I need some advice on frugal family international travel

Do you have international travel advice for a family?

Do you have international travel advice for a family?My husband and I are finally realizing a long time dream! Both of us spent some time living out of the country before we were married and found it extremely beneficial. We wanted our children to have some of those benefits and always dreamed of the chance to live in, and not just visit, a country that had a lower standard of living than our own.

My husband had lived in Guatemala, and I had lived in Uruguay, so we planned on moving to a place that would give us a chance to use our Spanish and help our children learn Spanish as well. Work opportunities in foreign lands never panned out, and our children were getting older, so a few years ago I started searching online for any ideas that could help us realize this dream.

Eventually I found an opportunity, and it’s all going to happen this fall! We are going with the service organization Eagle Condor Humanitarian to Peru! We will live outside of an Andean city in an agrarian village where the people are stuck in a cycle of poverty with little opportunity for education or even what we would consider adequate nutrition. Eagle Condor has a center there where they give school children a meal and tutoring each day and looks for ways to give these kids and their families a hand up by developing their self reliance. We get to be part of that!

Going to Peru to help at Eagle Condor HumanitarianMeanwhile, my husband will continue to work full time online. Part of each day I will be helping to home school and online school four of my children–two elementary level and two in high school. (That’s my family in the photo above, but it’s a few years old and missing our youngest and me–I was taking the picture.) We know that the best part of their education will come from getting to know these Peruvian children and their families and becoming part of their lives.

That’s all exciting, but the logistics are overwhelming. And that’s where I need your help. I know many of you out there have experience that can help our family realize this dream better than if I just use my current knowledge. I haven’t traveled internationally since any of my children were born, and we have been attending public school. If you have any experience with any of the following things, could you comment or send me an email? I will compile your input and put out posts on these things to help others who may have similar adventures ahead of them. (If you send an email and don’t mind me using the name you sign with or your website, let me know. Otherwise I will keep you anonymous.)

Do you have travel advice for my family?

  • Taking your own passport pictures (or anything else helpful about the U.S. passport experience).
  • Homeschooling or the various online public schools that are out there, including coming back to public school after that and receiving credit and kids blogging.
  • Visiting foreign countries with children. Long flights, learning a foreign language, new foods, safety, how others see Americans and what should I do about it, etc.
  • What to bring or not bring. Such as water purifiers, cell phones, electrical adapters and converters.

Thanks ahead of time for your help. I’ll let you know how it goes!

If you liked this post, you might also like:

About Sunny

My name is Sunny, and my husband and I have five "children" ages 19 to 4. I love learning. I have a M.F.A. in Humanities and dream about going back to school some day. I run around doing "mom" stuff, try to put a nutritious dinner on the table for whomever shows up, and I thrive on creative projects when possible. Mostly I strive to just keep up with the mountains and mole hills of day to day life.
This entry was posted in Family, Sunny and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to I need some advice on frugal family international travel

  1. Tauna said:

    Call Marissa. They lived in Peru with their kids. But they are back and in Arizona, I think.

    [Comment imported from blog at 12:11 pm on May 25, 2013

  2. Tauna says:

    Call Marissa. They lived in Peru with their kids. But they are back and in Arizona, I think.

  3. Sunny said:

    Mi corazon me llama al Uruguay! Es tan lejo, no fue una posibilidad esta vez. Pero algun dia…

    [Comment imported from blog at 8:00 pm on May 1, 2013

  4. Sunny said:

    Mi corazon me llama al Uruguay! Es tan lejo, no fue una posibilidad esta vez. Pero algun dia…

    [Comment imported from blog at 8:00 pm on May 1, 2013

  5. Wanda said:

    Que linda experiencia van a vivir como familia! Les deseo lo mejor!! Lástima que no eligieron Uruguay 🙂 besos

    [Comment imported from blog at 6:16 pm on May 1, 2013

  6. Wanda said:

    Que linda experiencia van a vivir como familia! Les deseo lo mejor!! Lástima que no eligieron Uruguay 🙂 besos

    [Comment imported from blog at 6:16 pm on May 1, 2013

  7. Sunny said:

    Good advice, Jennie. I hadn’t heard about the state department info yet–sounds important. Thanks for the great ideas and sharing your knowledge.

