“It was a very hard decision to make and one we agonised over for many months, but sadly it had become obvious to us that we were not spending enough time together as a family and we wanted to slow our lives down a little to enjoy life whilst the kids were still young”, says 38 year old Dan.
The family have travelled Cambodia, Croatia, Dubai, England, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Thailand and the USA and 18 months later they are still going strong.
So what’s their secret? They’ve signed up to the sharing on-line economy travel club lovehomeswap.com
We were lucky enough to catch up with the Prince family and find out a bit more about travelling accommodation for free.
1.What was life like before travelling?
We moved to Singapore in 1999 for Dan’s career in finance on a 2 year contract, but like so many Expats of that era ended up staying for 15 years. As we built our family we started getting busier and busier with everyday life and not spending quality time together as a family. We loved our time in Singapore, but wanted to travel more and see the world and like so many people, no matter where you live in the world, we didn’t want to miss our kids growing up because our lives were too busy.
2. What inspired you to take the trip?
Dan read “the Four Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferriss and suddenly changed his whole perception on life. Once we realised that life was passing us by as we plodded along on the treadmill of life we decided to plot our escape from the rat race and embark on a trip of a lifetime. We also read lots of travel blogs from other families that travel. We don’t know of any other traveling families that use home swapping to help them travel the world though.
3. How did you first hear about the travel club? And did you feel any apprehension in the early days?
We stumbled upon Lovehomeswap when we were searching for alternative ways to enjoy holidays. We had no reservations at all about swapping. Our holiday home had been rented by complete strangers in the past, so swapping with fellow members of the site is way easier for us. Plus we became good friends very quickly with the families who are going to stay in our home. We tend to find that home swappers treat our house better and with more respect than people that pay rent.
4. What is your greatest memory of the trip?
Ha, so many…..each and every place we visit holds such great distinct and varied memories, it’s too hard to pick just one. Each child has their favourite place too. We really loved New Zealand for its stunning scenery and lovely people.
5. What about biggest disasters?
Our son Samuel gashed his forehead open in a swimming pool and needed to receive 14 stitches and
Dan had an emergency appendix operation whilst we were in New Zealand.
We have luckily only missed one travel connection. I don’t want to push our luck, but we haven’t had any major disasters.
7. What’s next?
We will return to Asia for 2 months to explore more of Thailand before heading to Kent in England on a longer term three month swap. This will be a new experience for us, we haven’t lived in England now for 16 years and are excited to be coming home.