Meet: Bec Wyld, Intrepid Budget Traveler | The Expedition
Two girls walking to temple gate in Southeast Asia
Bec Wyld's daughters, Willow and Marley, in Asia.

Meet: Bec Wyld, Intrepid Budget Traveler

Bec Wyld never really wanted to travel. 

“It was Mark who convinced me to go on my first trip,” she says. “And I have not looked back.”

That’s a little bit of an understatement. Bec and her husband, Mark, have been exploring the world with their two daughters since the girls were babies. (They’re now teenagers.) They provide travel advice to families through their blog and social media feeds. Before the pandemic, the family spent more than a year traveling through Europe and Asia. 

It took two years to save money for the trip. They started planning in 2017, after Bec and Mark both lost parents. 

“[Their deaths] made us realize that there’s never a good time to pack up and go,” Bec says. “This was something that our parents always wanted to do. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the chance for that one last trip.” 

The Wylds are experts at traveling on a budget, and often stay in hostels on their journeys. Bec shared her best packing tip, her advice for choosing a family-friendly hostel, and the app that helps them stick to their budget while traveling. 

Our travel style, in three words is…

Budget, fun and organized!

We took our first daughter on her first international trip…

When she was 10 months old. We flew from Melbourne Australia to Singapore then onto Amsterdam. It took roughly 32 hours to get there from our house in rural Victoria! We visited five countries with her on that trip: The Netherlands, Germany, France, Czech Republic and Hungary. It made us realise that travelling with younger kids was definitely something that is wonderful for the whole family. 

We love staying in hostels as a family because…

They give us some space when travelling long-term and even on shorter trips. You will always find someone to chat to, and staying in hostels always gives you some hidden gems to find. People are so happy to share their experiences with you from anywhere in the world. Our daughters get to meet a large range of people. It also helps us with budget travel as we are able to use the facilities to cook and wash when we are on the road. 

If you want to plan a hostel stay…

You have to do your research, to make sure it is a family-friendly hostel and that it has the facilities you need. If you are unsure, for the first stay book a room with an ensuite bathroom so you don’t  have to share with other people. Read reviews from other families and see what they liked and didn’t like. If you are unsure about anything, email or call the hostel and ask!

The Wyld Family in Thailand
The Wyld Family in Thailand. (Don’t miss the elephants in the background.)

After our year-long trip, it was very difficult to...

Return home. We got back in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit this part of the world. We’d come back so our daughters could return to mainstream schooling, but homeschool started a month later. 

Having a home to return to made it…

Much easier for us. We opened the door and all of our things were there waiting for us. It was overwhelming after living with only 7kg (15 pounds) each for such a long time and suddenly coming home to so much stuff! It also inspired us to do the renovations we had put off for a long time, so it was pretty crazy for the first few months. But once it was all finished, we settled in really well.

I think living in a small rural community was great too. Many people knew what we had done and where we had been and were understanding of our return. The girls settled into school well and back into their social circles. It was a bit difficult to find our routine again, but lockdowns and other pandemic related things constantly had us changing—which to be honest was like when we were travelling! 

My best travel hack is…

To pack less than you think you need. You can always get what you need in another country—it might just take some more time than you normally would take. And always get a hotel with a good brekky!

My best advice for families who want to travel like us is…

You don’t have to travel long-term or even to far-away places. Travel where you are comfortable, the way you want to. Whether it’s a tent in the back yard or a family gap year, do it…you will love it and you will create some amazing memories to share with your children.

Our must-have travel item is…

A power board. You need every single one of the charging ports for the whole family!

The most family-friendly place we’ve visited is… 

Mark said he loved North Wales. We found it easy to get around there and the people were amazing. There is so much to do and lots to learn about the country. I would say Thailand or Vietnam. There are a lot of learning opportunities in both countries, and the people there love families with kids. 

Our favorite travel app is…

XE currency converter. We used it a lot when we were away, and it helped up stick to our budget. 

I would love to change…

The amount of time it takes for us to get to amazing places. We are from Australia, so getting places even in our own country takes a long time. I would also love to make it cheaper so everyone could experience a dream trip in their lives no matter where it was.

The most important lesson my kids have learned from traveling is…

Empathy. We all don’t have the same life experiences 

We love destinations that have…

A great mix of history, culture, activities and relaxation. Normally we are go, go, go but are getting better at relaxing. We are trying to remember that if we miss something we can come back one day and see it—we don’t always have to hit the ground running.

Coming from Australia, our budget helps us decide…

Where to travel. It also depends on how much time we can take off work. During our gap year, our budget was the number one thing that helped us decide where to go and how long we would spend there.

The destinations on my bucket list are…

I would love to go to Greece one day as well as return to Kazakhstan. I think Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan are on the list too

I used to be a serious…

Overpacker. After 14 months on the road, I realized I don’t need it all! Now I am able to pack much less.

Our favorite hidden gem in Australia is…

Our area! We live in a small country town three hours from Melbourne, in a region called Gippsland. Many people have never visited here and it is stunning. It has pristine beaches, mighty rivers, mountain ranges, and fun for everyone.

Families can learn more about us…

On our blog at www.wyldfamilytravel.com, Instagram @wyld_family_travel and Facebook wyld family travel. If you’d like to know more about our hidden gem of Gippsland, you can check out our blog at www.travelsingippsland.com

Sara Clemence is a freelance journalist, formerly travel editor for The Wall Street Journal and news director for Travel + Leisure. She's the author of Away & Aware, a guide to mindful travel.

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