    [Comment imported from blog at 4:56 pm on May 1, 2013

  8. Sunny said:

    Good advice, Jennie. I hadn’t heard about the state department info yet–sounds important. Thanks for the great ideas and sharing your knowledge.

    [Comment imported from blog at 4:56 pm on May 1, 2013

  9. Wanda says:

    Que linda experiencia van a vivir como familia! Les deseo lo mejor!! Lástima que no eligieron Uruguay 🙂 besos

  10. Jennifer Linton said:

    Hi Sunny,
    I do have a few ideas on the things you mentioned above. Many of these you many already do or know, but in case they are helpful! One thing to consider is a de-humidifier. We had some friends living in Peru. They left for a couple of weeks and came back to their house in peru and all their clothes and shoes had molded because it was so moist!

    One thing that has helped my younger kids with travel is to help them feel invested in it with doing research ahead of time (for example my 3 year old helps me look up the weather and tell everyone what to wear for an excursion). My 6 year old is in charge of finding pictures to tell us about the place. Then sometimes I have them bring journals and draw pictures/write about something interesting they saw or learned. They have loved this. My kids have LOVED learning Spanish. At home I have tried speaking english sentences and inserting spanish words in. Of course putting up index cards with spanish names of things on things around the house, walls etc. Spanish cartoons. 🙂

    On the new foods–we love to try new things at restaurants. Some of our kids do, some do not. One thing that has worked for us, is to give a healthy snack a little before hand so they aren’t famished. Then we let them help order and then don’t push it. We encourage, but don’t force kids to try it. But I don’t offer anything else for the meal. Over time and lots of exposure our kids have eventually come to really like the cuisine of the area we live in. At home, having the kids help with shopping and making recipes has helped.

    You probably know, but the state department puts out safety precautions for every area of the world. If you look up Peru on their website you should be able to find detailed info about safety risks and preventions. In many areas of the world, the embassy will do a safety briefing for Americans abroad in that area. If you want to talk through general precautions I’m happy to chat with you more.

    So excited for you.
    Jennie

    [Comment imported from blog at 10:41 am on May 1, 2013

  11. Jennifer Linton said:

    Hi Sunny,
    I do have a few ideas on the things you mentioned above. Many of these you many already do or know, but in case they are helpful! One thing to consider is a de-humidifier. We had some friends living in Peru. They left for a couple of weeks and came back to their house in peru and all their clothes and shoes had molded because it was so moist!

    One thing that has helped my younger kids with travel is to help them feel invested in it with doing research ahead of time (for example my 3 year old helps me look up the weather and tell everyone what to wear for an excursion). My 6 year old is in charge of finding pictures to tell us about the place. Then sometimes I have them bring journals and draw pictures/write about something interesting they saw or learned. They have loved this. My kids have LOVED learning Spanish. At home I have tried speaking english sentences and inserting spanish words in. Of course putting up index cards with spanish names of things on things around the house, walls etc. Spanish cartoons. 🙂

    On the new foods–we love to try new things at restaurants. Some of our kids do, some do not. One thing that has worked for us, is to give a healthy snack a little before hand so they aren’t famished. Then we let them help order and then don’t push it. We encourage, but don’t force kids to try it. But I don’t offer anything else for the meal. Over time and lots of exposure our kids have eventually come to really like the cuisine of the area we live in. At home, having the kids help with shopping and making recipes has helped.

    You probably know, but the state department puts out safety precautions for every area of the world. If you look up Peru on their website you should be able to find detailed info about safety risks and preventions. In many areas of the world, the embassy will do a safety briefing for Americans abroad in that area. If you want to talk through general precautions I’m happy to chat with you more.

