EER008: Gap Year Family Travel Interview

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Epic Education Radio 008: the Jacobson-Lang Family Travel InterviewGap year family travel can be tough to plan, but life-changing once put in place. We met Katie, Danny, Caleb and Isaiah in central Vietnam last year. The beautiful town of Hoi An provided the perfect backdrop for the parents to chat and the kids to get to know each other. It’s rare that we meet another traveling family with kids almost the exact same age as ours, so we were thrilled to meet up with these guys and really enjoyed their company.

Gap Year Family Travel Interview

I got back in touch with them for this interview while they were in Cusco, Peru — one of their last destinations before returning to Canada after a Gap Year family travel. Here they talk about where they went, how they financed the trip and what they learned along the way.

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  • Katie Jacobson-Lang, her husband Danny and their sons Caleb (11) and Isaiah (8)
  • Type of travel: 1-year round-the-world gap year family travel
  • Holds Passports from: Canada
  • A few places they’ve been: Vietnam, China, Peru, Bolivia
  • Their Blog


  • We did lots of traveling before we had kids.
  • We saw other traveling families and the educational opportunities those kids had, then decided to do it ourselves.


  • Eating three meals a day together without “electronic distractions.”


  • Planned for 4 years
  • Year-long sabbaticals: one took year long sabbatical, the other took a year long leave of absence.
  • “We knew that we’d incur some (ha ha…LOTS of) debt.”
  • Katie used deferred compensation, and had 20% of monthly income deferred for 4 years, so that during her sabbatical she still earned 80% of her income.



  • Planned to do more formal schooling, but changed their minds along the way.
  • Hired personal guides (as opposed to group tours) so the kids could ask as many questions as they’d like.
  • Both boys will be back at school after a year away. If they’re behind, they’ll hire a tutor.
  • They had 100% Support from the school and teachers.


Kids’ Resources:

Parents’ Resources:


  • Re: Accommodation, They got a cheaper rate in Asia by showing up in person, but in South America, they got cheaper rates by using booking sites.
  • Rent apartments as much as you can: gives a sense of normalcy, and you can cook at home.
  • For the first few months at least, book accommodation ahead of time: Travel days are stressful enough. It’s much easier on some kids to know that they can leave the airport and know where they’re going to sleep.
  • Seek out opportunities to meet other children.
  • “Nearly everything we had was replaceable”



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel.