Family spends £86k and takes kids out of school to go travelling for a year

A couple has revealed how they sold their house and car to go travelling for a year with their two children, spending a whopping £86,000 on the round-the-world trip to Australia, the USA, Taiwan and more.

Dennis Horstman Maassen, 51, and wife, Sheila, 45, de-registered as citizens of the Netherlands to legally remove children, Oz, eight, and Zola, six, from school.

They then travelled by train, hire car, boat, bus and plane to 14 countries from Japan to Ireland, New Zealand to Hawaii.

But the trip wasn’t without challenges as the children still needed to do schoolwork and the adults wanted to see different things. Sheila was also suffering from long Covid, meaning some parts of the epic journey had to be slowed down.

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Production company owner, Dennis, from Arnhem, in the Netherlands, said: “When we thought it was an option, we made the decision to do it quite quickly.

“I had some job opportunities with my creative production and we thought it would be nice to travel with the kids and school them as we go.

“We had to rent out our house and sell the car, but the house had tenants within a week and it was a nice way of making passive income whilst we were away for the year.

“I budgeted about €100,000 (£86,000) for the trip. We didn’t have that in the beginning but doing some of my production work along the way helped with costs.”

He added the family paid about £85.83 for accommodation per night, £2,575 a month for car rental and the around-the-world travel ticket, £12,875.

Dennis said: “For some it’s a lot of money but in general I think we did it pretty well and if you look at your costs in general for a family-of-four for a year I don’t think it’s too much.

“Because of my wife’s long Covid she’s not as physically capable but because we are seasoned travellers, we knew we’d be able to make it work. We knew what it’d be like and knew what we’d encounter.”

They also made sure Oz and Zola had time to do their school work wherever they were in the world and don’t think the children have fallen behind.

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Dennis said they contacted the school before leaving and they were very supportive with our plans.

He explained: “They did some online bits and every two months we would contact the school to check-in and make sure they’re keeping up with their studies. They did bits of work on their experiences of travelling too.

“But it does change your way of travelling. They needed time to adjust and have time to work without being on the move all the time.”

He added that while the family was in Australia they were able to work in the car on the long road trips.

Dennis said: “It does take an effort and you have to keep up with it – it’s not just a holiday for a year.”

The family travelled west around the world, aiming to follow the warm season so they could pack lightly.

Dennis said: “Every country has its beauty and New Zealand is always the country we come back to as it’s wide open and you have the vast remoteness. But we loved the US as well because of the national parks.

“Every national park had assignments that you could do for kids and badges they could collect – that was amazing. Eight days of theme parks in Florida for the kids was great as well. The Hawaiian culture was great.

“Japan was very beautiful for us as adults, perhaps a bit less for the kids as it has a very structured culture. But Australia the kids loved because of all the wild animals, the wallabies, the crocodiles, snakes, they loved that and found it so interesting.

“We had two weeks in Taiwan and there was so many parts that weren’t frequented by tourists so that was really nice. We had an amazing time in the Philippines as well, which was beautiful – we rented a motorbike and just being with the kids on this small island was amazing.”

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