How To Travel Often With Children & Navigate New Cities

License-Plate-Map

Since I last posted a personal type post we have packed up and left Front Royal, Virginia and headed to Charlotte, NC! Pictured below is what we left and we arrived at!

To put it in perspective, this makes our 4th move & new state in a nine months of being on the road which gives us an average so far of a little over two months at each new place.

If you read my past post entitled, “How we Make A Living On The Road” you not only know HOW we make a living while traveling, but it’s also important to note that my husband’s work is one of the major reasons we decided to hit the road together in the first place.

And with that being said, we do get asked two particular questions pretty often that I’d love to address for anyone who might be wondering the same! Here they are:

  1. What is it like to move around so often?

One word, GPS. I literally don’t know how we would live without our trusty GPS systems. We each have one that sticks on the windshield of each vehicle as well as on our iphones. For about the first month or so we use them to go almost anywhere, and then just about the time we start to learn where everything is enough to not need them anymore,

WE MOVE AGAIN!

Our most favorite “new city apps” for smartphones –

  • Around Me
  • Google Maps
  • Gas Buddy
  • Urban Spoon
  • Any local city apps
  • Parkmobile
  • Starbucks
  • (please comment below any apps you’ve found that you would add to our list!)

Traveling and moving around often does have it’s pros and cons just as everything in life does. First off, when we signed up for this lifestyle, we also re-adjusted our mindset to know that this is just the way it would be! And although no one place is “home” and yet in another sense, no matter where we are in the world, we are always home because we are together and our house just goes where we go!

Personally, I am truly enjoying the new way of life for so many reasons. But being a girl who had barely ever left her home town just under a year ago, this has already been a pretty freeing and amazing journey in many ways.

   2. Do you, and if so, HOW do you establish a local routine with the kids not knowing how long you’ll be in one place?

This is a really, really great question. And honestly, before we started doing this it’s something that I would have literally have had NO idea how to answer.

Now, keeping in mind that we are a family of four who homeschool, we do establish some sort of local routine and we also have our own unique set of priorities upon arriving in a new area, as every person/family will have their own based on their life/family situation.

Here is our top ten local must finds!

  1. Starbucks (yes, this is literally one of the first things I look for! 😉
  2. Campground/RV Park (I’ll be writing a post on “How To Find A Campground” next week.)
  3. Decent grocery Stores
  4. Laundry Mat
  5. Library
  6. Nearby local attractions (which we always try to take advantage of)
  7. Parks/Nature trails
  8. Fitness Center or YMCA
  9. Farmer’s Markets
  10. Music teachers/Homeschool groups/ Sports leagues

Even though we don’t always know how long we’ll be in any given area (sometimes we do have a general idea) we have found that it is still extremely important for the momentum of our family to toss over-analyzing to the wind and just go ahead and dive into whatever local activities, sports and groups we would be interested in if we were in a permanent city living a more “regular” kind of life!

Especially with having kids it is important to us and them that we not forgo the opportunities to experience outside extra-curriculars even though we are a mobile family.

We do try and stay away from signing up for anything with yearly contracts unless of course we know for sure we’d be in an area for that long. However, we have found that most fitness centers, ect. are happy to work with us when we explain our situation!

  •  Joining local groups

can be extremely helpful to a family with children. Even if there is a small yearly membership fee such as is the case with some homeschool groups, because it gives us access to their email groups – which is how we get to know people and find out about meetups, co-ops and many local events that would be of interest to our family.

Sure, there are days that I miss the stability of “life in one place.” as it does make some things easier and more predictable. But would I trade this adventure and this season in for what we had before? Not even a chance.

Everyone’s journey is different! And your journey is what you make it.

We’ve chosen to make ours an adventure that we will look back on one day and say, “You know what? Those were some of the BEST days of our lives!” They will surely be the most memorable of all.

About Rachel Rowell

A true southern gal at heart, Rachel was raised and lives in the deep south and spends her days raising her own babies, writing, making music, reading out on the front porch, and cooking supper for her family to sit around the table and enjoy together at nights! Her ultimate girlhood dream was to raise a family in a house just like "Anne of Green Gables" and now she is living her dream and inspiring others along the way.

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7 Responses to How To Travel Often With Children & Navigate New Cities

  1. DeWain June 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    I like “Rest Area.” It will give you a list of all the nearest rest areas from your current location. You just need to sort them out by your current mile marker and direction. You have to be careful because the nearest one listed might be a mile behind you on the other side of the freeway.

  2. DeWain June 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Also, you didn’t list “Woodalls” or “GS Camping” which will list and rate all of the campgrounds in and around any location you type in the search window.

  3. Jennie GR Bryant June 14, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    I just drove from Maine to Virginia with my kids and we don’t know if we’ll be here two weeks or two months! But don’t worry, I already found the Starbucks. 🙂

  4. Angela Callahan June 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    I swear we have parallel lives with the exception of we don’t have children traveling with us. I had barely been out of OK my whole life but the past three years I have thrown caution to the wind and gone on the road with my husband who also travels for work. We also move about every three months but usually we have a better idea of how long the contract will be. My can’t live without them phone apps are:
    RV Parky, Big Truck Stops, My Pilot, Truck Smart, UPS mobile, USPS mobile, Yelp, and Google maps. I know what you mean about the GPS, mine is attached like my right arm for the first month where ever we go. Our granddaughter is about to fly out and stay with us for a month in our RV, that is going to be interesting! She is five and I hope to help her get ready for first grade by doing a bit of amateur homeschooling while she is here.

    • DeWain June 14, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

      Angela, you are brave having a grandchild live with you in the RV for a month. It’s different than your own children. We have 2 granddaughters so far, 8 and 3. The 8 year old has spent a night with us, but mom and dad were in their camper right next door. I’m thinking that a month with either of them might end up be a “mixed blessing!”

  5. thestreamlinedlife October 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Do you find it hard to keep busy in an unfamiliar place with your husband working most days? I like your suggestions about joining different groups, but wonder if its hard to meet people and then leave? My husband and I are seriously considering full-time travel because he could work as a traveling (contract) healthcare worker. But I worry about what life would be like with two little ones (1 and 4 years old) in new places every 8-13 weeks. Would love to hear your thoughts and wisdom!

  6. Kyle K April 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    I really enjoy your blog. My wife, daughters and I have been talking about full time RV life for a little while and are starting to get much closer to committing. I am hoping you can help me with a couple of questions that keep coming up in our discussions. Do you feel safe when you are in the RV with your two kids and your husband is at work? Is crime of any kind a regular occurrence in RV parks. Do you feel like your valuables are safe in the RV? Is there any type of “alarm system” for RV’s? Thank you for your time and all the great information on the website.

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