Prices and practicalities: How one family organised a year-long round-the-world trip

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A couple rented out their home and took their children out of school to go on a year-long £85k around-the-world family trip.

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

The family took trains, hire cars, boats, buses and planes through 14 countries – including Ireland, New Zealand, Japan and Hawaii.

They spent around €100-a-night on Airbnb and hotel accommodation and their biggest one-off expense was around-the-world plane tickets costing €15k.

While many are saving money for the future, the family decided to spend it on a around-the-world trip.

Dennis says because of rising costs, it was “cheaper” for them to travel than stay at home.

With Dennis owning a small production company and having a number of projects abroad, the family decided to combine his work with travel.

Dennis says the children’s school was “supportive” of their plans and even gave them work to do whilst they were away.

Dennis and Sheila rented out their home and sold their car to raise some extra cash for the trip, before heading to their first stop, Germany, on August 8, 2022.

The family then spent time in Ireland before jetting across the Atlantic to visit Canada and the US.

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Trips to theme parks in Florida and road trips on the west coast were followed by a flight to Hawaii, where they spent three weeks.

Continuing west, they eventually reached New Zealand and Australia before venturing through Asia to reach Japan.

A quick stop in Singapore and Dubai rounded off their year around the world before they flew back to the Netherlands on July 25, 2023.

Working along the way

Dennis, a production company owner, from Arnhem, 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 €100k for the trip. We didn’t have that in the beginning but doing some of my production work along the way helped with costs.

“In general we paid around €100 for accommodation a night, €3k-a-month for car rental and the around-the-world travel ticket was €15k euros.

“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.”

Following the warm season

After renting out their home and selling the car, the family set off on their travels.

They opted to travel west around the globe and aimed 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.

“We roughly wanted to spend a few weeks or months in each place.”

‘It’s not about the money, it’s the mindset that matters’

The family touched down back in Arnhem just seven weeks ago and Dennis says they are still “readjusting” to their previous life.

They spent most of their savings on the trip but Dennis says they “valued the experience more than watching their costs.”

He added: “It’s not about the money, it’s about the mindset.

“If you’re prepared to make the sacrifices then you can do it.

“If you really want to do it, it’s the mindset that matters – I think most people in general don’t want to leave their homes for a year.

“Even though my wife lost her job, I worked in healthcare for 20 years and I knew that if I couldn’t find any work with my production company that I could always fall back on my healthcare work to rebuild savings.”

Top tips for other globetrotting families

The dad-of-two has offered a few of his top tips for other families thinking of jetting off and becoming globetrotters.

He said: “Pick your countries wisely and I think if you really know your kids you’ll know what countries will work for them.

“Everybody loves kids in Asia for example and you should really look into your identity as a family – you need to include what they like.

“I think it’s good to have options that you can change and divert from.

“You’re going to encounter problems – we encountered four or five national disasters meaning we had to change our plans.

“We knew it would be the rainy season in Asia so we picked an island in the Philippines that gets less rain.

“We went to Bali because of good health care, for example.

“So we always had in my mind about how long it would take to get good healthcare.”