Do you want to take an extended vacation with your kids? Maybe to escape the 9-5 life, and let your kids see the world from a new perspective?
Then planning the next trip using Hippohelp.com might be an option for you and your family!
Hippohelp is a free map-based work exchange platform connecting hosts with travellers all across the globe. Travellers provide services for the hosts, in exchange for food and accommodation.
Today I'll share a few advantages and disadvantages you need to have in mind before deciding whether to work and travel together with your kids or not. Let's start with the pro's!
The pros of hippohelping with your kids
1) Your kids will get incredible learning experiences
The things taught in school are generally speaking very theoretical, and in many cases the kids don't find them useful and interesting, and therefore forget about much of what they've learned once they've passed the exams.
If your kids participate in the work you provide for your hosts they will learn a lot of practical and social skills that wouldn't be possible to learn in the classroom.
Travelling and hippohelping with your kids will expand their horizons.
They will learn skills that are invaluable to their ability of living a good life. Some of these skills are decision-making, problem-solving, tolerance, empathy, adaptability and independence, they will also get a healthy thirst for adventures and new discoveries.
2) Make longer trips possible
Since hosts will provide free food and accommodation in exchange for your services your family will save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on hotels and restaurants.
This will let your family do trips that would otherwise not be possible unless you've got a lot of spare cash to spend.
That being said, you'll still have to save up before hippohelping around the world, but you'll be able to travel far more for far less.
3) New friends for both you and your kids
Since many hosts have kids of their own your kids will have plenty of friends to play and bond with.
And what's even better, your kids friends will likely introduce them to other local kids, and this will give you a great opportunity to meet up with their parents.
Who knows, your kids friends and their parents might even travel with you to some local destinations!
4) Quality time with your kids
Life as a parent can be quite demanding. Trying to keep up with work, keeping the household in order, and running your kids around for extracurricular activities will keep you exhausted and reduce the amount you'll be able to spend with your family.
When hippohelping with your kids many of the distractions of the normal life is gone, and this will give you both more time and energy to spend quality time with the kids.
5) Make memories for life
Very few things can give your family better memories than joyful travel experiences. Being together in a new and exciting place, while experiencing novel things is a great way of creating memories for life.
Your family will reconnect while looking back on these great memories.
The cons of hippohelping with your family
1) Less private space
Spending time together is great, but too much together-time and it's easy to get frustrated with each other. You'll need to find ways to keep you separated from your family members every now and then, a few tips on how to do this are:
- Don't do everything together with your kids (but make sure to know what they are doing).
- Take a walk alone every now and then to clear your thoughts.
- You don't need to socialise with everyone together. Sometimes it's easier to connect with new people when talking to them alone.
2) Being your kid's teacher
Homeschooling while hippohelping can be frustrating. Doing work that hosts ask you to do, while also spending time on homeschooling your kids can exhaust you. Other than that it may be hard to get your kids to listen to you, since they are used to attending classes only when in a classroom.
Here's a few tips to help you with homeschooling while on the road:
- Have your child's mood in mind. Sometimes your child is simply not in the mood of learning, and then there's no point in trying to force information on them. Keep the lessons on hold until the time is right.
- Have clear boundaries and consequences of what happens if your child is not behaving. Homeschooling is not the same as traditional schooling, but your child still need to pay attention and be willing to learn.
- Take advantage of real life experiences on your trip. This will help your child in getting engaged and willing to learn new things.
3) A hungry, bored and tired child
While hippohelping around the world there's always a risk that your child will become hungry, tired or bored. Travelling is exhausting, and doing work for hosts will not make it easier. Here's a few tips on how to keep your kids happy:
- Only make the kids help out on minor tasks, the tasks are only there to engage the kids, not to provide the host with workforce.
- Always pack plenty of snacks and water, that's easily accessible.
- Have the kids pack their own bags with fun things they would like to bring, such as books, papers, pencils and games.
4) Travelling with kids will bring up the costs
While it's true that you'll save a lot of money by working in exchange for free food and accommodation, having kids with you will also add on the expenses. The costs can still be manageable, but you'll need to be extra careful on how you manage your money. Here's a few tips on how to avoid money related problems:
- Look for other travellers in your area, and see if they would be interested in sharing a ride to your next destination.
- Do more trips in the wild, and less in areas where you'll have to pay to enter.
- Bring your own airport snacks when possible to avoid having to eat at overpriced restaurants.
5) Restricted activities
When hippohelping with kids there may be things that you used to do but aren't really an option anymore. You will simply have to adapt, there's no other way. Here's a few tips to help you with this:
- If you have a partner, see if he/she can look after the kids temporarily, while you go off on your own. If you're travelling with friends you can also ask them every now and then to look after the kids.
- Discover new activities together. As a parent you may think you've seen it all, but seeing your kids getting excited about things you've seen before will help you tap into a long lost feeling of curiosity and wonder.
- You can still enjoy your favourite activities, just in new ways. If you for example loved to go for long hikes in the past, you'll still be able to enjoy shorter hikes to exciting spots, and raise a tent when the darkness falls.
That's all for now! I hope this little guide was of good use to you who are considering hippohelping with your kids!