Lonely Planet Writer

How a family of six live and travel full-time in a vintage Airstream

Most people dream about being able to travel full-time, but one adventurous family of six from the United States has made it a reality, having spent the past four years exploring the vast American landscape in a vintage 1972 Airstream.

The family at Athabasca Glacier in Canada. Image by Tiny Shiny Home

Calling themselves “The Longneckers”, the family’s journey towards life on the road began in 2015, when they sold their house and bought a trailer. The vintage Airstream that they call home has been completely renovated, with the family adding some familiar comforts such as fold-down bunk beds and a boosted Wi-Fi signal, as well as practical amenities that allow them to camp in remote areas such as a composting toilet, solar panels and lithium batteries.

The vintage 1972 Airstream camper.
The vintage 1972 Airstream trailer that the family calls home. Image by Tiny Shiny Home

“Traveling full-time allows us to focus on experiences instead of things, and we love the ability to have a constantly changing backyard or visit areas that our kids are interested in,” father Jonathan told Lonely Planet Travel News.

The trailer can fit the whole family and was customised for their way of life. Image by Tiny Shiny Home

Blogging about their adventures as a family on their website Tiny Shiny Home, the Longneckers often share tips for others planning on hitting the road, with in-depth write-ups about how they renovated their trailer, articles about travelling with children, as well as some suggested travel routes for others to follow. So far the family has clocked in over 100,000 miles, and have mapped routes for each year since 2015.

The Longneckers love to explore nature wherever they go. Image by Tiny Shiny Home

“Our advice for anyone else thinking of pursuing this would be to first make sure you have a job or career that can be done on the road. Once that is settled, do your research and give it a shot. You won’t know until you try! Now we get to live in these beautiful, remote places – and we never would have gotten to do that if we hadn’t made the first leap. We hope that even if full-time travel isn’t your thing that our adventures will inspire you to get out more and experience this beautiful world around us. Live like you mean it!” Jonathan said.

More of the Longneckers’ adventures can be found at their official website.