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How & Why We Travel as a Family | Lost & Loving It

To inspire your 2018, we’ve asked 6 Australian families who ‘prioritise travelling’ to tell us how and why they travel with kids. Joe, Noela, Rob and Abby from Lost & Loving It is our second family.

Tell us a bit about your family

We are Joe, Noela, 8-year-old Rob and Abby aged 5.  We really are just your average family; however, we choose to do one thing very differently – we travel indefinitely in Australia and overseas, which means every day with our kids is guaranteed a new adventure!

We realised that being in a house and settling for the 9-5 hectic lives we were living, just wasn’t making us happy.  We were giving away too much of our valuable time on jobs, debts, and endless chores; which ultimately was disconnecting us from each other and we were missing out on the best parts of our kid’s childhood.  So, instead we decided to take one bold step and launched ourselves into embracing adventures, home education, living more simply, re-connecting as a family and living with no regrets.

We document our family’s fun, travelling tips and experiences through our travel blog, “Lost and Loving It”

Tell us where you are right now

We are in one of the most culturally rich areas of Australia; East Arnhem Land, the Indigenous owned land of the Northern Territory.  We have loved exploring all the untouched, pristine and secluded beaches of the area, but even more so our time being welcomed in by a local Aboriginal (Yolngu) family.  It is here, our kids are receiving an education of a lifetime; learning first-hand the language, traditions, art, history and culture of our Indigenous people.

Where have you travelled to as a family?

Our kids have experienced each state and territory of Australia; standing at the northern most point, Cape York Queensland, and even hiking the 15-kilometre return trek to the most southern point of Tasmania together as a family!  We’ve experienced Bali with a baby and toddler in tow but are very much looking forward to our upcoming 6 months of overseas travel and education to New Zealand and South America as a family.

Why have you made travelling a priority?

In a house we found that there always seemed to be endless chores or numerous distractions that often left us too exhausted to spend that quality time with our kids.   Holidaying with kids, regardless of the duration, provides you that opportunity to be fully engaged and connected.  Travel also allows you to re-assess your lives prioritise, how important it is to work well as a tight family unit, and surprisingly how happier and freer you are with much less stuff!

How do you afford to travel?

I would love to tell you we are millionaires, but sadly this is not the case, so in fact with some preparation and planning, other families could achieve this too!

As a budget conscious family, we can afford to travel on $500 per week in Australia utilising the many wonderful free and low-cost camps.  This for us, is cheaper than a house!  Prior to departing though we worked hard and saved even harder.  We currently generate an income from renting out our house, travel blogging and Joe now works on the road as a digital nomad (although this only came about after working for a temporary employer on the road!)

Where is your favourite family holiday and why?

Lost & Loving It

Our family has voted – Cairns and the surrounding areas. The Tropical North is close enough to Brisbane by plane, but far enough to feel like a holiday.  In Cairns, our family enjoyed everything from Army tank rides, butterfly and wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls with natural swimming holes and mysterious castles to explore.  But Cairns doesn’t need to break your family budget either, as we found 10 of the best free things to do in Cairns with kids.

When travelling, no parent should be without…

Their sense of humour!  All the rest can be bought, borrowed or found.

Kids are still kids, regardless whether you’re in a house or on a holiday.  They will still get sick, make mistakes and things will go wrong.  Have a laugh, be grateful, move on and just enjoy your special time together, because we all know it will be over way too soon.

If you could inspire another family to travel, what would you say?

Do not wait.

Do not wait for a perfect body, the right ages of your kids or the best of every travel set up.  Honestly, your memories and family don’t care if its new, used or how you look in that swimsuit.  Relax, be silly often and just have fun with travelling with kids.

We are always looking for cheap holidays for families. What’s your hot tip for our readers?

Where else can you get some of the best views of Australia, than in a National Park!   Queensland offers some of the most amazing locations as well.  Everything from low fuss camping on the beach, to peace and tranquillity in the hinterland, all for low price of $25 per night for a whole family!  Let the kids run free, build fires together and take yourself back to nature.

Noela Dowling


This article was published in Issue 27 of our print magazine, April/May 2018.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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