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European road trip: Parents say children learnt more travelling than they would have done at school

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A couple sold their home, pulled their kids out of school and went on a European road trip – in search of a “more valuable” education.

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

The parents, both 43, then took their three children out of class and put their £535k home in Swindon, Wiltshire, on the market.

It sold quickly and they used the cash to buy a £60k campervan – which they used to travel across Europe.

Carl and Ruth, who run a signage business, say they have no regrets – and believe kids Maisie, 11, Pippa,10, and Marley, five, learnt more on the road than at school.

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

After a dry run to Aberdeen, the family set off for Calais in November 2022 and drove through France, stopping off in Dunkirk and seeing war memorials and museums in Ypres.

They then drove towards Scandinavia. Later, they stopped in Lapland in time for Christmas, before spending New Year in Helsinki.

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They also explored eastern Europe, flew across to Perth, Australia and Bali 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”.

Maisie, Pippa and Marley in a toboggan in Lapland, December 2022.

(Carl Jackson / SWNS)

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.”


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