Here is a list of some of my favorite books to help inspire you to plan your own family gap year adventure
This book is the reason we were able to afford our around the world trip. From 2008 I followed much of Tim’s advice. Many are doubters but the information in here will teach you how to think like an entrepreneur and take your idea from a dream to a reality.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich Expanded and Updated
Somehow all roads lead back to this book. The advice sections aren’t nearly as helpful as the country itineraries. Sleep where they sleep and you will probably go broke, but travel where they travel and you are likely to have a very good time. Makes a great book on the Kindle which is how we travel with it. Refer to it several times on your trip to each location and you will be reminded why it was worthwhile after all.
Travel with Children (Lonely Planet Travel With Children)
360 Degrees Longitude is a fun, fast read filled with everything you hope for (but nothing you’d expect) in a “travel” book. John Higham and his wife September planned this trip for more than a decade: a year-long trip around the world. John and September and their two children Katrina aged eleven and Jordan aged eight spent the year visiting twenty-eight different countries, and experiencing many adventures.
360 Degrees Longitude: One Family’s Journey Around the World
This is hands down my favorite travel book of all time! If there is one book you are going to read and then re-read and then read once again this is the book. The advice is timeless, thoughtful and wise.
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
This is a wonderful book about parenting and raising happy, carefree confident kids. I have read a lot of parenting books, most of which I honestly don’t like all that much, but this one hit a nerve with me. Wayne Dyer is known for writing self help books, some are good and some are just OK, but What Do You Really Want for Your Family is excellent. Read it, take notes and practice his recommendations… You will have a stronger family and happier kids because of it.
What Do You Really Want for Your Children?
I have tested them all, Frommers has some excellent resources for families that you may want to take note of in the bookstore or if you can score a free copy. Otherwise stick with Lonely Planet Guidebooks for all except Europe, then you are going to want to go with my man Rick Steves. Below are the guides we have used thus far.
A great book detailing all of Southeast Asia. Although it is not nearly as detailed as the individual country guides (mostly from an accommodation standpoint) it is good if you want to pack just one book. Depending on the length and detail of our stay in a specific region we often still picked up a country specific guidebook. But this book makes for a great start.
Lonely Planet Southeast Asia on a shoestring (Travel Guide)
Excellent overview of South Africa. A bit lacking on family travel and accommodations (like most guides) but we found the physical book invaluable on our journey and were happy we lugged it around.
Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland (Travel Guide)
Bali with kids is worth a good look if you plan on traveling to Bali for more than just a couple weeks. There are some useful hints and a wonderful section on volunteering. The accommodation options are ridiculously expensive so defer to your Lonely Planet Guidebook, Agoda or Bookings.com.
Bali with Kids
When it comes to Europe there is no better guidebook than those produced by Rick Steve’s and his Europe Through the Backdoor series. Although my wife and I used these before we traveled with kids I cannot imagine a better source of European travel information. Rick will take you to the right places, have you sleeping in the coolest (and cheapest places) and never fail you. This is the book series you can’t travel Europe without.
Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door
Samantha hits eight of Asia’s top destinations: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan and Bali…making Asia accessible while delivering an experience like none other. Although this isn’t about family travel and you are sure to be jealous of Samantha’s childless expeditions and wine tastings, this is a great video series if you want to get some inspiration with some beautiful video footage of the region.
Samantha Brown’s Asia