How This Couple Travels Full-Time While Making A Living And Raising 4 Kids
In May 2014, Bryanna and Craig Royal traded in their 3,000-square-foot suburban home in Kenosha, Wisconsin for a 400-square-foot RV and set out to travel around the country. With their four young children and two dogs in tow, they embarked on a journey to simplify their life. They wanted to focus less on things and more on their family and the experiences they would have together, Bryanna Royal explains
Today, the family is still on the road, experiencing unique adventures like swimming with dolphins or climbing to the top of a mountain together as a family. When they’re not indulging in thrilling excursions, Bryanna and Craig are plugging away at their remote jobs or homeschooling their four children, who range in age from four to nine. After several years of living a nomadic lifestyle, they share some secrets about how they continue to make it work.
Lowering Their Burn Rate
The couple is always looking for ways to reduce their monthly expenses and very carefully tracks each expenditure. Currently, they’re spending about $4,000 a month, with their biggest expense coming from a monthly RV payment of $533. A $320 car payment and $170 insurance follows behind. For a closer look at their budget, check out their blog.
Royal’s best advice for keeping a monthly budget in check, whether on the road or living a more traditional lifestyle: don’t eat out. “Seriously, we save so much money by packing a cooler and not going to restaurants all of the time,” she says, explaining that this alone can save hundreds of dollars each week. If there’s a restaurant they really want to go to, sometimes they eat dinner ahead of time and go for appetizers or drinks. Other times, they’ll visit a new restaurant for dessert.
On day trips with the kids, they save a lot by enjoying the outdoors and exploring nature. They also recommend annual memberships to national parks, museums and zoos as a way to travel on a budget.
Pushing Their Comfort Zones
When Royal launched her virtual assistant company Virtual Powerhouse, she knew that growing a business while on the road would be a step outside her comfort zone. Nevertheless, she pushed ahead with confidence and drive. She started by putting together a document explaining how she could help her clients and making a list of about 50 people to call and update about her new business plans.
“You have to be able to talk about your business and tell people what you can do to help them,” Royal says. “Then once you have clients, offer them a referral discount if they send new clients your way.” Above all, she says delivering more than you promise, sticking to your commitments and completing your work early or on time can help pave the way for success.
It also takes some real hard work and commitment. For Bryanna and Craig, who also works for Virtual Powerhouse as web designer and SEO specialist, this means working odd hours, sometimes in the very early mornings because that is when they have reliable Internet connection. It also means dividing and conquering. For example, Bryanna takes every Monday to work 12 full hours, while Craig does the same on Tuesdays.
When constantly on the road, it’s easy to feel as though you’re distanced—both physically and emotionally—from family and friends. However, the couple makes an effort to stay connected to their support system and meet up with them in their adventures whenever possible.
Interestingly, Bryanna’s parents, along with her sister, brother-in-law and their two children, are also full-time travelers. They all meet up for weeks at a time. They’ve also visited with friends from home and reconnected with others who have moved around the country.
While the lifestyle, like any, has its advantages and challenges, the Royals have no plans to settle down anytime soon. “Our hope is to get to Mexico and Canada and eventually overseas,” Royal says. “We want to see it all!”
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