    Whether it’s housesitting pets (we spent 3 months in Australia looking after chickens, cats and dogs) or just having the opportunity to see different animals around the world. She loves them all.

    Long term travel family rtw digital nomad

    Feeding kangaroos in Australia

  4. We are most comfortable in accommodation that has a kitchen and a washing machine.
    Small things perhaps but it feels good to be able to cook and do laundry at home (and it saves money too).
  5. Somehow you accumulate stuff.
    I’m not sure how it happens but we seem to collect more stuff as we travel. At the end of each stay, we always have to get rid of things because our suitcases are overweight.
  6. Good kitchen equipment is worth taking with you.
    Honestly, the number of places we’ve stayed in that don’t provide basic kitchen equipment is staggering. (Take note Airbnb owners!) So now we travel with a good sharp knife, a can opener, a bottle opener and a corkscrew.
  7. Meeting people is our favourite part of travelling.
    Locals, expats, homeschoolers… Finding out how other people see the world and do life is the biggest education.



  1. We love not driving anymore.
    It is a relief to not have to think about the expense associated with owning a car.
  2. We don’t like most tourist stuff.
    It’s cheaper and more eye-opening to see how locals live. (Of course there are some things we just really want to see and so it’s worth the crowds and entrance fee).

    Sydney Opera House rtw travel family digital nomad long term travel

    Sydney Opera House was a must visit for us

  3. Learning the basics of the local language goes a long way.
    Just knowing how to say “hello”, “bye”, “please”, “thank you” and “sorry” makes a big difference. Oh, and for a bonus—“it’s delicious!”
  4. Carry toilet tissues with you. Always.
  5. A sarong/shawl is the most versatile item we carry with us.
    We’ve used it as a towel, scarf, bag, toddler carrier, blanket…
  6. Travel shows you that the world is way less scary than the media would have you think.
  7. Travelling gives you the headspace to think about bigger concepts that you might now have had time to contemplate before: health, education, money, faith etc.
  8. Travel is awesome. I’m guessing you already knew that.

What lessons has travel taught you?

2 years of travel with my family has taught me a lot. Here are 20 things that we've learnt.

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