Couple sell their home and pull their three children out of school to take a whirlwind trip around Europe – in search of a 'more valuable' education

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:6 min(s) read

  • They believe the European trip is more beneficial for their children than school 
  • READ MORE: We’ve taken our 11-month-old son to 23 countries since he was born – he’s the world’s most well-travelled baby

A couple have revealed how they sold their home and took their three children out of school to take a trip around Europe in a campervan so they could ‘learn more’.

Carl and Ruth Jackson, both 43, from Swindon, struggled through the Covid lockdowns and vowed to make the most of their freedom when it came.

So when the time arrived, they took their children Maisie, 11, Pippa, ten, and Marley, five out of school and put their £535,000 home on the market.

They used the money they made to buy a £60,000 campervan – which they have since used to travel across Europe.

Carl and Ruth, who run a signage business, have said they have no regrets – and believe, have learned more on the road than at school.

Carl (right) and Ruth Jackson (left) sold their home and took their children (pictured) out of school to take a trip around Europe

Carl (right) and Ruth Jackson (left) sold their home and took their children (pictured) out of school to take a trip around Europe

The family visited 28 different countries in total, from November last year to August this year.

Carl said: ‘We had talked about going travelling since we’ve been together.

‘But it’s one of those things you think you’ll do it, but it never happens.

‘I was the stumbling block, but one day Ruth just said, ‘Let’s go’. And then I just thought, ‘Why not?’. So off we went.’

The couple decided on the plan in July 2022, and managed to sell their house in the same month.

They then bought a six-berth motorhome for £60,000 – complete with a tow car which goes behind it.

Carl said: ‘We did a dry run up to Aberdeen and stayed on a families’ driveway. It all went well.

‘When we started, we made no bookings at all. We only knew that we wanted to take the kids to Lapland.’

The parents struggled through the Covid lockdowns and vowed to make the most of their freedom when it came

The parents struggled through the Covid lockdowns and vowed to make the most of their freedom when it came

The Jacksons sold their £535k home in exchange for a £60k campervan- which they have since used to travel around Europe

The Jacksons sold their £535k home in exchange for a £60k campervan- which they have since used to travel around Europe 

The family set off for Calais in November 2022 and drove through France, stopping off at the war memorials at Dunkirk and seeing war memorials and museums in Ypres.

They then drove up to Scandinavia and stopped in Lapland in time for Christmas, before spending New Year in Helsinki.

The family also explored eastern Europe, before travelling to Greece and Italy.

They had no concrete plan throughout their trip, and barely booked a thing. Instead, they say they would just ‘wake up and drive’.

Carl said: ‘We followed our nose.

‘We had a dream to show our kids more of the world and demonstrate the real world is out there after Covid.’

The family have visited 28 different countries in total, from November last year to August this year

The family have visited 28 different countries in total, from November last year to August this year

Carl and Ruth had discussed going travelling since they had been together, but have never taken the plunge

Carl and Ruth had discussed going travelling since they had been together, but have never taken the plunge 

The family had no concrete plan throughout their trip, and barely booked a thing. Instead, they say they would just 'wake up and drive'

The family had no concrete plan throughout their trip, and barely booked a thing. Instead, they say they would just ‘wake up and drive’

The Jacksons have no regrets about taking their children out of school to go and see the world.

Carl said: ‘We want them to be more open-minded.

‘Sometimes the media and news can be all dull and negative, we wanted to demonstrate to them that you can go out there and have great experiences.

‘You also don’t need shed load of money.’

The pair homeschooled their kids while on the trip, and were supported by their children’s school – who provided them with online resources.

The family set off for Calais in November 2022 and drove through France, stopping off at the war memorials at Dunkirk and seeing war memorials and museums in Ypres

The family set off for Calais in November 2022 and drove through France, stopping off at the war memorials at Dunkirk and seeing war memorials and museums in Ypres

The Jacksons have no regrets about taking their children out of school to go and travel the world

The Jacksons have no regrets about taking their children out of school to go and travel the world

The couple wanted to demonstrate that life can be full of great experiences- and you don't need a tonne of money

The couple wanted to demonstrate that life can be full of great experiences- and you don’t need a tonne of money 

The pair homeschooled their kids while on the trip, and were supported by their children's school - who provided them with online resources

The pair homeschooled their kids while on the trip, and were supported by their children’s school – who provided them with online resources

Carl said: ‘We arranged a meeting with the headteacher of our kids’ school and were waiting to be told off by him.

‘He was surprisingly absolutely supportive, he even said he had done something similar.

‘We have a rather more relaxed regime than their school.

‘It’s wasn’t an eight till three situation, and is three to four days a week at most, but the kids do make use of their downtime.

‘We genuinely believe they are got a more valuable education from all these new cultural experiences.’

For Maisie, Pippa, and Marley the trip was a dream – crowned by Marley getting his Top Gun t-shirt signed by Tom Cruise himself while the family were staying in Rome.

The family drove up to Scandinavia and stopped in Lapland in time for Christmas, before spending New Year in Helsinki

The family drove up to Scandinavia and stopped in Lapland in time for Christmas, before spending New Year in Helsinki

When the family started their adventure, they made no bookings at all. The only thing knew that we wanted to take the kids to Lapland

When the family started their adventure, they made no bookings at all. The only thing knew that we wanted to take the kids to Lapland

The couple said that the children have loved every minute of the experience- including the different foods

The couple said that the children have loved every minute of the experience- including the different foods 

The couple chose to homeschool their children for a maximum of three to four days per week during the trip

The couple chose to homeschool their children for a maximum of three to four days per week during the trip 

The family got back to England in August 2023, just in time for Maisie to start secondary school

The family got back to England in August 2023, just in time for Maisie to start secondary school

Their adventure has seen them go to France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal

Their adventure has seen them go to France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal

Carl said: ‘The kids have loved every minute of it.

‘They have loved meeting different people and trying all sorts of different foods.

‘They have seen diversity in all forms, including the weather.

The family got back to England in August 2023, just in time for Maisie to start secondary school.

Carl said: ‘We fully appreciate we are very fortunate to have done this but would tell anyone who is able – definitely do it!’

Their adventure has seen them go to France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

The final stop off was in France.

Carl said: ‘It’s good to be back and get back into work.

‘I have found a new drive to get on again, it’s been really nice to come back and see everyone.’




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