    So excited for you.
    Jennie

    [Comment imported from blog at 10:41 am on May 1, 2013

  12. Sunny said:

    I’ll have to call K12 again–when I talked to them on the phone, they said we would have to be here for standardized testing in the fall or pay tuition (big $–out of the question for us) for the international program. Connections said testing is in the spring, so it wasn’t a conflict. I’m not real confident that the “salesperson” on the phone is always completely competent…

    [Comment imported from blog at 10:39 am on May 1, 2013

  13. Sunny said:

    I’ll have to call K12 again–when I talked to them on the phone, they said we would have to be here for standardized testing in the fall or pay tuition (big $–out of the question for us) for the international program. Connections said testing is in the spring, so it wasn’t a conflict. I’m not real confident that the “salesperson” on the phone is always completely competent…

    [Comment imported from blog at 10:39 am on May 1, 2013

  14. Jennifer Linton says:

    Hi Sunny,
    I do have a few ideas on the things you mentioned above. Many of these you many already do or know, but in case they are helpful! One thing to consider is a de-humidifier. We had some friends living in Peru. They left for a couple of weeks and came back to their house in peru and all their clothes and shoes had molded because it was so moist!

    One thing that has helped my younger kids with travel is to help them feel invested in it with doing research ahead of time (for example my 3 year old helps me look up the weather and tell everyone what to wear for an excursion). My 6 year old is in charge of finding pictures to tell us about the place. Then sometimes I have them bring journals and draw pictures/write about something interesting they saw or learned. They have loved this. My kids have LOVED learning Spanish. At home I have tried speaking english sentences and inserting spanish words in. Of course putting up index cards with spanish names of things on things around the house, walls etc. Spanish cartoons. 🙂

    On the new foods–we love to try new things at restaurants. Some of our kids do, some do not. One thing that has worked for us, is to give a healthy snack a little before hand so they aren’t famished. Then we let them help order and then don’t push it. We encourage, but don’t force kids to try it. But I don’t offer anything else for the meal. Over time and lots of exposure our kids have eventually come to really like the cuisine of the area we live in. At home, having the kids help with shopping and making recipes has helped.

    You probably know, but the state department puts out safety precautions for every area of the world. If you look up Peru on their website you should be able to find detailed info about safety risks and preventions. In many areas of the world, the embassy will do a safety briefing for Americans abroad in that area. If you want to talk through general precautions I’m happy to chat with you more.

    So excited for you.
    Jennie

    • Sunny says:

      Good advice, Jennie. I hadn’t heard about the state department info yet–sounds important. Thanks for the great ideas and sharing your knowledge.

  15. Cheri said:

    I know you’ve used it before, but K12 sure helps us keep life sane with homeschooling. I’ve also read about Connections Academy, but the reviews seem to lean toward K12 as far as quality goes. I haven’t approached how to re-enter school, but since K12 is really an online public school, you should be able to stop it when you get home and just “transfer” back into your old school.

    [Comment imported from blog at 8:29 pm on April 30, 2013

  16. Cheri said:

    I know you’ve used it before, but K12 sure helps us keep life sane with homeschooling. I’ve also read about Connections Academy, but the reviews seem to lean toward K12 as far as quality goes. I haven’t approached how to re-enter school, but since K12 is really an online public school, you should be able to stop it when you get home and just “transfer” back into your old school.

    [Comment imported from blog at 8:29 pm on April 30, 2013

  17. Cheri says:

    I know you’ve used it before, but K12 sure helps us keep life sane with homeschooling. I’ve also read about Connections Academy, but the reviews seem to lean toward K12 as far as quality goes. I haven’t approached how to re-enter school, but since K12 is really an online public school, you should be able to stop it when you get home and just “transfer” back into your old school.

    • Sunny says:

      I’ll have to call K12 again–when I talked to them on the phone, they said we would have to be here for standardized testing in the fall or pay tuition (big $–out of the question for us) for the international program. Connections said testing is in the spring, so it wasn’t a conflict. I’m not real confident that the “salesperson” on the phone is always completely competent…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.